[TRAVEL] 7 Filming Locations in Korea to Kickstart Your K-journey

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With Hallyu taking Asia (and the world) by storm, watching Korean dramas, listening to Korean pop, and enjoying Korean variety programmes have easily become a daily affair for many.

Have you ever dreamt about placing yourself into the shoes of your favourite Korean artistes and retracing their steps, in hopes of living vicariously through the places they have visited? Have you ever fallen too deeply into the storyline of your favourite drama that you have this strong urge to head to South Korea for the ultimate drama pilgrimage and relive the scenes that made your heart ache? If the answer is yes, (x)clusive has got you covered.

Here are seven filming locations that we’ve curated for Hallyu fans to kickstart your K-journey!

#1 – Pocheon Art Valley

Pocheon Art Valley 03

A former granite quarry that was transformed into a culture and arts space, Pocheon Art Valley will amaze you with their sculptures that were built using a variety of mediums. Head to the ‘Stone Culture Exhibition Center’ to understand how Pocheon Art Valley was formed and the characteristics of granite via photos and videos. If you are interested in the study of stars and planets, the ‘Astronomical Science Museum’ should definitely be on your itinerary, for it boasts three halls with different exhibitions, and also astrology video surround viewing! Aside from these, there are also a solar (day) and astronomical (night) observatory for you to try your luck at planet-gazing.

Also located at Pocheon Art Valley is the popular and family-friendly attraction, also well-loved by the locals, Cheonjuho Lake. The lake is the filming location for popular K-dramas such as A Korean Odyssey, Legend of the Blue Sea, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and Can You Hear My Heart.

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Tip: Take the monorail (that runs every 15 minutes) to Cheonjuho Lake if you want to avoid walking 420m upslope. The ride takes around 4-5 minutes.

Pocheon Art Valley
234, Artvalley-ro, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 포천시 신북면 아트밸리로 234
+82-31-538-3043 March-October (9AM – 10PM) | November-February (9AM – 9PM) | Mondays (9AM – 7PM)

#2 – Ojukheon House

Ojukheon House 01

Taking a walk through Ojukheon House is likened to taking a glimpse through history. Observe the 5,000 won and 50,000 won bills and they will reveal a secret that cannot be found on any other currency in the world! The special relationship of these bills is in the two figures depicted – they are the only two figures known to be related as mother and son. Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), featured on the 50,000 won bill, is also the only woman featured on Korean currency and is well-known for being a good wife and wise mother. The Ojukheon House is named after the black bamboo trees that grow in the area, and it is featured on the 5,000 won bill behind Shin Saimdang’s third son, Yulgok Yi I (1536-1584). This is the birthplace of the mother-son pair, and a filming site of the drama Saimdang, Light’s Diary. Do check out the handprint sculpture monuments by the lead actors – Lee Young Ae and Song Seung Heon – in Ojukheon House too!

Ojukheon House 05

Ojukheon House
24, Yulgok-ro 3139beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 강릉시 율곡로3139번길 24 (죽헌동)
Ticket booth (9AM – 5PM) | Admission (9AM – 6PM) – Closed on Seollal and Chuseok

#3 – Gwangmyeong Cave

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Selected as one of the 2019-2020 Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Sites in South Korea, Gwangmyeong Cave is dubbed as the leading creative model that combines both culture and art, with the unique characteristics of a cave. The cave has seen hundreds of kilograms of gold mined from its start in 1912 to its closing in 1972 and was repurposed as a cultural site in 2011 after nearly 40 years of use as a storage for salted shrimp.

Be entranced by the in-cave attractions within the theme park, including the ‘Light Space’ with dancing LED lights throughout the tunnel, the ‘Cave Art Center’ that features a media facade show, the ‘Golden Waterfall’ that is 9m tall and 8.5m wide, with 1.4 ton of water flowing down every minute, and the 194m long ‘Gwangmyeong Wine Cave’. With plenty to explore and an average temperature of 12 degrees all year round, Gwangmyeong Cave is the perfect place to visit during the scorching summer months.

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Don’t forget to leave your footprints at Gwangmeong Cave! Purchase a golden plaque (choose from Longevity, Fortune, Peace, or Health) for 5,000won and hang them on either the ‘Wishing Wall’ or under the ‘Supernova of Wishes’ after writing down your wish.

Gwangmyeong Cave is also the filming location for Running Man’s 2015 Children’s Day Special (episode 245) and the K-drama ‘Drinking Solo’.

Gwangmyeong Cave
142, Gahak-ro 85beon-gil, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 광명시 가학로85번길 142
Daily (9AM – 6PM) -Closed on Mondays

#4 – Jumunjin Breakwater

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If you are an avid fan of Korean dramas, then you should be familiar with Winter Sonata, Descendants of the Sun and Goblin. The Pyeongchang, Gangneung, and Jeongseon area is the hub for the Korean wave, for these places are where many drama filming locations can be found.

Head over to Jumunjin Breakwater in Gangneung, where you can explore the blue waters of the east coast and take a nice long stroll along the beach, reminiscing the scene in Goblin where Eun Tak first met Kim Shin on the breakwaters in the first episode, in her signature red scarf, after blowing out the candles on her birthday cake.

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There are several similar looking breakwaters along the beach, but the right breakwater, where the scene was filmed, is the one in front of the huge Goblin signage. Bring along a red scarf and a small bouquet of buckwheat flowers and you’re all set to be part of that famous scene yourself!

Jumunjin Breakwater
1609, Haean-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 강릉시 주문진읍 해안로 1609

#5 – Jumunjin Beach

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A short 10-minute drive away from Jumunjin Breakwater is Jumunjin Beach, where the famed BTS Bus Stop is located. If you are an ARMY, it is time to visit the iconic bus stop that is featured on the group’s ‘You Never Walk Alone’ album as it is the perfect spot to recreate your favourite scenes from their concept photos! Unleash the inner fan in you and be the star of your very own album jacket here at the BTS Bus Stop!

BTS Busstop 02

Jumunjin Beach
210, Jumunbuk-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 강릉시 주문진읍 주문북로 210 (주문진읍)

#6 – Mirinae Holy Site

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Mirinae Holy Site was built to commemorate the canonization of martyred saints of Korea. Located in Anseong, this beautiful cathedral away from the city is also a well-known filming site for popular K-drama, Goblin, where Eun Tak first realizes that she can summon Kim Shin by simply blowing out a candle in episode 1. And more recently, it was seen in Memories of the Alhambra, when Yoo Jin Woo appears at Cha Hyung Seok’s one-year memorial service in episode 7.

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The peace and tranquility of this holy site is ideal for those who want some time away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, for a little self-reflection, and some me-time.

Mirinae Holy Site
420, Mirinaeseongji-ro, Yangseong-myeon, Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 안성시 양성면 미리내성지로 420
Daily (8AM – 6PM)

#7 – Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch

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Being constantly stuck in a concrete jungle, where all we see are buildings, buildings and more buildings, the thought of returning to nature during a vacation is welcoming. A trip to Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch undoubtedly brings out the best ranch experience, for you get a chance to hop on a tractor, ice-sledge on fertilizer bags, ride a horse, feed ranch animals, and even flock sheep! Being the widest grassland ranch in Asia, Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch possesses fantastic panoramic views that look like something out of a dream while you walk amid the early morning mist. Head to the observation deck and be mesmerized by the highland scenery and windmill meadows! There is nothing better than spending some time in the arms of nature to recharge from the bustle of city life at this place which the locals call the ‘Asia version of the Alps of Swiss’.

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With its natural beauty, it is no wonder Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch is a highly sought-after filming location for Korean dramas (Cinderella and the Four Knights, Plus Nine Boys, Saimdang, Light’s Diary, The Bride of Habaek), Korean variety programmes (Celebrity Bromance, Running Man, We Got Married), and K-pop music videos (GOT7’s ‘You Are’ MV, Monsta X’s ‘Newton’ MV, Snuper’s ‘The Star of Stars’ MV).

Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch
458-23, Kkotbadyangji-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
강원도 평창군 대관령면 꽃밭양지길 458-23
October-March (9AM – 5.30PM) | April-September (9AM – 6PM)

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There are too many filming locations that not only capture the beauty of South Korea’s landscape, but also give you a slight glimpse of history. In fact, there are just too many to feature in one article. Do tell us which attraction you want us to include or which artistes’ footsteps you want us to trace next!

With that said, are you ready to kickstart your K-journey?

This article is brought to you in collaboration with Korea Tourism Organization (Singapore)!

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