Solo Trip to Naganeupseong Village, the Last Surviving Joseon Fortress

Traditional villages, such as Hanok villages, are a popular destination for all travellers who come to Korea. However, Naganeupseong Village is unique, as the only remaining Joseon walled village in Korea. Surrounded by the original fortress, Naganeupseong is well-preserved, displaying a snapshot of Joseon-era Korea. As you walk around the village itself, you’ll see actors in costume and mannequin recreations of Joseon life. 

Naganeupseong: No ordinary Hanok Village

Undoubtedly, what makes Naganeupseong unique is its walkable fortress that surrounds the village. You won’t find this feature at other folk villages! Moreover, the wall is the perfect place for taking stunning photos of the village and beyond. From glimmering shrines to thatched-roof homes, there is plenty to see from the fortress wall. You can even see a Joseon prison! 

But, did you know that Naganeupseong is a living village? That’s right, though the Joseon days are long gone, this authentic village is kept alive by the civilians that reside there. Be mindful of the fact that this is a residential area by staying out of private areas, keeping noise levels to a minimum and cleaning up after yourself. 

Preserving the Culture

Naganeupseong Village is an UNESCO World Heritage site, with origins that trace back to the 10th century. At that time, Koreans followed a Confucian ideology that valued living in harmony with nature, a principle that holds true today. The 280 people that live here, while born into the modern world, continue to adhere to significant aspects of the old culture. 

Things to Do at Naganeupseong Village

My experience of Naganeupseong Village was amazing; there were so many things to do there and even just walking around was enjoyable. During my visit, there were musicians playing traditional drums, with dancers in hanboks; a calligraphy master and flute maker, from whom you could learn traditional crafts. In the square, there were people flying ornate kites and other traditional games open for anyone to join in.

Both the actors and site staff are so interactive that the village is a great place for solo travel. You will no doubt have fun coming with friends or in a couple, but you can rest-assured that if you’re flying solo, you’ll have a fun, memorable experience as well.

Interestingly, Naganeupseong Village shows the middle/lower-class lifestyle during the Joseon era, whereas other traditional villages feature the homes of noblemen and royalty. It was heart-warming to see how normal citizens enjoyed life, against a stunning natural backdrop. In fact, there are hiking trails nearby for exploring nature further; people say it’s especially beautiful in fall colours.

If you’re visiting Suncheon-si, or are exploring Jeollanam-do, you simply must visit Naganeupseong Village!

Location & Useful Info

1x Adult entry to Naganeupseong costs 4,000 KRW. There are many cafes and some small restaurants inside the village, but there are better places to eat outside the gates. It is worth holding onto your ticket so that you can re-enter the village after leaving. If you loved the view from the fortress wall, why not visit Ogongchi Observatory, just a short bus ride from Naganeupseong, where you can gaze upon the village and beyond.

Location: 52-1 Namnae-ri, Nagan-myeon, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do 
Directions: From Suncheon-si, take bus no. 63 or 68 to Naganeupseong 3.1Undong Commemorative Park stop. The journey is approx. 35-45 minutes.

🇮🇳 Suparna Karmokar

A passionate writer about South Korea.