The Happy Village 행복마을 Community Center in Busan!

This is going to be my last post on Busan for now. We were in for a surprise during this day! Let me tell you about a new place that's being developed mainly for foreigner spouses of Korean nationals. They have classes, workshops and get-togethers at The Happy Village building and a rooftop garden with a fantastic view. They also welcome travellers who want to do a short stay. :)

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The stairway up is near the Munsusa Temple 문수사. There are many temples (and "Happy Villages" or 행복마을 named like that in Korean, apparently all over Korea, so this one (you have to go uphill by walking) is near the Haedoji-ro 231beon-gil 해돋이로231번길. Walk down this street in the picture below.

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When you look back, there's this pole with the street sign.

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We reached this stairway and started our journey.

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This has got to be one of my favorite parts of the trip even though it did require some physical strength to go there. (Don't worry there's a more comfy way to get there by car, we later found out.) I've been meaning to go to the colorful Gamcheon village in Busan but never found the time and am actually a bit iffy on going there myself knowing no one who can speak English there.. I'm glad I got to experience going to this place first and met Ate Roda who's a Pinay and once a beneficiary, turned volunteer, of this program.

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It's mostly steep 45 to 60-degree incline and we just followed Ate Roda. I would like to say that this is not recommended for older people and those with knee injuries but let's just say you need a bit of conditioning to breeze through this. It took me 8 minutes to get from the bottom to the building - panting and all haha. This is an actual residential area so keep quiet and I think there's not much light at night so go at daytime. You might curse this place if you bring a luggage so don't even think about it unless you're super duper fit and game for a Koreanovela stairway experience. The ajummas who live here may be better at this with years of practice. ;)

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I like going there this way - challenging but not impossible. When you're about to give up, just look up and trust that you'll be happy and without regret after this experience.

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Oh my goodness, what a view...

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And the easy way to get here is thru that bridge below by car and it opens at around 1 in the afternoon. Let me just get some commuting instructions from them (to follow) for this post =) I also need to brush up on my geography haha.

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Inside is a cafe and store that sells trinkets. I bought a cool farm hat (with neck cover) for 3000 won! I rarely give gifts and my mom loved this one. I guess she could feel the love that went with making it.

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I could just sit here the whole day hehe.

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Shayne prefers checking out their mini library.

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There's Ate Roda who's been living in Korea for 6 years. She's one of the first to benefit from this program and it's very apparent that she's gotten so much. She strings together English, Filipino and Korean unconsciously when she speaks.. So cute and very endearing hihi. She has multiple volunteers in her ear in Korean and translates them flawlessly for us in English. She's very helpful and answered all my questions haha ;)

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She toured us around and showed us the room where they hold Korean classes. It's mostly foreign wives here not husbands it seems.

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I was shocked to find a workshop with machines where they could learn to make furniture for free! They have actual orders coming in. I could make myself useful here... J almost always passes in looks as Korean anyway hehe.

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They have a master carpenter there ready to make a bench or something! Creating something DIY for my home is one of my dreams at the moment hehe.

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They hold cooking classes here and gatherings.

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This is a multi-purpose hall for yoga and other activities.

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I loved their rooftop garden. I wish I had the time for the night view!

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They also grow plants for their own consumption like tomatoes and chilies.

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Here's the OZ Fam Tour gang :) I'd like to thank the Korea Tourism Organization and Asiana Airlines for taking us to the off-the-beaten path in Busan. I would have never have gotten here on my own for the first time..

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We did some arts and crafts for less than 3000 won. Some of these were made by the center ladies.

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I remembered J and decided to customize this keychain. I didn't notice that I got to take home the Happy Village mascot while I was selecting it hehe.

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Here's Ate Roda! If you would like to go there then just send me a message through my contact form so I can connect you to her. Some of the volunteers are opening their homes for the first time for a Busan homestay! Yey!

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One of my fondest memories during this trip was being hugged like there's no tomorrow by a volunteer who was so happy we came :) Oh, it feels SOOO good to be hugged like that and to be welcomed with such open arms. I definitely want to go back there someday soon in Busan :) 

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We even had banana cue as baon for our short and easy trek down haha. Thanks for showering us with lots of love, Happy Village folks! 행북해!!! 행북마을좋아해오! (Did I say that, correctly? Hehe.)

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And now, I bid Dynamic Busan goodbye for now. This trip to the City of Tomorrow was truly an eye-opener.

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This trip was made possible by Asiana Airlines PhilippinesKorea Tourism Organization ManilaUSTravel and the Busan Tourism OrganizationKorea is now MERS-free according to KTO and I just went there this August 2015.

Asiana Airlines flies once daily from Manila to Busan (3:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.) on an aircraft Airbus A321. You can book through your favorite travel agencies or at their site.

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