This is an old area of Gwangju full of fascinating history. The story is that the Penguin Village gets its name from all the elderly people ‘waddling’ around the area like penguins.
Apparently, some guy in the village started collecting old stuff and turned his front yard into a museum of sorts. Others joined in and it attracted local artists. When the area was later marked for redevelopment, the artists stepped in, created impressive street art, and eventually saved the area from destruction.
There’s a little shop that sells snacks and candy from the 80’s and 90’s. According to my mother in law, it felt like a time warp! My parents in law had a little shop out of their front room back in the 80’s so they remember dearly all of the confectionery.
Unfortunately, the penguin village has changed a lot, even in the past year, that we have lived here. There’s been a different type of redevelopment now. They have totally ‘revamped’ the area to make it a tourist attraction, but, in the process, it has lost a lot of its eclectic charm.
Still, it remains an outdoor art exhibit and, if you’re in Gwangju, it’s worth a visit.
While you’re there:
Explore the rest of Yangnimdong for cute cafe’s, unique restaurants, art and history.
The Vietnamese restaurant in Namgwangju market is totally worth the walk over the bridge.