Called Santorini of the East—or strangely “Machu Picchu of Busan” by the official Korean tourism website (little resemblance, IMO)—Gamcheon Culture Village was my final stop in Busan before taking the KTX back to Incheon, where I would spend two nights before flying back to Guangzhou.
TIP: Do not try finding your own way by foot to Gamcheon Culture Village, because by the time I got to the actual village, I was a complete, sweaty mess.
Not only had I walked from my hotel (two metro stops away, was a nice stroll through the streets), but once at the base of the hill, instead of taking the bus, I also decided to hike up the San Francisco-steep road to the village. I’m sure the much wiser visitors passing by comfortably seated in cars and buses looked on with pity, as the combination of sun and humidity made the solo journey ever more hellish.
You can imagine how relieved I was to reach the top and see the first and only sign for Gamcheon Culture Village. Yes, throughout the trek, despite having the destination pinpointed on Google Maps, I couldn’t be 100% sure whether the path I was taking would lead me to the village.
One of the first things I saw: A man almost doing a split while taking the most casual picture of his girlfriend against a wall. I mean, come on. With that humorous sight, I felt revitalized to continue walking and exploring the village.
It’s funny to see a reviewer on TripAdvisor have a similar experience of hiking up the village instead of taking the bus on a humid summer day only to be drenched in sweat. #notalone
Anyway, the village itself would have been cooler without the tourists (and without the humidity). If you’re unlucky, you’ll have to wait in lines just to take pictures at the various points designed for visitors to insert themselves into the scene, usually next to some cartoon statues with the rest of the picturesque village below. I didn’t bother.
After what I felt was sufficient exploration and selfie-taking, I found the perfect café to rest in—I had my own seat right in front of an open window overlooking the village. This was definitely the best part about this village. I tend to like privacy and avoid tourists, so this was the best part about my trek up here. To be able to sit with the wind blowing in from the window felt amazing.
Soon, I was off to catch my train back to Seoul—but not without a walk through the Choryang Night Market during the day for some #ART and to satisfy my frustratingly apparent never-ending curiosity.
Oh, and see how many selfie sticks you can spot in this pic at the Busan Station.
That night in Seoul had a gorgeous sunset that I managed to catch while still on the train.
This trip was closing out quite nicely.
Next up: Eerily empty Incheon and one last journey into Seoul.