Travel Destinations

Korea, Nakaneupsong Folk Village – Story Untold

Written by Carl Hedinger

Sometimes there are places with a story already told. And maybe the plot doesn’t reach out and touch you, like others have at other times. We snap shots of these locations and instead of thinking about past moments, just see them. Not every experience gets photographed and it makes me wonder how many have been forgotten, disappeared.

This spikes the importance of the events we do capture. Their stories must be passed on. Wooden faces jump out as we walk around, while familiar smells of wood stoves bring out that feeling of home. People gather around and watch rice cake makers smash their prize with a hammer.

The rest admire the leaves of falling gingko trees, hoping to mix a little bit of slow-paced nature and tradition into their hectic, modern schedule. Groups form around statues and straw-thatched cottages to show everyone that traces of yesterday are easy to reach. They share this with friends and family who are somewhere else, enjoying something else.

The Bridge

We visited Nakaneupsong during a perfect time and on an even better day. As yet another one of Suncheon’s historical and natural treasures, the folk village presents a festive atmosphere.

The surrounding walls and houses within are the best-preserved in Korea, and everyone clamors for a perfect picture to be taken overlooking the village. These buildings have seen a lot more than just a bunch of tourists coming to visit on a perfect fall day.

No Sum-up

But instead of always telling a story about the origins and decorated history held in each stone and strand, it’s best to remember that some things don’t need an explanation. Leaves continue to fall and visitors pour in just to have a look.

They don’t all need a synopsis or summary. Sometimes it’s best for us to walk around and have a look.

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About the author

Carl Hedinger

I'm a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family's travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • This is why I love your posts, they’re always inspiring, even when they’re encouraging me not to think! It’s definitely something I need to practice in my every day life – not over thinking everything, including beautiful places like this village.

    • Thank you so much Neysha. I think these words you’ve shared just touched my heart in so many ways. People like you keep me going, with such amazing words of encouragement. Cheers!

  • Well said. Sometimes we (me especially) get so caught up in want to know so much, we forget just to take in where we are. I try to remind myself to stop photography, stop trying to write a story before I’ve even left the place, and just take it in and enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thank you for the comment. Your words couldn’t be truer. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Nakaneupsong was a place where I kind of just quit caring about the story of it. I walked around and even gobbled up as much information as possible. It’s an interesting place but I felt the need to just NOT tell the story here.

  • Would love to revisit Naganeupseong one day. Love it that they have real artisans and people actually living in the village. I wish it’s just nearby…

    • Yeah. For those of you not living in Jeolla, it’s a bit of a hike. The bus ride from the terminal itself (50 min) might even discourage people from visiting. I hope you get to visit Nakan again sometime though:)

  • Totally right. We do sometimes try too hard to ‘get something’ out of a certain trip or visit. But that’s not always necessary. Many times, it’s best to just immerse yourself in the place and simply enjoy your surroundings.
    Nice photos as always!

    • Thank you, Matt. I agree with you about the immersion part. Digging in is hard when you’ve got a story and photo opportunities in mind. Then you start to look too much like a tourist. I appreciate your thoughts on that.

  • That first photo is amazing! I have been thinking along the same lines recently. Sometimes we need to spend more time “being” and less time “doing”.

  • Its a very sweet Village. You’re right, sometimes I’m not interested in the history behind the village / temple / place. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the leaves, the tourists, the beauty.

    • You’re right in so many ways there. The history always appeals to me but sometimes writing about it just doesn’t seem to be appropriate to me. I hope you enjoyed reading. Thanks for the kind comment:)

    • Are you a prolific TripAdvisor writer? You’ll have to let me know what you’ve covered. Provide a link if you want. Thank you Jeri for your comment. I do agree with you that it’s a hard habit to break, providing the background and the travel story at the same time.

  • I have to remind myself of that sometimes as well. It’s good to just observe a place, instead of looking for a cool story or angle to write about. I did that in Istanbul, such a nice break after being in ‘blogging’ mode for over a month!

    Nakaneupsong looks like a good place to just observe 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much, Nathan. I get so wrapped up in covering history and culture and that babble that I guess this post was sort of a breaking point for me. Balance is crucial and keeping things different really helps. I might’ve read that post about Istanbul but if not, feel free to link here if you want. I’d love to see it:)

  • Well this was a terrific look at Nakaneupsong! I’d never given it much thought, but I think you may be right! We don’t always need a synopsis! Sometimes the story just tells itself:)

    • Thank you Jacquie! This post was a midpoint in a way. I’ve been so focused on telling stories and covering the background that I forgot we also travel to not worry about that kind of stuff. These places should also serve as getaways. Nakaneupsong has a fascinating story that I guess I wasn’t fit to tell. I appreciate your kind thoughts:)