What to Do in Changwon
I‘ve lived here for nearly six months now and it took me a looooong time to compile this list. Changwon doesn’t seem to have much going on from the outset. Even Korean people who have lived here there whole lives struggle to tell you where you can do fun things. But they’re here! So let me give you a run-down on what to do in Changwon 🙂
Masan Changdong Art Village
Changwon is technically three cities that have all merged into one. Masan is one of these cities, and arguably far more well known than Changwon itself. The Changdong Art Village is a great place to wander and spend and hour. It consists of many side-streets dedicated to quirky, bright “Korean-style” art. If you’ve been to Gamcheon in Busan, or similar art villages in Tongyeong or Yeosu, you’ll know the style. But Changdong is more developed, with many traditional craftsmen shops throughout the streets. The slight maze like quality makes trying to find more art filled side-streets a fun activity in and of itself.
After you’re done exploring, head to the 사랑이그린세상 cafe (sarangi-gurinsaysang). It has a beautiful garden, unlimited sweet toast, and good drinks.
This a street/area with a million cafes and a focus on more international restaurants and bakeries. On a cold winter weekend it’s the best place to cafe-hop like the Koreans. It’s always decorated really well, with some kind of lights to match the season decorating the trees. It’s highly atmospheric and a bit nostalgic even to just walk around.
I don’t really have a favorite here, despite their appearances they are all generally quite Korean-style. I’ve been to around 5 different ones in Garosogil and I highly recommend trying out one or two. After a cafe you can head to one of the many good restaurants also in the area.
Todosu is definitely one of the best in the area, and definitely one of the only good Mexican restaurants in Korea. If you’re craving American I’ve heard there’s a really good American diner for hamburgers, etc.
A Great Cafe and Delicious Beef BBQ
Technically it’s a BBQ chain but it’s so worth it. The beef is really good quality and I absolutely recommend upgrading to the galbi and ordering a side of cheese. Fried cheese is delicious. Unfortunately I don’t actually know it’s name (it won’t come up on KakaoMaps either), so this is the address: 경남 창원시 의창구 서상동 692-5.
End your evening with a short walk to Fairhaven (페어헤븐). This cafe is absolutely one of my favorites in Changwon. The head baker was trained in France, and speaks a little English to help you choose which authentic pastry you’d like! Also, as legit tea is difficult to find in Korea, they offer Mariage Freres here (French blended/flavored tea).
Dinner and Drinks in Masan
The best Italian restaurant in Changwon is most definitely Rabel Toast. The main chef actually trained in Italy and the food is legit. I can recommend their pizza and the risotto in particular. The decor is more European upscale which is different from most Korean restaurants. I didn’t even realize Korean decor was different until I walked into Rabel Toast which didn’t have it.
After dinner, head down to 엘투다이낭라운지. It’s a little hidden away on the second floor but it’s one of the only actual “bars” in Changwon. As in, they serve more than just beer and highballs. You can get some delicious mixed drinks here! If the menu doesn’t have something that you want you can always ask the owner. I’ve been able to get an Amaretto Sour and a White Russian just by asking 🙂
Other Random Good Stuff
Check out what I refer to as the “Indian collection” in downtown Changwon. Bombay (봄베이)is my favorite of the four or so Indian restaurants on the same floor of this one building. But if you want to try a different one, you have choices 😛
Despite being a very stereotypical cafe, the Green House is basically my second home in Korea. The staff are great and the drinks are good. The food is also pretty good, as is the large bakery on the ground floor. At this point I feel like the staff know a little too much about my life. I bring all my visiting friends there, get Korean tutoring weekly, and have even brought a couple dates by this cafe. It has a great atmosphere. Additionally, if you head out of the cafe straight two blocks and turn right there is an excellent samgapsal place (although the waiters are a bit intrusive). Keep going and you’ll soon run into the Market. It’s not any different from any other market in Korea but it’s got good stuff 😛
Anyways! I hope that’s given you all some ideas for what to do in Changwon!
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