Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Korean Hanbok Experience

Taking a photo with the guard at the palace 
I've wanted to do this for some time, but I just never got around to it. So, when my mother decided to come visit me, it seemed like perfect timing. I mean, mother and daughter time wearing traditional Korean Hanboks, posing in front of the Gyeongbokgung palace...Why not?!

I searched on Google and found this foreigner friendly site in English about an all-day Hanbok rental. There were two locations and we choose the Gyeongbokgung palace branch near us.

We arrived around 11am, right before it started getting really busy with tourists. Unfortunately, due to height restrictions, I had limited selections for someone my size (I'm 5'2 by the way). The pretty ones I personally liked that I often see in the streets, are for taller girls. Nonetheless, I was happy with the purple and gold print two-piece hanbok I selected. My mother had a purple one with a mix of floral designs, which suited her very well. The rental for a day until 6pm can range anywhere from 40,000-70,000 KRW, depending on the style you choose. You can store your belongings and clothes by the front desk as well and they will give you a ticket. You also get to pick a little cute purse of your choice to put things you'll actually need in there while you walk around taking pictures. For an additional 5,000 KRW, you can get your hair done with accessories, so of course we did that too! 

The moment we stepped out of the shop, we immediately transformed into photographers documenting our exploration of the palace. We were also frequently interrupted by tourists inside the palace who wanted to take pictures with us. Definitely felt like a celebrity! We visited the Bukchon Hanok village after the palace tour for some good old fashion shopping and eating. The stares continued from strangers all around us but we didn't really care.   

Honestly, though, it was a hot sunny Saturday and we were both sweating in our layered hanbok outfits. Needless to say, we did not make it until 6PM and, instead, only lasted 'til about 2PM before we decided to switch back to our normal clothes. Overall, it was an amazing experience and something my mother really enjoyed. She likes to dress up in pretty costumes, she likes to take pictures, and she likes doing something fairly relaxing, all of which fit into this hanbok experience.

Even if it may seem like a tourist trap at times, it is something quite unique to Korea so no wonder so many people do it!

See website here here for details of where I rent my Hanbok!

For your information, the one I went to:
Hanbok rental shop 3355
45 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea


  1. Thank you for posting your review of the place up! Definitely helps in my preparations to Seoul next year. I'm also 5"2 and now I'm reconsidering whether I should try another place since choices are limited. :(

    1. Do they have a wide selection of sizes or would most hanboks fit all?