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Arts & Cultur Gyeonggi-do Mural Village Travel course, Osan

WriterAdministratorDate12/13/2018

 

From alleyways adorned with murals to a late night bookstore, Osan’s newly discovered day and night

To me it seemed that Osan Station only existed beyond the window every time I took the train on the Gyeongbu Line. A few years ago, however, when I accidentally visited Mulhyanggi Arboretum, I discovered a cluster of unknown sights around there. Unusual murals adorn the alleyways of the mural village, and there’s a traditional market where people enjoy craft beer just a short way away. There’s also a late night bookstore where visitors can read old books and watch movies at night. Osan is home to plenty of hitherto unknown tourist attractions.

 

Travel Schedule

 

Namchon-dong Mural Village → 400 m, a five minute walk → Goseong Banjeom → 94 m, a one minute walk → Osaek Night Market → 1.17 km, a fifteen minute walk → BOOK&MORE



 

 

1. Better than Autumn foliage

—Alleyways in Namchon-dong Mural Village


 

If you want to avoid crowded sites or a boring walk, why not visit the alleys in Namchon-dong? Here you’ll discover many small attractions while ambling along the streets.

Namchon-dong is a village where lots of interconnected alleys meander endlessly between the railroad tracks at Osan Station and the Osan stream. It used to be an old suburban area until it was decorated with murals as part of a project to “Recreating villages as the better places to live in” in 2013. The painted alleys are formed starting from the back of Seongsan Elementary School to Seongsansaessak 16beon-gil like an intricate spider’s web.

Although mural villages are quite a common sight all around the country these days, the murals in Namchon-dong are unique. They are neither fancy nor trendy, instead are generally naturalistic and traditional. Comical imagery—kids playing jump rope games in a yard under a persimmon tree, a young bed wetter wearing a winnowing basket over his head asking for salt as punishment, dragonflies and butterflies flying around, and little girls playing Gonggi, Korean traditional Jacks—bring the walls back to life with possibly actual episodes of the town. The entire village is like a genre painting exhibition hall of an art museum.

Besides, a different atmosphere prevails in each corners of the alleys. Paintings of a wall with tangled pumpkin vines, villagers gathered together and chatting on a flat bench, a coffee vending machine, a rice shop and a small supermarket and a hair salon with A tricolor light pole seem all like natural parts of the village.
 

Address: 26-1, Seongsansaessak-gil, Osan-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-8036-7600 (Culture, Sports and Tourism Division of Osan-si)



 

 



2. The scent of a traditional market in a bowl of jjajangmyeon at Geoseong Banjeom


 

 

If you’re looking for a cheap, tasty and copious meal, you should head to Geoseong Banjeom, which was selected as a model restaurant in 2011 due to its affordable prices. The price of a bowl of jjajangmyeon has stayed at KRW 3,000 for the last ten years, whereas the dish costs KRW 5,192 on average throughout the Gyeonggi-do region. This low price, however, does not mean low-quality. This dish with unchanged taste and generous amount is favorite among customers ever since the restaurant opened at the Oseak Market in 1982.

Over the years Geoseong Banjeom has served warm, comforting meals to merchants at the market during their short breaks, including jjajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce), jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup) and fried rice. And those who were too busy to prepare a proper meal for themselves could have food delivered direct from the restaurant   at that time when food delivery service was not common like these days. .

The father and daughter who have cooked jjajangmyeon in the same place for the last 36 years strive to reserve the tastes and flavors of the old days. Geoseong Banjeom not only offers delicious food but warm hospitality as well. Jjajangmyeon tastes just like it always has, the gunmandu (fried dumplings) overflow the plate, and the jjamppong is deliciously spicy. The ingredients may not be special, but the plentiful dishes are rich and tasty enough to recall the old-time flavors of a traditional market.

Address

: 5, Osan-ro 272beon-gil, Osan-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.

: +82-31-374-5236

Opening hours: 10:30 - 19:30 (Closed irregularly; call to make sure in advance)

Price: Jjajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce) KRW 3,000, Jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup) KRW 4,000, Gunmandu (fried dumplings) KRW 4,000

 

3. Osan craft beer and global snacks collabo at the Osaek Night Market

 

 

 


 

The name Osaek is a Korean acronym of “O” meaning “five” attractive market features and “saek” meaning let’s live a “colorful” life. It is a famous traditional market traditionally held at five-day intervals. In the past, the market got very busy as people flowed in from nearby towns including Pyeongtaek, Hwaseong, Anseong, Yongin and Suwon. These days, the market opens on days ending in 3 and 8, e.g. every 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd and 28th day of the month. In the market area, there are five color-named roads, two of which are Red Road for clothing and fashion; Green Road for fresh ingredients; and themed roads, such as Smile Road for red pepper powder and sesame oil mills, Areum Road for tasty pork food stalls, and Mom’s Road for the quintessentially traditional market atmosphere.

Every Friday and Saturday evening, big and various feasts are held in Red Road, which symbolizes youth and enthusiasm. The Friday and Saturday night market makes weekend nights more fun and more crowded as the 100-year old traditional market meets the latest trends and it attracts young people. The market has become better known thanks to a support program launched in 2015 with the aim of fostering young merchants, which included start-up workshops and assistance for start-ups to encourage young entrepreneurs. The craft beer pub Salon de Gonggong has opened as a result.

If you think the Osaek Night Market is similar to other night markets in the country, you’d be mistaken. At Oseak Night Market, you can taste special craft beer along with street snacks from all around the world. Crowsbrewing, a local brewery proudly boasts their “Made in Osan” craft beer as tribute to the city. Crow (dark lager) flavored with hazelnut coffee and Aurora (pale ale) are also their signature brews. Cobra, a new brew introduced this fall, is a limited seasonal beer flavored with sweet coconut and nuts. The night-market booths also serve snacks from the global village to accompany a glass of beer, including Chinese panckae Jianbing Guozi, Taiwanese toast Shouzhuabing filled with bacon, corn and fried egg, Thai Tom Yum rice noodles and so on. If you purchase KRW 5,000 of food at a night-market booth at 7 – 8 PM you’ll get a free craft beer coupon worth KRW 3,000. Why not visit the market this weekend!

 

 

Address: 22, Osan-ro 272beon-gil, Osan-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-376-4141

Opening hours: 18:00 - 23:00 every Friday and Saturday

Website: http://5colormarket.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. What is your all time favorite book? BOOK&MORE


 

It is rather pleasant to relieve one’s mental hunger in a quiet bookstore on an autumn night. Of you leave the busy night market and turn the corner of a street full of commercial buildings, you will see the following quote from Susan Sontag, an American writer and critic: “Reading is a small spaceship that allows me to forget everything and leave."

The small space ship that will take you far away tonight is a bookstore called BOOK&MORE. Books reflecting the taste of the owner are neatly piled up in a small space. Most of them are books on the humanities, art, and literature. The owner adds to his inventory every time he finds a book worth keeping for a lifetime. Books belonging to the owner or acquired from his acquaintances are also piled up in a corner of the bookstore. He opened the store as an avid book reader wishing to share his favorite books with customers. In BOOK&MORE, discussions and recitals are held about three times a week. The meeting schedule and booklist can be found on the bookstore’s blog.

The blog also notifies customers of temporary closures whenever the owner goes on a photography trip. This is because the owner is a photographer who majored in art. As such, photography classes are held every Monday evening as well. His artistic sense stands out even amid the small items in corners of the bookstore. He offers a free book covering service and a bookmark, of which he himself designed, to customers for each book they purchase.

The bookstore also serves hand-dripped coffee, homemade preserved fruits, wine and beer, and has five tables. The space may be small but it’s worth a close look. And who knows, you may find your future favorite book there?
 

Address

: 214, Gyeonggi-daero, Osan-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.

:+82-10-9701-6670

Opening hours

: 11:00 - 22:00 (Closed Sundays and the last Wednesday of every month)

Price: Hand-dripped coffee KRW 4,000, Homemade preserved fruit juice KRW 4,000, Wine KRW 5,000 per glass

Website: http://blog.naver.com/book-more


 

 

 

1. Visit the Crow:D pub to taste a variety of craft beers with your food ordered at the night market booths. In addition to Crowsbrewing, you can taste more than ten types of beers from famous Korean breweries such as Galmegi Brewing and Brew One. Customers can also enjoy food in an open-air shelter next to Crow:D pub or in the second-floor shelter of the market, which also serves as a beer workshop. The beer academy is held here every Saturday.

2. BOOK&MORE also hosts the “Friday bookshop with movies” at 10pm every Friday night. After a leisurely tour of the night market, why not enjoy a movie with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. You can refer to the blog for the movie list, and also check out the recommended books of the week, new arrivals, and the full list of books for sale. You can make online orders as well.

Public Transportation Information

[Subway] Leave Exit 2 of Osan Station (Subway Line 1 to Sinchang/Cheonan), walk for 650m (approx. ten minutes) towards Seongsan Elementary School to Namchon-dong Mural Village.
 

Driving Information

Gyeongbu Expressway → Turn right at Osan IC → Turn left at the intersection in front of City Hall → Seongho-daero → Jungwon Intersection → Pass Namchon underground road and turn right → Seongsansaessak-gil → Namchondong Mural Village