Like most Korean villages, the Gamcheon Culture Village has a long history. It’s almost 100 years old, having been constructed in the 1920s. Originally, it was a locality for low-income housing. Today, it’s one of South Korea’s most famous tourist spots.
Similar to the Ihwa Mural Village, the Gamcheon Culture Village was revitalized with an art-themed renovation project. In 2009, hundreds of artists, professional and amateur, came to the village to repair and beautify its worn-out infrastructure.
Now, the village is completely restored, having become Busan’s most vibrant and artistic tourist location.
However, is Gamcheon Culture Village a good destination for solo travelers? The answer is yes. You don’t need friends or family to have fun. Gamcheon has tons of things to keep you occupied.
Here’s an official Gamcheon Culture Village to-do list:
Book an Airbnb or Hostel in the Area
First things first, if you’re traveling alone, you want single-person accommodation. This isn’t just to save money. When you’re traveling alone, you want the opportunity to meet new people. While hotels offer privacy, they close you off from making new friends.
Don’t be afraid to room with others. Instead of a large hotel room, book an Airbnb or hostel.
Also, you might not realize it, but it’s safer for lone travelers to room together. When you’re in a group, you’re more inconspicuous. Therefore, you’re less likely to get robbed or mugged.
While Gamcheon is generally a safe location, solo travelers should always be careful.
If you’re looking for recommendations, Busan Backpackers is one of Busan’s highest-rated hostels for solo travelers.
Take in the Colorful Sights
Some people compare Gamcheon’s vibrance, color, and architecture to Italy’s Positano. Whether you’re taking in the art or the buildings, the sight is one to behold.
There are so many sculptures and murals, each with a different artistic theme. For instance, some sculptures are inspired by writer Murakami’s work as well as scenes from The Little Prince. Consequently, the art has a fairy-tale feel to it.
Here’s an example:
This sculpture depicts a boy with four puppies; it’s an illustration of a local children’s tale.
Moreover, this is the Gamcheon Sound (by artist Woo Jing):
It’s one of the most popular sculptures in the area because it overlooks most of the village.
Sight-seeing is the perfect activity for solo travelers as there are no distractions. However, make sure you wear comfortable shoes because walking in Gamcheon is a tiring task.
Win at Gamcheon Culture Village Bingo
Here’s another fun task for lone travelers: win the village bingo. What does this mean? Well, this is an initiative by the local council for tourism.
Tourists are given a bingo sheet with a list of 14 locations. Each location is an essential part of the village’s culture. Once you get to a location, you get a local to stamp your sheet.
If you reach all 14 locations in one day, you win a prize from the council. Don’t worry if you get lost, though. You simply need to ask a local for directions.
Again, wear comfortable shoes. Since you’re traveling alone, you can attempt to win the bingo at least two or three times through your trip (unless you tire of it).
Do Some Unplanned Exploring
The best part about the Gamcheon Culture Village is its labyrinth of alleyways. The charm of the area is in its unique architecture.
As a lone traveler, you can easily take off on a day of unplanned exploration.
Simply, throw caution to the wind, and start walking. Don’t think too much about where you’re going. Instead, focus on what you’re seeing.
You can discover the village’s vast array of restaurants, shops, and museums (pictured below). You can try to find details in the artwork or buildings that only locals would notice.
The Gamcheon Culture Village’s food specialties include raindrop cake and ssiathotteok. Ssiathotteok is a sweet pastry filled with honey, sunflower seeds, and a few assortments of nuts.
Try to find both without a map.
Talk to the Locals
Lastly, another good thing about the Gamcheon Culture Village is the friendly ambiance and culture. Just because you’re traveling alone, doesn’t mean you should be lonely.
As mentioned, the Gamcheon Culture Village comes with a rich history. Most of the locals lived through this history, including the war and political upheavals that led to the village’s creation.
You can bond with locals, listen to their stories and experiences.
If you’re staying for more than a week, pick a restaurant or cafe you like and become a regular. Talk to the owners and the other customers.
Traveling alone is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Traveling alone in Gamcheon Culture Village is a perfect way to do so.
In essence, Gamcheon Culture Village is a great location for those seeking peace and quiet. It’s a quaint coastal town with spectacular architecture and colorful beauty. Therefore, you can easily use it as a place for self-discovery and fulfillment.
Need any more recommendations? Don’t forget to check out this guide to Seoul’s top mountain range, Gwanaksan.