OWL Magazine Korea

“Exploring Bukchon: Stories of Bukchon” by Seon-hee Ok

Bukchon Hanok Village stands as one of the prominent tourist destinations in the heart of Seoul. Situated east of Gyeongbokgung Palace, it’s conveniently located for visitors exploring the palace grounds. Moreover, its proximity to Insadong to the south enhances its accessibility to major attractions in Seoul.

Bukchon Hanok Village boasts numerous hanok (traditional Korean houses) so densely packed that it’s hard to believe it’s within Seoul’s urban landscape.

“Bukchon Hanok Village Struggling with Overtourism”

For these reasons, Bukchon Hanok Village has garnered attention as one of Seoul’s representative tourist spots. Consequently, it naturally attracts a large influx of tourists. Even back in 2011, when I first visited Seoul, occasional visits to Bukchon Hanok Village revealed it bustling with tourists.

Especially during that time, there was a surge of Chinese tourists, known as “Youke,” which further increased the number of visitors. Despite still being a popular destination today, Bukchon Hanok Village is suffering from overtourism, with too many tourists causing strain on the area.

As businesses catering to tourists proliferate, essential establishments serving the local residents gradually disappear, leading to a decline in the quality of life.

“The Book ‘Bukchon Exploration’ Published in 2009”

The book titled “Bukchon Exploration” was published in 2009, approximately 15 years ago. Authored by Seon-hee Ok, who lived in Bukchon Hanok Village at the time, it contains descriptions and anecdotes about various aspects of the village.

As time passes, this book may become akin to a historical document capturing the atmosphere and content of Bukchon Hanok Village at the time.

“A Book Unveiling Bukchon Hanok Village from the Perspective of a Resident”

During my university days at Sungkyunkwan University, I resided near Bukchon Hanok Village in Hyehwa-dong. Reading this book, I found it fascinating to discover a resident’s insights into the village where I once considered living if I ever earned enough money. The book delves into hidden gems scattered throughout Bukchon Hanok Village and offers glimpses of unique experiences exclusive to the area.

Rather than merely listing places, the book provides detailed historical explanations alongside introductions to various locations across its 365 pages. Although I didn’t experience living in Bukchon Hanok Village at the time, reading the book made me feel as if I were there. The author conducted thorough research for the book, meticulously introducing each location.

“A Book Indirectly Capturing the Charm of Bukchon Hanok Village”

Through Seon-hee Ok’s “Bukchon Exploration,” readers can indirectly experience the charm of Bukchon Hanok Village. However, I can’t help but wonder if the present-day appearance of the locations featured in the book may have changed somewhat over time.

In that sense, as mentioned earlier, as time passes, this book may transform into a sort of historical account, similar to a history book, showcasing the past appearance of Bukchon Hanok Village.

“Bukchon Exploration: Stories of Bukchon Told Frankly by Seon-hee Ok, the Guardian of Bukchon for 10 Years”

  • Author: Seon-hee Ok
  • Publication Date: November 20, 2009
  • ISBN13: 9788992650243
  • Yes24 Link: http://app.ac/lErpVZS53