National Folk Museum of Korea at Gyeongbokgung, Seoul

Just when you thought you've seen all the historical artifacts a smaller country like Korea could have, there's another museum at the next palace with a whole new selection and something special to make it stand out.
 The National Folk Museum is located inside the walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace, in a building inspired by classic architecture.
 The large museum has two special exhibitions, and on my visit that included something on modern fashion and weddings.
 As a folk museum, the collection focuses on the average Korean in history, and the goods and ways of life for the 99%. So you'll see lots of "stuff" like pots and examples of food.
 Simpler, earlier forms of pottery and basket weaving.
 Masks for performances.
 Clothing, including nicer ceremonial wear - I believe that's a wedding on the right.
 These traditional sweets are always cool.
 Small shrine.
 And more traditional sweets. I would love to have one of those - in model form - as a souvenir. I wonder if that's possible.
 There are thousands of artifacts on display in the museum, so you can really get a feel for traditional domestic and agricultural lifestyles, and learn a bit about its cultural beliefs. Outside the museum is a small "village" set in somewhat modern times.
 Just find the streetscape and take a look. I think the buildings represent a range of years, as some appear to be more around the early 1900s and others appear set in the 1960s. It claims to be late Joseon Dynasty, but that era ended before 1900.
 Printer's office.
 Traditional clothing and shoe stores.
 Do you need sticks? This store has you covered in spades.
 This narrow street feels more modern, around the 1960s. You can go inside many of the buildings here, or at least peek inside the windows or doors.
 Barber shop.
 A restaurant.
 A different restaurant.
 A book shop, or comic shop. I don't read comics, but I really like seeing this older style of artwork.
 I don't know what this building was. English signage is lacking here, and this looked like it was a lounge of some kind.
And what town is a town without a school? Korean students (at least, in the 1960s) had their own style of tough backpack/bag, similar to the Japanese elementary kids.

As mentioned before, the National Folk Museum is located in Gyeongbokgung Palace and admission is free. There is an English audio guide for 1000 won, which for those not in a rush would help really explain the exhibits. I don't know if it covers the outside buildings. There are also guided tours at 10:30 and 14:30.

The museum is open daily (except Tuesdays). 9:00-18:00 March-May, September-October; 9:00-18:30 June-August; 9:00-17:00 November-February. It stays open until 19:00 on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays May-August.

To get to the museum, use exit 5 at Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3). The closest museum is the National Palace Museum, followed by the palace; the Folk Museum is at the back. The museum's English-language website is pretty good.

No comments:

Post a Comment