I know its been a while. But I forgot that this was a pending project to work on. So next up on the trip after Day 1 at Sinchon, Insadong and Bukchon Hanok Village – here goes Day 3, where we spend most of our time at the Ihwa Mural Village. We also took a trip to Yonsei University (where I used to study) just for reminiscing sake.
The village was honestly one of the hardest places to get to. Some of us were really panting on the way up. I would definitely recommend to get to this place on a day with good weather (check the weather forecast) and please bring some water for yourselves. Well, I’m kind of exaggerating to be honest – but I think my tip can potentially make your walk up a little more comfortable.
I’ve heard alot about the Mural Village because the place is known for its street art. I imagined the place to be this huge residential area where we just walk and chill with lots of cafes. It didn’t turn out quite like that. For me, it felt like a place where I buy tickets to, and its just random street art here and there (without random cafes everywhere) at a huge wide space. It’s almost like an art museum, but open space.
The Inhwa Mural Village is located at Hyehwa – which I heard is an upcoming place like Sinchon. So I was looking forward to walk around the area after finishing the mural village.
So lets get to the day!
Before heading to HyeHwa, we got ourselves some quick breakfast and Twosome Place in Hongdae where we stay. It’s really convenient there, because the cafes are just EVERYWHERE!
We then headed straight for the area after breakfast. We took the train the Hyehwa through Line 4 and took Exit 2. For further directions, hopefully the below information helps :-
Directions: Take a left after Marronnier Park after exiting from the subway station (Exit 2). Walk straight and headsouthward toward the Naksan Park and you will begin to come across murals (3 to 5 minutes).
(Walk 300m then turn left at large intersection→Walk 100m then turn left at Ministop convenience store→walk 200m)
This is the park where we’re supposed to walk to. It’s only about 150m – 200m from the subway exit so you can easily spot it. We spotted this old granny picking up trash and she had a lovely companion with her. So many grannies take around huge dogs (Siberians especially!). Quite a number of people still came by to say hello to the little cute thing. The granny just did her thing.
At the park, you’ll see this whole area up ahead. Honestly, it IS pretty confusing at which aisle to take to end up here. All I can say is – just ask where is Ihwa Mural Village.
Or just show this text to the locals (이화벽화마을 어떻게가요?) or if you’d just like to say the place of the name, it’s Ee-hwa//Byok-Hwa//Ma-Ool. That stands for Ihwa//Mural//Village.
Will you look at the incline of the roads? It gets steeper.
Along the way, we still come by random cafes and neighbourhood stores. I like the vibe of this place because it feels very unpolished and the people around are really just living their own lives. It’s not like Hongdae where everything just seems so polished and everyone is so aware and conscious about themselves.
We got ourselves come kimbab rolls because we just couldn’t anticipate how far we’d have to walk. I bookmarked this website that showed the PERFECT instructions on how to get there – photo by photo – but I couldn’t find it anymore by the time we were there. My signal on the wifi egg was really bad, so I had to hog onto Ming Yue’s.
The walk was definitely a lot slower than normal because of the incline.
Just an example of some random stairs that we always have to walk up without prior notice. It’s like a Surprise Me, Stairs game all the time.
One of the random alleyways. I can imagine a really hipster photo being taken at every corner in this place. Or actually just the whole of Seoul. CRAY.
There were some samples along the way and it was octopus I remember. Mom and I ran over to grab some to eat on to fuel our body for this hike pfft. I WILL SURVIVE.
We came to a point we just had to surrender to this. Lemonade booth just CALLED OUT to us.
It was the best decision made that afternoon. The sun was scorching hot, it was one of the warmest days during our 10-day trip in Seoul.
Getting to a part where we oversee the roof. This reminds me abit of the one we saw in Bukchon Hanok Village but this one is really just the rooftops of random houses that aren’t polished for tourists. I can easily see a Korean Drama being filmed in any of these rooftops, especially the ones painted in marble green. I sometimes feel like I recognise the rooftops from certain dramas too. But that’s definitely just my imagination – or not?
Everybody enjoying the view for a good 5 minutes before we continued the walk up to the mural village.
At this point I thought we were going to be lost, but cause I read that its also a good idea to get lost trying to find the place because there’s just so many hidden jewels to be discovered around it area. Or that may just be me trying to give confidence. Sometimes it is a little scary to be the only one who knows the way amongst 10 people.
After that little beautiful stroll past trees and random statues, we were finally beginning to see random wall art. I knew we were coming close the the main area of the mural village. The art pieces there are certainly random, and they make things like electrical boxes or meters look simply adorable and interesting to look at!
Before getting there, the only thing I knew about the village was this looong flight of stairs that had a painting of fishes on it. The next thing I found out about it was that it was worth going to, so I went straight for the directions. I didn’t even look at photos (i did look at random vlogs online though!) because I really wanted to be surprised.
If you have the time, maybe you wanna run through the few photos I took of the place and see if you’d like to spend half a day here!
Finally found this flight of stairs.
It is one of the main landmarks where drama shoots take place. I can see why, it looks really beautiful from far. Like a flat painting in the middle of nowhere. It was a pain trying to get a clean shot of myself and the stairs though. This was the clearest I got. Usually everyone is just bustling up and down and trust me, this shot was taken with at least 10 strangers just staring back at me waiting for their turn to sit down on one of those steps. I will call this the awkward photo spot.
Look at that thing the put up at their door, the girl with the hijab. I saw that and was like O_O It’s like a flat stature but three dimensional as well. I went around it to figure out how it’s done then I looked left and saw the museum that was showcasing this genre of statures. It was the Naxan art space, and I’m not sure if the rotate artists/artworks – but the statures that was in this place was quite a new type of art for me. Everything was flat form the front, like nothing thicker than three fingers put together, but it looks so whole from the side. They have this tall one at the entrance to tease you on what’s inside.
Look at this! The face was definitely no wider than three fingers from the front. But It looks like a normal piece of art from the side.
We walked abit more to find another flight of stairs. I believe this one was on Rooftop Prince – though I only vaguely remember the scene. Many of them were just going up stairs to explore the neighbourhood but honestly the weather was not cooperating with us, and all of us had to go because getting separated was just going to be a hassle. We were already quite tired by the time we got to the village, so we weren’t too interested in getting up as well.
Walk, walk, walk
Came to just take a photo of it! Have to take one myself also even if I’m not in it. Stepped on it abit also so I can say ya I was there pfft. /marking territories
This one was quite cheesy so I didn’t take a photo. Actually, I would have lah but seriously TOO many people looking on. I don’t think I want to take a photo under that pressure pfft. Also another awkward photo spot.
These two siblings doing the squat for that white fury thing
After about 1 hour of brisk strolling in the niehgborhood, we were pretty much at the end. I’m sure you would take a longer time if you went up the stairs. We all took a rest at the stalls where they sold drinks and snacks, as well as some group photos. I think we rested for about 15 minutes then we were already calling for food pfft.
The part where it all ends
Le familia. Sorry Nick, I just don’t understand why there isn’t a photo of you out of all 6 shots where you look normal.
You see. They still had to test our leg control even when we’re getting out of the place. Slow and steady steps down back to the neighborhood.
I wanted to walk around Hyehwa in the beginning, but knew it was just going to be too much walking in a day – so I gave up.
We were contemplating on where to eat while walking down slowly but surely (lol), then we came pass this restaurant that was really empty. I took a quick look at the menu that said GAMJATANG (soup with potatoes, vermicilli noodles and meat in it) and just said YES! I love gamjatang. And because nobody was there, food was guaranteed to be quick. It was also so warm, we asked the ajummas to turn on the aircond for us. They didn’t seem to pleased, but I think it was alright to be a demanding tourist sometimes. Teehee.
After that we headed back to Sinchon. The rest didn’t follow us so they went back to Hongdae. I got my familia and Ming Yue to come with me to just walk around the place. To get to Sinchon, just get to Line 2!
Took a photo of this clown. He seemed so out of place. I think it’s cause it’s only usual to see clowns in an atmosphere of balloons, kids and colours. Seeing this one sit here, just feels a little sad. We took a detour from Sinchon to Yonsei University. It was going through a massive construction phase – but we still managed to get into the campus (no ID required). Here’s one of my favorite places in Yonsei to take photos at.
The place was really quiet so we really just walked around and absorbed whatever was there. Also note that by this time, our legs were already pulsating from all the walking pfft. #weaklings
After that we heading back to where the shops were for dinner. We walked around to see what was there to eat, and I remembered that Mom and I really wanted to have jjimdalg (braised chicken in special black sauce).
The zebra crossing infront of Yonsei.
I saw one of the signboards around the corner the night before when we were browsing around so we spent a good 30 minutes looking for it. We finally found it, got excited, walked up, and was served to the table. So this is supposed to be a really yummy black sauce chicken where the chicken is braised till its soft and it goes SUPER well with rice.
Sigh, but when we were at the table I already knew it was a fake version instead of the one we always go to. Rash decisions. Sad.
Okay this pretty much wraps up Day 3 in Seoul. If you’d like to take a look at my day visually – here’s a vlog for you to watch!