We are amid a pop culture phenomenon known as ‘Hallyu,’ which means ‘Korean wave.’ This wave, which has swept into western pop culture, comes in the form of Korean entertainment, with K-Pop and K-Drama being at the forefront of the phenomenon.
For the last half-decade or so, with its origins established by the global tsunami that was Psy’s Gangnam Style, the Hallyu has spread Korean songs and shows across Asia, Europe, and North America, creating a very popular new genre in foreign markets. As mentioned, K-Drama is at the forefront of the Hallyu, with popular series being watched all over the world.
K-Drama series are quite unique to foreign audiences due to them, for the most part, being G-rated. The series emphasizes the story and often the aesthetics, toting beautiful leads in stunning settings, which in turn has created a huge following of people who want to visit the places that feature in popular K-Dramas.
Of course, the majority of these shows only take place in the Korea Republic, and so travel can be quite expensive. Many of the shooting locations are nothing short of idyllic, so why shouldn’t fans dream about being able to afford the trip and find themselves in the iconic settings of the dramas. One could save up for months or test their luck in the Mark Six lottery from anywhere in the world online to land te multi-million prizes.
Regardless of how you collect the funds to afford your trip to the Korea Republic if you want to visit the best shooting locations of K-Drama shows, consider the following for your checklist:
Wolmido Island: Descendants of the Sun
Descendants of the Sun may be the biggest K-Drama hit so far, boasting a tremendous audience, winning multiple awards, and even being credited as a proponent in the Korea Republic seeing an uptick in tourism, with economic effects estimated to be around $880 million, per the Korea Herald. The love story between a leader of a medical team and a special forces secret operative takes place in the fictitious nation of Uruk but is shot in some great real-world locations.
In the first episode of Descendants of the Sun, we get to see Yoo Si-jin and Seo Dae-young at the shooting range of an amusement park, winning the now much sought-after soft toys. This scene takes place at the real-life amusement park on Wolmido Island, Incheon, which also boasts a nice beach and many cafes to make for a relaxing and enjoyable day out.
Petite France: My Love from the Star
Following the story of an alien who lands on earth and then, 400 years later, falls in love with someone in modern times, My Love from the Star checks all of the boxes for fans of science fiction, melodramas, romance, and fantasy. One location which has become of particular interest to tourists, however, sits in the rural area Gapyeong and is called Petite France.
The village is built entirely on the story of The Little Prince and allows visitors to experience French cafes, restaurants, and museums to get a taste of French culture. It made for the perfect and now iconic setting of the very romantic scene between Do Min-Joon and Cheon Song-Yi.
There are many other great locations like the Pocheon Art Valley, Nami Island, and Taebaeksan, but if you had to pick one or two, consider Wolmido Island and Petite France to be among the top picks for a unique and fun experience.