Starlight Village Photo Land: In Korea, lights of Ansan never go out

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

Starlight Village Photo Land: In Korea, lights of Ansan never go out

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

If you are worried that you might miss your chance to enjoy Korea’s winter illuminations, relax because there is a place lit up year-round. About a 50-minute drive from Camp Humphreys, the Starlight Village Photo Land (안산별빛마을포토랜드) is a small yet wonderful display featuring thousands of colorful LED lights, winter, spring, summer and fall.

The village is divided into a couple of smaller theme sections where you’ll find various shining displays like heart-shaped tunnels and swings for couples.

Grab a hot drink at the Starlight Café before heading out to explore the village. It took me about an hour – with coffee in hand - to soak it all in. I was very peaceful.

Santa Village, located in the middle of a forest covered with a wide spread of pure white light, was the most popular spot for kids. Near the big Christmas tree, small capsules that have unique backgrounds like a realistic moon photo or famous paintings, were the most Instagram-able spot for youngsters. At the nearby twinkling tunnel, many foreign travelers were busy posing for photos.

The Ansan Starlight Village is accessible from any city in the Gyeonggi-do area, so take a day trip with family and friends to be dazzled by the beautiful light displays. And, if you don’t like cold weather, wait till it warms up because the village isn’t just a winter wonderland, it’s a year-round one. 

Be amazed by Mirror Maze
If you have kids, or if you are just a big kid at heart, you need to check out Mirror Maze, located right next to the ticket booth for Starlight Village.

This house of mirrors is not part of the village and there is a separate fee (4,000 won), but I highly recommend kicking off your day here because it closes three hours before the park.

Before entering the maze, I was given sanitary gloves, which made be wonder what I was getting into. But as made my way through the house of mirrors, bumping into and touching just about everything in front of me, I was glad I had the gloves on.

Though the repeated reflections of my figure in the mirrors confused and amused me, it was a blast to navigate my own way through this fun-filled house of mirrors.

Photo courtesy of Ansan Starlight Village

Address: 1723, Suin-ro, Sangrok-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do (ENG), 경기 안산시 상록구 수인로 1723 (KOR)
Hours: 3 to 11 p.m. (Mirror Maze & Bumper car: 3 to 10 p.m.), last entry 30mins before closes
Entrance Fee: Adults (Middle school students and up) 7,000 won ($5.87), Children (24 months to elementary) 5,000 won, Seniors (ages 65 & above) 5,000 won
* Separate fees applicable for Mirror Maze: 4,000 won
Phone: 031-484-5050
Naver Map

Speakin Korean

This illumination is so beautiful! 
Bul-bi-chi neo-mu areum-da-wo-yo!

Let’s take some photos together. 
U-ri ga-chi sa-jin jji-geo-yo.

Could you pose for the camera? 
Po-ju-reul chwi-hae-ju-si-ge-sseo-yo?

Could you take a picture of me? 
Sajin Jom Jji-geo ju-si-ge-sseo-yo?

Shall we go over there?  
Jeo-gi-ro han beon ga-bol-kka-yo?

My hands are freezing.  
So-ni neo-mu si-ryeo-yo

Hold my hand. 
Nae son-eul ja-ba-yo. 

I’ll buy you a nice warm drink.
Tta-tteu-tan eum-nyo han jan sa-deu-ri-kkeyo.

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