The epitome of a hidden gem, discover Huinnyeoul Culture Village in Busan. Expect pastel colour walls, artistic expression and a gentle sea breeze. While tourists flock to Gamcheon culture village, you can experience this seaside treasure. Let’s take a look at Huinnyeoul Culture Village.
Huinnyeoul Culture Village
Huinnyeoul Culture Village is a colourful village on Yeongdo island, Busan. The village consists of 14 intertwined streets and alleys, filled with beautiful artwork and natural scenery. At the entrance, you can pick up a guide to navigate the village with, ensuring you don’t miss any of the paintings.
Originally intended to be Busan’s lively downtown area, Huinnyeoul unwittingly gained a reputation of being a calm, secluded escape from the busy city. The village was named after the ‘white river’ (huin yeo-ul) that appeared when the freshwater of Bongnaesan Mountain collided with the sea. Most of the buildings are painted white and, against a backdrop of blue ocean, its no wonder that Huinnyeoul gained the nickname “Santorini of Busan.”
The island is located on a high cliff, so be prepared for rocky terrain. However, the calming nature of bobbing ships in the distance and sunlight on the colourful walls will set the stage for your dreams when you go home.
As a result of the Korean War, refugees arrived in the area and so the houses were constructed here. The suffering of the refugees during the move can be understood from the signs in the village.
Refugees settled at Huinnyeoul Culture Village following the Korean War. Despite the pleasant atmosphere, you will notice elements of their hardships at different points around the village. In 2011, artists began to settle here, as many did in Gamcheon Culture Village. This creative migration was able to restore the old village in decline.
Since then, the seaside town has become a heaven of colour and beauty, attracting tourists from near and far. Moreover, its popularity shot up after serving as filming location for hit movies Nameless Gangster: The Rules of Time (2011) and The Attorney (2013).
Things to Do
Jeoryeong Coastal Trail
It is best to reserve a whole afternoon to explore Huinnyeoul as the outskirts of the village are stunning as well. There are 2 coastal paths you can follow to get the best view of the island’s beauty: Jeoryeong and Huinnyeoul. If you don’t have time to do both, I recommend the Jeoryeong Trail as it goes right alongside the seafront.
The Jeoryeong trail is approx. 3km in length with mostly even terrain, so you can walk it eaisly. Moreover, it is considered the most beautiful walking trail in South Korea!
The trail is painted a bright blue to complement the village theme and you can enjoy the different images along the wall for example, fish and horses! Looking out to sea, you may notice fishing boats and — on a clear day — Songdo Island and the Japanese island of Tsushima in the distance.
Once you complete the blue trail, you’ll stumble across a mysterious cave. The cave is lit up inside with colourful lights, perfect for snapping photos of the interior!
On the other side, you’ll pebble cove, popular with local fisherman, accompanied by a gorgeous ocean view.
Huinnyeoul Beach Cafe
Climb the stairs back up to the main road and you can stop by Huinnyeoul Beach, a stunning beach-themed cafe. They serve delicious desserts and fruity drinks, as decadent to taste as they look. The colorful walls of the cafe — both inside and outside — are in-keeping with the style of the village and filled with photo zones.
Huinnyeoul Beach Address: 236 Jeoryeong-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan Operating Hours: 11:00am - 8:30pm Mon ~ Thur; - 9:30pm Fri ~ Sun
Moving from the coast to the cliffs, the Huinnyeoul trail will take you high above the beautiful village below. I recommend going in the early evening to enjoy a breath-taking view of the sunset. From the Huinnyeoul trail, you’ll understand why the village is known as the “Santorini of Busan.”
Huinnyeoul Village Travel Tips
- Visit during the afternoon and early evening. Seeing the colours at their brightest and the sunset on the ocean’s horizon is simply a must
- Pack sun cream and a hat. There is not much shade on the trails so don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun, especially during summer.
- Stay hydrated. If you’re going on a hot day, stop off in a cafe to recharge and rehydrate, there’s nothing worse than heat stroke.
- Start from the top. We started our exploring from the bottom of the village, which meant a lot of uphill walking. In order to avoid this, I recommend starting from the top.
- Check out nearby attractions. I recommend Taejongdae Park, Haenyeo Village, Danubi Train and Yurari Square if you have time.
the most stunning hidden gem Busan has to offer: Huinnyeoul Culture Village. Complete with original artwork, aesthetic cafes and trails oozing in natural beauty, it a must-see destination. I personally think that Huinnyeoul Village is underrated in comparison with Gamcheon Village!