Hanok: A Special Part of South Korean Culture

Riley Wagner, Cartan Global

When traveling, the stereotypical choice for most tourists is a fancy hotel that has a variety of amenities such as an extravagant pool, fancy spa, and over the top rooms that cater to their every desire. A Hanok on the other hand is the complete opposite, boasting open space, limited luxuries, one of a kind construction, and tranquility that can only be best described as one word: priceless. Hanok are a distinctive style of house, built off the philosophy of ancient Korean ancestors. They sought nature, peacefulness, and the development of character. Hanok are an intriguing part of the Korean culture but more so for their lack of aesthetics, rather than their focus on elegance.

History: Said to date back into the early 1700’s, Hanok have been viewed as a unique piece of art since its inception. It’s an architectural term that means ‘a Korean traditional house.’ Hanok are supposed to have a specified location for its community; usually with a mountain behind it, and a river in front. All Hanok are individual in their own ways, and are specifically built in conjunction to their immediate surroundings, and to the likes of the owner.

Structure: The actual groundwork of what makes a Hanok is imperative. For example, the majority of the house is plastered with mud. Not in the sense that the house itself is covered in mud or that the exterior is painted with it but rather, the house is molded and constructed with it, more specifically, golden mud or red clay. Another material that’s commonly used on a Hanok is hwangto. Hwangto is a Korean soil, and is said to contain purifying properties, and known to emit infrared rays! Hanok also have paper windows. The windows aren’t actually made out of paper but they are layered with hanji, which translates to ‘the paper of Korea.’ Hanji has the same effect as tissue paper but, hanji is much different because of its unusual texture. Hanji is strong and wiry, and the makeup of it allows for a perfect balance of incoming air, and humidity as well.

Benefits: An interesting fact about Hanok is that they contain many benefits that aid themselves and the environment as well. Hanok contribute to a better environment in many ways such as not having to use air conditioners because of the large amount of open space and utilization of hanji on the windows, a vast majority of the material used to create a Hanok such as stone, wood, mud, and paper, are all biodegradable, and if you light a fire below the floor it works just as much if not even better than an expensive heating unit. The rare and organic construction makes for a delightful experience, regardless of a quick tour, or a week stay.

Environment: It’s standard that Hanok are located in a village surrounded by one another, rather than being alone. They were constructed among themselves in small villages. Although one may think that might make for a cluttered area, the mold of the Hanok and the specific locations in which they were crafted make for a serene experience. When speaking about the Hanok itself, there’s a small divider called the madang. It separates the rooms. and is viewed as the epicenter of the Hanok.

Hanok have been around for quite some time and are a cultural landmark. Whether it’s the out of the box creation, the minimal features, or the calming ambiance that draws you in, it’s sure to have a positive effect. If you are interested in traveling to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games so YOU can take a tour of a Hanok village and see them first hand, click here for more information. If you want to take the next step and inquire about closing the deal, click here where one of our trusted sales agents will make sure everything you need is taken care of. Lastly, don’t forget to stay updated with our social media feeds for more information regarding the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and more global sports news!

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