March 15, 2010

Korean Diaries : Korean Folk Village

On the second week of sight seeing here in Korea me and a group of friends(Rakesh and Girish) had initially planned to go Everland Amusement park, but the weather forecast showed the possibility of rain on the same day (and the forecast is pretty accurate in here, the only margin of error is sometimes as predicted it might rain instead of snowfall :P ). Since for the maximum enjoyment of such an amusement park requires bright sunlight, we decided to postpone the same and started looking for an alternative.

The first thing that came to our mind was the Korean Folk Village situated very near to the city of Suwon. We were ready to leave for this place at around 12 noon, already having our lunch. We took a bus for the folk village after walking 15 mins from our place, for the designated bus stop. (Bus no 37). The bus journey lasted for around halfan hour and by this time we reached the entrance of the Korean Folk Village.

Paying the entrance fee of 18k Won per head we entered the village. This folk village is built in order to show the urban people of Korea how the stuff was done in the older day's. And since they have no contact with the rural side (if at all any exists here :P) this amusement park tries to give them that rural, rustic picture and feel . Well for people from India this sort of experiences is nothing new and we have atleast some or the other relatives in villages. But atleast we were new to the korean rural areas, so that kept us going.

As soon as we entered and picked up the map for this place, the first thing that caught our eyes were the amusement facilities. So we started moving in the direction towards it. The amusement facilities are meant to be enjoyed just before exiting the village, but we had our priorities set :P. On the way we came across the world cultural museum. Here we there was museum home to the culture of nearly 12 countries. It had some popular countries like USA, China and some unknown countries like Papua Guinea. There were artifacts like clothing, food, housing etc i.e. the traditional ones and these were pretty good. But there was no section for India even though there was one for Pakistan and Afghanistan :(.

[Place of residence for mongol nomads]
[Tribal Mask From Papua Guinea]

After this museum we moved towards the amusement facilities. This area was very small and having around 5-6 rides at max. Also the rides seemed to have been installed in the 80's and the technology not have been updated. The first stop was the pirate ship swinging wildly. This was mildly thrilling and nothing new w.r.t. India. Next moved towards the bumper car, again nothing new here, but it is always fun bumping cars to one other :P. By this time it started to rain as predicted. Meanwhile we went for some roller coaster and some simulator(yaaaaawn :( ).

Went to some 3D theatre next and this was screening some 80's animation movie and it was korean. So for both visually and audio wise there was nothing to be taken inside. From there went to the sculpture park having sculptures created from artists around the world. Some were really weird and some were decent.

[With a korean couple in traditional clothing]

We got out of the amusement park section and moved towards the actual village. The village was pretty picture some in the present weather with a small river cutting the village at the centre. There were a number of village buildings in terms of schools, village townhouse, village heads house etc. Next we entered the cultural museum of Korea. There it was showing all the old traditional artifacts of the Korean culture. Within half an hour came out of there and went towards the House of horrors. Now this was an utter dissappointment , even compared to Indian standards :P. Also on if the weather is favourable there is some performance conducted in the open air theatre as well as some traditional wedding. Since it was raining pretty intense all these things were cancelled. Anyway by this time we had done one huge "U" turn and had approached the entrance/exit. We had taken nearly 4 hrs to cover the entire park it was nearly 5 pm and the time to return back.

In short this place has nothing more to offer apart from cultural museums of Korea and some other countries. The amusement facilties are the best part of the entire park even though the tech is kinda outdated . So can be visited if have nothing better planned on a particular day.

[Things to ward off evil spirits]
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