Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gamcheon Culture Village

My Korean friends were puzzled why I wanted to go to Gamcheon Village. They, residents of Busan themselves, have never been there. Gamcheon Village, they said, is one of the poorest areas of Busan. That may have been true back in the 50s, when Gamcheon began as a slum town, filled with refugees as a result of the Korean War. It was in 2009 when Busan's government decided to transform Gamcheon Village into a creative community, hiring artists to create street art.

I don't know if Gamcheon Village is still considered to be one of Busan's poorest areas but it sure didn't look like it from afar as we were going up the winding road to the village, nor did it look like it when we were strolling its streets.

Gamcheon Village was a barrage of colors. From afar, the thousands of little box–shaped houses of different sizes and colors, covering the side of a hill, looked like Lego bricks.

Walking the streets of Gamcheon, my head swiveled every which way—anything and everything caught my eye. Different colored birds perched on a wall, birds that upon closer inspection looked rather creepy with their human faces.

Flowers growing out of trousers.

 Art installations above the street parking areas.

 Walls of fish and walls of houses.

 The Little Prince and the fox, which must be the most popular spot at Gamcheon Village
for there was a long line of people waiting to have their photo taken with the Little Prince.

And tons of murals.

Gamcheon Village is a pleasant place to get lost in with its many many alleys, art shops, cafes, and galleries. It was like walking in a different world. In a whimsical wonderland. Nothing at all like a shanty town that "poorest area" brings to mind.

Gamcheon Culture Village
177-11, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan
9AM to 5PM
Admission is free.
Map of the village is sold at the Tourist Information Center for KRW 2,000.

Reminder: Gamcheon is a village of 10,000 residents. Keep noise level at a minimum. And don't go poking about in somebody's home or taking photos of residents.

Directions to Gamcheon Culture Village:
  • Take subway line 1 to Goejeong Station, Exit 6. Get on local bus Sakha 1 or Sakha 1-1.
  • Take subway line 1 to Toseong Station, Exit 6. Find the bus stop in front of PNU Cancer Center and get on local bus Saha 1-1, Seogu 2 or Seogu 2-2. 

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

South Korea Quickie 2014
Wisdom from the Road #22
Seoul: Lessons From My Seoul Airbnb Experience
Seoul: Gwangjang Market
Seoul: Namsan: Park, Tower, and Village
Gyeongju: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto
Wisdom from the Road #29
Busan: Mr Egg Hostel (Nampo)
Busan: Scenic Sites of Busan: Taejongdae and Oryukdo
Busan: Wishes at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Busan: 40gyedan–gil and Beyond
Busan: Gamcheon Culture Village (you're here!)
Busan: An Ignoramus in Busan
Daily Dose of Kindness in South Korea
Squeezing Three Cities and One Wallet in Five Days
Busan: What's in a (Business) Name? Busan


  1. wow this looks super cool! sayang nagahol kami nung nagBusan kami before di kami nakapaghanap ng places to visit. will bookmark this in case makakapag Korea ulit :D

    1. Hi Mariane. Gamcheon Village is an interesting place to visit, especially if you like art. I, too, would like to go back to this place if I find myself in Busan again.

  2. Fantastic pictures with great content liked it
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