Though Tongyeong is a small city with only 120-thousand people, this southern port city, dubbed the South Korean 'Naples', is full of mesmerizing spots to visit.
"One of city's must-see sites is the 'Dongpirang Mural village' where attractive street paintings catch visitors' eyes. The name Dongpirang comes from the words for ‘east’ and ‘hill’, which describes its location nestled in the hills to the east of Gangguan Port."
This mural village has a special history behind it.
The local government tried to demolish Dongpirang village and turn it into a park, which would have meant the villagers would have had to move out.
But instead, the local people came up with a plan to spruce up the area with street paintings and as the place received more and more attention, the authorities changed their minds and decided to preserve the town.
Now the mural paintings are changed every two years, by artists chosen through a nationwide contest.
"Though some places have become commercial facilities, this place is still a home for lots of people. I hope it stays as a residential area where people can keep living alongside the street paintings."
“During the day there are street paintings for visitors to Tongyeong to enjoy. At night, Nammangsan Park near Tongyeong Citizen's Cultural Hall is lit up by the media art exhibits at the recently-made digital theme park."
Previously the city lacked tourist spots that could be enjoyed at night.
To make more visitors stay longer, Tongyeong City government invested more than five-million U.S. dollars to create a digital theme park 'Dipirang' which opened last year October.
Walking along a one.five kilometer trail, people can enjoy cutting-edge technology such as a media facade, holograms and projection mappings along with nature the trees and night view of Tongyeong port.
"Thankfully, lots of visitors said that they felt like they were in a fairy tale and were mesmerized to see how existing spots of the park such as the badminton court could change into something else."
Already known as a city where culture and art co-exist, Tongyeong's hotspots also show a blend of old and new.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang news, Tongyeong.