Thursday, May 17, 2012

Incheon Draws TV Drama Tourists with Myriad Sets

The coastal city of Incheon boasts pristine islets, a port and a world-class airport. It also offers a mixture of high-rise buildings on one side and time-worn villages on the other. In other words, the past, present and future co-exist harmoniously, making it a choice locale for numerous TV dramas and films.

◆ Freedom Park

At the heart of the city, the central district gives a glimpse of what the nation looked like when it first opened its ports to foreign countries. About a century later, it still bears traces of foreign influence from the period, such as cultural and architectural elements from China and Japan, giving set designers much material to work with.
Freedom Park Freedom Park
A number of movies have been shot in the district's Freedom Park, including "Failan" starring Choi Min-sik and Cecilia Cheung, and "Like a Virgin." The nation's first Western-style park, it was built in 1888 in joint efforts by Chinese, Japanese, U.S., British and Russian diplomats -- all foreign forces present in the country back then. It got its current name with the erection of a statue honoring General Douglas MacArthur who led the amphibious Incheon Landing during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Various signboards have been put up in the park depicting scenes from the films or dramas that were shot there.
TV series and movie sets in Incheon TV series and movie sets in Incheon
Across from the park, Incheon Art Platform is emerging as a new cultural Mecca for artists and the public alike. Transformed from century-old warehouses and factories, it served as a set for the KBS drama "Dream High," which proved a hit last year propelled by the on-screen appearances of numerous K-pop stars.

There is also a recently developed walking course connecting tourist destinations near the park, including China Town and Jemulpo Gurakbu social club.

◆ Beautiful Islets

Incheon's islets have also been luring drama and film producers. The movies "Silmido," "A Love Story" and "Strokes of Fire" were set in Seokmo Islet, while "A Teacher in an Island" was based on the islet of Ijak. The popular drama "Full House," starring the singer and actor Rain, draws on scenery from Shin, Si and Mo islets.

Shin Islet, also known as one of the sets for the drama "Lovers," presents a panoramic view of Ganghwa and Yeongjong islands and Gimpo in Seoul. Visitors should also not miss Si Islet for its salt farms and ecological park designed in the shape of the Korean Peninsula. On its northern coast is a set for the drama "Sad Love Story." Although this remains off-limits to visitors, the area still commands a beautiful view of the West Sea. Nearby is the set for "Full House," which has already proven a tourist magnet for visitors from Southeast Asian countries.
The set for the drama The set for the drama "Full House"

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