Dozens of Chinese tourists gaze awestruck around the Ewha Campus Complex (ECC). Non-stop photo flashes light up every corner of the building. The sight of Chinese tourists leisurely strolling around Ewha is no longer rare. For years, Edae-ap and Ewha Womans University have been popular tourist sites, especially among Chinese. Shopping and the ECC’s revolutionary architecture are big draws.
“Although there isn’t any official record for the number of tourists visiting Ewha, I assume that around 150 tourists visit the campus every day. Most of them are Chinese,” said Park In-soo, an Ewha security guard.
Ewha became famous along with the Hallyu movement. Chinese guidebooks started including Ewha after the school showed up in several Korean movies that were exported to the country, such as “The S-Diary.”
“I read about Ewha in my guide book. It’s like a must-visit place for Chinese,” said Yong Zu-zoz, a Taiwanese tourist who visited Ewha on March 11. “Along with the beautiful Ewha campus, shopping centers and restaurants around the area provide us with so much fun.” Rumors about Ewha also contribute to its popularity. Ewha is known as one of the best women’s university in the world and the best private women’s university in Korea, This started a rumor that visitors to Ewha have luck entering good universities.
“Ewha became even more popular after rumors about Ewha spread through China. The number of Chinese tourists hoping to visit Ewha has been increasing,” said Wang Ga-hyun, a Chinese tourist guide.
Tourists backed up Wang’s claim.
“Although I don’t trust the rumor 100 percent, I’m inwardly expecting something lucky to happen. Some people even say they got rich after visiting Ewha,” said Zhang Sheng, a Chinese tourist. The campus’s beauty and architecture also attract tourists. ECC, constructed by French architect Dominique Perrault, is treasured worldwide. Flowers and trees around the grounds also elicit exclamations from visitors.
“I think it’s even more beautiful than what I saw from the pictures. I’m really glad I could visit here. I see now why so many Chinese students apply for the exchange student program at Ewha,” Zhang Sheng said.
Local markets around Ewha thrive thanks to Ewha’s popularity. Sales have increased by around 20 percent thanks to Chinese visitors. In recognition of that, the Daehyun Market Association hung a placard reading “We welcome Chinese tourists to this area” near the Ewha front gate.
“We decided to hang a placard because we wanted to show our hospitality and appreciation toward Chinese visitors,” said Yoo Jae-sook, a staff member of the Daehyun Market Association.