Dreamlike Mural at Ihwa Mural Village
Ihwa Mural Village is located at Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu in Seoul where most of the local art performances and musical theatres are based at. Back in 2006, in order to improve the village environment, the local public art committee took the initiative in carrying the Naksan Art Project. Around 60 artists painted the walls installed artworks.
Despite the long walks and uphills, there are plenty of mural arts in the village. It is one of the most popular places visited by students and foreign visitors. For your first time visit, do not rely on the sign of the map at different parts of the village too much as it is not exactly the same as the other. With the map, follow your instincts you will find 11 iconic mural arts.
I got lost at the start of finding the village until I bumped into another traveller from Singapore who is looking for the place. So, we decided to search for the village together. To get there, we suppose to go straight all the way uphill instead of turning right where there is a wall full of mural arts. That path leads to the back streets of residential area. We walked uphill followed by passing Naksan Park and residential area. At the entrance of Naksan Park, we can see the Namsan Tower from afar.
Finally, we have reached the village. It took us around an hour or two to explore the whole village. Take note that the locals live in the village so be respectful and don’t make a lot of noises. Most of the mural arts are located at the main streets and community staircases. If you feel tired and want to have a drink, why not stop by at some unique cafes. You can also visit some of the handicrafts stores, too.
Although we took a few wrong turns and walked a lot in the hot weather during summer, it was a fun journey in exploring the streets of Ihwa Mural Village full of murals. Even though we took the wrong turns, we found interesting things in small hidden streets. Also, we bumped into students who asked one of us to help them take a picture. In return, they want to take a selfie with us. It was a lovely and enjoyable encounter. Ihwa Mural Village has amazing arts with lots of fun to jump in to be one with art, such as the love swing and angel wings. At first, it is hard to find the village but you will reach their easily with the help of the map and directions given by the locals or students along the way. This is definitely one of the unique places to visit in Seoul.
Directions: Take the Seoul metro to Hyehwa Station, exit 2. Walk straight towards Marronnier Park and turn left. Walk pass Arco Arts Center and continue until you reach Dongsung-gil. Turn right at Dongsung-gil and then turn left at Guldari-gil. Follow Guldari-gil which leads you Naksan Park and Ihwa Mural Village. You will find the place if you spotted some popular mural arts.
You can view more photos of Ihwa Mural Village through here.
PS. We stopped by at a popular restaurant known for Hwangsaengga Kalguksu (Bukchon Kalguksu), which is noodle soup, for lunch. Review coming soon.