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Perched above the city of Tongyeong in the far south of South Korea is Dongpirang village.

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A place at once a living, breathing gallery of street art and a window to a less affluent past.

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Like other forlorn villages this side of the peninsula, Dongpirang has embraced it rusticity and emblazoned it’s streets with pretty pictures. An effort to attract some of those pesky tourist dollars.

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An egregious tourists trap Dongpirang might be, but one that is definitely worth a meander through.

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Lining its twisty narrow streets are the squat abodes, stray cats, and awesome views of the city and the sea below.

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From Tongyeong’s seaside downtown, follow the hoards of luminously clad ajjumas and ajjoshis up to the heights of Dongpirang. Then lose them in the village’s plethora of hushed narrow alleys.

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Make sure not to wander into people’s property for as pretty as Dongpirang village is these are people’s real homes.

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Words and photography by Ben Cowles. Read his blog, Monkey Boy Goes, and follow him on and .