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TAKE YOUR OBSESSION to the next level when you visit South Korea.
But as the Hallyu wave takes the global stage, more and more people are showing interest in the culture.
Korean productions such as movies and K-dramas have been one of the most effective ways to pique a potential traveler’s interest, as it showcases beautiful locations in South Korea beyond its metropolitan city, Seoul.
It’s truly fascinating what K-drama-loving travelers can find if they just turned a corner or dared to venture out a little further.
Here are some K-drama filming locations in South Korea that are worth visiting and fangirling/fanboying over.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Titles: The Heirs, Personal Taste, Heartstrings.
A traditional Korean house is called a hanok. And while there are more than one hanok villages in South Korea, the most popular one has to be Bukchon Hanok Village. Located just a stone’s throw away from Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of hanoks. While some of these hanoks currently operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, it’s also an actual residential area so be sure to keep your voice down while you’re there.
Keep a lookout for house number 43 because that’s where Personal Taste characters Gae In (Son Ye-jin) and Jin Ho (Lee Min Ho) lived.
- Admission: Free.
- How to get there: Take the subway to Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3). Get out at exit one or two. Walk straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.
Titles: Descendants of the Sun.
Descendants of the Sun made waves in 2016 and was solely responsible for the new widespread K-drama fandom across the globe. Filmed primarily in South Korea and Greece, the K-drama featured breathtaking locations as well as sets that were built for its scenes.
Initially, the film set in Taebaek City was torn down after filming ended. Due to the popularity of the show and demand from the public, city officials decided to restore the set (complete with the medicube and military base), officially naming it the Descendants of the Sun Park. It reopened to the public on Aug 12, 2016.
Source: YouTube screenshot.
Visitors are allowed to try on the volunteer nurse corps outfit or soldier uniform.
- Admission: Free
- How to get there: Get on the train from Cheongnyangni Station then disembark at Taebaek Station. Take a taxi to Descendants of the Sun Park.
Korean Folk Village
Titles: The Moon that Embraces the Sun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Jewel in the Palace, My Love From The Star.
The sprawling 99ha Korean Folk Village in Yongin is home to old-style Korean buildings, workshops, and arts and crafts exhibitions. Aside from offering visitors a glimpse at the historical, Joseon dynasty (1392 to 1897) Korean life, it’s also a popular filming location as its recreation of an old-style village makes it perfect as a K-drama set.
Don’t miss out on the many awe-inspiring.
- Admission: KRW18,000 (US$17).
- How to get there: Take the subway to Suwon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1). Get out at exit five. Take bus 10-5 or 37 to Korean Folk Village or Nagok Village.
Remember the scene in 2017 hit K-drama Goblin where Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) first summoned Kim Shin (Gong Yoo)?
The iconic moment was filmed at Jumunjin Breakwater along Jumunjin Beach. The breakwater (artificial offshore structure) was initially built to protect the coastline from the effects of erosion and longshore drift but later became a popular attraction after its first appearance in the K-drama. If you need props for your reenactment, there may be people offering to rent Ji Eun Tak’s iconic red shawl and Kim Shin’s flowers for a small fee.
Treat yourself to a nice, aromatic cup of coffee at the Anmok Beach coffee street located just down the coastline from Jumunjin Beach after.
- Admission: Free
- How to get there: Take an intercity bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal. Then take bus no 302 or 315 to Jumujin Beach.
Pocheon Art Valley
Titles: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.
A former granite quarry with oddly shaped rocks and a beautiful lake, the Pocheon Art Valley has since been transformed into a culture and arts space that hosts various programs including exhibitions and performances. More than a million tourists visit the valley annually. In recent times, however, it’s more popularly known for being featured in the first episode of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Specifically, the one where Hae Soo (IU) attempts to save a boy from drowning but ends up drowning herself before waking up in Goryeo.
Feast your eyes on the many sculptures (built using different mediums) scattered around the valley.
- Admission: KRW5,000 (US$5)
- How to get there: Take the subway to Uijeongbu Station (Seoul Subway Line 1) and get out at exit six. From there, take bus 137 or 138 to Gichi-2ri Sinbokmyeon Samuso Bus Stop, then take bus 87-1 or 87-2.
Yeouido Hangang Park
Titles: City Hunter, The Master’s Sun, Lie To Me.
Open all year round and at no charge for visitors, Yeouido Hangang Park is more than just a park. It’s an ecological, cultural, financial, and political hub. The long, rectangular park boasts pockets of green, government buildings, corporate buildings, and even media broadcasting stations. It’s also often a venue for music concerts and marathons. Head on over for a nice walk or rent a bike and make full use of the cycle track while you admire scenic views of Seoul.
Grab some snacks and soju (Korean rice wine) from the nearby convenience stores, sit by the river that divides Seoul city in two, and soak in all the good vibes.
- Admission: Free
- How to get there: Take the subway to Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5). Get out at exit two or three.
Titles: Beethoven Virus, My Love From The Star, Secret Garden.
Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince novel, Petit France boasts 16 French buildings where visitors can lodge and experience French food, clothing and household culture. It also houses a memorial hall, gallery, a souvenir shop, and a youth training facility. Petit France was featured in 2008’s Beethoven Virus but really, it was 2014’s My Love From The Star that shot the location to superstardom. There are even lifesized standees of the K-drama’s lead characters, Cheon Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun) and Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun).
Grab a cuppa from then sit back, relax, and enjoy the traditional French hand puppet show.
- Admission: KRW8,000 (US$7)
- How to get there: Take the subway or ITX to CheongPyeong station. Get out at exit 2. Go to the bus stop, a short walk away from the station. Take a city bus to Petite France.
Honorable mentions include:
- Nami Island: Winter Sonata
- N Seoul Tower: Boys Over Flowers, My Love From The Star
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