A Look Inside Min Sok Chon, a Korean Village Made Famous by K-Dramas

Traditional Korean tightrope
Traditional Korean tightrope | © USAG Humphreys / Flickr
Mimsie Ladner

Featuring ancient architecture, age-old performances, and hanbok-clad staff, the sprawling folk village Min Sok Chon in Yongin, South Korea is designed to transport visitors back in time to the country’s dynastic days. For this reason, it has and continues to be a popular filming location for a number of Korean dramas. Join us as we explore this charming cultural attraction.

Traditional folk performance

A look into the past

Spread out over some 245 acres of land auspiciously located according to the principles of pungsu-jiri, Min Sok Chon is a Korean folk village seemingly plucked right out of the Joseon period.

Built to recreate dynasty-era life through both architecture and atmosphere, the complex is comprised of dozens of traditional buildings that have been either relocated from various provinces around Korea or meticulously restored based on the findings of a thorough survey conducted around the country. The structures include hanok (traditional houses) of both aristocrats and commoners, seowon and seodang (educational institutions), hanyakbang (traditional medical institutions), Buddhist temples, and gwana (provincial government offices).

In addition to the various buildings, there are also several museums that offer a more in-depth look at different aspects of Korean heritage. Among them include the Korean Folk Museum, which showcases the lifestyles of farming families during the late Joseon period, as well as a Pottery Exhibition Hall and Mask Dance Exhibition Hall that spotlight the nation’s time-honored artforms.

Mask dance museum

Should you get hungry, there’s no shortage of tasty treats to enjoy. A centrally located marketplace features a number of vendors selling Korean fare like bibimbap (rice topped with meat and vegetables), naegmyeon (cold noodles), and yeot (Korean taffy), while the nearby tea house serves up medicinal brews.

Lively performances such as tightrope walking, mask dances, and traditional wedding reenactments appeal to tourists, yet Min Sok Chon doesn’t feel like any old tourist destination. In fact, it’s not unusual to see people in traditional clothing cooking, harvesting buckwheat, or adjusting straw on a thatched roof. In this way, visitors are able to truly get a feel for what it was like to live during the Joseon era.

A worker at the Korean Folk Village

Seeing stars

Because it replicates Joseon life so accurately, it’s no surprise that Min Sok Chon is also a popular filming location for historical TV and film productions.

Of them, 500 Years of Joseon, was the first to be shot at the village. The MBC TV series of historical dramas depicts the major events of the dynasty’s reign from 1392 to 1910 and is based on The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, the longest continual record of a single dynasty in the world.

With its picturesque traditional buildings, the folk village provided the perfect backdrop for the series, which was filmed from March of 1983 to December of 1990. In just a few years, the show had transformed Min Sok Chon from a little known outdoor museum to a popular tourist attraction.

Equestrian show and tricks

Providing a more convenient and affordable alternative to building a new set from the ground up, it didn’t take long for the folk village to become the go-to filming location for many historical films and TV shows. Among them include the wildly popular The Moon that Embraces the Sun, My Love from the Star, The Face Reader, and Masquerade.

Min Sok Chon prides itself on its “Hallyuwood” affiliations and encourages K-drama fans to explore the buildings used as filming sites, which are clearly marked as so. Visitors can also dress up in historic period costumes and even take a ride in a palanquin, or hand-carried chair, just like the royal characters of their favorite shows.

A costumed actor at the village’s traditional market

From its age-old architecture and traditional atmosphere that revive Korea’s forgotten past to its associations with the most beloved Korean shows and films of today, Min Sok Chon is sure to impress its visitors, K-drama fan or not.

Min Sok Jon, 90 Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article