Andong’s peaceful, rural surroundings are in stark contrast to the buzz of Seoul. Set in the heart of Gyeongsangbuk-do, Andong is noted for having preserved much of its traditional spirit. A great place to see Korean traditions unfold is the cultural village of Hahoe, where the noble Ryu family originated and have lived for the past 600 years. A UNESCO world heritage site it boasts traditional buildings, beautiful surroundings and a range of cultural activities. A visit to Andong and Hahoe Village are a great opportunity to take in the local culture and learn a thing or two about Korea’s rich heritage.
Every Autumn Andong plays host to a Mask Dance Festival and a Folk Festival. Spectatorsat the Maskdance Festival get to witness traditional Korean plays acted out using ancient wooden masks. The masks themselves can be a little scary as they tend to have moveable jaws and so can display more types of emotion - but it is a fascinating insight into the local culture. The Folk Festival attracts all sorts of acts including a group of local women who get together and form a human bridge whilst another woman walks across it. This is one game that men are not allowed to participate in.