Article: Top 10 K-Dramas That Show Off The Small-Town Charm

When it comes to shooting locations, South Korea has everything a director or a viewer may need. Shooting locations play a major role in dramas. Apart from giving dramas aesthetic value, they also set the tone and overall mood of a drama. From picturesque small towns to bustling big cities, South Korea has plenty of locations to transport the viewer into a world the creator desires. K-dramas set in small towns have a unique charm of their own. The gorgeous places, close-knit communities, and the quaint beauty provide an unprecedented spin on K-dramas. Let’s take a look at such K-dramas that show off the charm of small towns.

1. Hometown Cha Cha Cha

Hometown cha cha cha is the perfect feel-good romance drama you could watch if you need a little pick-me-up. Yoon Hye Jin, a big-town dentist, opens up her dental practice in the charming seaside town of Gongjin. There she meets the town’s handyman and chief Hong Du Sik. Slight annoyance gives way to mutual respect and then love as Hye Jin and Du Sik get to know each other. Hometown Cha Cha Cha has some gorgeous shooting locations, and the nosy but loving residents of Gongjin town will be sure to steal your hearts. And hey, Hye Jin is the perfect office casual outfit inspiration!

2. Once Upon A Small Town

This romantic comedy, based on the webtoon of the same name, stars Red Velvet Member Park Soo Young (Joy). Seoul-based veterinary Han Ji Yul, played by Choo Young Woo, returns to his hometown, the small countryside village of Huidong, to attend his grandfather’s clinic. There he meets the town insider and local police chief Ahn Ja Young (Park Soo Young) and Lee Sang Yeon, a café owner.  This wholesome drama features a love triangle, cute animals, and plenty of small-town charm. Once Upon a Small Town features masterful cinematography, with a capacious of stellar shooting locations filled with vibrant and luscious greenery to entice the viewer.

3. Reply 1988

Reply 1988 has special importance in place for K-drama lovers, for the nostalgic and homey feeling of this all-time favorite drama. The drama chronicles the events surrounding five young friends and their families, who live in a close-knit neighborhood. Reply 1988 was the fifth highest-rated television series in Korean cable television history, and at the time of its airing achieved the accolade of being the highest-rated television drama.

4. Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol

Do Do Sol La La Sol is another such drama that showcases the countryside of South Korea. Vivacious and cheerful pianist Goo Ra-Ra loses everything in a flash, trying to rebuild her life, she travels to the sleepy countryside of Eunpo City, where she develops a connection with a mysterious part-time worker Sunwoo Joon. A romantic connection develops between them as Sunwoo helps Ra Ra gain her footing and rebuild her life, and the duo leans on each other as they share everything from their secrets to their pain. Do Do Sol La La Sol is a fluffy and charming small-town romance comedy.

5. Link: Eat, Kill, Love

Who says small-town K-dramas have to be cheerful all the time? Combining the element of small-town romance and mystery thriller, Link tells the story of a hotshot chef Eun Gye Hoon who opens up his restaurant in his hometown, the place where his twin sister went missing years ago. There he meets No Dah Hyun, his neighbor, with whom he gets off on the wrong footing. Gye Hoon and Dah Hyun are mysteriously connected and can sense each other’s emotions. Between nosy townsfolks and a terrorizing serial killer, the two leads develop a romantic connection.

6. Our Blues

Korean dramas that depict and life and the hardships of multiple people provide a unique sense of comfort, as many different can identify with the characters on-screen. Our Blues is one such drama. Set in the famous and picturesque Jeju Island features a star-studded cast consisting of Shin Min-a Min, Kim Woo-bin, Han Ji-min, Roh Yoon Seo, Lee Byung-hun, and Bae Hyun-sung. In this happily ever after guaranteed drama, residents of Jeju island experience the highs and lows of life as they learn the true meaning of love, care, and forgiveness. The drama tackles various heavy and taboo topics such as the mistreatment of children, teen pregnancy, bullying, and discrimination against the disabled. Our Blues brings light to various heavy topics while still taking time to balance the heaviness with light-hearted and sweet moments.

7. When The Camellia Blooms

This romantic thriller comedy revolves around single mother Oh Dong Baek who runs a bar named Camellia in her small village called Ongsan. Since childhood, Dong Baek was an orphan and believes that rejection is all she deserves. All this changes when she meets and falls in love with Yu Sik, a police officer who returns to Ongchan following his demotion. As Yu Sik and Dong Baek’s budding romance strengthens, the duo must battle the mysterious killer known as the Joker. Filmed in the rural town of Guryeongo Beach, When The Camellia Blooms will have you itching to pay a visit to this gorgeous town!

8. When The Weather Is Fine

Office romance queen Park Min Young stars as the talented but trauma-burdened Mok Hae Won, who is a cellist teacher in Seoul. After things go out of order in the big city, she travels to her hometown Buk Yeon situated in the charming Gwangjon province, which holds bittersweet memories. Hae Won bumps into her childhood friend and neighbor Im Eun Seop, who is a bookstore owner. The bookstore became a constant for their blossoming romance as Mok Hae and Eun overcome their past traumas and find solace in each other.

9. Racket Boys

This slice-of-life drama explores the life of athletes in a small Korean countryside. Baseball prodigy Yoon Hye Kaan was on a fast track to an illustrious career, but his father’s latest badminton coaching gig forced him to move to the countryside. Seeing the town’s high school badminton team on the verge of disbandment, Hye Kaan joins the team to enable the teams to partake in competitions. The story continues as Hye Kaan along with his new teammates grow as both people and athletes. Racket Boys was filmed in various locations like Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, Miryang-si, and Gyeongnam, which offers many compelling visuals.

10. When I Was The Most Beautiful

Aspiring ceramic artist and art student Oh Ye Ji takes up a job at a school. There she encounters brothers Seo Hwan and Seo Jin and gets embroiled in a love triangle with them. An angsty melodrama and bitter romantic rivalry ensue as both brothers try to woo Ye Ji. This 2020 series stars Lim Soo-Hyang, Ji-Soo, and Ha Seok-jin.