Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jeju Guide: Seongeup Folk Village

One of the most delightful stops we made in Jeju was to the Seongeup Folk Village. It's not really like any other folk villages you've been to before. Here, you probably won't see many actors dressed up pretending to live life like they did one hundred years ago, but you will see people actually living in some traditional houses, with a few modern amenities, of course. Scattered among this real village are many houses that you can enter yourself and look around. Without a guide it might be difficult really appreciate the area, but while English guides are free, they often expect you to buy something from one of the gift shops at the end of the tour so be sure you know what you're getting into before you take up one of the many guides  up on their offer.

We didn't get a guide, and we probably did miss out on a lot of the history, but we had a nice hour or so walk around the houses, exploring and taking photos.

 All these houses were actual houses, not reconstructions. While many are still inhabited, others have been abandoned and are now kept up just for tourism.

All the roofs here are thatched. Here is a closeup of one roof for you.


Jeju is famous for the "똥돼지" or "dung pigs". These pigs lived beside the outhouse and fed on... well... everything that came from the outhouse. We had been hoping to see a 똥돼지 the whole time we were in Jeju, since they are quite well known, but by the time we came here on the last day, we had given up hope. Since, obviously, no one is feeding poop to pigs anymore we didn't expect to find anything. We found many pig pens attached to toilets in the village, but no pigs. But, just as we were getting ready to leave the folk village, we happened to look into one 똥돼지 pen and were astonished to see a real pig in there. Of course, it wasn't eating poop, but we were pretty happy anyway.


 Here's a demonstration for you on how it works...

As we were leaving the village, we stumbled across these tolharubangs. They are original to the city, not like the new ones you'll probably see everywhere all over the island.

Seongeup Folk Village, while not overly exciting, was a very nice place to visit. Unlike everywhere else we went in Jeju, we didn't have to pay any entrance fee here, so it's especially good if you're on a budget. You can get a tour guide for free, but you should expect them to push you to buy something once your tour is complete. For those interested in history, it's a must see.  Keep your eye out for the 똥돼지!!

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