Gamcheon Village in Busan (The COLORFUL Culture Village)

In Busan on the coast there is the small village of Gamcheon. The Gamcheon Cultural Village is well known for its brightly colored houses and the art pieces that decorate the village. Josh and I had been wanting to visit the village for quite some time but we were just waiting for the weather to warm up so we could be comfortable walking around outside. Gamcheon seems to be more well known in the tourist community than with Koreans, when we told a Korean friend about our desire to go there, they were quite confused and told us “that is where all the poor people live.” Apparently Gamcheon started off as a haven for war refugees and until pretty recently wasn’t a place where people would want to visit. The Korean government funded changes that made the village colorful and artsy…much more inviting for tourists to come and take pictures of. The area is still pretty poor but something about the brightly colored houses and whimsical art scattered around the village makes it a fun place to visit. There are many small local shops to help support the people in the area, who from what we saw are mostly older.

Sign that welcomes you to Gamcheon Cultural Village (conveniently located near a crepe stand!)

Sign that welcomes you to Gamcheon Cultural Village (conveniently located near a crepe stand!)

We started off our early morning tour of Gamcheon with crepes! The bus that brings you into Gamcheon drops you off not too far from the crepe stand and it was a great way to start our trek through the colorful village.

Starting off our day right..with crepes!

Starting off our day right..with crepes!

After that we purchases some maps of the area for ₩2,000 (less than $2) before making a brief pit stop for bbobki! If you want to learn more about bbobki you can see the post I did on it here! Four of us in the group were up for the challenge and three in our group ended up getting a free bbobki!!

Getting ready to free the fish!

Getting ready to free the fish!

Close up of our friend Daniel breaking his bear free!

Close up of our friend Daniel breaking his bear free!

After we had our fill of delicious sweets we walked around Gamcheon for a couple of hours taking in the sights and enjoying the art that decorated the entire village.

Painted people overlooking the painted buildings

Painted people overlooking the painted buildings

These colorful birds (with human heads) could be found scattered randomly on the tops of buildings

These colorful birds (with human heads) could be found scattered randomly on the tops of buildings

Close up of the bird people...they were so interesting!

Close up of the bird people…they were so interesting!

Obligatory photo with the colorful fish that Gamcheon is known for

Obligatory photo with the colorful fish that Gamcheon is known for

Hanging out with the Little Prince

Hanging out with the Little Prince

Painted mural overlooking the village

Painted mural overlooking the village

 

More painted walls in Gamcheon

More painted walls in Gamcheon

These painted fish can be found hanging out all around the city

These painted fish can be found hanging out all around the city

Gamcheon’s buildings are painted in many different pastel colors which makes overlooking the buildings really whimsical and fun to look at, they remind me quite a bit of Dr. Seuss. In Korea it is common to compare cities to famous foreign cities and Gamcheon is called the Santorini of Korea. The village itself is located on hills near the water so good walking shoes are a must!

View of the houses

View of the houses

There are viewing platforms on the tops of the some of the buildings where you can get great views of the village

There are viewing platforms on the tops of the some of the buildings where you can get great views of the village, if you look closely you can see one on the top left

Hanging out in Gamcheon

Hanging out in Gamcheon

Another view of the buildings

Another view of the buildings

Everywhere you look in Gamcheon is so colorful

Everywhere you look in Gamcheon is so colorful

Gamcheon is also filled with small stores that sell food, souvenirs and art. The government funded the revamping of Gamcheon with hopes of bringing in tourists to boost the local economy. It is good to see people buying different items from the local vendors!

This small stand sells love locks...a couple buys a lock, locks it onto the gate and then throws away the key!

This small stand sells love locks…a couple buys a lock, locks it onto the gate and then throws away the key!

Our first 5 months in Korea, Josh and I spent almost every weekend in Busan. For some reason or another we would always put off visiting Gamcheon, mostly out of laziness. But the visit was definitely worth it! I would say we spent about 2.5 hours wandering the village and taking in all the sites. I would recommend a visit to Gamcheon to everyone visiting Busan!

Befriending one of the locals

Befriending one of the locals

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5 thoughts on “Gamcheon Village in Busan (The COLORFUL Culture Village)

  1. Mom says:

    Hmmm… I never heard of the place. Definately interesting. I’m going to ask my Korean friends about the town. Glad you’re exploring outside Busan. You will also need to visit some historical places like Gyeongju before you leave. Love U! P.S. Meg wags her tail when I come home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesockmonkeyproject says:

      Gamcheon is in Busan!! Most Koreans still associate it with being a poor village where Korean War refugees live, but the government funded making it an art village. Love you too mom.

      Like

  2. Jeremy Coker says:

    Yeah… I finally have some time to catch up on your posts. 🙂 #1. I love crepes! #2. This place looks so cool. Like a pretty and colorful Favela (ask Josh if you don’t know about the Favela). 🙂 This would definitely be on my list of places to visit if I was over there.

    Liked by 1 person

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