Ever wanted to see your name engraved like a Hollywood A-lister? A few lucky Korea lovers received the VIP treatment. As part of the “Write Your Name In Korea” campaign by Visit Korea and promoted by f(x)’s Krystal, participants secured a spot to be forever engraved on Sang Sang Gil in Changwon.
Sang Sang Gil is actually located in Masan, which in 2010 became part of the larger Changwon. There are still signs identifying much of the city with its parts, such as Masan Station and the Masan Fish Market. I arrived at the Masan Intercity Bus Terminal at 7am, from Gyeongju. The travel time of 2 hours was a good rest for a sleepless night after norebang (singing room). If you’re coming from Seoul, the Masan Express Bus Terminal is a bit further from where I started, you’d best to take the KTX to Masan Station and make it a 3 hour trip.
Seoul -> Masan
Gyeongju -> Masan
From the Intercity Bus Terminal I walked on the main road towards Masan Station to take in a bit of the city. At early morning there’s a Lotteria just a few steps away to eat a much needed breakfast. A little bit further and you’ll find the McDonald’s or Paris Baguette. Once I reached Masan Station there were vendors selling dried fish products, nuts and spices. It was interesting to see the new feats of engineering of the bullet train next to the old styled market that has made the backbone of the city.
To get to Sang Sang Gil I just followed exactly what was written on the Visit Korea site, I took the 800 bus on the main road from the same side the KTX station sits. I missed my stop at Samsung Saengmyeong Bus Stop, and got off a little later even though there’s English announcements on the bus. It did allow me to see the Masan Fish Market as I retraced the bus route to the start of Sang Sang Gil.
You could probably also take the Changwon City Bus tour to get here. I didn’t but only saw it was available after I arrived.
Sang Sang Gil is a colourful tile road holding the names of 23,000 people from all over the world. Celebrities such as Jeon Ji-hyeon, Krystal, 4Minute and Kara have their own special golden tiles. It’s organized with numbered rows running the length of the road and letters across width. I found my name at 181P, with a few of my friends close by. We had all submitted around the same time, and are quite lucky to be closer 4Minute whose tiles practically start the road. It was a bit of a relief to find my name there, which is right across the Angel In Us Cafe where I had lunch.
The road is situated adjacent to Changdong Art Villlage. It’s a cultural hot spot for up and coming artists. In the Changdong Art Village Information Center you’ll see displayed pieces for 1,200,000 Won ($1319 CAD/$1046 USD – I know right?). Here you’ll also find the Sang Sang Gil Book, which contains all name submissions including those after the 23,000th. If you weren’t quick enough, just know that your name can be found here.
Looking to shop? There are clothing stores that follow the same artsy feel in just about every alley. One of them named Hepburn, with the actresses’ profile as their logo, sells women’s clothing. For some good eats Italian food, Buddae Jiggae, Chicken and beer, and cafes can be found here. For something more country, you can grab some snacks from the truck vendors. It really depends on how much time you have.
Sang Sang Gil is worth a visit if you’ve submitted your name or know someone who did. It’s a really unique promotion and although I’m not making A-lister dollars, I felt special to be part of the city. Coming here without a tile can still be interesting, but some other cities would have similar roads set up. You can make a Masan stop then head over to Busan or Gyeongju within the same day with plenty of time to go wander around and sight see.