South Korea’s cultural capital Andong is like a hidden treasure. It houses all things connected to the rich Korean culture and heritage including soju! It is also the birthplace of Korean Confucianism. From traditional Korean folk dances to regular Korean rural life, there are a lot more exciting things to do in Andong that we’re going to guide you within this article. Let’s get started with the best Andong itinerary for your South Korea trip.
It is a place that is well known for its culture and respect thanks to around 5,000 years of traditions. As is is surrounded by two mountains, Mt. Sobaek and Mt. Taebaek, the city has retained its unique color and folklore. There has been minimal interaction with outsiders leaving the city still seeped in its culture and traditions.
Overall, Andong has a laid-back vibe and people are quite friendly. There are lot of things to do, exciting places to eat and stay.
Unique Things To Do in Andong That No Traveler Should Miss Out On
1. Have a laid back experience in a Traditional House in the Andong Folk Village (안동 하회마을)
Amongst all the other happening places in Andong, the Hahoe Folk Village is the best. It is listed under UNESCO because it carries the lineage of six hundred years. Although it is a village, it is quite vast and you can spend half a day exploring the village.
The place is home to the descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan. Many Joseon era scholars were also born here. Unlike the traditional village in Seoul, Bukchon Hanok Village, these villages were home to commoners and noblemen both.
Presently, it has been turned into a popular rural retreat to keep with the authentic local flavor. You can avail yourself of the chogas or the rural houses here to sleep or stay in. These are well furnished with all modern amenities. To get a good sleep in one of these super relaxing Korean cottages with certainly one of the best things to do in Andong.
Hahoe Folk Village is located in a U-shaped area surrounded by the Nakdong River. The name is reflective of the same – ‘Ha‘ means river and ‘Hoe‘ means turning around.
2. Down A Shot of Soju
Soju is the most exciting thing to try in Andong. This local firewater was first concocted in the 13th century by the Mongols in the Andong region itself. Traditional authentic Soju is only available in Andong to date and it is made out of fermented & distilled rice & grains. Most soju in Korea is 16& proof, but the local one is 40%! If you indulge too much, you’ll surely end up under the table.
You can order some Soju for yourself with your meals at any restaurant or buy a souvenir. The Andong Soju Museum is also a very good place to explore because over there you can catch up with the entire history of the drink and also collect a few samples. Although, if more than the history you are interested in the drink then down a few shots with your friends because this is certainly one of the most adventurous things to do in Andong. But, do keep in mind that it is a vicious and infamous drink, so no bottoms up.
3. Absorb The Scenic Serenity of Andong
As we know that Andong is located in the foothills of the Hwasan Mountains, the city offers some breathtaking scenic views along the Nakdong River.
Climb up the 64-meter Buyongdae cliff in Andong and enjoy the bird’s eye view of the virgin nature in Andong with gushing rivers all around the village. Take a day trip to Andong and absorb the scenic serenity of the place.
4. Witness the Andong Mask Dance Festival
Every September or October, the city hosts the Andong Mask Dance Festival to carry on with the city’s folk traditions along with Talcum, a form of dance in which participants tell stories through their dance.
The mask dance festival of Andong carries a whole lot of Korean traditions, history, and heritage. You can base your actions on social satire, traditional, or even pure entertainment in these cases.
This festival attracts tourists from around the globe because of its utmost cultural glory and rich heritage.
To get a better taste of the Andong Mask Dance Festival, you can also enjoy the Hahoe Mask Museum where you can check out the various types of traditional Korean masks and their storylines.
5. Enjoy Scrumptious Jjimdak
Among all the other amazing things to do, tasting Andong cuisine is a must. The most famous among all the other delicious Korean dishes are the local Jjimdak. It is also widely famous in Gyeongju but the authentic one is made only in Andong. Jjimdak is essentially braised chicken with vegetable stew marinated in soy based sauce and cellophane noodles based in soya sauce broth is what this dish consists of.
It is almost a heavenly combination that transports you into a food coma. You can get this dish in any place near the Andong market by the special Andong Chef. This is a very good option for any foodie to do amongst all the other amazing things to do in Andong.
6. Experience Bongjeongsa Temple (봉정사)
The Andong city is the birthplace of the Joseon Confucian Dynasty. There are various such peaceful Buddhist monasteries located all around the city. You can experience spirituality at its best in the Bongjeongsa Temple when on the Andong trip. Do not miss out on the very beautiful wooden Nirvana Hall along with all the architectural wonders in this temple.
Bongjeongsa Temple is the second oldest wooden building in South Korea which is a big deal if you consider the number of wars and invasions the country has been through!
If you are looking for some peace away from the hub-bub of metropolitan cities, then this is the most appropriate thing to do in Andong Korea.
7. Visit the Pagoda in Beopheungsa Temple
Just down the road from Imcheonggakgun jajeong, one of the oldest civil buildings in Korea, you can see the Seven Story Brick Pagoda. It sits on the site of Beopheungsa Temple although the temple no longer exists.
The pagoda is the oldest and largest brick pagoda in Korea. Its almost 17 meters tall and the foundation is 7.75 meters wide. The pagoda looks towering and almost mammoth between the road and some old hanok houses.
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