Of course Korea is full of well-know traditional villages. Here in Gyungbuk province there’s Korea’s national heritage treasure Gyeongju. Up in Seoul, there’s the infamous Bukchon Hanok village. Well, if you want a real treat, that is a village that feels a bit more off the beaten path, I recommend a Saturday trip to Gaeshil Village, south-west of Daegu.
Nestled among the winding valleys of Gayasan Mountain, Gaeshil is a classic farming village open to Korean and international tourists. Walk among the traditional hanok houses by yourself or with your group (though, be respectful, as there are indeed residents still living among the houses). The main courtyard offers a variety of games and swings and just places to relax on a nice day.
There is a staff at the village, willing to help and assist you. They offer brief lessons in making ddeok (떡), Korean pounded rice, used to make sweets. Also, you can make something called yeot (엿) which is like a sweet, hard taffy. They sell this in Insadong and it’s super delicious, but will do a number on your teeth, so remember to brush afterwards!
Gaeshil Farming Village is a beautiful location in south-western Gyungbuk province. Just a quick drive from Daegu. While there, be sure to visit all of Gayasan Mountain’s other treasures, including the well-maintained Haeinsa Temple.
To get there: By car take Highway 12, south-west bound out of Daegu. When you get to Goryeong County, turn south onto Highway 33. By bus, you can catch a bus at the Seobu Bus Terminal. Take the shi-whey bus (시외버스) bound for Hapcheon (합천). It will pass through Goryeong (고령) and then on to Gaeshil Village (개실 마을).