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Reviewed 8 July 2013

My husband and I had a very memorable and enjoyable stay at the Bukchondek in May (2013). This is a large, traditional courtyard house/complex located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the HaHoe Folk Village (pronounced Hah Heh Mah-Er - in Korean) about 20 minutes outside the city of Andong. It can be reached by taxi from downtown Andong but there is also a convenient and inexpensive bus(#46) from the Andong city Bus Terminal. As another reviewer mentioned, it was very easy to book a room by email.

We are architects from the U.S. and were coming to Andong to experience the traditional architecture of the HaHoe Village and so the Bukchondek was an ideal place to stay. The accomodations were comfortable and we enjoyed staying in a traditional Korean upper class (yang-ban) home - similar in concept to a manor house in Europe.

Mr. Yu is the owner of the house and he is an aristocratic descendent of the Joseon (Chosun) dynasty. He was very gracious and gave us an extensive and informative tour of his house. He has lovingly maintained his home and it was great to be able to see so many of the rooms, the historic furnishings and art work. We learned that many heads of state as well as celebrities have stayed at Bukchondek. When the Austrian prime minister visited, for instance, it was unusually hot and humid so the Korean government asked Mr. Yu to install an air-conditioning in the room where he would stay. This is the only room with A/C. During the colder months, most of the rooms are heated with ondol, the traditional under-floor heating.

An elaborate Korean breakfast is included in the cost of the accommodations and everything was delicious. The food is prepared by a local lady who made it with obvious care and pride. An equally elaborate dinner is available for an equivalent of about $20 USD per person and is well worth it.

We enjoyed the entire stay and highly recommend staying at the Bukchondek to anyone interested in visiting the HaHoe Village and experiencing first-hand a traditional Korean house.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
6  Thank Chicago_traveler929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2013

We booked a room here via email which was easy. We were the only guests for the one night we stayed.
Our room was a traditional style Korean
ondol room with underfloor heating and had a separate living room with a small fridge, kettle, bottled water.
Towels were also provided.
There are separate men's and women's bathrooms outside of the bedrooms. Each had two toilet cubicles with a shower cubicle within so it is all private and you can shower in privacy.
The room and bathrooms were all clean and it wasn't a problem not having an en suite.
Breakfast was included and dinner was an additional 20,000 won per person.
Both meals were delicious.
The owner gave us a tour of his home and also played us a short dvd with the history of his family home which was very interesting.
We would recommend staying here if you visit.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Italian_kilt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

Hahoe Village in Andong, hometown to famous clans that gave birth to respected Korean leaders and writers, is a truly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site that I have always found pleasant to stroll in, but difficult to appreciate and to be moved by. While the village preserves the look and feel of an affluent and respectable traditional village, there are very little explanations on the village and most homes are off access to the public. Because I don't like being hoarded around by tour guides in a group, I've always felt like an outsider looking at a pretty town through a crystal ball whenever I visited Hahoe. Finally, I found an experience that makes the long drive out there worthwhile.

Bukchondaek is not a hotel. It’s about staying as a "guest" in the home of the Poongsan Ryu clan, hosted by the eldest male heir of the clan (I think he is always there, but I am not sure). Thus, you sleep in one of the bedrooms in the main building of the house (which is seldom open to the public), have a very nicely prepared traditional Korean breakfast, and enjoy a personalized tour of the house, which is given by the owner who offers many insights into traditional Korean home architecture and life inside the house in the old days.

This entails that many of the luxuries and freedoms that we expect in hotels are not there. You should arrive by 9 PM at the latest. You have to take off your shoes before stepping into the house (the traditional way). Rooms are immaculate, but small. Bedding is clean and comfortable, but you sleep on the floor (the traditional way – Actually, this can be delightful in the fall, when nights are cold and the floor is nice and warm). Bathrooms (shared) are outside of the house in a separate building, which can be a hassle in chilly weather or rainy days (it can also be scary at night, but you can always have a friend or family tag along, haha). You have to be quiet so that you don’t bother other guests and the owner of the house. Finally, breakfast is at 8 AM if you don’t want to miss it (you DON’T want to miss it!).

I went in a beautiful day in October, when skies were clear and the fall foliage was beginning to peak. Having arrived in the middle of the night, I had a fantastic morning, waking up to a delightful view of the garden, breathing the fresh air, and taking in the sun. Toilet/bathrooms, although shared, were recently renovated. They are clean and offer enough privacy. Men and women’s facilities are separate.

Again, breakfast is at 8 AM. You walk to a small building outside the main compound and eat seated on the floor. Breakfast was made with a lot of care and oozed of health: rice, soup, herbs and vegetables, grilled fish, steamed egg custard, etc. (most likely, the menu will vary according to season and what is available in the market. Sorry, no Western-style breakfast, I think.

If you are diligent enough, you should take a stroll around the village before breakfast. Mornings are so beautiful, and you should take advantage of the seeing the village BEFORE the hoards of bused tourists arrive.

After breakfast, the owner of the house gives a private tour of the entire house. It was a great chance to learn about the Ryu clan, Korean architecture, details of the home that I would have otherwise missed, how the rooms are organized, and what it was like to live in the house in the old days. The home may appear to be modest in scale and sparse. This is partly a reflection of Korean traditional values (modesty), culture, and the fact that a lot of the original artifacts and furniture were donated to museums after a break-in several years ago. I think that the owner can give great tours in Korean and Japanese. I think he may not be as fluent in English… It would have been even better if he could take us around the village. I am sure that he is very knowledgeable has many insights, but then again, it can be tiring for him.

Bukchondaek was a very pleasant and memorable experience that helped me truly appreciate Hahoe Village in Andong. Spending a night in the private quarters of the house a unique experience that is difficult to have even in Seoul (I think that entering the living quarters of a home is RARE even if you visit Hahoe as part of a tour group). In a nut shell what made the stay to Bukchondaek so delightful was 1) access and unique stay in a respectable, traditional home, 2) special and personalized tour by the owner, 3) ability to enjoy the peace and quiet of Hahoe before hoards of tourists arrived, and 4) delicious breakfast.

Rooms are not cheap by Korean standards (about 100 USD pp Oct. 2010). There are 4 rooms for 2 to 3 people. Two of the rooms can be combined to accommodate up to 6. I think that there is another building in the compound that can be used to accommodate 10. Website is www.bukchondaek.com. However, it’s in Korean only.

I hope that other people will be able to enjoy Bukchondaek and Hahoe as I did. Being there is the fall was spectacular.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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18  Thank sck7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2017
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Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2017
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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