Panorama of the Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea, with its pastel hued homes — many in Busan note that this exotic neighborhood is reminiscent for them of Machu Picchu
Originally settled in the early 1900s by the Taegeukdo religious sect, Gamcheon Culture Village expanded with the arrival of refugees during and after the Korean War. Houses in the multi-tiered community are arranged so that no house obscures the view of the home behind it, a tenet of the Taegeukdo belief of allowing others to prosper. Residents of the neighborhood have long painted their homes in pastel hues, but it was a 2009 public art project that gave the village its often whimsical murals, statues, and other colorful decorative works.
Historical photographs of the Gamcheon neighborhood, Busan, South Korea: (far right) the hillside was hardly settled in 1950 before the Korean war refugees from the north moved in; (middle) rows of water jars lined up in front of a well, mid-1950s; (left) 1957 photograph of the original shanty homes, terraced so as to not block the views of homes behind them
This area began major development as a poor ghetto for war refugees from North Korea in the early 1950s who built shanties without electricity and running water. Over time, the houses were upgraded to stone and concrete construction and much later running water and electricity were brought to the houses. Many in Busan note that this exotic neighborhood is reminiscent for them of Machu Picchu. Gamcheon is now very popular with artists and young residents as a residential area.
A small portion of Gamcheon Culture Village today, showing the terracing of the homes and the pastel hues, Busan, South Korea
As we walked through the village on the hill (and up and down alleys connecting homes and terraced walkways), we came across a large number of street vendors, cafes and small restaurants, Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea; this area is now a major tourist attraction
Locals love having their (wedding) portraits made at Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea
The homes in Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea, are small, but have interesting pastel paint colors and, here, eye-pleasing graphical elements
Korean street food – Korean “pancakes” freshly fried as you wait for your order, Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea
Many roofs serve as building terraces with excellent downhill views, Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea
Fried fish cakes are the number one street food all around town, Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea
This rare “slice” of green (nature) on the hillside shows how steep the area is that Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea, is built on