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!
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.
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.
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?)
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.)
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.
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!
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:
- 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?