Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Gamcheon - A Multicoloured Village in Busan

Nestled high in the cauldron-shaped hills that surround Busan is a pretty district called Gamcheon Village. Originally a shanty town built by refugees of the Korean War, it remains one of Busan's poorest neighbourhoods, but the local government has recently made steps to bring tourists and money to the area. Advertised under various exotic pseudonyms like "Santorini on the South Sea," "Korea's Machu Picchu," and "Lego Village," its vibrant buildings and array of sculptures and paintings now draw numerous tourists to the area. Angela and I explored the village ourselves during our recent trip to Busan.

Entering the village via the main road that winds through it.
There are all sorts of murals, paintings and statues on the buildings. 

A local resident looks over the touristified road.
You could spend hours exploring the alleyways of the village.

One of the things that the local government added to rejuvenate the village was this shadowy house with a black interior. It seemed completely at odds with the vibrancy of the village.
A view of Busan Tower and Yongdusan Park.
A viewing platform near the top of the village. 
A pretty view over Gamcheon, which is bathed by sunlight for most of its day due to its position.

Looks like someone forget to wear suncream that day.

Standing in front of a pretty mural.

Looking back at the viewing platform.

We found The Little Prince and his fox friend. Korea seems to love these characters; we'd recently seen them at Petite France, a French cultural village an hour outside Seoul.

A friendly dog we met.

We soon left the village and reentered a more familiar Korean streetscape.

Gamcheon is an incredibly picturesque place, and well worth your time if you're ever in Busan. You can easily get there by taking a taxi from the city (I recommend somewhere around Jagalchi or Nampo for the cheapest fares).

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