There is no healthier and sweeter dream than the one in a traditional Korean house where you sleep on a mattress laid directly on the warm floor. And under your head, a pillow filled with buckwheat grains contributes to your dreamy nights. It was such a pleasure that we were able to enjoy at the Jeonggangwon Institute of Traditional Korean Culture near the Olympic winter capital of Pyeongchang.
The traditional picture of the room was complemented by the paper walls and windows, as well as by the “latch”, which was actually a metal hook that slid into an angle at the hinged door so as to stop unwanted guests. The wooden frames of the windows allowed us to slide them aside early in the morning and enjoy the view – green hills, a wooden house, jars with fermented kimchi, a flower garden and even a flowing waterfall. And even without getting out of the bed. What more does a tourist need?
In fact, in addition to accommodation in a traditional wooden house with typical architecture, the complex also allowed us to look at a mini-ethnographic museum, a beautiful garden, an open warehouse for kimchi, wooden and stone sculptures, to learn what are the typical methods of preparing and preserving food. And last but not least, to learn how to cook and then taste typical Korean flavors such as colorful bibimbap – a dish of cooked vegetables of different bright colors and rice, transformed into a unique picture.
The traditional houses back in ancient Korea had “floor heating”. At our hotel, instead of tunnels under each room to take in the hot air, they relied on the modern floor heating, which helped us stretch like happy cats in the rooms, despite the cool mountain climate outside. The builders of traditional Korean homes did not forget that it was very hot in the summer, so they designed the houses in a way that they had a “built-in fan”.
The solution was simple. Outside the walls of the room its has a space like a narrow balcony without the fence. It was in dwelling so in the summer you can sit at the edge of the house just like on bench and relax while the air is moving under your feet creating something like homemade wind. Crafty, right?
Jeonggangwon adds so much to the traditional idyllic Korean landscape that the spot was also chosen as a scene for popular Korean series and films. So in addition to traveling back in time you will feel like a real star in the Institute.