Tiny colorful cottages

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DAY 8

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Santorini of South Korea.

Cinque Terre of South Korea.

These are the names people use to describe the picturesque village near western Busan with colorful houses, painted walls, stairs and walkways, artistic sculptures, and photogenic corners – Gamcheon Culture Village.

Although this place is vibrant with colors, its past is dark. In the 1920s and 30s, it was established as a “dumping ground” for the poorer population away from the port, and after the Korean War ended in the 1950s, it became home to war refugees (about 800 families). Over the years, the village’s population grew, but poverty persisted.

In the 21st century, due to increased tourism, the Ministry of Culture decided to invest in renovating the village and transforming it into a cultural center. Today, Gamcheon is a popular excursion destination for most visitors to Busan.

In the tourist center, you can get a map of the village with marked points of interest/statues/cafes… (it’s quite a labyrinth), or you can choose our tried and true “walk and see” style. You can spend hours walking and seeing, also queuing for photos with some notoriously famous sculptures (The Little Prince and the Fox, Harry Potter stairs, the holey guitar)…

…but you’ll find something nice or interesting in almost every alley.

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In the late afternoon, we visited Gwangalli Beach. Koreans are fascinated by beaches, which fascinates us in turn. Swimming is definitely not one of the basic skills of Koreans; only about 30% of the population can swim. Nevertheless, the beaches are beautifully maintained (with many photo spots) and used for walks, gazing into the distance, dipping feet ankle-deep, or even having picnics under umbrellas.

As dusk approached, we opted for a combination of walking and gazing into the distance at the Diamond Bridge…

…with the arrival of darkness, one understood why it’s called “diamond.”

We passed by a few photo spots/lenses without using them, and then we craved the same hotteok as yesterday. Same place, same stall, a metro ride away 40 minutes. Of course, we went for it, and the man could start his business again 🙂

-endy-

DONKEY’S SPECIAL:

  • “Machu Picchu are ruins of a pre-Columbian Inca cult city in the Peruvian Andes.”
  • “Santorini is a Greek island in the southern part of the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea.”
  • “Cinque Terre is a rocky coastal area on the Italian Riviera, specifically in its eastern part called Riviera di Levante, the area lies in the northwest part of Italy, in the Gulf of Genoa, along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, it includes a total of five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare.”
  • We only photographed the fox; the Little Prince was to the left of it, surrounded by tourists…
  • Andy refers to the holey guitar as a sculpture into which you can stick your head, meaning you’re “in the guitar,” and behind you is the village, it’s great if you’re looking for this type of photo

-mj-

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