This is the second of a 2-part series covering little know secrets about Incheon. If you like this, check out its companion piece: Part 1 – Chasing Dragons in Chinatown
Impressive transformation of an old residential neighbourhood, Songwol-dong Fairytale Village provides a colorful collection of the best fairy tales and comics characters. Great fun with younger kids!
Incheon Songwol-dong Fairytale Village occupies a few blocks west of Incheon Chinatown. It is only a short walking distance away and can be easily reached through Jayu park or starting directly from Incheon Station. The Songwol-dong village community approved a striking renovation project to revive the dilapidated district and run-down old houses. This is still a work in progress with some back alleys under development yet the result is already stunning.
There is a rainbow arch-shaped gate with a colourful “송월동 동화마을” (Songwol-dong Fairytale Village) sign marking the entrance to the village. You may navigate along the main street and several back alleys in any order you wish. There are several themes developed by the community when remodelling houses, which makes it fun to explore in each block. You’ll come across Disney-inspired characters, all-time classics like Hansel & Gretel, Red Riding Hood or the Wizard of Oz, traditional Korean stories, animals murals and more.
There is no major landmark there but we definitely had a blast walking around the small streets discovering all the cartoon characters and taking pictures. The tour took us about an hour and is a great addition (especially with young kids) to the more cultural Chinatown visit. You can also find a few coffee shops to take a rest or enjoy the local souvenirs stores.
We love the fact that this is a real village, with real-life residents still using the premises. Buildings were carefully repainted, adding cartoonesque artefacts and colourful murals. This is a fantastic redevelopment project and we wish to see many more similar endeavours to revive local neighbourhoods instead of the usual demolition-high-rise-construction options we see way too often in big cities.
How to get there:
[Subway] Incheon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1).
Address: Songwol-dong 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon / 인천광역시 중구 송월동3가
For localisation, see our Seoul Map for Kids and Families