Gamcheon Cultural Village- Busan

Leaving the beach to finally be cultural we naturally made a beeline for the cultural village. This took an unexpected turn when we met a local on the Metro who said he would escort us. Now initially I was skeptical; I live in London so if that happened there, well it just wouldn’t. And they would most likely mug you at the end of it. We proceeded nonetheless, a little unsure if some sort of payment was going to be involved. I eventually asked, which I immediately felt bad about- he just wanted to show us his country. Just being a nice guy, but the concept was completely misread by this Brit.

The cultural village was beautiful, compared to Machu Picchu village and you can see why. The colourful houses dotting and weaving up the side of a mountain. The views from cutesy cafes, teeny museums and shops were breathtaking; sweeping down the mountainside onto the city and out the sea. A bit of a showstopper.

Our new friend Eddie led us through, didn’t allow too much dawdling time, very efficient, kindly telling us when would be a good time for a photo.We wandered back through the streets, chatting away to Eddie who took good care of us and wanted to give us a present. I mean of course he did, and man did I feel like a bitch for my earlier comment! Before I knew it he’d whipped out his own wallet, emptied the contents and gave it to me. He actually gave me his fucking wallet! Then handed over his fan and charging pack to my friends. I mean they’re expensive! He gave away his entire possessions! After much protesting we managed to find a gift for Eddie and invited him out with us later. He didn’t come but it was wonderful and humbling to experience such kindness and generosity from a stranger. It’s a sentiment that we saw again and again from so many locals in Korea. Thank you!

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