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Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village

 

We have written about Ulsan’s very own culture/art village before but the one that gets all the attention is located in Busan, deep into the heart of Busan. I may even go so far as to say that this place may have been the inspiration for many of the colourful villages around the country.

Gamcheon

While the rest of Busan looks modern, especially upscale places like Haeundae and Centum City, Gamcheon and the surrounding area remind visitors that Busan was not always full of skyscrapers and shopping malls. Gamcheon’s square houses and narrow alleys have not changed much from years ago except for their bright colours and creative interiors.

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What was once an area where refugees flocked and struggled, now is facing a rebirth due to the charming colours and unique architecture. However, it is apparent with the number of signs telling tourists to be quiet that not everyone is happy with the recent popularity.

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What to Do

The best thing to do is to choose a nice sunny day and make your way around the village and just explore. You can purchase a tourist map for 2,000 won that will help you navigate the area and lead you some of the more popular  artworks and shops.

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A good starting point is to head up to the observatory to get a birds eye view of the area and then make your way around the village. Make sure that you save some space for a few snacks and iced coffees along the way. The village is not too big but I would recommend taking it slow and grabbing a drink at one of the many cafes along the main road.

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The cafe with one of the best views is Cafe Youzin or 우인 in Korean. The rooftop offers an unmatched view of the village and the sea. Also their coffee is not too bad either. You can find it near the bend in the road and it sticks out due to it’s red canopy and white roof structure.

The view from cafe youzin

The view from cafe youzin

What to Eat

While braving a rainy day, we stopped to grab a quick snack. One of my favourite street foods in Busan is the Shi-oht Heot-ddeok, which is basically a thick pancake fried in butter and then filled with sugar and nuts. There is a shop at the main turn along the main road and it costs about 1,000 for one of these tasty treats. There are also a few decent korean restaurants near the entrance that have some delicious noodles and ddeokbokki as well.

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How to Get There

Public Transportation: Take the orange (line #1) line to Toseong Station and get out at exit #6. Walk to the intersection and turn right. Take the bus from the front of the Busan University Hospital. Get on bus 2 or 2-2 and take it all the way to the village.

Car: The most direct route is to take the Busan/Ulsan Expressway and follow it all the way into Busan. Head over the Gwangali Bridge and then the new Busan Harbour Bridge and then finally the Namhang Bridge. Take a left at the end of the bridge and follow that all the way to gamcheon intersection. It will stick out as there are a number of tall buildings and at post office on the right. Turn right at the post office and follow the road all the way up. There will be a parking garage at the entrance of the village and it costs 2,000 won for 2 hours.

map

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