Photo: Gamgok Maegoe Virgin Mary Catholic Cathedral
This season’s hit drama is “Uncontrollably Fond,” showing the sad love story of top idol Shin Joon-young (Kim Woo-bin) and documentary producer No Eul (Bae Suzy). The drama is receiving a lot of attention not only for its stellar casting and love story, but for its beautiful images. Like a watercolor painting that stirs one’s emotions, “Uncontrollably Fond” is pulling its previously unknown filming sites into the spotlight. Let’s set out on a tour to these filming sites to enjoy both the feeling of reliving the drama, as well as relaxing in their natural beauty and charm.
Photo: Gamgok Maegoe Virgin Mary Catholic Cathedral (left) / Maegoe Museum (right)
The drama starts out with a scene of Shin Joon-young marrying a girl in a cathedral. The bell tower featured in the shot comes from Myeong-dong Cathedral in Seoul, but scenes of the interior and shots of Shin Joon-young fighting were filmed at Gamgok Maegoe Virgin Mary Catholic Cathedral in Eumseong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do.
Gamgok Maegoe Virgin Mary Catholic Cathedral has a history of over 100 years. The cathedral earns admiration for the 30 meter-tall bell tower and steeple, visible from a great distance away. The exterior was built in the Gothic style, lending the building a romantic aura perfect for drama and advertisement filming; it was most recently used in the 2015 drama “Yong-pal,” staring Kim Tae-hee and Joo Won.
The priest’s office originally built with the cathedral has been transformed into the Maegoe Museum, displaying materials related to the early Catholic Church in Korea and items used by the first priest.
Photo: “Uncontrollably Fond” filming set (left) / View from Nagok Deep Sea Fishing Park (right)
Nagok Deep Sea Fishing Park in Uljin, Gyeongsangbuk-do is the location of the main character’s house. The log house has beautiful surroundings, with pine trees and a large grassy field that are matched in beauty by the East Sea beyond. The park is currently closed to visitors for the duration of filming, but is planned to reopen to the general public in early September.
In addition to being used as the filming site for “Uncontrollably Fond,” Nagok Deep Sea Fishing Park has another draw in the observatory located at the other side of the park. After climbing the stairs up the hill for about 10 minutes, you will be afforded an unobstructed view of the beautiful ocean unfolding before your feet.
Photo: Jukbyeonhang Port
Jukbyeonhang Port is a fishing port in Uljin. There are many types of seafood caught in the East Sea with squid, mackerel and king crabs at the top of the list. The fresh seafood is then sold at fish markets both large and small. The fishing village at Jukbyeon emits an active energy as it completes the process from start to finish, catching the fish to be sold in the restaurants surrounding the port. Uljin is especially famous for king crab so be sure to try it when visiting.
Photo: View seen from the film set of SBS drama “Into the Storm (2004)”
There are many famous attractions around Jukbyeonhang Port. Bongpyeong Beach is part of a white sandy beach stretching a total of 10km along the coast from Deokcheon-ri to Onyang-ri. The deep blue of the ocean and the clean sandy beach create a sight not to be missed. Also in the area of Jukbyeonhang Port is the film set of “Into the Storm (2004),” drawing in plenty of tourists.
Photo: Seawall of Osanhang Port
Osanhang Port is beautified by a seawall leading to two lighthouses protecting the harbor. Simply walking along the wall is enough to set your spirit soaring.
Osanhang Port is located between Jukbyeonhang Port and Hupohang Port. Fisherman head out to the ocean in front of the harbor to catch a multitude of seafood, but the catches are generally flounder, squid, mackerel, and octopus. On weekends, fishermen lined up on the northern side of the seawall easily pull in rockfish and gray mullet. The area is also famous for scuba diving, and has increased in popularity among skin divers thanks to the beautiful underwater world.
Photo: Main entrance to Dalseong Park (left) / Cherry blossoms blooming at Dalseong Park (right)
Daegu Dalseong Park opened in 1905 and is one of the most often visited parks among Daegu citizens. It is especially popular for the fact that it is open to the public for free. Common groups of visitors to the park include students on field trips, couples on dates, and families out for picnics.
The park’s grassy field is threaded with walking paths but if you want to see the entire park, we recommend the 1.3km trail along the hills surrounding the park. It is also a great place to take in the evening as the sun sets beyond the city.
Photo: Dalseong Park Zoo
Another reason many love Dalseong Park is for the zoo. Here, you can meet lions, tigers, elephants, zebras, seals and more animals. Difficult-to-see animals include sika deer and llamas living together and the king of birds, the eagle. Before visiting, it is important to note that feeding anything to the animals is strictly prohibited, and the entire park including the zoo is a non-smoking zone.
Photo: Jangsado Sea Park
Jangsado Sea Park takes up the entire 108m-tall, 400m-wide and 1.9km-long island in Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do. Camellia flowers take over the island from winter to spring, and the island is completely covered in hydrangeas in the summer months. One thing can be certain: the island is beautiful in every season. Thanks to the beautiful landscape and scenery, this island park is picked as a filming location for many films and dramas, including “Uncontrollably Fond” and “My Love from the Star (2013).” After arriving on the island, visitors can pick up a guide map for free. Following the guidance of the numbers on the map will ensure you do not miss out on any of the island’s attractions.
The arrival dock and departure dock of Jangsado Island are at different locations. Visitors should remember this, as you will need to visit the correct dock to leave the island. Another note to be careful of when departing is getting on the correct ferry, as there are boats departing to various docks. To ensure tourists get on the correct returning ferry, passengers will get a ticket stub upon arrival at Jangsado Sea Park. It is the responsibility of the tourist to keep the ticket safe until giving to the ferry staff when boarding.
Photo: View of Expo Ocean Park (left) / Exterior of Sky Tower (right)
Walking out of Yosu Expo Station, a vast park along the coast opens before you. The park, aptly named Expo Ocean Park, was the venue of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, an international exposition focused on raising awareness of the importance of the ocean. At the end of the expo, the open space was converted into an ocean leisure park and event venue.
Of the many entertainment facilities at the park, the two that draw the eye quickest are Sky Tower, an observatory created from a cement storage silo, and the BIG-O, a large sculpture-cum-performance screen in the shape of a grand letter O. The exterior of Sky Tower is decorated with a grand pipe organ, inscribed in the Guinness World Records in 2011 for being the loudest pipe organ in the world. A view of the entire park and the deep blue of the ocean stretching to the horizon can be seen from the Sky Tower observation deck. When the sun sets, the BIG-O brightens the night through a colorful fountain show, known as the BIG-O Show.
* This column was last updated in July 2016, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on July 21, 2016>