(Note: This trip was made in May 2014. Please do not edit, remove watermark, crop or reupload my pictures without permission. Take out with full and proper credits.)

KOFIC Namyangju Studios is one of the nearer film studios to Seoul but there is also another reason why I decided to visit it. The makeshift set of the DMZ! I don’t think I will ever visit the real one, so for now the fake one will be sufficient for now.

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Alighted at Ungilsan Station after an hour ride and saw several cycling enthusiasts around the station exit. Ungilsan is one of the starting points for the Bukhangang Bike Path (70km) and bicycle rentals are available at the station. Maybe one day I shall try this out.

Spotted the shuttle bus pick up point but the bus wasn’t there yet. I took note of the timings for the return trip.

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The bus came after a while and I boarded it. Eventually I was the only passenger and as I was speaking to the bus driver in Korean earlier on, he decided to make small talk with me during the whole journey. He also introduced the certain tourist attractions as we passed by them. Before arriving the studio, we passed by buildings which he explained were studios and hostels which were out of bounds to visitors.

After a chatty ride, I got down at the entrance where a lady staff would be waiting to guide me to the ticket booth.

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After a brief explanation on the do’s and don’ts, I am off to explore the place. There wasn’t many people around and I think I was the only foreigner.

IMG_6378Not that many outdoors sets but an impressive resume of shows which were filmed here

IMG_6379The view from the main entrance 

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The first set was the DMZ! I squealed when I saw ‘The King 2 Hearts’ picture on the introduction board. I love that drama!

IMG_6383Welcome to North Korea!

I spent most of the time here taking pictures and selcas LOL~ it did feel as if someone from the North Korea was spying on me.

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The 38th parallel! I was jumping over it repeatedly like an excited kid!

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Sadly the doors to the office were locked and I could only peered through the windows to look at the cardboard cut-outs of the characters from JSA.

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Does this ship look familiar?

There were two hanok sets so I decided to first go to the one which was located up a slope. It was a tiring journey but  I wasn’t rewarded in the end because the place was closed for filming!!! I could peek through the doors whenever someone came out. Since there were no big broadcasters vans around, it was likely a mini or private production. Two female staff were having a smoking break outside and I bought a drink from the vending machine and sat besides them to catch my breath. These were the shows that were shot in this hanok set:

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After cooling myself down, I went back to the hanok set which was nearer to the main entrance. There was a filming set being set up but fortunately I was still able to walk around the village.

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Nothing much as everything looks somewhat similar to an actual hanok village.

So I made my way to the indoor production studios, passing by the train set:

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Looks interesting at first…

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The path leading to the indoor studios

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The walls to the entrance were lined with the posters of movies which were produced here. I saw some familiar ones!

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There were about more than 10 big studios but the whole area were quite deserted and dark. I was kind of freaked out at some stairways because there was simply no one around and I wasn’t sure if I was going in the right directions. It was old and dusty so I found it hard to believe this was the place where big movie hits were made. I visited the different centres but they weren’t as interesting as I thought it would be. Perhaps the most interesting place was the prop centre”

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The furniture was so run-down. Props or dispose centre?

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I was about to enter the costume room when I saw the  ‘No Phtotography’ sign. Also, I couldn’t see if there’s anyone in there. Spooky so I passed on it.

Because of the bus timing, I had about an hour plus to walk around which was quite sufficient since there’s really wasn’t much to admire at. I wouldn’t say it’s a disappointing trip because the DMZ was really cool but that’s kinda all about it.

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Details:

Address: 138, Bukhangang-ro 855beon-gil, Joan-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do  경기도 남양주시 조안면 북한강로855번길 138

Contact: +82-31-579-0605, +82-31-579-0700

Website: www.kofic.or.krwww.koreanfilm.or.kr

Opening Hours: March-October 10am to 6pm; November-February 10am to 5pm

Subway: Ungilsan Station  운실산, Jungang Line, Exit 1

Directions: There will be a free shuttle bus to the studios (10:25, 11:25, 13:25, 14:25, 16:25) and it takes about 10 minutes.

Dramas/Movies: JSA, The King 2 Hearts, Hwang Jini, The Moon Embraces The Sun, You From Another Star, Arang & the Magistrate, Untold Scandal etc

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