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POHANG: Hometown Cha + When Camellia Blooms Locations + Homigot Sunrise Square + Space Walk

Monday, January 02, 2023

 October 17-19, 2022


After the hectic days of the trip--solo traveling for the first part, and then being with friends for the great BTS Week in Busan--it felt nice when we finally hopped on a quiet bus to go to a provincial part in Korea called POHANG.


Pohang became widely known for Korea travellers ever since the Kdrama Hometown Cha Cha Cha was aired around a year ago. The little town of GONGJIN with its well-loved community was actually set in this major seaport and world's largest steel production city.




HOW TO GO TO POHANG


While plotting for this itinerary, I was looking for sidetrips from Daegu and Busan when I realized that Pohang is just close by. Finally, my Hometown Cha dream, and my friends were up for it! 


We took a 1.5-hour bus from Haeundae Intercity Bus Terminal to Pohang Terminal. Heading to our accommodation was another challenge, though. It wasn't as near as we thought, and taking the public bus was a bit of a hassle with our big luggages still with us. We decided to just book 2 taxi through cab hailing app Kakao T for the one hour ride to our Airbnb. A friend of a friend Melai joined Paxie, Tracy, and I for this tour, so we got two cabs and then split the taxi fare to two. Perks of traveling with friends!


PS: Going from Seoul to Pohang will take around 2.5 hours by KTX or 4 hours by bus. I won't recommend it as day-trip, make sure to stay for a night or 2 to fully enjoy Pohang. Plus, Pohang is not as small a town as we imagined it, going around Hometown Cha locations will take around 1-2 hours to reach an area--things to take note of when you're making your itinerary.


Waiting for our bus to Pohang in a small terminal in Busan, view from the taxi we took in Pohang


GOING AROUND POHANG


Traveling around Pohang reminded me so much of Jeju. There are no local train lines, so the option for travellers is to ride a bus which also accepts T-Money card payment. 


I was hoping, like Jeju, to book travel agencies offering a one-day tour around Pohang para less hassles of navigating and spending too much on transportation, but sadly there weren't any. May isa akong nakitang Hometown Cha Pilgrimage, but they already stopped the tour. Sana they bring it back, for sure there are international fans who haven't been to Korea since the pandemic Kdrama hit who will want to avail this!


Super tagal ng ikot ng buses in Pohang, there was a time we just waited at the bus stop to get to Homigot since masyado malayo if we take a cab. There were more times that we just used cab hailing app Kakao T to get to our destination faster, lalo na ang bilis ng sunset when we were there in autumn. Since we're splitting the fare to 4, taxi was the way to go.


Apakatagal ng bus! But we waited and waited here coz Homigot Sunrise Square is too far para itaxi!


WHERE TO STAY IN POHANG


One of the interesting things that happened to us while in Pohang is our accommodation. It's an Airbnb, so we just got the passcode and had no welcoming committees whatsoever. 


Since it was all our first time in Pohang, we just picked the place that has a nice view of the beach. And it's in Wolpo Beach, which is also part of the filming location of Hometown Cha. We didn't realize how isolated and far this area is to other Pohang tourist destinations! 


But all good, I really really enjoyed this quiet beach area. We didn't encounter a single tourist, and most of our human interactions were with locals--either manning their restaurant or the convenience store cashier, or our cab and bus drivers!



AIRBNB LINK: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/50625106

ADDRESS: 17 Wolpo-ro 160beon-gil Cheongha-myeon, Buk-gu, Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province South Korea


Till now, back here in Manila, I realized how I absolutely loved our stay in this Wolpo Airbnb. Even though I had to sleep in an extra room by moving aside the tables and chairs, I won't forget our first night in this room. We gathered in front of the TV with our convenience store foods to watch BTS and Hybe Youtube shows. We laughed so much and ate so much. It's a beautiful "friends trip" experience that I haven't had in the longest time as a solo traveler enthusiast. :) 


View of Wolpo Beach from our Airbnb's balcony


First meal and first (furry) friends in Pohang


Victory dinner on our first night after spotting a few HTCCC filming locations!


THINGS TO DO IN POHANG


It was a short trip, mostly spent on the road navigating our stops. But here are some of the places we were able to achieve:



Hometown Cha Cha Cha Kdrama Filming Locations


Wolpo Beach - Location of our Airbnb, where Hong Dushik and Yoon Hye Jin first met. In episode 1, Du Shik was surfing while Yoon Hye Jin was at the shore reminiscing her childhood. From our Airbnb, I spotted surfers out even during the cold season!


❤ Chungha Market - Since walang bus na dumadaan, we took a 10-minute taxi to the market and spotted so many filming sets right away (sulit!).


- Gongjin Market

- Bora Supa (Supermarket)

- Cafe in the Middle of the Day and Beer in the Moonlight

- Squid Monument

- Cheongho Hardware Store


You'll know you're in the right area with all the Hometown Cha posters and signages.




Hometown Cha Houses / Gongjin Townhall - Early up and energized, we went to another area in Pohang for more Hometown Cha locations. This time, we took a 2-hour bus to Seokbyeong area and pagbaba palang ng bus, we were at the Gongjin Townhall (kung saan napagalitan si Shi Min Ah), and just walked towards the houses.


- Gongjin Townhall (Seokbyeong Townhall in real life)

- Halmeoni's House

- Yoon Hye-Jin's House

- Hong Dushik's House

- Red Lighthouse / Breakwater


Ahh the kilig feeling when you spotted a Kdrama location, lalo na pag outside Seoul!



Pressed with time and still have a lot of things on our Pohang list, we weren't able to go to the other filming areas but will place them here nadin for future reference:


  Yoon Hye Jin's Dental Clinic - Scuba diving equipment shop in real life, red lighthouse right across is also a filming location

Address: 429 Cheongjin-ri, Chungha-myeon, Buk-gu, Pohang-si

Just two minutes away by cab is...


  Sabang Memorial Park - Dushik's boat on top of a hill is located in Mugeonbong Peak. Get ready to hike for about 30 minutes!

Address: 1801 Haean-ro, Heunghae-eup, Buk-gu, Pohang-si


When The Camellia Blooms Kdrama Filming Locations


We decided to not go to the other Hometown Cha filming sites to see another Kdrama location which is in a Japanese town in Pohang. Have you seen When The Camellia Blooms? We thought this award-winning Kdrama's fictional town Ongsan is worth visiting and commemorating too!


From the Gongjin Townhall area, we took another hour bus ride to the Guryongpo Modern Culture History Street—where Japanese used to live during the occupation period in Korea. ⁣Tapos walk walk nalang to get to these When Camellia Blooms filming locations. Ang galing din, most of these places naka pin na sa Google Maps by early fan-travellers.



Guryongpo Park Stairs - where the Kdrama's poster was shot

Address: Entrance of Guryongpo Modern Culture History Street, 145 Guryongpo-gil, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang

Geolocation: 35.9908558, 129.5606415


Dongbaek’s House

Address: 19 Guryongpo-gil-117 beon-gil, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang

Geolocation: 35.991946, 129.560280


Dongbaek’s Bar - Munhwa Masil, has a merch shop inside which is a nice touch to all fans going there.

Address: 135-1 Guryongpo-gil, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang

Geolocation: 35.991426, 129.559821



Hwanho Park Space Walk

❤ Pohang is actually Korea's "city of steel and light". They made the Space Walk 33 meters trekking rail (parang roller coaster na lalakarin mo πŸ˜…) to symbolize this.

❤ Ginabi na kami going here (malayo padin sya kahit na we’re in Pohang na) but iba din “mood” niya with the lights and lamig! πŸŒƒ⁣

❤ 10:00 -16:00 (weekdays), 10:00-17:00 (weekends & public holidays)⁣

❤ Entrance is FREE



Homigot Sunrise Square

❤  A Yoongi location! He posted this huge hand sculpture on his Instagram with the caption "family trip"⁣

❤ Symbol of the sunrise festival, built to give the message that "𝐚π₯π₯ 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩π₯𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 π₯𝐒𝐯𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐑𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐲 𝐑𝐞π₯𝐩𝐒𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐑𝐞𝐫 (𝐜𝐨𝐞𝐱𝐒𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞)". Others go here in time for sunrise.


2025. IYKYK!


SAMPLE POHANG ITINERARY (3D2N)

πƒπšπ² 𝟏⁣
πŸ”ΈIn transit / Check-in (Wolpo Beach area)⁣
πŸ”ΈNearby 7Eleven for quick bites⁣ (met cute doggos too!)
πŸ”ΈCab to Chungha Market for Hometown Cha Cha Cha locations⁣
πŸ”ΈBus back to Wolpo Beach⁣
πŸ”ΈDinner at a local resto / walk along the beach⁣

πƒπšπ² 𝟐⁣
πŸ’žEarly up for long bus ride!⁣
πŸ’žHomigot Sunrise Square⁣
πŸ’žQuick bites before long ride to HCCC location⁣
πŸ’žGuryongpo Hometown Cha Cha Cha locations (houses+red lighthouse)⁣
πŸ’žGuryongpo Modern Culture and History Street - When The Camellia Blooms Location⁣
πŸ’žQuick bites before long bus ride again⁣
πŸ’žSpace Walk⁣

πƒπšπ² πŸ‘⁣
πŸ”ΉPrepare for check-out⁣
πŸ”ΉWalk along Wolpo Beach⁣
πŸ”ΉPohang Express Bus Terminal to Seoul (4 hours)⁣


Last stroll around the Wolpo Beach across where we were staying, before leaving Pohang.


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