After a night of drinking soju with fellow travellers, I woke up early the next morning and couldn't get back to sleep. At around 6am I left to explore the village with another WINK traveller. Even though it was pouring with rain, we had a great time just wandering around this quiet, mysterious place whilst chatting about Korea, teaching, and life in general.
We felt pretty lucky getting to explore the village with no other tourists around.
The Goddess Tree: this 600-year-old tree stands in the centre of the village.
Before long, Angela and the rest of the WINK travellers were up as well, and this was our last glimpse of Hahoe as we left for Andong. Couldn't ask for a more beautiful parting shot!
On the way to Andong, we stopped at the nearby Byeongsan Seowon, a Confucian Academy nestled deep in the mountains.
Finally, we arrived at Andong for the Mask Festival. The weather was to remain its miserable self for the remainder of the day.
Masks surrounding the festival grounds.
Angela tries on a mask in one of the festival's many mask shops.
We are now keeping a running count of the places we encounter The Little Prince in Korea. We already saw him in Petite France in Gapyeong, then in Busan's Gamcheon Village, and in Heyri Art Valley in Paju. We've also seen a restaurant in my area with him as part of the logo. Now, we've seen him for a fifth time at Andong Mask Festival!
The rain was pummelling us with no respite, so we decided to seek shelter in the mask theatre.
Inside, we watched mask dances from different countries across the world, including China, Russia and Japan.
These ribbon dancers were pretty hypnotising.
Soon we took the bus back to Seoul, wet and cold but happy with the events of the weekend. Did I mention we also bought our own masks at the festival? They're a little creepy, I guess, but they seemed an essential purchase at the time.
It's always refreshing to take a break from Seoul every now and then, and Hahoe's rustic charm, along with the interesting traditions we witnessed as part of the Mask Festival, made for a pleasant weekend away. Andong Mask Festival takes place ever year around September and October.