The residents of this 600-year-old village have maintained many aspects of their traditional lifestyle. Although most homes now have telephones, electricity, and even satellite televisions, the old-fashioned homes and the dirt roads between them is like an open museum to a time long past. Unlike many other villages, both upper and lower classes lived together, with the higher classes living in the center of the village, and the lower-class homes farther out. While most other traditional villages in Korea have homes that face south for better sun exposure, this village's homes face toward the S-shaped river (the Nakdong-gang) that flows through it. Near the entrance is a fun collection of changseung, wooden statues that stood in front of traditional villages to guard them from evil spirits. The place loses its quiet charm when the streets get overrun by visitors on the weekends and holidays, so it's best to come on weekdays, especially in the morning. You'll have to brave the crowds if you want to see the Exorcism Mask Dance, a shamanistic ritual meant to drive away evil spirits, which is performed every weekend May through October, and only on Sundays March and April.

To get a bird's-eye view, cross the Nakdong River on the northwestern end of the village and there's a trail next to the pine forest that leads up to the Buyongdae, a 64m-high (210-ft.) cliff that affords a great view of the Hahoe Maeul, the river, and the surrounding scenery.

Village Guardian Spirits -- Outside of the Hahoe Maeul, as well as many other traditional villages in South Korea, you'll find a collection of long wooden statues, carved with funny or scary faces. Originally called pupsu or puksu, these changseung were guardians for the village. Usually found in pairs on either side of the entrance to a village, the one on the left appeased the air spirits, while the one on the right appeased the earth spirits. In the fall, don't miss the Chulyeng Jangsiong Festival in Andong, which revolves around rituals performed for these traditional protectors.