Hyehwa and Ihwa Mural Village (by Annie)

This week I traveled to Ihwa Mural Village located on Mt. Naksan (not to be confused with Mt. Namsan and N Seoul Tower). This spot is an excellent place to spend an afternoon, especially when the weather is as lovely as it was. It’s a little bit of a walk but once you reach your destination, it’ll be worth it. The walls and stairs have been painted with beautiful murals (hence its name) that you can look at and appreciate or step right up to and look as if you were in the mural itself. Many murals are guest stars in numerous K-dramas which is what made it the popular spot it is today. The best part about this destination: its free!

To start, I’m going to explain how to get there. There might be easier ways to walk to Ihwa Mural Village but this one had a stunning view a nice hike up a mini mountain. It also had different pieces of artwork all the way up such as statues, paintings, and figurines so it was a fun way to explore.

First take Hyehwa Station (Line 4) Exit 2. Walk along Daehangno for about 500 m. Turn left at Ihwajang-gil and walk up for another 400m. After this point, there will be many signs for you to follow.

Unfortunately, I had had a long day, and my phone died by the time I reached Hyehwa station. These pictures were borrowed from others, but my experience in the village was still fun even without something to post on Instagram. Once you’ve arrive at Ihwa Mural village, explore all the different ways you can possibly go. There were new surprises every time I chose a different direction. I don’t want to spoil anything too badly, so I’ll only put a few photos as examples. The first one you should see once you arrive is possibly the most famous painting in the mural village. This particular mural is made so that people can look like they have wings when they lean against the wall. As the faded middle part proves, this is a very popular spot for a photo op.

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This next one is found close to the wing mural, and it’s one of my favorites. Though simple, it’s appealing to look at and fun to walk on as you climb the stairs. There’s also a coffee and tea shop right around the corner of these stairs, which is a great spot to relax after the walk up to the mural village.

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Those are just two of the numerous number of murals found in Ihwa Mural Village. After your done viewing all there is to see in the village, I suggest a good look around Hyehwa. I used to live in this area so I can speak for myself when I say it’s dangerous for any shopaholics. Though not as well known, Hyehwa has many different stores from side boutiques to mainstream cosmetic stores like the Face Shop. There’s a movie theatre, Karaoke rooms, sweet shops, etc. They have many famous coffee shops that can cure the coffee lover’s caffeine fix such as Hakrim Dabang and b2Project (both I strongly suggest). Finally, they have a huge variety of food for even the pickiest eater and you can always find a lot of different options under 10,000 won (excluding alcohol of course). I ate at a Chinese restraint and order three dishes to share among four people. I spent 5,000 won and was completely stuffed.  I’ve had chicken and beer in that area as well and I’ve only spent 15,000 won (with 2 beers). It’s an excellent place for the broke college kid who’s looking for cheap eats and free activities in the fall.

Pictures from https://artnseoul.wordpress.com/tag/ihwa-mural-village/ and http://www.myseoulsearching.com/2014/09/hanging-out-in-hyehwa.html which have more great suggestions for Hyehwa food and drink!

By Annie Lynch( from FSU)

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