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Suggested Tours for Medical Tourists

Muraled Alleyways in Korea
Date 10-19-2018 13:11
Muraled Alleyways in Korea

You’ve invested so much money and time into traveling to Korea so why should you visit some nameless back alleys that are often atop hills that require considerable hiking instead of just spending your time at tourist destinations in Myeong-dong and Haeundae? One reason why you should explore Korean alleyways is that they often offer beautiful murals of sizable scales that are painted by local artists and residents together. Walking in these hidden alleyways brightly lit by murals is almost as exciting as treasure hunts.

Dongpirang Mural Village, Tongyeong

On the southern coast of Korea is the so-called “Korean Montmartre Hill.” Dongpirang, which literally means “a village situated on the east cliff,” is a charming village housing hundreds of houses along its maze-like alleyways. The area used to repel visitors years ago with its grim atmosphere characteristic of dilapidated towns waiting for demolition. Lamenting the imminent disappearance of this historic neighborhood, local artists organized a nationwide contest, receiving ideas for transforming the neighborhood’s dark atmosphere with bright murals. Dongpirang today is one of the most beloved destinations in Tongyeong, and the city government naturally rescinded its plan to demolish it.
Climb the alleyway behind Jungang Market in Gangguan, and you will be captivated by the murals depicting cartoon characters, fish, giraffes and wild animals, and camellia flowers in vivid colors. The painting of a pair of wings in the center of the neighborhood is a famous photo zone, where almost every tourist stops and takes a selfie. From the observatory at the highest corner of the neighborhood, you will gain a panoramic view of the calm jade-colored sea embracing Tongyeong Port.

- Address: 6-18, Dongpirang 1-gil, Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do
- Telephone No.: 055-650-7400
- Website: www.dongpirang.org

Suamgol, Cheongju

Suamgol is an impoverished village that came into existence with the settlement of Korean War refugees. This quiet and forgotten neighborhood began to come back to life in 2007 when the artists of Chungcheongbuk-do painted murals on the walls of the neighborhood as part of their public art project. As the neighborhood was featured on a number of popular Korean TV shows, the number of tourists visiting it also began to grow. The neighborhood is still home to many residents, so tourists are advised to keep down their noises as they walk along the muraled walls. An hour is enough to explore the alleyways of this neighborhood.
Suamgol Observatory is another must-see point for tourists. From this two-story structure, you will be able to view downtown Cheongju in one glimpse while enjoying fresh breezes from the nearby Uamsan Mountain. You can leave your car parked in the neighborhood’s public parking lot and climb the hilly road for just 3 minutes to arrive at this observatory. Below the observatory is a street filled with charming cafes, at one of which you can relax over a hot drink.

- Address: 15-4 Sudong-ro, Sangdang-gu, Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do
- Telephone No.: 043-253-1330

Sinse-dong Mural Village, Andong

There are dozens of muraled neighborhoods that you can check out in Korea, but Sinse-dong Mural Village stands out as the one and only neighborhood with murals depicting actual local residents. This village was so impoverished and remote from everything that even taxis could not enter here a few decades ago. A neighborhood art project organized in 2009 brought life back to this obscure neighborhood, creating murals that portray Madam Kim Hwa-sun (nicknamed “the lucky granny” in the neighborhood), the neighborhood’s most stylish man, the local dry cleaner, and other such residents. The mural extending for some 350 meters from the entrance to Dongbu Elementary School to Seongjingol will make you feel as if you are getting to know these residents one by one.
The muraled walls are further highlighted by flowers of the seasons. Azalea, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums continue to lit up the street throughout the year. There are also charming and witty formative artworks including figurines of a dog pissing on the utility pole, a puppy curious to know what is behind the wall, and a frog that jumps off the wall.

- Address: 2 Dongbu-gil, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do
- Telephone No.: 054-852-6800