Even in the centre of Seoul, which seems hyper-modern with swipe cards that pay for everything, free, passwordless wi-fi on every corner and all the shopping opportunities you could ever ask for, you can find pockets of traditional Korea. If you don't want to wander around the back alleys (although that's highly recommendable!), a visit to Namsang Hanok Village is a great option for a fun afternoon out.

the master of the ceremony
Every weekend, they put on free shows of traditional Korean dance, music and theatre, demonstrate traditional crafts (you can try it for yourself or buy some) - and you can witness traditional Korean wedding ceremonies. Most Koreans now have something that is very similar to a western wedding (at least it looks that way) and purchase set wedding packages that include dress and venue hire (yup, Korean ladies hire their wedding dress), priest, catering and more.

Sometimes, this includes a short ceremony where both dress up in traditional Korean clothes - I though THAT was the traditional Korean weddding. Nope - the whole thing takes between 1 and 2 hours and includes traditional Buddhist songs and a complicated procedure that has to be carefully studied - and even then,

At the Hanok Village, couples can do this kind of ceremony for free if they accept the fact that a whole lot of tourist will gawk at them during the wedding - you don't need to be on the guest list, and don't even need to dress up - just show up (and should you get bored, you can just leave anytime, as did a giant tour group of Chinese tourists when I was there!).

When I went to the Hanok Village, I managed to see a special event - a Korean lady getting married to an English guy, who was endlessly patient and  managed not to look too confused in his traditional garb.


to be fair, the bride needed directions what to do, too...

Even during the week, this Hanok village in the city centre makes for a great visit, as the hanok (traditional wooden Korean houses) are set in a lovely park with plenty access to Korean street food.

Have you ever attended a wedding abroad?


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