Korea Life & Reflections

Korea Off the Beaten Path: Masan Maritime Movie Set

Masan Maritime Movie Set

Masan, the town that I came to live in, is a small, industrial fishing port in one of the most Southern provinces of Korea. I originally came here because I saw it’s coastline location on google maps and imagined it would be a tropical paradise. (The fact that I didn’t look any further than google maps in my research to, ya know, google images, is a testament of how much I must have disliked living in Edinburgh!)

When I arrived and was greeted with a landscape of heavy machinery and dried squid, I was, of course, a bit disappointed. However, this only prompted me to make the effort to travel and see more of this country that I’ve called home for the past 3 years!

Masan Maritime Movie Set

It’s not often that I spend my weekends exploring Masan but, when I do, it often surprises me. After returning back from India I was disappointed to have left the country that I had come to really love. I was disappointed to not be in my ashram anymore and, most notably, disappointed to not be living by an actual tropical beach!

Whenever I get these gloomy travel blues, I fight fire with fire and do what I do best- travel! Veeran had often told me about a drama set in our city but we always put off going there in favour for explorations further afield. With a need to explore, and a serious need to rest and relax after 2 months of long distance train journeys and 5.30am yoga wake ups, I knew that it was finally time to visit The Masan Maritime Movie Set.

Masan Maritime Movie Set

Masan Maritime Movie Set

Found this hidden gem right on my doorstep. For anyone looking to see Korea off the beaten path, check this out! http://www.weegypsygirl.com/masan-maritime-movie-set/

The drama set is located on the outskirts of our city and the surrounding location is an example of what Korea would look like without the identical high-rise apartment buildings, smoky factories and streets filled with identical noraebangs. As you can imagine, it’s completely stunning and a lot more peaceful than our regular city life.

Masan Maritime Movie Set

When we visited at the end of November, the autumn foliage was just starting to turn brown but the temperature was still mild. The wee Scottish gypsy that I am, I was extremely chuffed to be out wearing a t-shirt in November. (Um, is this real life?)

Masan Maritime Movie Set

The drama set is popular with Korean daytrippers, many of whom travel from all over the country to visit. Most of them want to see the scenes that their favourite movies were set in. For Veeran and I, we had never heard of any of the period dramas that were filmed there but we were excited for the opportunity to whip out the camera and spend a bit of time together after being apart for 2 months. (Awwww.)

Masan Maritime Movie Set

Selfie game = not strong

Masan Maritime Movie Set

You can see some old, traditional style shops and houses but, my absolute favourite artefact was the waterfront. The lake area reminded me of our lochs in Scotland and, honestly, I wanted to jump off the pier. Shame Koreans aren’t big into swimming and I’m not big into being judged and getting disapproving looks.

Masan Maritime Movie Set

The Masan Maritime Movie Set will definitely not be topping any “Top 10 Things to See in Korea” lists anytime soon but, honestly, it’s been one of my favourite places I’ve visited since I’ve been here! So, if you feel like you’re disappointed by the place that you live, go out and explore it a bit more- this is proof that you never know what you’ll find!

Masan Maritime Movie Set

Masan Maritime Movie Set

If you’re living in Korea and you want to visit somewhere off the beaten path, especially if you’re living in the Southern provinces, Masan is probably out of the way for you, but this is well worth a look.


Here are directions on how to get there:

Masan Maritime Movie Set

  • Take an intercity bus to Masan Shiwae (Intercity) Bus Terminal (Buses go from cities all over the country including Seoul, Daegu, Busan, Gwangju and Daejeon.)
  • Get out the bus terminal and cross the road. You’ll take bus number 64 or 65 from here. Both buses go to the bus stop and the stop’s name is 드라마세트장 (if you can’t read Korean, that says drama set stop and is pretty much the same in Korean as it is in English. You’ll hear it being shouted out.)

Let me know, what is your favourite place to explore in your adopted city?

Korea oFF the Beaten Path: Masan Maritime Movie Set

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Des
    16th February 2017 at 5:24 pm

    How pretty! I’m glad you and your SO could enjoy a break there together. I was in Europe for two months last year and had to leave my guy behind. It’s not easy. And I have to agree, your typical city neighborhoods around Korea can get quite tiresome. A change of scenery is always welcome.
    Des recently posted…5 Things I’ll Miss About Seoul, 5 I Won’tMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      19th February 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks Des- solo travel is fun but I do miss my BF when I’m on my own. I love sharing moments with people so I’m excited that we’ll be taking our next big trip together!

  • Reply
    Shirgie Scf
    17th February 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I’m interested to know though what Korean drama/movies were shot at this place. I like to go there to do some scene reenactment as I have been doing that everytime I visit a shooting location of some famous Korean drama.

    I’ve been to Masan once, I went to Changwon and trek the parlyongsan stone park, it’s a very intersting park right there in Masan. Also, you may like to visit the Sasang gil in the Changwon Art village, it’s very enar the Masan Bus Terminal, you can add these places for your further exploration of Masan.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      19th February 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Shirgie, I used to live right at the bottom of the Paryongsan hiking path. It’s a gorgeous mountain and there is also a beautiful reservoir on that hike. I’ve never heard of Sasang Gil, but I’ll look into it. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Rocio Cadena
    19th February 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Wow, your photos of the set are stunning!! And I laughed out loud when I read the extensive research you did on your home town haha. I must admit I read maybe two articles before settling for Daegu haha. I think that’s the case for most teachers too. What are some of your favorite places/cities in Korea?

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Aww thanks, Rocio! Haha, I don’t actually think Masan has anything on google so I wouldn’t have gotten much further lol. My favourite places in Korea have probably been the mountains. I’ve loved hiking trips, particularly to Saryangdo. And the historical cities of Suwon and Gyeongju are also great!

  • Reply
    Rosie Benton
    20th February 2017 at 12:20 am

    I love how you edit your pictures – they always look great. The film set looks so picturesque and quaint. We’re always trying to find places to visit in Korea that are off the beaten track and a little unusual and Masan looks like it ticks these boxes.
    Rosie Benton recently posted…5 Weird and Wonderful Themed Cafes You Need to Visit in TokyoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Aww thanks so much Rosie! Masan has a few nice hiking trails and a cute art village too so it could be worth a trip!

  • Reply
    Wendy
    20th February 2017 at 5:08 am

    Love the photos. And love how Korea, in general, make their shooting locations a to-go-to place. It’s well-preserved and they take pride of them. Koreans market Korea to the world through their people, their places, their food, their culture. Everything, actually. They maximize every potential they see and the effort’s always successful.
    Wendy recently posted…A Personal Struggle with MesotheliomaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks Wendy, I don’t particularly think that everything is marketed successfully but there are some things that have been marketed fairly well.

  • Reply
    Chelsea Brady
    20th February 2017 at 9:08 am

    Your photography is amazing! The movie set has so many photo opts. I especially love the shot of the pink and yellow drapes.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Chelsea, so many photo ops!

  • Reply
    Izzy
    20th February 2017 at 11:24 am

    So cool! I don’t know if its the filter you’ve put on your photos or the actual ambiance itself but this place looks seriously dreamy and something I would’ve loved to experience! I was curious if these structures were built for the movie solely or were they already there beforehand? And awwwww indeed! 2 months apart from Veeran? Tim and I have to experience the separation this summer when I’ll be in Boston for most of the time 🙁 I’m already sad!
    Izzy recently posted…Let’s Rewind: TaiwanMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks Izzy, I’m 99% sure it was all built for the movie set! It’s such a cute place. Awww no, is he gonna come and join you after that? Skype is an absolute godsend!

  • Reply
    Kayley Chislett
    20th February 2017 at 12:39 pm

    We went here last summer! It felt really special being able to walk in and around these building (even though I think they were made just as a movie set right?). We thought it would have been such a cool place for swimming too!! Have to laugh at your research on Masan – thats exactly what I thought about Jinhae and was in for such a shock hahah! Where are you and Veeran off to next? Mark and I are heading to Europe for 2 months in March!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Yeah, it’s a really cool place! I think Jinhae has a lot more going for it than Masan- it’s much cuter and more picturesque, especially the old Jinhae area. We’re going to South America next- can’t wait! Have an amazing time in Europe 🙂

  • Reply
    Nathan Anderson
    20th February 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Super cool! I love old wooden architecture, and I love out of the way places like this. I have never been down to Masan, but if I do make it down that way, I’ll be sure to stop by the set. Just curious, did you find out what those people in the last picture were dressed up as?
    Nathan Anderson recently posted…Doing a Visa Run from South Korea to FukuokaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      21st February 2017 at 12:40 pm

      I’m not 100% sure- some sort of cosplay thing but I dunno what!

      • Reply
        Jackie
        21st February 2017 at 6:12 pm

        I was gonna ask the same thing! Lol those guys in the cosplay costume at the end was interesting! Also makes me wonder what they were trying to reenact!
        I really like places like these because it veers away from your traditional touristy spots. Btw, since you are in a place that doesn’t seem to have a lot of tourist places, you must definitely be doing Masan a great service by promoting it to all of us less traveled folks ^^

        • Reply
          Nicole Louise
          21st February 2017 at 6:33 pm

          Yeah, I loved spotting them against the backdrop of the old houses. They were having a huge photoshoot but not sure if they were actually acting anything out! Haha thanks for the compliment- I think no one else on the internet has ever spoken about Masan!

  • Reply
    Sabine
    23rd February 2017 at 7:40 am

    Great blogt post. I am definitely going to add Masan to my list of places I have to check out when I am back in Korea 🙂

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      23rd February 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Sabine! That’s great, I hope you love it 🙂

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