In addition to the hustling and bustling Seoul, the port city of Busan is also one of the tourist attractions in Korea. Besides the peaceful natural scenery, Busan also owns a colorful village which is likened to Santorini of Greece or Cinque Terre of Italy – that is Gamcheon.In Korean, Gamcheon means “clean spring”. In fact, in the 1950s, Gamcheon was considered a slum because the poor people flocked here. But then, the Korean government invited young artists and art students to redecorate the village in 2009. Since then, it has put on a “new color”, becoming a rare “specialties” of Busan city that any tourist wants to visit.
Most of the alleys, walls, stairs, even the electric poles in Gamcheon village are beautifully decorated with many interesting drawings. Gamcheon villagers said that each painting painted on the houses has a story of its own, so visitors should not only be absorbed in taking pictures but linger for a few minutes to admire and contemplate the hidden meaning in each work.Choose a high angle to see the whole village, visitors will see beautiful and colorful Gamcheon showed up with rows of houses facing the sea. It is also a favorite destination for photography enthusiasts. The most ideal place to observe Gamcheon from above is “Sky Garden” – where exhibition halls providing information about the village are located.
In order not to get lost in Gamcheon, you should buy a map at the information counter at the village gate for about 2,000 won (about 40,000 VND). In addition to helping visitors know the way, the map also has already marked 8 outstanding attractions, including galleries, cafes, and art shops. If you go all the way and get the stamps at these 8 points and then bring the map back to the information counter, visitors will receive a small gift as a souvenir.The unique thing about Gamcheon is the elaborately shaped wooden fish of different colors and sizes. Schools of wooden fish form a giant colorful picture on the walls of the village, reminding visitors of Busan and the people’s life associated with the sea. The nooks and crannies at Gamcheon create a labyrinth, but visitors can more easily navigate by the signs from this school of wooden fish.
As soon as you step into the village of Gamcheon, you will be delighted with souvenir shops, art galleries, and street art. There are many pretty little shops selling handmade souvenirs, usually packed with tourists looking for unique and cute items for themselves.In particular, Gamcheon village has many beautiful cafes where visitors can stop to rest and take virtual-living pictures. Gamcheon Village is open to visitors for free on weekdays, but most shops, cafes, and restaurants are open from 9 am to 6 pm. You should spend the morning visiting because the light is beautiful and it is not hot. In the afternoon, more shops are open, suitable for resting.
Street food is also one of the “highlights” to attract tourists in Gamcheon. You can easily find typical Korean street foods in Gamcheon such as Odeng fish cake (or eomuk) made from minced fish meat mixed with flour, salt, rice vinegar, sugar; fish-shaped Bungeoppang cakes with sweet red bean paste, cream, or even sweet potatoes fillings; or Tteokbokki including garaetteok rice cakes, gochujang chili sauce, meat, eggs, spices, and vegetables.From Gamcheon village, visitors can go to the Oryukdo Skywalk (on Oryukdo Island) – one of the most attractive destinations in Busan. The transparent glass bridge was built on the coastal cliff at a height of about 35 m, with an observatory reaching out about 10 m. This is a very suitable place to admire the sea of Busan, with the clear blue water sparkling in the sunlight, dotted with towering cliffs and majestic mountain peaks.
If you have the opportunity to come to Busan in April, you cannot miss the cherry blossom festival at Jinhae, which is considered one of the most beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots in Korea. Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival is considered the largest spring festival in Korea. With more than 400,000 cherry trees, Jinhae offers a poetic spring flower paradise. Amidst the romantic scenery of cherry blossoms, Jinhae also makes visitors fall in love with festival programs, street music performances, and traditional local cuisine.