Gamcheon Culture Village is a photogenic labyrinth of little lanes and a sweeping landscape of colourful buildings.

The ubiquity of smartphones these days and the social media networks within them begs the question: would many people be able to travel just as enthusiastically without opening their camera application?

Gamcheon Culture Village looks like a painted, fictional land

2009 saw many cultural and artistic additions to the village.

Small shops cater to tourists, commonly from Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

At this historical area of Busan, some of the most photogenic opportunities in the Republic of Korea come as you start your descent from the spot where buses regularly deposit tourists. It’s marked by a mural of plaques which when zoomed-out, assume the form of a fish.

Members of the BTS army will love this wall art of Jungkook and Jimin.

A family-friendly resting spot.

Gamcheon Culture Village has a sprawling presence of colourfully painted houses, cafes, museums, art galleries and local businesses. The labyrinth of small laneways slope down the side of a mountain, so be prepared with water when you go.

This kind of sign seems mandatory in any major tourist spot.

Seek information about your fortune by inserting money to receive a powerful object.

Although it may be one of the most popular destinations in Busan and indeed South Korea, Gamcheon Culture Village looked vastly different prior to 2009. During this year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism spurred the efforts of creatives and local residents to renovate local buildings with art. 

A spot to do serious soul-searching or romantic selfie-taking.

Gamcheon Culture Village was designated as an area for working-class people in the 1920s and 1930s.

The widespread push to convert the village into a cultural hub included establishing museums, painting houses, adding art installations and creating retail spaces.

A photo-ready spot. Ready your hashtag.

You can stroll endlessly in a landscape surrounded by nature.

Historically though, Gamcheon Village is known as a working class area with poor living conditions. In the 1920s and 1930s, Busan’s city administration relocated many working class people to this area, where they were secluded from the port but still close enough to provide the fruits of their labour.

Apply the right filter and cropping to your photo at this staircase and your Instagram Post could blow-up.

Residents of the village have historically lived in tough conditions, including during the 1980s and 1990s.

Spend at least two hours exploring layered streets

There are many opportunities in the village. If you want to explore romantic possibilities, you can take your date to Haneul Maru where there is an observation deck. While surveying breathtaking views, you could initiate a breathtaking compliment. 

Finally got to try this tear-drop dessert and found it to be underwhelming but nice.

The village is perched on the slope of a mountain.

If your date responds well to your breathtaking compliment, the next place to visit would be a cute cafe or friendly mum n’ pop restaurant. Over a steaming coffee or a hearty bowl of galbitang, you could draw upon your creativity (undoubtedly inspired by Gamcheon’s rainbow surroundings) and initiate another compliment. This one better make it Gam-e(cheon) over.

On your first glance this might be a real, weary woman at Haneul Maru (home to a nice observation deck).

The observation deck brings you into close appreciation of the vibrant style of “Busan’s Machu Picchu”.

A famous spot to take a photo is The Little Prince and the Fox. In physical presence, these two statues looked slightly underwhelming, but they are perched in a scenic vantage point overlooking the village’s colourful architecture. A picture with them would look like it came from a fairytale. The queue of people keenly clutching their cameras evidently thought so. The security guard watching the queue didn’t look too impressed.

I went beyond my comfort zone to try this almond milk based cold noodle soup … and would’ve preferred to stay in it.

Gamcheon Culture Village is within Gamcheon-dong, Saha district in Busan.

Another famous spot for a photo is reserved for those who love BTS, the world-dominatingly popular Korean band. More specifically, if you love Jimin and Jungkook, you will gaze lovingly at the wall displaying their images in prince-like manners.

Streets feel layered on top of each other.

In 2009, a government ministry called artists and painters to renovate many parts of the village to turn it into a cultural hub.

The habit of taking photos during memorable moments is interesting philosophically. We want to store our internal, cerebral memory in an external space. This is probably the SD card of your camera. In our need to preserve the moment for future satisfaction, do we detract from our whole, uninterrupted enjoyment of the present? 

You can easily catch a bus back into the main area of Saha-gu.

Enjoy the presence of cute cafes, souvenir shops and art galleries.

It takes just a minute 🙏

My name is Garry Ho, I’m the founder.
If you have enjoyed our content and found it helpful, please consider supporting us.
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It takes just a minute 🙏

My name is Garry Ho, I’m the founder.
If you have enjoyed our content and found it helpful, please consider supporting us.
All major cards are accepted.

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