Discovering A Diamond in the Rough on A Weekend Trip From Seoul

Sometimes you just need a weekend getaway, a moment to recharge your batteries. It doesn’t even matter where it is. As long as it is away.

That was us this past weekend. We took the Korail’s O-train from Seoul to Taebaek to just go somewhere outside the city and just relax.


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Is it me or does the snack car on the O-Train look like it should be in a disco?

The daily grind and weird winter got the best of us lately. If you’ve been following our road to 42k updates the two of us have been pretty busy trying to work on our personal projects while working 37 hours a week at school.

We didn’t really care where we went, but man did we stumble upon a diamond in the rough. We found a hanok compound hidden in the hills of Taebaek.


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What’s a hanok compound? Basically your very own hanok palace. We already think hanok homes are the cutest things in the world and dream of building one in the woods and hibernating there during snowy winters. But this one was on another level.

The hanok compound we stayed at was built in the 1400s. Survived the Japanese occupation(s) and then was moved to Taebek in the 1880s. It looks immaculate, and right out of a story book. The details on this place are stunning. The compound consisted of a large square gate that goes around the entire grounds, an old horse stable, an old library, and a giant square hanok home with an open veranda in the middle. Oh, and of course a separate building that was once an outhouse, now it has modern plumbing. We were excited to see they had renovated that part and added porcelain thrones. We were impressed with the size and the location, backed up against a beautiful mountain.

Bonghwa-Hanok

The cherry on top was the traditional ondol style beds. We are a sucker for these, but this one was special because they still used the traditional method of lighting a fire under the house to keep the bedroom warm. The whole front and side yards were lined with wood ready to keep us warm at night. It was such a charming and quaint experience. Those ondols will put you to sleep like a baby.


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You felt like royalty isolated in the mountains up there. It was so much fun. What surprised us the most about our hanok was that all the rooms connected. Each room looked tiny on the outside, but it was a labyrinth of bedrooms, game rooms, and living rooms all connecting with tiny doors we had to duck down to pass through.

The nearby town didn’t offer much outside of some delicious food and friendly strangers but definitely enough to keep you happy for a weekend getaway in Korea.


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We’ve been on a hotstreak with AirBNB’s wherever we go in Korea. So far, every AirBNB has been a much better experience than we’ve imagined, I mean heck, we met Brad Pitt and Stella Artois. This hanok in Taebaek kept up this streak of great Airbnb experiences. As the weather starts to warm up, and everything in Korea starts to come alive we are excited about the change of weather and change of pace.

The weekends are our sanctuary. Our time to go and explore new places, try new things, and get the best of our time here. Since the weather’s been bleak with everything dead, and it’s a bit colder than we’d like, it’s been easier to stay in and try and meet the deadlines we’ve made for ourselves. for Scott’s e-book and hyperlapse course and me trying to finish a blogging course and keeping the blog up and running.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

The two of us were feeling a bit blah lately, so an escape to the countryside for the weekend was the well deserved break in routine we needed.

That’s made us think of you, what are yor GO TOs for when you get stuck in a routine? Do you have any secret gems you want to share? If so let us know in the comments. Were always looking for new things to do!

*Bonus*

We talked to the host quite a bit, the daughter spoke perfect English. They said the best times to come were during cherry blossoms (since they have a few trees themselves) and in summer.

This place would a be a photographers dream to have this hanok and cherry blossom trees at your disposal as props for some undisturbed photography. If I did engagement sessions I would definitely consider doing them here during cherry blossoms and have the couple bring some hanbok for some really fun shoots.

If you’re interested in this AirBnb rental you can book it here!

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About the Author

Megan Indoe

I try to pet and meow at every cat I meet along our travels, I am an e book and podcast junkie on the road (motion sickness struggles are real), and I could eat pizza & tacos and drink wine every day of my life without getting bored.