On this trip to Busan, I visited during Chuseok, which is the harvest festival similar to Thanksgiving if you’re from the United States. I was there for a total of five days. It was my first time in Busan so I wanted to visit some highly popular sites. My friend was kind enough to host us in her small studio apartment, feed us, and showed us around (thank you!!!).
Busan has a very different vibe compared to Seoul: the streets were much quieter, calmer, and more chill. It was still busy especially at touristy areas (and taking Chuseok into consideration), but so much less than Seoul.
This post highlights Gamcheon Culture Village. Upcoming posts will include Gwangalli Beach, Busan Tower, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Haeundae Beach, and Hwamyeong Ecological Park.
Gamcheon Culture Village
This picturesque and colorfully painted village was once a slum and eventually became home to the many refugees who fled from war during the Korean War. Many fled to different areas in Busan, including Gamcheon. Because Busan was the only area on the Korea peninsula that the North never held and the only area free from fighting, many sought refuge there.
In addition to poverty and war, this village’s rich history also included religion. A man named Cho Chol Je founded the religion Taegukdo and moved his headquarters to Gamcheon, thus the village also became known as Taeguk Village. A majority of the residents converted to the religion.
Today, it is still home to many Busan residents and became a famous tourist attraction after getting a makeover in 2009. It is filled with murals, cafes, shops, and several photo spots.
Tips for visiting:
- Follow the wooden fishes mounted on the walls–they guide you through the village.
- There is no admission fee and it is open year round, but be mindful and respectful of the residents.
- Comfortable shoes are highly recommended as there is an incline to the walk and there is a lot of walking.
Gamcheon Culture Village is perhaps the Santorini of the East.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more from Busan!