Be a Toursit in Kansas: Largest Ball of Twine

A few years back, I visited the world’s largest ball of twine. It was as anti-climatic as you would imagine. It was on my bucket list to be a tourist in my own home state of Kansas.

biggest ball of twine02 biggest ball of twine01Cawker City is home to the largest ball of twine and only 469 people, according to the 2010 Census. The ball measures more than 40 feet in circumference and weighs more than 14,000 pounds. 

 

Gamcheon Culture Village 감천문화마을

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The Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을) is located in the coastal town of Busan. Typically, expats visit the beaches of Busan, spending time on the most popular beach, Haeundae Beach (해운대해수욕장), or late-night hours in noraebangs (노래방), singing rooms or karaoke. My trips to Busan were never much different.

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I first visited Busan for the Firework Festival in October 2013. Then I had one epic night in a penthouse suite with my friends. We spent the evening lighting sparklers on the roof, dancing on the bed in fancy dresses and suits (Okay…I think only one guy had on a tux but it set the mood). There was pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, alongside shots of soju. Needless to say, Busan never ceased to impress me.

This past weekend, I wanted to see another side of Busan, so I decided to venture west of Busan Station to the Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을). Just four stops away from Busan Station, the Gamcheon Culture Village is well-worth a visit.

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The alleyways and staircases act as art galleries themselves. This step was my personal favorite: “You need diet.” Nothing like a reminder that you’re out of breath as you climb the stairs.

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During the 50s, Koreans were fleeing to safety, and Busan welcomed half a million refugees in 1951 alone. Places like the hills of the Saha district (사하구) were a refugee for hundreds of thousands. In the early 1950s, the refugees in the Saha district started building shacks, communal areas such as toilets and drinking wells. Before long, the Gamcheon village had grown to more than 800 homes.

Today, nearly 10,000 residents call Gamcheon home. These residents live peacefully in the colorful homes. That is if you consider thousands of tourist visit peaceful.The village seemed to welcome tourist with open arms. A handful of villagers shot me a quick smile before going about their day. The visit was extremely touristy considering I paid 2,000 won for a map so that I could collect stamps like a scavenger hunt. However, the bright colors and winding alleyways made for a beautiful scenery and a good morning.

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I suggest visiting when the weather is nice because you’ll spend a good amount of time wandering the alleyways, exploring the shops and taking handfuls of photos. The mountains create a beautiful backdrop while the sea provides another breathtaking view on the southside. On Friday, the weather was turning for the worse. I thought I was going to be poured on but, thankfully, it was just spitting rain all morning.

Collecting stamps was fun at first, but after about four or five, I was ready to move on. If the weather had been better, and I had had a partner in crime, I might have stayed longer and enjoyed a cup of coffee with a view.

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For more pictures, you can visit my Flickr page.

Directions

Take the Line 1 subway to Toseong Station (토성역). Only
Take Exit 6, walk straight to the intersection and turn right.
Walk 100 meters or so to the first bus stop.
Take bus 2 or 2-2. It costs 1,000 won and takes about 10 minutes to arrive at the Gamcheon Culture Village where you can buy the 2,000 won map to collect stamps and explore the village. Or forgo the touristy map and simply walk at your leisure.

Free entry.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Website (in Korean): http://www.gamcheon.or.kr/