Unlocked: Filming Locations Of Your Favourite Korean Shows

Unlocked: Filming Locations Of Your Favourite Korean Shows

Crazy over Korean dramas and movies? Here are some of the interesting filming locations you may want to personally see in South Korea.

Now that I look back, I can’t recall when my obsession with filming locations started.

Perhaps it was during my first trip to Taiwan when I wanted to look for Jay Chou’s movie, Secret, filming location. When I went to Europe, I wanted to look for the railway tracks in Scotland which was filmed when the train was making their way to Hogwarts. Then I comforted myself by visiting Harry Potter filming studios which was a lot more convenient than the random Scottish railway tracks in the middle of nowhere.

Whatever the reason was, seems like this obsession of mine is here to stay. With that, I present to you a summary of *UNLOCKED* filming locations which I have covered in Korea and also a couple of places I wish to visit.

1. To The Beautiful You (Drama) 아름다운 그대에게 Episode 3-4 – Pension Stay

korea filming locations

This place is situated at the western coast of Korea, on an island called Anmyeon-do. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to get to this place from Seoul and of course, it is recommended that you stay a night in this lovely island.

However, this place isn’t very ready to welcome foreign visitors who are unable to read Korean. Reservation of rooms can only be confirmed upon payment to a Korean bank account and all the communication has to be made in Korean.

Despite our short 18 hours stay on this island, we enjoyed it so much that my friends were all marking this place down as a honeymoon destination.

2. Secretly Greatly (Movie) 은밀하게 위대하게 – Village

Have you watched this movie? It was a great hit in Korea.

My friend is a huge fan of this show and she researched to find the filming location of this place and yes, we did manage to find it!

However, the sad thing is, the actual set doesn’t exist anymore. His home and the grocery shop was built specially for the movie and when the filming ended, the set was torn down. We tried so hard to look for a place which didn’t exist. I only found out after I return to SG and really sat down and research, scrolling through Korean blogs (translated by Google translate).

So, you might wonder, why do they tear down the filming set?

Because of people like me. =(

When a random village like this got chosen to be a filming location, all the people living there have to survive with all the noise for about 1 to 2 weeks and when the filming ends, their peace doesn’t end. The entire village will be flooded with over enthusiastic people like my friend and I. By removing the actual filming set (which could mean the entire building), it may deter people from visiting the place because basically you don’t get to see much.

With that being said, if you were to visit a filming location which is not meant to be a touristy place, please be considerate and do not make too much noise and commotion. Put yourselves in the shoes of the villagers living there, as much as they embrace the new faces, they are dreading the noise. But, it’s a pity the remnants of the filming location is just some soil patch.

We started our journey with an approximately one hour train journey from Seoul.

Also read: Budget Travel: 12 Days in South Korea with Just SGD1600

Took the cute little public bus. It’s kind of funny because the bus driver saw us and knew immediately we look foreign and started rambling in Korean and I just leave it to my friend to talk to him. I think he asked us why we were going there and my friend just said sightseeing. I bet he had question marks all over but seriously if we told them we were going there on a filming location hunt, I think we will get even more bizarre stares.

And so our hunt started. The direction that my friend got was just an area. Thus, we couldn’t really know where the exact place is and we just roamed the slopes accompanied by a terrible noon heat.

It’s kind of cute to see so many houses sunning their chilli all over – from the pathways to the steps and even the roof! That was how hot it was – the perfect weather to dry your chilli.

Anyway, this village is actually an art village with random murals popping up. So I guess it was kind of legit for us to say that we were going sightseeing here.

Okay let me start off with screen captures from the movie to refresh your memory. As you can see below, there’s a supermarket (which doesn’t exist anymore). The pink house you see at the right side is still there and everything on the left side is computer graphic.

By the way, you see this pointed roof beside the tree? It is a church, situated right on top of a hill.

In the last screen capture, you can see the yellow railings. This is real too.

The yellow railings.

So what was the filming spot like BEFORE the production? I took the screen capture (below) from daum maps, dated 2011. So you can see how amazing it is for them to actually build up the entire supermarket building and even make it 2 storeys just for the movie.

Other screen captures from the movie, to focus on the murals in the background.

The pink house number plate is different now.

There’s this green house which I used as a marker to confirm that it was the place.

And these will be murals that you can see which still exist today.

Okay now moving on to the real adventure of photographs that I took in my actual visit.

Spot #1- Boy in the green sportswear mural by the stairs

This was featured at the end of the movie and the green sportswear attire is the outfit he wears every day.

Yes this is the yellow railings down the steep slope.

We were guessing whether this rooftop can be the filming spot for the playground. We are not sure but it could be a possibility.

And so we walked on to take photos of the other random wall / floor murals.

So now here for the directions:

From the metro station, you have to take a bus. It is kind of uphill somewhere along that straight road. Maybe you can consider walking in autumn or spring but if it’s summer, please just take the bus.

FYI, while I was Googling, I chanced upon an article saying that this village is currently in the plans for re-development. It might mean that if you visit this place 2 to 3 years down the road, it might not even exist anymore. I don’t know but it will be kind of sad. Then again, I’m glad to have visited this place.

3. Personal Taste (Drama) 개인의 취향 – Hanok House

Who can forget this lovely drama by Lee Min Ho? It used to be very popular back then.

 

One of the major drama settings is inside a Hanok House (Korean Traditional Wooden House). The shots in the house were actually filmed in a studio but the exterior is filmed at the Buckhon Hanok Village near Anguk Station!

Anyway, once again, this is a very slope-y destination. Please come prepared with a good pair of walking shoes as you will find yourself climbing up, up, and up.

As I weaved through the hanok houses, I told my friend that we should look out for a house with a 3-step entrance and with a tree in front; exactly as shown in the picture above. What happened on the actual day of adventure was that it was so freaking hot and I couldn’t find it and that I kind of gave up. There were tourist information people standing by, ready to provide assistance but oh gawd I was too shy to ask.

I almost resigned to fate that the house that I wanted to find was this and it is under renovation.

Anyway, so what happened that day was that I gave up and we decided to set off to Sam Cheong Dong to laze in a cafe. So we had to ask the tourist information helpers the directions. Then, (just pushing my luck) I asked if the drama house was under renovation as I am not able to find it. The guy replied me saying no no no and directed us to its location. Apparently, I had been walking along the wrong lane! Instead of exploring the right side, I turned left and continued walking, without going to the right side. That was the reason why I never found it.

Despite the heat and humidity, poor friend and I had to climb up the slopes once again and *phew!* this time round we found it!

This fits the criteria totally! 3 steps entrance and a tree! I was so happy to find it and seems like most people just walk past without posing with this house. I guess this drama is kind of, forgotten by now? It was a 2010 drama.

FYI, you will be able to see the N Seoul Tower in the distance.

Directions:

4. Heartstrings / You’ve fallen for me (Drama) 넌 내게 반했어 – Hanok House

Heartstrings is a very random drama which I watched randomly because it was showing on cable tv. So, once again the setting of this drama is that the two main leads are neighbours in a hanok village.

Okay I think that’s enough screenshots for you to recap if you have watched the drama.

And this is the place and the photos that I have taken:

As you can see, the numbers remain the same.

There were actually people living inside the house! I wonder how annoyed they must have felt to have so many random strangers just popping by.

Directions: Basically you just exit from exit 3 of Anguk station, walk along the path for about 7 to 10 mins and look to your right, and there you’ll be.

5. Disturbance by BoA Feat Taemin (MV) 그런 너 – Wooden Bridge

Ahhhh~ This is one of the loveliest,and also hard-to-find places that I’ve visited throughout this trip.

Well, my friend and I really love this song very much and she went all mad trying to find the wooden bridge which appeared in the MV. She kind of Googled for weeks and we finally found out that this bridge was part of a cycling route in Korea. After researching further, I found the exact location and directions to this place. Will touch on the directions later.

When I came back from Korea, I was looking through buzzkorea website and I realised that Ricky Kim went on a cycling trip in Korea and he also cycled across this bridge

View from 2:43 onwards if you want to just watch the bridge footage. After this video, I learnt that the name of this bridge is Bukhangang Railroad Bridge. This was a railroad which was turned into a bike route.

Above (taken by me); Below (Screen Capture from MV)

This was the view which greeted us when we alighted at Ungilsan Metro station.

Pretty right? I love contouring mountain lines.

And we see the bridge from afar.

It is 564m long.

Once again, we were random foreigners getting random stares from fast-paced cyclists.

There was this other bridge in a distance which was newly built.

And along the bridge, there were random glass panels which allow you to look down.

Beautiful mountains.

The plan was to go as early as possible so that the bridge would be so empty and we can photoshoot without anyone disturbing us (like how they did it in the MV) but plans always don’t go your way. Another plan was that I bring my grad gown to Korea and take some photos with it but once again, plans will fail.

The closest we ever got with an empty bridge.

Anyway, somewhere somehow it started getting mistier and mistier and mistier and then it started raining.

The plan was for us to walk from one end to the other and depart from the other metro station but we didn’t make it to that end.

Directions for the place:

Go to Cheongnyangyi and change to the Jungang line and take the train all the way till Ungilsan station (approximately 35 mins). Exit by exit 2 and then walk towards the river. There is a foot path for you to follow. Actually, I am unsure if there are bicycle rental shops at the station but it would have been an amazing experience if you actually cycled down the path.

Anyway, after the trip I did a little more research and I realised that Yangsuri is actually a very beautiful park which I wished I had visted.

I’ve found a few links to other websites where you can read up more about this amazing place.

http://discoveringkorea.com/090920/yangsuri-where-two-rivers-meet

http://chincha.co.uk/2013/06/daytripping-to-yangsu-ri

6. Boys over Flowers (Drama) 꽃보다 남자 – School @ Gyeonggi English Village, Yangpyeong Camp

 

I’m sure most people would have heard about F4 and the popular drama starring Lee Min Ho, KHJ, etc.

In my previous trip back in summer 2011, I have visited this place. Anyways, it also became another filming spot for SHINee’s World Concert 2 VCR for “Tie a Yellow Ribbon round to old oak tree”.

You can read more about this place in my previous entry.

Places that I have yet to visit

1. SHINee World Concert 2 VCR (Water) – Jebudo

Yes this is the MV which started my research for this interesting island situated at the west of Korea.

Jebudo (제부도) – This is one mystical island which shows a somewhat biblical phenomenon of the parting of sea. Twice a day, the 2.3km stretch of waterway between Jebudo and mainland divides into foreshore. If you were stuck on either side, you will have to wait until the waterway parts again.

FYI, this phenomenon isn’t exclusive to just Jebudo. You can read more here.

My plan for Jebudo was to visit the lighthouse and dig for clams and BBQ the clams that I have dug out from the mud.

Also, I was so keen on visiting the Santorini Pension & Smurfs Pension. I guess, there will be a next time.

2. Petite France

This place should be rather popular with people watching running man. It has been featured in one episode starring nichkhun. Also, some parts of the Secret Garden drama is filmed at this place too. Beethoven Virus, a drama I didn’t watch, also filmed here. (UPDATE) Popular K-drama You Who Came From The Stars also had a scene filmed here. It has resulted in many fans flocking to this place to visit.

So, you might wonder, what’s so special about this place? It features the famous “Little Prince” which is a favourite among many people but I can’t seem to really enjoy the story. I’ve read the book, watched the cartoon and I still can’t grasp the emotional connection people have with this story.

However, I do have friends who feel that this attraction is too pricey for the limited sightseeing spots. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to get to this place from Seoul via public transport. Anyway, most people will visit Petite France together with Nami Island and Garden of the Morning Calm.

3. Nami Island

Yes this place is famous because of Winter Sonata. This is my mum’s favourite drama and she recaps the story to me so many times that I know exactly what happens despite not watching the drama.

(Something random) Before I step into Korea, I always thought Nami Island was far away from Seoul, lying along the coast. Never did I imagine that Nami Island is a “landlocked”island which is only 5 minutes by Ferry from mainland?

Most people take the boat to Nami Island but if I want to do it the cool way,

I’m SO GOING TO ZIPLINE TO NAMI ISLAND!

You can get more information about directions from here.

4. Garden of Morning Calm

If you’re visiting Nami Island and/or Petite France, there is one more tourist attraction which is also frequently visited because it is part of the bus route in Gapyeong region.

This place has been featured in the drama You’re Beautiful, featuring JKS, Park Shin Hye, etc. It was during the part where they were doing an outdoor suit and coordi noona gave PSH a dress to wear in the glasshouse. Yes, this place is in the calming garden.

Just like its name, this place is indeed a very beautiful garden, opened all year round, with different flowers and decorations to welcome different seasons.

Another variety show has also featured this place too. tvN’s Taxi, episode featuring SHINee. In this episode, you get to see what the place looks like during a winter night. Magnificent display of light to create a romantic backdrop.

5. Khuntoria We Got Married – House

 

It took me forever to find this place and I was supposed to visit 2 years ago but I never had the time to do so.

According to Google maps, it will take approximately 35 mins to get there by foot from Hongik University Metro Station.

56-56 Jeunggaro2-gil, Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

 

6. That Winter the Wind Blows – House @ Jade Garden

Yes this was a really good drama that I enjoyed. The actors were really good in bringing out the character and their roles in the show and yes the actual house is actually in a proper attraction that can be visited.

Coincidentally, while Googling, I discovered that it is also the filming spot for “Love Rain” the drama starring JKS and Yoona.

This place was the location where WGM did their photoshoot too!

For more info and directions you can refer to here.

* * *

I took 3 weeks to complete this post because of the massive photos and directional guides.

Also read: 6 Most Uniquely Themed Stays in South Korea

Contributed by Follow My Footsteps x Flyhoneystars.

About Author

Follow my Footsteps
Follow my Footsteps

The author is a fan of free and easy travel and she enjoys exploring really random destinations, which could range from filming locations to places in those viral photos that are shared online. Right now, finding data sim or free wifi is the first thing she does in every travel destination as she enjoys flooding her timeline with "wish you were here" photos.

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