The day I first learnt about Gamcheon, I fall in love. Dubbed as Santorini of the East, and Machu Piccu Asia. But, for me it has its own unique identity, flight of stairs, artiest corners, colourful houses, with a sorrowful history hidden behind the happy and friendly villagers.
We had a quick breakfast before heading to Toseong Station and took a bus to Gamcheon. The hostel prepared some breads, eggs and hot drinks you can choose from, and you are allowed to cook your own dishes. Ichie and my sister prepared the breakfast and I promise to do the dishes.
Take Exit 6, walk straight, roughly around 500m to the junction then turn right! There will be a hospital nearby, there’s a bus stop in front of the hospital. Take bus no 2 or 2-2 to Gamcheon
Honestly, we couldn’t spot any hospital nearby, we just walk straight and asked for the direction from the shopkeeper at the convenience store nearby.
Riding a bus to Gamcheon could be quite challenging, especially when there’s no seat available, knowing that (I’ve read other bloggers experience regarding this), I hopped onto the front seat next to the driver. My sister sat behind me and Ichie was struggling to not falling down when the bus moves fast in the narrow lane and make a sudden turn at the junction, and I can’t stop giggling at the front seat. We hopped off at the main gate to the Gamcheon Village and bought some fruits and banana milks at mini stores nearby.
Touring the beautiful Gamcheon can be done freely or following the route stated on their map. We bought the map at the information counter for ₩1500, there’s 9 boxes where you ought to collect stamps from various pit stops, and you will be given free postcards at Haneul Maru and Community Center.
Ichie was waiting for us at the Art Gallery, as my sister and I went to the top roof at the Haneul Maru, to get the stamp, here where the famous reality show Running Man filmed one of their episode. We met an uncle, I shall say he is one of the volunteering guides in Gamcheon, he might be one of the residents too, and he guided us, where should we go next, marked the fastest route we should take, the best spot for taking pictures, and yeah he can speak English fluently. If you found this uncle while in Gamcheon, have a little chat with him.
Our next marked stop is the Little Prince photo zone, it’s a statue overlooking the Gamcheon Village. It was quiet a long queue before our turn. While waiting we decided how many shots and poses are we going to do so we can speed up and let the rest get the same chances to take photos there. We took three shots each, it was the fastest shoot with no retake I ever done!
The Little Prince is a poetic tale, with watercolour illustrations by the author, in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid – Wikipedia
We lost in an endless stairs-maze in Gamcheon afterwards, we weren’t sure which way we should be heading to, every corner brought us to the dead-end or, a place where we shouldn’t end up. So do the other girls that following us, we were truly sorry!
After climbing up and down thousand times we finally reached the next pit stops, the cold didn’t bother me anymore. Actually, we missed one pit stop so we made a U-turn (God, give me strength) and I wish they have an escalator to take me to that place faster. It’s amusing how the ahjumma and ahjussi, passing by us, walking faster than us, and wave and smile, like it’s nothing! And we are half of their age, panting and ugh..
We ended our tour successfully collected all 9 stamps required and I asked my sister, “So what are we getting?” Hoping for a small souvenir, perhaps, cash is almost impossible. She replied, “Satisfaction,” I died!
We weren’t sure where is the nearest place to perform a prayer, we never thought that it took us the whole day here. When we asked the reception counter, she pointed at the church nearby. Left with no choice, my sister went to one of the small room, I think, is a store room perhaps, next to it.
We took the same bus on the other side of the road, next to the pedestrian bridge back to ummm, I can’t remember which station the driver dropped us, I guess it’s the last station next to Jalgachi Market. We were hoping to visit the 40 Steps Cultural Street but we couldn’t find it so we strolled down the market nearby, had a last minute shopping before flying back to Kuala Lumpur the next day!
I have this song replayed in my mind, stuck like a broken tape, I close my eyes so I’m not seeing, And I shut my ears so I’m not hearing, I close my eyes so I’m not seeing, You’re out of reach and now I’m bleeding
I wanna see you again.