In the second part of our tour to Seongeup Folk Village Museum (제주민속촌박물관), Jeju Island, I will take you further to the other areas of interest within the sprawling complex .
Located in the wide plain at the foot of Mount Halla, the different “villages” inside the park provide a glimpse to the everyday life of ordinary people in Jeju Island.
Village houses were built using lava rocks that were put together by clay mud and thatched straw-roof and upper class houses are made of wooden beams with rock base and tiled roof. Each house varies depending on the family’s way of life. The living room and reception areas could double as a study room and a bedroom at night.
A well-off family or community and government officials live in houses that have bigger reception halls for their guests. The kitchen and storage rooms are separate and in the park’s villages, one can see authentic materials and utensils used from a long gone era.
Some of the parks village exhibits are interactive. Visitors are encouraged to figure out how people from that generation used certain tools.
Some of the village houses are turned into shops where one can purchase souvenirs, into restaurants where one can eat black pig meat, a workshop where one can try to make traditional handicrafts or a studio where one can take his pictures wearing traditional Korean costumes. There is also stable where one can do horseback riding. Along the main road of Seongeup Folk Village Museum are exhibition halls and museums where other ancient relics are on display.
The Jeju Yeongmun or the governor’s courtyard is the house with the largest land area. The governor is considered to be the most important official of the entire province. Public trials and executions were held at the governor’s courtyard and there is an exhibit showing how they were done. The governor’s residence is like a castle for a feudal lord in old South Korea.
An exhibit of how shamanic rituals were performed can also be seen in a nearby shrine called Anhalmangdang. It is a place to worship the gods for good luck and good health, while Gwangju Buindang is an altar for women who wish to have a child.
There were other Korean TV shows that were shot in this section, whose titles I do not remember for I have not seen all of them and since the descriptions were written in Hangeul, traditional Korean alphabet. Each area portrays various regions and era in Korea’s history.
But what I do know is that the great Jang Geum studied pharmacy and became a physician during her exile in Jeju island.
In case you decide to travel to Jeju, Seongeup Folk Village Museum should be on the top of your list. Jeju Island is Visa-Free for Filipinos provided you have all the necessary travel documents and requirements to prove that you do not have plans of overstaying; otherwise, you might end up being barred from entering Jeju, offloaded, detained or deported by immigration officials.