Due to the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War, Haebangchon has a painful history. The neighborhood was once a refuge from those fleeing the Korean War, but recently the area has transformed into a trendy hot spot.
①Haebangchon's characteristic steep stairs and hills
②Haebangchon is located just south of Namsan Mountain
Haebangchon is situated in the Yongsan 2ga and Yongsan 1ga neighborhoods. The area lies east of Yongsan High School and south of Namsan Seoul Tower.
During Japanese colonial rule, the area had a military shooting range. After Korea gained independence, the American military government controlled the area but did not exercise that control thoroughly and Koreans displaced by the war were able to settle in Haebangchon. In the post-colonial years, foreigners, North Koreans who had fled south, and refugees fleeing the war settled Haebangchon. The displaced people occupied the old Japanese military buildings at first, but following an eviction by the American military, they settled in huts built at the old shooting range. The novel "Obaltan" ("The Aimless Bullet") describes the poverty and hardscrabble existence of the residents of Haebangchon.
However, since 2010 there has been a gradual transformation. For a long time, Haebangchon was one of Seoul's most deprived places. This is no longer the case. Young people find Haebangchon to have an uncanny charm with a unique atmosphere. Not only is there a plethora of good restaurants and cafes, it is also very close to another popular spot, Gyeongnidan Road. Because of the two areas' proximity, there is an exciting synergy of their energies. Whether it's the weekend or a weekday, Haebangchon is always packed.
①All public signs in Haebangchon have Korean and English
②One of Haebangchon's landmarks, Haebangchon Church is visible in the distance
③An exotic atmosphere permeates every space
①Small and cute street art everywhere you look
②Haebangchon's 108 Steps