Part of the allure of visiting South Korea is the appeal of the Hallyu Wave, which includes K-dramas and K-pop. Hallyu is a Chinese word that literally means “Korean wave,” referring to the global popularity of the country’s culture. It all began in the 1990s, driven by K-dramas and K-pop, and has since included social media.
The Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) Manila recently arranged a trip to famous K-drama film locations, where fans can visit and reenact their favorite scenes. It reminds you of why you fell in love with your favorite drama (or oppa) in the first place. So, calling all K-drama fans: you can now make these places your destination when going to Korea.
Gangneung Jumunjin Sand Arrester
Goblin was my first drama, and it brought me down the K-drama rabbit hole, so it holds a special place in my heart. A memorable scene was when Gong Yoo, as the Goblin, unexpectedly gets summoned by Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go Eun’s character) at a very low point in her life. It was their first meeting. The location of this was the Jumunjin Sand Arrester, located in Gangneung City in Gangwon-do. A large sign with a photo of this particular scene encourages visitors to recreate the part. Armed with a red muffler and a bouquet of white buckwheat flowers, I posed for photos. Even if Gong Yoo wasn’t there, it was a fun experience and made me relive and get the feels for Goblin again.
Garden of Morning Calm
Many K-drama scenes were filmed in the beautiful Garden of Morning Calm, such as Love in the Moonlight with Park Bo-gum, She Was Pretty with Park Seo-joon, and the recent King’s Affection with Rowoon and Red Sleeve with Lee Joon-ho. There was also that suspension bridge scene in Now We Are Breaking Up with Song Hye-kyo and Jang Ki-yong. Imagine being surrounded by over 5,000 species of flowers and plants, 22 gardens, and even a private garden. Tranquility and peace permeate you as you enter this wonderful paradise. At the same time, you are energized by the positive vibes of the greenery. The Garden of Morning Calm is an hour’s drive from Seoul, and is located in the Gyeong-gi province.
Sky Bay Hotel Gyeongpo
Do you remember that scene in Business Proposal where Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop’s character) suddenly shows up to save Shin-hari (played by Kim Sejeong) from the scrutiny of her friends, and claims she was his girlfriend? This and an overnight segment were filmed at the Sky Bay Hotel. In Yumi’s Cells, the crashing waves and stunning view of the sea were shown while Kim Go-eun and Ahn Bo-hyun awkwardly checked into a room. This impressive hotel is located on the east coast of South Korea in Gangneung City, Gangwon-do, known for its beautiful beaches, seafood, surfing, and more. The Marina Bay Sands-looking property is located right in front of the beach.
Gamgodang-gil and Insadong Antique Street
There’s an iconic scene in Goblin where Gong Yoo, holding an umbrella, passes by Kim Go-eun in what looks like the outside of a hanok, which is a traditional Korean house. This was shot at Gamgodang-gil. A part of Our Beloved Summer with Choi Woo-shik and Kim Da-mi was also filmed on the same street. This unique area, including the nearby Insadong Antique Street, is a mixture of the old and the new, with charming cafes, stores, ice cream shops, and galleries.