After missing the last bus to my hostel and staying by myself at a love hotel in Busan, I decided to make my way to the colorful Gamcheon Culture Village which is consists of historic houses and beautiful murals with awe-inspiring messages. Originally in the 1950s this was a place where Korean refugees fled in South Korea, and the area was extremely undeveloped. Now it has transformed into a beautiful place full of art and culture (hence the name). Nicknamed the “Machu Picchu of Busan” this coastal village is the perfect place for a relaxing day of sightseeing. There are a number of people that reside in the village as well, so tourists are asked to be respectful of houses outside of the map.
I decided to take a taxi to Gamcheon from my hostel, but Prepare Travel Plans has a good list of alternative ways to get here from Busan. When I arrived to the village, I felt as if I had stepped into a storybook! In fact, some of the stairs were painted with book titles. It’s quite easy to get lost here because the buildings are extremely condensed, but I fortunately figured out my way around here by using the colored guideposts and English map from the tourist association.
I discovered a ton of interesting sights here like poop-flavored desserts, a statue from “The Little Prince”, animal-shaped dumplings, trick-eye art murals, locks that you can buy and wish for love with your partner, cotton candy cloud coffee, and all sorts of street food that was being sold in the alley. If you buy a map (they are really cheap), then you can participate in a stamp rally that will guide you to all of the major sightseeing spots of the village. I actually got lost at one point, but an elderly man pointed me in the right direction (even though we didn’t speak one another’s language). It was extremely pleasant wandering through this town, and I am glad to see that it has turned into a source of happiness for people now. The tourism here really does help the village, which is why I argue that visiting touristy places isn’t always a bad thing.
After a very colorful day, I decided to head back to central Busan and visit the Jagalchi Market which is very easy to get to because it’s in the heart of the city. I recently watched Black Panther where part of the movie was filmed here, and it brought back so many memories! I went late at night when not as many places were open, but I managed to find an amazing place that served me raw octopus:
It’s truly amazing seeing the large variety of seafood that is available. You can select your food from the tank outside of the restaurant or you can ask them to choose for you. I managed to break the language barrier by pointing at the octopus I wanted, and also used my translation app to order. I noticed that outside of Seoul that not many Koreans speak English unless they have a reason to (such as an international career), but I still was able to get around find. Busan is a very relaxing city compared to most found in Japan. Tokyo is still my favorite city in the world, but I enjoyed experiencing life here.
I stayed here for only 2 days because I was short on time, but I recommend that people stay here for at least 3-4 days so they can see everything that this city has to experience. There are a number of interesting parks and museums in Busan as well. I will be publishing the rest of my adventures in Korea in the near future!