Check out the filming locations of the Netflix’s latest global hit, Squid Game, in Seoul, Daejeon, and beyond, and you can play the games in real life!
Squid Game is Netflix’s nine-episode series based on the real-life Korean children’s game – dubbed Ojingeo due to the size and shape of the game’s board – for which 456 people play classic childhood games for a chance to win a large sum of money.
However, there is a catch: the contestants are drowning in debt, and the prize is in the millions — just what a debt-stricken individual would need. And, while it may appear innocuous to those who haven’t seen the show, those in the know realize the actual brutal nature of the games: if you win a game, you move on. However, if you lose, you are instantly killed.
They even made many sets and set pieces, especially for the show.
According to Chae Kyoung-sun, the series’ production designer, all of the sets for the games were made from scratch, including the multicolored staircase based on M.C. Escher’s optical-illusion picture. The Korean neighborhood in the marbles competition segment and the mechanical doll from the first episode was also made for the show.
As the success of Squid Game reaches an all-time high, local governments in South Korea have seized the opportunity to capitalize on the show’s fame, marketing areas used and featured in its production.
Apart from Seoul, Squid Game makes use of or mentions various additional South Korean locales, and it turns out that some of them can be visited! So, pack your bags for a deep dive into the universe of the show, minus the violence and blood.
Several travel agreements have been signed between South Korea and neighboring and other countries, and they will go into effect on November 15th, lifting the quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists. While we wait for Season Two of Squid Game, this would allow more travelers to enjoy the numerous games featured in Netflix’s successful show.
The Squid Game contestant’s hometown is Seoul, and many of the series’ scenes were shot in various locales throughout the city. The city authority has already adopted some of the show’s themes and designated many spots throughout town as must-sees.
Many sequences with Gi-hun, for example, were shot in Ssandmun-ding, which is located on the outskirts of Seoul to the north. A fish stall in Baegun Market on Samyang-ro 154-gil, a Pokopang arcade in Chang-dong, Sangbong Intercity Bus Terminal, and Namsan Park are among the other locations.
Itaewon Station converted to a Squid Game photo space for fans:
The giant doll of Yeonghee:
Kyodong Elementary School
Kyodong Elementary School was featured in the opening shot of Squid Game from the beginning. In the first scene, a young boy and his neighborhood friends are seen playing the eponymous Squid Game.
The moment set the tone for the rest of the episode, contrasting infantile innocence with the game’s inherent violence. Fans of Squid Game can actually visit Kyodong Elementary School, Seoul’s oldest elementary school, which opened in 1894!
Seongapdo Island, Incheon
The island in the program had to be depicted as distant and abandoned enough to conceal the mass murder of a vast number of people. The show’s reference to the tourist-heavy Jeju Island wasn’t a real filming location.
Instead, the filming took place on Seongapdo Island, which is only sparsely populated by fishermen. However, just a small amount of outdoor filming took conducted on Seongapdo, with the majority of the show’s gameplay taking place on Daejeon sets.
The cast of Squid Game was not shy about posting behind-the-scenes photos from filming locations on their social media profiles, with numerous photos geotagged in Daejeon.
Daejeon is Korea’s fifth-largest city, a television production center, and only 50 minutes by rail from Seoul. According to RadioTimes, Daejeon is one of the region’s tech hubs. It has acquired the moniker “Asia’s Silicon Valley” due to the large concentration of research universities and tech enterprises in the area.
Wolmi Theme Park
Wolmi Theme Park, located on Wolmido Island in Incheon, appears briefly in Episode 2 of Squid Game. While the show presents the amusement park as a location for illegal gang dealings, Wolmi Theme Park is far less sinister in real life.
While the park is free to enter, the rides must be paid for. Aside from Squid Game, the park has appeared in a number of other dramas, including ‘It’s Okay to Be Okay’ and ‘Descendants of the Sun.’
Though none of the locations were included in the series, one of the main characters, North Korean defector Sae-byeok, expressed a desire to visit Jeju Island after winning the games.
“‘What Would Player 067 Do on Jeju Island?’ is available on the official website of the Jeju Tourism Organization, and it introduces fascinating places to explore.” In early October, Jeju Island was introduced as the “Hawaii of Korea” by the US-based news magazine Newsweek. It also launched online marketing to boost awareness of Korean tourism.
Without Jeju Island, no list of Squid Game venues would be complete. While Kang Sae Byeok and Ji Young will never be able to visit Jeju Island and drink mojitos, viewers of the show will be able to. If she had made it to Jeju, it would undoubtedly have lived up to her expectations.
The volcanic island has beautiful beaches, craters, and the world’s longest lava tunnel. In addition, it is home to an enormous shield volcano, Mount Halla, in its heart.
Bonus: Ulsan, a port city of South Korea
Although the show wasn’t filmed here, it has still garnered massive interest from the show’s fans.
The Jangsaengpo Whale Culture Village was built in 2015 to depict how the village looked when whale hunting was popular in the 1960s and 1970s. What was once an empty lot has been transformed into the “Squid Game” playground.
People of all ages are congregating at the Whale Culture Village in Jangsaengpo, Ulsan, to participate in games inspired by the Netflix TV show.
The Ulsan Whale Cultural Foundation, which operates the Jangsaengpo Whale Special Culture Zone in Ulsan, a port city in southern Korea, stated that over 10,000 people visited the Whale Culture Village on the first and second weekends of October, which was comparable to pre-pandemic levels!
What’s more, you can even visit these Squid Game filming locations online via VisitKorea’s promotional event – K-Tour Game!
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