The Korean drama “Coastal Village Cha Cha Cha” was praised by netizens as “the sweetest drama of 2021”. The love between the squad leader Hong and the arrogant dentist Yin is enviable, and the beautiful and charming little fishing village “Gongchen” has also caused a lot of discussion.
Gongchen, a small fishing village in the play, is not in Gangwon-do, which has been repeatedly emphasized by the characters in the story, but in Gyeongsangbuk-do. Most of the filming locations are located in Pohang. Therefore, when chasing drama, whenever squad leader Hong mentions what is happening in Gangwon-do, I want to complain loudly: You are a fake Gangwon-do!
Pohang outside the coastal village
Speaking of “City of Waterscape” Pohang, Korean drama fans are no strangers.
In addition to “Coastal Village Cha Cha Cha”, the 2019 “When Camellia Blooms” was also filmed here. The sceneries of the two dramas are not the same. “When the Camellia Blooms” are mainly located in Huwei Cape and Jiulongpu Modern Cultural History Street; “Coastal Village Cha Cha Cha” is mainly located in the Qinghe River area in the North District. Variety shows “Two Days and One Night” and “The Sea of Hope” were also filmed in Pohang.
Under the warm winter sun, walk into Qinghe River in the North District and pass by the coffee shop “Coffee in the daytime, Beer in the moonlight night”. You probably don’t want to taste the awkward hand-made coffee of the singer Wu Yun (even with this courage) Unachievable, it is actually a hardware factory).
A round trip is Gongchen Market (Qinghe 5th Market), where the bronze squid statue, the subject matter, is still there, or I can miss the loving grandmother Kanli. The Qinghu Hardware Store at the next intersection is a scene built by the crew, and I heard from a Korean friend that it still has it.
In the play, monitor Hong, Dentist Yin, or Grandma Kanli’s homes are actually the residences of local residents. Residents are very troubled because the drama is so popular that it attracts tourists walking around at will. If you have the opportunity to visit after the epidemic, please don’t be careful and become a “disqualified” traveler.
Strictly speaking, although Pohang was once a fishing village, it now has a population of 510,000, making it the most populous city in North Gyeongsang Province. POSCO, the world’s top steel producer, is headquartered in Huaedong-dong, south of the city.
In local cities outside of the Korean capital area, except for transportation nodes and commercial centers, most of them are full of withering, desolate, and lonely that are unique to the countryside. This is because the regional development of Korea is very uneven.
But Pohang is very different from other heavy industrial cities. On the one hand, it faces the sea and has beautiful blue scenery. On the other side, it is surrounded by verdant mountains. The climate is not only pleasant, but also full of splendid scenery. Even in the steel plant area, in addition to the gray buildings reminding visitors of the industrial nature of the place, most of the things that come into view are clean roads, lush roadside trees and blue sky, and it is hard to smell the peculiar smell in the air.
“Coastal Village Cha Cha Cha” stills
Posco’s POSCO Steel Group
Although Pohang was once a fishing village, it now has a population of 510,000, making it the most populous city in Gyeongsangbuk-do.
In addition, it is hard to imagine that Pohang, now known as the “most pleasant city in South Korea”, was one of the important battlefields in the early stages of the Korean War.
Earlier, due to the precarious situation on the peninsula, the Lee Seung-man government enlisted students to participate in military training under the slogan “The fate of the country depends on young students.” After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, due to the heavy casualties of the Korean army, Han Jian began to organize student soldiers. After the death of the regular army, the student soldiers were added to ten infantry divisions. These student soldiers participated in various battles of the Korean army, and most of them were reduced to cannon fodder.
When the Korean People’s Army launched an attack on the rear headquarters of the 3rd Division of the Korean Army (located in Pohang Girls’ High School), the left-behind personnel of the headquarters left behind the 65 student soldiers who were ordered to stay behind after finishing the transfer of supplies, and went away. After four rounds of attacks for 11 hours, 48 student soldiers were killed, 13 escaped and 4 were captured. This tragic past was adapted into the movie “Towards the Cannon Fire” in 2010.
From the fishery to the table
In Pohang City, the East Coast Peninsula, which has both beautiful forests and oceans, is also the place where the sun rises first in Korea each year. Located at the easternmost point of the peninsula, the “Huwei Cape Yingri Plaza” attracts a large number of tourists to enjoy the dawn of the new year every New Year’s Day.
Huwei Cape is named after its terrain like a tiger’s tail, and the huge “hands of life” on Yingri Square is the most proud of the region. Cast in bronze, the right hand on the sea and the left hand on the land face each other, symbolizing the harmonious coexistence of the sea and the land. The palm that protrudes from the sea is contrasted with the colorful beauty at dawn, the vast ocean, and occasionally a few seabirds can be seen landing on the fingertips, which has become a scene of co-creation of modern installation art and nature.
The “Hands of Love” in the Yingri Plaza, Jiulongpu
Half moon island
Snow Crab Street in Jiulongpu
Cast in bronze, the right hand on the sea and the left hand on the land face each other, symbolizing the harmonious coexistence of the sea and the land.
Jiulongpu Modern Cultural History District was originally named “Pohang Jiulongpo Japanese House Road”. During the Japanese Occupation Period, there were Japanese fishermen gathered here, so there were many Japanese-style houses. After the Korean drama “When the Camellia Blooms” was broadcast, it became a tourist hotspot, making the originally not spacious streets crowded with people.
If you are visiting Pohang on a non-holiday basis, you might as well climb the high and steep stairs at a stretch to overlook the endless sea of Jiulongpu, and feel why movies and TV series are keen to bring this azure blue into the mirror.
When you go to a fishing village, you have to eat seafood. The sea in Jiulongpu is very deep and rich in marine life. Pohang’s snow crab production accounts for 50% of the total South Korea. Jiulongpo is naturally rich in snow crabs. There is even a snow crab street along the harbor, with crab signs everywhere. There are also “famous” frozen saury dried in winter. As for the semi-dried squid hand-made by Grandma Kanli in “Cha Cha Cha” in Coastal Village, they can also be seen everywhere.
The “Bamboo Island Market” is called “Seafood Paradise”, and it started as a street vendor in the marshes of Inner Harbor in the 1950s. It is now the largest traditional market on the east coast of Gyeongsangbuk-do, covering an area of 20 football fields.
There are hundreds of sashimi shops in the market, selling all kinds of local seafood: the aforementioned delicious snow crabs, huge sunfish, unique flavors of sharks and stingrays (devil fish), springy octopus, and anglerfish Fish (toad fish), puffer fish meat… Occasionally, whales that died due to fishermen’s accidental entanglement in fishing nets can also be sold in the market if they are not deliberately caught by the maritime police.
The seafood was delivered to the table as soon as it left the fishery, and it was nothing but delicious. You might as well serve it with shochu or just enjoy the salty sea breeze.
How does South Korea revitalize agricultural and fishing villages?
Since the 1960s, in response to the industrialization and urbanization brought about by economic development, South Korea has implemented a series of laws and regulations concerning the use and management of agricultural and fishery resources, such as the “Agricultural Land Reform Act” and “Agricultural Land Conservation” in order to revitalize agriculture, fisheries and agricultural villages “Law”, “Agricultural and Fishery Village Rezoning Law”, “Agricultural and Fishery Village Revitalization Special Measures Law”, “Rural Integration Industry Cultivation and Support Relationship Law”, etc.
In 1970, Park Jeong-hee promoted agricultural reforms with the “New Village Movement” in an attempt to narrow the distance between agricultural and fishing villages and the city. I believe everyone is deeply impressed by the harmonious and mutually-helping neighbourhood relationship among Gongchen residents in “Coastal Village Cha Cha Cha”—organizing each other to clean the streets, or singing together, holding community meetings, and various gossip talks.
In the past 20 years, successive Korean governments have devoted great efforts to developing agricultural and fishing villages and balancing local development imbalances. After Moon Jae-in took office, he established the “National Happiness Agriculture Committee” directly under the president to stabilize the prices of agricultural and fishery products, improve the production and marketing of agricultural and fishery products, implement disaster insurance, and abolish differential treatment for farmers and fishermen in order to protect farmers and fishermen’s rights. rights and interests. At the same time, the government is also revitalizing and developing agricultural and fishing villages with sightseeing tours.
Although not every fishing village is perfectly developed, there are also many successful cases.
For example, the recent hot tourist attractions, Banwol Island and Park Gye Island in Sinan County, Jeollanam-do, the two old people’s islands with only more than 100 inhabitants, have been expanded since 2015 with the investment of more than 4 million U.S. dollars from the local government. Planting the original purple rapeseed field and introducing lavender, visitors can see a dreamlike sea of purple flowers.
In addition to the government painting the bridges connecting the two islands and the roads on the islands purple, the residents also replaced their houses, vehicles, and even their clothes with purple. After such extreme development, Banyue Island became known as “Purple Island” and attracted more than 400,000 tourists in the first year.
In order to revitalize agriculture and fisheries, the South Korean government has broken its heart. And the Korean drama crew went hunting around in order to capture the beautiful scenery in the drama that is fascinating, tranceful, and forgetting to blink.
The author has visited many Korean drama filming villages, such as Abba Village in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, which was once a colony of refugees from the south of Hamgyong Province and was also the filming location of “Blue Life and Death”. But time shifts, after removing the “fan” filter, apart from the experience of blood sausage and board boat, there is really no special feeling. Unless it is a fan of a certain drama, it is not recommended to run a place specially for a scene.
In the 2016 “Ghost” fire, the heroine summoned ghosts to appear on the seaside breakwater in Jumunjin, full of film fans, and local people provided buckwheat flowers and red scarves as props. But when the author visited in 2017, there was only a shabby little port. The only thing that impressed the author was the cuttlefish ice cream sold in a small local cafe.
It can be seen that in order for villages and towns to operate sustainably, they must have their own characteristics, and they also need to have stories that can be written, otherwise it will only be a temporary craze.