Every Mural Village tells a story.
If you ask me where I may find the best mural village in Korea, It has to be Gamcheong Cultural Village in Korea. I have created a separate entry for Gamcheong Cultural Village. You can access the details by clicking on the hyperlink above.
Busan actually has a number of other areas, each with its own stories and charm. Choryang way mural village which is unique on its own and which I feel is worth visiting. Another area which you may want to just take note is the Mural paintings in Samjee Wall Art Alley in Busan. You will find out more in the posts Choryang Way.
If you are visiting Busan, you may be considering visiting TongYeong or Changwon which are towns which are accessible within 1-2 hours from Busan. Tong Yeong and Changwon each has their own mural village too, but I would only drop by if I have time to spare. Once you have seen Gamcheong Cultural Village or Choryang way in Busan, you probably would find the others less inspiring.
Changdong Art Village, Changwon ((창동예술촌) )
1. About Changwon
Changwon can be accessed via the KTX (To Masan KTX station at Changwon), but the cost and the number of change make it a non-optimal choice. A better option is to consider intercity express bus station.
Changwon has bus express terminal and depending on where you came from, you will end up at different stations.
You can refer to the bus schedules from these websites below. The second website shows the cost as well.
2. Getting to Changdong Art Village
The Art Village is nestled among the alleys of Sang Sang Gil, an area developed to attract visitors and rejuvenate Changwon's tourism and declining business in the area.
From Masan Intercity Bus Terminal, cross the road to arrive at Daesin Seojeom (대신서점앞) Bus Stop.Take local bus No. 27, 101, or 122 and get off at Opposite of Burim Market (부림시장 맞은편) Bus Stop. (Burim Market is just besides Changdong Art village and is indicated in the section below.
All buses available at Burim Market (부림시장)- Green Bus: 24, 27, 251, 253- Blue Bus: 101, 103, 112, 122
Take Taxi: As Changwon is rather small, getting around the town in taxi does not really cost that much. A a5 minutes ride costs 3000 won, and should get you from Changwon station, Changwon Masan Station (KTX) or Changwon/Masan bus terminal to Sang Sang Gil.
Alight at Sang Sang Gil and walk into Sang Sang Gil street. The picture below was taken in May, so the cheery blossoms would probably not be there is you visit it at different seasons. But the Sang Sang Gil sign at the background is a fixture, which taxi drivers should know.
However, Sang Sang Gil is not a location visited by locals, so if the taxi driver is not sure, asked for Changdong Market. Directly opposite Changdong Market is Burim Market which is beside Sang Sang Gil. It is best to print out the picture of Changdong Market (Picture below) or Burim Market (2 pictures below) and show it to the driver.
This is a local market which residents should recognize. If you walk through the market, you will arrive at the other end of Sang Sang Gil.
If you walk from the start of Sang Sang Gil, there is actually a grey street sign in one corner which points out that there are 2 alleys, which forms the Changdong Art Village. It is ridiculously well-blended with the surrounding colour and tone, so I totally missed it even after walking up and down Sang Sang Gil 3 times. For your information, you will only need 5-10 minutes to walk down Sang Sang Gil. The only reason why I persisted is that there is really nothing much else to see at Sang Sang Gil.
If you see the entrance of Burim market from Sang Sang Gil side (picture below), it means you have missed the Art Village alley)
The pictures below are about it.
I think the project did not quite take off as the local participation is missing. It is beautiful, but does it tell a story of what Changwon or maybe Changdong market? No, it doesn't. In the end I left the place feeling like I have seen some creativity and really nice way to doing up letter boxes and street walls, but I know nothing about where it has been, how it is valuable to the locals or what its dreams are.
I actually found more inspiration having my lunch at Changdong Market.
Meal options: We found a stall selling Gimbap in Chandong Market, runned by an ajumma who was busy preparing it at the stall's entrance. We went in intending to order 2 Gimbaps to try. (They were really fresh and cheap- 3000 won for 2) What was surprising good was the mandu guk (dumpling soup, left picture). I thought the broth taste better than the ones I had elsewhere. Sweet anchovy taste of the broth with dumplings which has optimal amount of dumpling skin and pork fillings. The feel and texture was harmonously enhanced by the broth. The other item we ordered was nangmyeong (cold noodles), which was also very good. Refreshing, harmonuos blend of noodles and broth with a hint of sasame oil. I hardly notice the gochang sauce (chilly bean paste) that goes with it. I think the cook has mastered the amount of ingredients to create such profound balance in the dish.