Gamcheon Culture Village Busan South Korea

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Walk with Cham at Gamcheon Culture Village.


Gamcheon Culture Village is one of the top tourist attractions in Busan. After appreciating this charming community I have to say that this village SHOULD be on every Busan travel checklist.  

Looking at the pretty pastel houses on top of the hill, who would have thought that  Gamcheon Culture Village was a former shanty area? Machu PichuSantorini are some of the places that are being compared to this quaint attraction but for me I would have to say that the closest one would be Rio de Janeiro's Favelas. Favela means Brazilian slums and in Rio de Janeiro the favelas are perched on top of the hill which greatly resembles the houses in Gamcheon.

Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village is known for the long and winding alleys, steep roads and colorful painted houses. Cute and crafty restaurants, cafes and boutiques have also sprung up in the area.

Becoming One Photo Zone

History
This colorful village has an equally colorful history which deeply rooted in war, religion and poverty dated back to the early 1900's. This village is also called Taeguekdo Village because it was first inhabited by followers of the Taekguekdo religion. When the Korean War started, this village became host to many refugees which made this village into a mountainside slum in 1950s.

In 2009 the government invited young artists for an art-themed transformation. After getting an artsy makeover this shantytown was transformed from a Busan ghetto into a famous tourist neighborhood.

Opening
Open everyday but you should visit the village during day time to appreciate it more. 
Observation deck is until 6 pm only.
Closed during New Years day. Good thing we went here during New Year's eve so you can just imagine the crowd.


Tourists flocked this place

How to get to Gamcheon Culture Village
1. Alight Toseong Station (Line 1) Exit 6
2. Walk towards Cancer Center Hospital 
3. Take Bus Number 2 or 2-2

Or

Take a cab -from Busan Station to Gamcheon Culture Village, fee is about 5,000 won (P200) 

We chose the latter as this was also the recommendation of our Airbnb host especially if you are at most 4 in a group.

Fees
Entrance is free but their village map isn't, you have to pay 2,000 won (P80) for it. It is also a stamp tour map where you need to fill the stamp page with stamps from seven different art galleries.  If you were able to accomplish them you will be given a prize trinket like a postcard. Because I was with my mom, doing the scavenger hunt wasn't advisable for her age. Hence, we didn't avail of the map and instead roamed around the village.


Tourist Information where you can buy your map

This was Mama and I's special bonding time, Kuya and Papa were left at home. Good thing Mama was into arts so she enjoyed walking and appreciating each area.

Wooden Fishes
You will see colorful wooden fishes scattered around the village. These serve as guides for tourists as to where to go. So if you see a group of fishes pointing to a direction that means there is something to discover in that particular spot.

A group of wooden fishes welcomed us

This area deserves a photo op

Each fish differ in design, color and size
Steep and tiny alley

Lego Village
The lego shaped homes are said to be meticulously planned. The houses are built in tiers as to not block any house behind it. So each house can have a view of the landscape.

Stamp Areas
Because we never had our hands on the map, I had no idea where the 7 art areas were. But because we were following the fishies we stumbled upon some of it.

Haneul Maru
An observatory deck where you can see the impressive landscape of the village. My Mama and I were both in awe just by gazing at the dainty neighborhood. 

View from Haneul Maru

Another photo op worthy area
Loving the view from here

The House of Darkness Photo Gallery

Collection of B&W photos of the village 

Oh, Audrey <3

House of Light

Have no idea what this is


All Art Everything
Everywhere you go was an art exhibition. Cheery and vibrant atmosphere filled this place making it perfect for tourists who appreciate art, cuteness, quirkiness and colors (lots of it!). From the stairs, walls, to the littlest tiny details you'll get to discover something crafty. Walking here can be an instant happy pill. 

Street stairs never looked this cute!

Attention to details. Found this spot in a small alley.

Graffiti Gallery

Murals
Another cute mural

Can't get enough of all these wall paintings

Cafes, Restaurants & Food Stalls
Even the cafes and restaurants looked adorable. We weren't able to order but we couldn't help checking out almost all the cafes and just gushing over their interiors. Everything was all too cute!


One of the cafes
Post it filled cafe <3
A rustic cafe with a pretty view. The pots added charm to this already appealing place
Wall decoration at one of the restaurants, everything and I mean EVERYTHING is just AWWW
Gelatin Balls

Instead of dining at a cafe and restaurant, Mama ordered a bag of custard cake and a stick of fish balls at the food stalls. We weren't that hungry, she just wanted to taste street foods. :)

Boutiques
There are also shops selling trinkets and souvenirs. Miniature Gamcheon houses were also ample. And because Mama and I were too kuripot, we didn't buy anything. hehehe. We were already satisfied by merely looking at them.

Shops

Tea

Miniature colorful houses

Another one, how cute!

Little Prince
Of course the main attraction for almost all of the tourists visiting this village was the Little Prince. This reminded of Mike and I's trip to Petite France last spring where figures of Little Prince were scattered everywhere. Here in Gamcheon a Little Prince statue together with his fox have a spot at the best view of the village. We wanted to take photos with him but we were surprised that a long queue of people were waiting for their turn to have their pictures taken too. This place was really crowded during holidays. 

Little Prince Cafe

The Little Prince with fox + the loooong queue of people

And because we didn't want to wait that long, we skipped the photo op with The Little Prince. It was too inconvenient to wait for our turn. Now if you are a fan of the book you'll probably queue and stand there for a good 30 minutes. If you don't want to wait that long, you should avoid going there on weekends or holidays perhaps. 

Observe Silence
And because these houses are privately owned residential houses observing silence is a must. Same thing they did with Bukchon Hanok Village.

Shhhhhhh

It is amazing how the South Korean government transformed this village. The tacky slums became a charming place adored by tourists including us. Realizing it now Gamcheon Village is much better than Rio de Janeiro's favelas. Not only is this place more colorful and artsy, Gamcheon is way safer than the favelas. 

Gamcheon Culture village can be toured for around 2 hours - if you want to spend more time at the cafes.

Details
Address | 10-13 Gamcheon-2-dong, Saha-gu, Busan, South Korea
Opening | 9am- 5pm
Website | www.gamcheon.or.kr (Korean only)

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4 comments

  1. Wow Stunning photos!! I have never heard of Busan before but I would certainly love to visit it!
    I've seen some pictures on IG and I came to your blog as it looked amazing :)
    Great blog and travelling
    xxx
    www.travelera.es

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the Nice comment, La Travelera!

      Delete
  2. Great post! I've been looking for places to visit for my trip to South Korea next month and stumbled upon your blog. This place looks amazing! Thank you for the information! Also, great pictures! Have a good day :)

    xoxo - www.mkrisbautista.com

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