The last place on our Busan itinerary was Gamcheon Culture Village, a residential area that has grown to be known for its colourful houses and winding pathways. What was once a dull shantytown occupied by refugees of the Korean war, the village was transformed into the quaint tourist attraction that we know today in 2009 in an effort to brighten up the area. It is now often referred to as the ‘Machu Picchu of Busan’.
We actually first headed up to the village after we finished at Taejongdae to get a glimpse of the place without the inevitable wave of tourists that would take over during the day. By the time we reached the village, it was already dark.
It was reasonably late so we decided just to go back to the hotel so we could wake up early to spend our entire last day here before we had to get our bus back to Incheon.
We knew instantly the moment we arrived the next day that exploring the village at night time was a good idea (Please be respectful if you do visit at any time, especially after dark. People DO live here.) There were groups of tourists flowing out of every store and restaurant in the area, despite it being in the minus degrees. The view however, was worth it.
The street food stalls here are BOMB, so I’d advise skipping breakfast and filling up on food when you get here!
One of my favourite sweet treats in Korea is Hotteok, a sweet, syrup filled pancake that will burn off the first 7 layers of skin in your mouth. Busan has a special variation, ‘Ssiat Hotteok’ (씨앗호떡 – 씨앗 meaning ‘seed’) is exactly what it sounds like. They take the hotteok, and fill it with…seeds. Good for some, I wasn’t too excited about it.
The walls and stores of the village are adorned with artwork and sculptures, providing a perfect backdrop for your selfie if you’re so inclined.
After finishing up at the village, we headed straight to the bus terminal to catch our ride back home. Bye Busan, it’s been a blast. See you again soon!