Dongpirang Village

See how this village community and its local artists saved their Tongyeong neighbourhood from being demolished and redeveloped.

Dongpirang Village, in the heart of Tongyeong, is an intriguing example of people power and artistic innovation. In the 2000s, the working-class neighbourhood of Dongpirang Village was condemned to be demolished for upscale apartment development. The hillside community resisted the demolition by coming together to paint the streets with colourful images and artworks. The area became a cultural tourist destination and the demolition was cancelled. Dongpirang Village still stands tall today, adorned with the community-driven street art that helped it survive.

Wander through Dongpirang Village’s narrow streets to see the famous murals and decorations. Locals regularly update the walls with new paintings, so the streets are constantly evolving and each visit might present an entirely new streetscape.

Past murals featured homages to historic and famous artworks, such as fish swimming in a clouded sky and popular culture references, like a painting of Homer Simpson. A popular photography opportunity can be found at the mural depicting two large angel wings with a space for you to stand in between.

Dongpirang Village has a strong community of artists and writers, many of whom draw inspiration from Tongyeong’s stunning landscape. Sit in a café with some of the local artists and enjoy a coffee, small Korean treat and a chat.

Tongyeong City is located in the heart of the coastal Hallyeohaesang National Park. The port city lies on the main island of Tongyeong, a collection of over 150 islands. Reach the area by car or bus from Busan. Buses between Tongyeong and Busan airport are frequent throughout the day and the trip takes approximately two hours. See a more scenic route via the Geoje ferry before taking the bus to Tongyeong.

Dongpirang Village is situated on the hill above Joongang Market, Tongyeong Harbour’s main fish market. The village is free to enter and features exceptional hilltop views across the harbour, the city and its hills and the islands dotting the ocean.

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