Hahoe Village

(43 Kms)

Monday, 25 Sept, 2017

Pungcheon - Andong

We all had a good night's sleep as the mats were softer than a typical Korean mattress. After a leisurely breakfast, we decided to check out this strange city in daylight. It was misty, which added to the ghostly atmosphere. The buildings looked mostly complete, but there were still no people around. We joked that the chairs we had seen the night before had been compulsorily acquired from the surrounding units, given our experience of an almost chair free room.

A pagoda or entry way

The ghostly provincial building

Ready to ride through the mist

We purchased some different bakery products, always up for something new, and headed back to the bike path and onto the historic Hahoe Village. We were waved through the parking area, and then pointed in the direction of the ticket booth. We could actually buy tickets for teens, which was a small savings.

We sought some information in English, and took advantage of the opportunity to find out a little more about Pungcheon. Turns out that the buildings are for the district administration and very new, confirming what we suspected.

The village was interesting to wander through. We had seen some houses of similar design dotted throughout the countryside, but these were concentrated in one location. There were also many thatched dwellings. People continue to live in the village and a number seemed to be renting out parts of the residences.

Hahoe Village building

Hahoe Village the old and newish

Hahoe Village lane

Hahoe Village, a peek inside a courtyard

We found an ideal spot for morning tea, and particularly enjoyed being able to have a tea with our baked treats. We checked out some of the souvenir shops and purchased a series of three traditional masks in a small frame, one of the first traditional souvenirs we have spotted. Georgia also bought a bracelet.

Morning tea spot

Back on the cycle path we continued through the countryside and along the river towards Andong. It was easy riding and largely off road. We also found an ideal lunch spot, with nearby toilets, shade and seating. Perfect for our cheese, ham and tomato sandwiches.

Along the river to Andong

We knew that there was one more hill into Andong, and when we saw it was 500 metres with a 7% gradient, we thought it would be a doddle. Wrong. It was the hardest hill yet. Must have been a typo, as it was at least 17%.

Once over the hill, it was an easy ride into Andong. We passed a number of bridges before finding one dedicated to cyclists. From there it was a short ride to the Andong Park Hotel which I had booked through booking.com.

Along the river

Entering Andong

Bike bridge leading us into Andong

Coming off the last bridge into Andong

The room was fine, and it was Georgia's turn to sleep on the exped mat we had brought with us so the kids didn't need to share a double bed. Turns out the blowup mattress is more comfortable than the bed, so Jonno and Georgia are happy to take their turn.

Simon and I headed out the buy the train tickets for Donghae tomorrow. We had read that you could take bikes on the Mugunghwa trains, but according to the guy selling tickets only folding bikes are allowed. Big problem. We had to wait whilst he sold tickets to people about to catch departing trains. We were using Google translate and somehow he came to the conclusion that we had folding bikes and issued the tickets. When we explained we couldn't cut the bikes, he wanted to cancel them. We said that we could take the front wheel off and he conferred with his colleague. Eventually they phoned someone to advise of the bikes going on to the train and handed us the tickets. Not sure what to expect tomorrow. Plan B is to see if we can get a maxi taxi to take one person and the bikes whilst the rest catch the train. Always good to have a plan B.

The local speciality of Andong is jjimdalk, a chicken and vegetable stew served with cellaphane noodles, best eaten at the local market. Fortunately this was close by, and we found a busy restaurant that only served this dish. When asked, we said not too spicy, and it was delicious. Served in a big bowl with carrots, cabbage and shallots, the chicken was cooked in a savoury and spicy sauce. All for 25,000 won.

Jjimdalk chicken dinner

As we were close to Homeplus we picked up some waffles and ice-cream for dessert back at the hotel.