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Guryongpo

Guryongpo

If you have ever ventured up to Pohang chances are that you have visited the hands at Homigot, but I am sure that you probably haven’t explored the village of Guryongpo. This seaside village has a lot to offer with a unique glimpse into Korea’s colonial past.

Like most places up towards Pohang, there are a ton of restaurants where you can get a course-style seafood dinner. Many local tourists head there to get a fill of fresh king crab. The main street of Guryongpo is lined with “dae-gae” restaurants. However, if you venture down far enough, you will see something that is a little out of place.

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Japanese-style gates mark the entrance to the Guryongpo Modern History and Culture street. This is probably one of the more interesting sites that I have seen in a while. Simply because the street has been restored so well that it really does feel like you are stepping back in time.

With the brutal Japanese occupation of Korea, you’d expect that this street would be a somber place but strangely it wasn’t. Buildings have been restored and turned into shops and cafes. People take selfies by the section used for filming dramas. However, if you do want to get some more information, check out the museum there.

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There is English interpretation and you really will get a sense of what life was like back then. The museum is small and centred around the home of a wealthy Japanese family.

The Museum is small but full of interesting stories about the area.

The Museum is small but full of interesting stories about the area.

Before heading up the stairs at the centre of the street, fuel up on “Mulhoe” which is a local favourite. There is a busy restaurant at the base of the stairs that will serve a great dish along with other local Korean dishes.

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Once you are ready, head up the stairs to the small temple and the sculpture of the nine dragons. Guryongpo roughly translates to “nine dragons” and the sculpture commemorates the name. It also gives a great lookout over the village.

So if you are looking for an interesting place that is off the beaten track, check out Guryongpo. With the new expressway almost complete it will take you no time to get there.

One of the nicest looking cafes. Located next to the museum.

One of the nicest looking cafes. Located next to the museum.

Jason Teale is the Editor of Ulsan Online. He has also been a resident of Ulsan for almost 13 years. His photos can be found at www.jasonteale.com and they have been featured in National Geographic, Travel + Leisure Asia and Seoul Magazine.
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