Built on a steep mountainside overlooking the port city of Busan, the quirky and artful looking Gamcheon Culture Village in the southernmost tip of the South Korean peninsular is so colourful and enchanting that it’s hard to believe it was once a dark and dismal slum inhabited by refugees of the Korean War.
Today it’s a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The houses are built in a step formation and painted in pretty pastel colours. The streets are a maze of tiny winding alleys and steep worn staircases. Everywhere you look you’ll find interesting wall murals, wood carvings, and graffiti style paintings created by local artisans.
Walking around this charming village and residential area is akin to exploring a living breathing art gallery but as you rise through the streets, if you can take your eyes off the art for a moment, you’ll also see that the view from the top of South Korea’s second largest city and ‘summer capital’, Busan, is quite breath-taking.
Most visitors keen to experience South Korea will fly into Incheon and head straight to the capital city of Seoul but it’s so easy to get to Busan from Seoul using the high-speed KTX train. As a suggested itinerary, I would also encourage you to stop over for a few days en-route to explore colourful Daegu – South Korea’s fourth-largest city after Seoul, Incheon, and Busan – as it has so much to offer the visitor (see the post on My Top Ten Things To Do In Daegu) before heading down to the coast to enjoy Busan’s beaches and laid-back ambience.
Have you ever visited South Korea?
Did you travel down to Busan?
Did you get to explore Gamcheon Culture Village?