Cheongwadae Sarangchae is a historical memorial museum, where tourists can learn more about former Korean presidents and Korea’s traditional culture. The first floor is designed to hold exhibition halls related to culture and tourism, while the second floor consists of Cheongwadae Hall and Haengboknuri Hall. This building was originally called the Hyojadong Sarangbang, the home of the public information hall of Cheongwadae. After an extensive renovation, it reopened under its current name, Cheongwadae Sarangchae in January 2010.
Cheongwadae Sarangchae features the Korea Hall, the Hi Seoul Hall, a traditional handicrafts demonstration room, a gift shop and a café on the first floor. The Korea Hall displays a general introduction to Korea, including the history of Korean currency and the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Korea. Visitors can see photos of Seoul in the Hi Seoul Hall, which it features a 3D hologram showing Seoul’s famous features and a panorama of the gorgeous nightscape of Seoul.
Not only the Cheongwadae Sarangchae allows you to learn more about Korea’s traditional culture, but it also allows you to learn more about all the presidents of Korea. Via pictures and visuals, tourists can explore the political and economic events of Korea from the past to the present day. This allows the visitors to see at a glance of Korea’s history and some of the major events in the democratization and industrialization of Korea. There is a wide variety of activities and experiences that are also offered to visitors from having their picture taken with an image of the current Korean president (through picture compositing technology), visiting a replica of the president’s office to having their picture taken while pretending to be the president of South Korea.
Cheongwadae Sarangchae also holds many traditional/cultural handicrafts activities for visitors and tourists. These activities vary from tea ceremony, pottery, folk painting, hanji (traditional Korean papers) and natural dying and are available on different days.
For foreign visitors, Cheongwadae Sarangchae offers Korean Food Experience Program, where visitors make Bibimbap, Bulgogi, as well as gujeolpan (platter of nine delicacies) and japchae (Stir-fried Glass Noodles
and Vegetables) upon special request. Visitors can also experience traditional Korean snacks and refreshments like rice cakes for free!
Visitors can also go for some Cultural Experience Program, where they can try out some of the diverse and unique Korean cultural activities. These vary from Hangeul calligraphy, painting on silk, Hanbok experience, traditional accessory making, mirror making to experiencing Korea’s UNESCO World Heritage. Moreover, visitors can also try out Gugak Day program, if they are in mood for some Korea’s traditional music! I really recommend the Gugak Day Program as it is a great opportunity for foreign visitors to appreciate the beauty of traditional Korean music. Program includes performance by masters of traditional Korean musical instruments including the gayageum, haegeum, daegeum and janggu.
Note that these amazing experiences requires reservations to be made in advance in order to participate.
It is definitely an interactive way for people to learn about the lives and accomplishments of former South Korean presidents, as well as to understand the past, present and future visions of Seoul and Korea. Cheongwadae Sarangchae would really be an interesting stop after the Blue House tour if you are having some Seoul and Korea curiosity!