I took these photos yesterday on Olle trail 5. Even with a modern plastic covering over the thatch, I think the traditional Jeju house in the picture above looks good – built of materials that are plentiful locally, and appropriate in the landscape. But these houses are not common; far more common are squat single-storey whitewashed and tin-roofed buildings. Add a solar panel on the roof, a truck parked outside with crates in the back for the mandarins, and the picture is complete. Of course such houses are more practical, so I can’t argue.
The one in the photo at the top looks cared-for but that’s the exception – others are abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. The future doesn’t look good. Such houses are being preserved in the Jeju Cultural Village, but elsewhere they’re going to be lost over time, absorbed back into the land.
Any idea why they cover the thatch, rather than leave it exposed (as in the UK)?
I don’t know, Matt. If I find out, I’ll add a comment.