Leaving footprints, heart and soul in Korea: Ihwa Mural Village on Day 6
12 December 2014
We woke up early for breakfast because were planned to visit a few places on our list today. Staying at MOM’s house entitled us to have free breakfast in the cafe.
Actually they provide bread that you can toast yourself, sometimes croissants, coffee, tea and juice. They also provide butter and jam. Its a simple breakfast so don’t expect too much lol.
After breakfast, we made our way to Ihwa Mural Village. While looking for places to go to in Seoul, I stumbled upon beautiful photos of Ihwa Mural Village online so I suggested to the bestie that we pay this place a visit.
Ihwa Mural Village is located in Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si. The local Public Art Committee carried out the Naksan Project in 2006 to improve the local environment of Ihwa Village. Approximately 60 artists painted walls and installed artworks for the project. Visitors to the village can enjoy looking for and viewing the beautiful murals and sculptures in the village. (Credit: KTO)
The mural village was actually situated on a hill, so be prepared to climb a lot of steps and little hills. I think some of us were not prepared for all the climb today. Lol.
There were really a lot of steep steps and I was panting while climbing it! I am a regular gym go-er so if I am breathless means that its really tough. While climbing up the endless steps, I was kind of worried that I was leading the group to the wrong direction so I wanted to climb quickly to make sure we were on track.
The minute I saw this, I knew we had already arrived.
Perhaps the artists wanted to soothe the pain and ease the feeling of almost dying while climbing up the stairs, they painted the stairs beautifully so that it can be a good distraction.
I especially love these flowers on the stairs.
This quaint little village was exciting to explore. At first we did not know which corners to turn, which alley should we walk through but there was actually a map to tell us where the murals were.
It was like playing a game of treasure hunt. The neighbourhood was surprisingly quiet too, even though there were many locals and tourists walking around taking photos.
Since it was winter it was really cold and it was pretty windy too. I guess its expected because we were on hill.
While the murals continue to amaze me, what attracted me too were the little cafes that can be found around the village. Some of the cafes were so small, cosy and looked really inviting. This was a surprise to me because initially I thought there were only houses here.
Our stroll took longer than expected as we continued to pose for photos and occasionally grab the attention of photographers and tourists around. While taking photos for Naqiyah on the stairs, some photographers joined me and started to snap away too. I was too stunned because I was worried that Naqiyah would not be comfortable with it but she kept standing there and posing for them as they snap way with their huge cameras! Lol!!
Yup yup, she is that pretty. This has never and will never happen to me by the way lol.
While I was filled with admiration for the beautiful murals, this wall attracted me the most. It says ‘Before I die’ and people have been writing on this wall all list of things they want to do before they die. I wish I could read some of the things written but unfortunately most are in korean.
I think this place would have been lovelier in summer. The trees, the breeze, the rustic old houses, it would have been a sight not to be missed.
I am such a flower girl. I love flowers here, there, everywhere.
We had the help of a group young korean ladies to take this group photo of us and they kept uttering “ye-ppu-da” meaning ‘beautiful’ in korean. This is something I have never experience before too but alas I am travelling with bestie’s family who have inherited all the good looking genes from their ancestors. Sooooooooooo…..I shall pretend that they were referring me as beautiful too. Lol. #selfpraise
Saw a giant bird cage and my first instinct is to get myself trapped in it.
As we continued to walk, we realized we have reach the peak of the hill?
So I guess we have to take some pretty and dorky photos of ourselves here.
The view was spectacular. I wish we could stay longer here to simply admire the view but it was too cold and I could not feel my nose and fingers even with the gloves on.
We took a different route down so that we can see the other unseen murals around the village.
This cat mural on the wall brought the temporary madness in Effa and me. We are crazy catwomen.
Could not resist doing this pose since the monkey statue was calling me to kiss it.
Here is the theme on conversation for the past few days. Don’t ask me why. Ask Effa.
I believe there were more hidden murals that we did not manage to see. I remember seeing some unique paintings and murals on the wall online that we did not come across. Perhaps, there’s another hidden route that we missed out? I have no idea where the area starts and end because this place, after all is a residential area.
Some of the murals also looked kind of faded. I hope they will continue to restore this place. Its such a unique place in the midst of bustling Seoul and it has obviously attracted photographers, travelers and tourists from around the world.
We decided to make our way back to Myeongdong for lunch. All that walking in the cold made us hungry.
Lunch at Agra Indian Restaurant.
The place looked so posh even the toilets looked beautiful.
They even had a mini dressing table in the toilet so that ladies can doll up before leaving. Wow. That’s me in the mirror, clearly not using the dressing table.
I thought it would be pricey here but it was not as expensive as I thought. The food was great too and we were stuffing our faces too quickly for our own good. Lol.
Happy faces after food.
We walked back to our guest house to rest for a while because we wanted to visit Namsan Tower when the sun was setting. I shall write about Namsan Tower in my next entry.