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Koreans seem to own the formula on great drama. In fact, K-dramas are becoming a rapid addiction around the world. Popular in Asia, in parts such as Japan, Thailand and India; the rage has even been making itself known in the U.S. (just ask Hawaii!)
My mother has watched 92 dramas (probably more than any Korean) this past year! I can’t imagine watching that amount of dramas in one year less a lifetime. Her friends, bitten by the k-drama bug years earlier, surpass her ranking. Hard to imagine, right?
Korean drama tours and K-drama film locations
Korean drama clubs and film tours are beginning to spring up, with sightseeing itineraries to feed drama-hungry fanatics. Thanks to the Korean Tourism Organization and its publishing drama locations on its tourism site, fans don’t have to waddle up steep cash for a guided tour to locations of their favorite shows. Instead, they can make their own itinerary. Although sitting with a busload of crazed fans to share your passion is equally fun, I imagine…
How to find Korean drama locations in Korea?
Korea reels with locations and you may accidentally stumble upon a few and not even know it! That’s how I’ve come upon some in Gyeongju, Seoul, Jeju Island… and if the drama is really popular, it may sport an advertisement banner to recognize the spot, like the Pasta drama sign outside a restaurant.
How to make your own DIY Korean drama Tour?
1. Visit the Korea Tourism site and look for their Theme Tours tab.
2, Click on Film Location Tours or just click here.
3. Click on the button pages of your favorite shows and see some of its film locations.
4. Map your itinerary.
It’s as easy as that.
Many locations will showcase a banner of the popular Korean show that was filmed there so that even if you didn’t know you were visiting a film location, you’ll realize you are. Korea’s tourism is very good about that.
When my mom visited me over the holidays, we visited Jeju Island (and Seoul). I tailored some of our Korea itinerary to three main dramas we shared in common (of course, along the way we accidentally found more locations but these are the ones we liked best). Here’s an example:
Seoul Film location
Jeju Island Locations
Teddy Bear Museum, Jeju
Seeas Hotel, Jungmun Resort Area, Jeju Island
See inside the hotel here.
Oedolgae Rock, Jeju Island
Where to buy your Korean Drama and K-pop fan paraphernalia
So you’re a fan and want to build your fandom of you favorite K-pop or Korean drama star with pictures, notebooks, keychains, socks. Where can you buy it?
Seoul has a handful of shops selling celebrity paraphernalia. There’s the gift and souvenir shops in Insadong (on the main walking street), Namdaemun Market, a small corner shop in Myeongdong‘s subway near one of the exits (wish I could remember which one!). The latter you can even buy K-pop CDs and subtitled versions of the K-dramas or films for cheap.
If you walk through the markets or underground subway stores of big cities, you’ll find skin care shops with Korea’s most popular pin-ups. The skin care shops such as Faceshop, It’s Skin, Tony Moly, Missha occasionally offer freebie sample products with celebrity faces on them. I’m a fan of Faceshop. I took my mom in and she got a free face pack with Rain on it; another time, she got a free box of cottons with 2PM and Kim Hyun Joong on it!