You would have to be living under a rock if you have not heard of the Korean show Crash Landing on You. Televised globally on Netflix, it has become a global hit. Written by Park Ji-eun and directed by Lee Jeong-hyo, the series weaves a romantic tale of a South Korean heiress Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) from a wealthy business family and Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin) from the North Korean People’s Army. Political conspiracies, family and business rivalries, and the necessary dramatic elements to an otherwise fairy tale romance.
It was filmed across a number of locations in South Korea and Switzerland, which too caught the attention of the viewers. As international travel begins to restart, this is time to add the scenic locales to your upcoming travel bucket list
Hallasan National Park, South Korea
Although Se-Ri crash landed in North Korea in the series, actual shooting took place in this South Korean national park in the island of Jeju. Part of the Jeju Biosphere Reserve, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. There are several hiking trails inside the park. According to experienced visitors, those who want to reach the summit of the Hallasan Mountain must arrive early for the ascent as park authorities often restrict late arrivals to ensure everybody is able to come down before sundown. Taxis are available from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal to the eastern side of the mountain.
Taean, South Korea
About three hours’ drive from Seoul will take you to this village which served as the home of Ri Jeong Hyeok. Travellers can visit the village; walking through it is like walking through the sets, write bloggers who have been there.
Busan, South Korea
Remember the hotel in Pyongyang where Se-ri meets Gu Seung Joon? You may also stay there but you just have to remember to ask for the Commodore Hotel in Busan, located on the south-eastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. Busan is known for its beaches, mountains and temples.
One of the most poignant scenes where Se-ri and Jeong Hyeok spend a night under the open sky because their journey to Pyongyang by train was delayed owing to operational faults is said to have been shot in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
Panorama Bridge Sigriswil, Switzerland
It is this iconic pedestrian bridge between Thun and Interlaken in Switzerland where Se-ri, who had gone there to commit suicide, meets Jeong-hyeok, when he asks her to take a picture of him and his then fiancée Seo Dan. The 340 m long suspension bridge offers a panoramic view of Lake Thun against the Bernese Alps.
Lake Brienz, Switzerland
Cruising down this picturesque lake, Se-ri hopes the scenic view would act as a remedy to her mental health trauma. The lake takes its name from the eponymous village on its shore, which is famous for woodcarving. On the other side of the lake is Interlaken. Apart from boat excursions, you can also participate in watersports here.
A fishing village located to the south of Lake Brienz, this is where Se-ri heard Jeong-hyeok singing the song ‘For Brother’ at the small pier. It was from here that Jeong-hyeok returned to North Korea when he heard of his brother’s death. But sad thoughts will be the last thing on your mind as you explore this tranquil village filled with traditional wooden chalets. The Grandhotel Giessbach was the (fictional) music school where Jeong-hyeok trained.
Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland
A key location in episode 2, this is where Jeong-hyeok and Se-ri, unknown to each other, watch the paragliders drifting by. The destination reappears in the last episode of the series when, years later, Se-Ri returns from a paragliding trip to find Jeong-hyeok waiting for her. The region is known as a popular destination for hiking and skiing. Catch the gorgeous Three Peaks – Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau – from here.
Popularly called the ‘Top of Europe’, Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Switzerland and needs no introduction. It is here that you will find the highest train station in Europe (3,454 metres). So it is not surprising that both Jeong-hyeok and Se-ri go for the train ride (episode 16), and as fate would have it Se-ri sits right behind Jeong-hyeok and his fiancee Seo Dan. The Sphinx Observatory also makes an appearance in the episode.
This is the bridge in the old quarters of Zurich where Se-ri is seen leaning on the bridge’s railing, in the first trailer of the show. The bridge also makes an appearance in the episode when Jeong-hyeok and Seo Dan meet for the first time. This bridge over the Limmat River connects the two churches –Fraumünster (known for its stained-glass windows by Chagall) and Grossmünster with its two towers.
Did you miss this old town square of Zurich while following Jeong-hyeok and Se-ri in the show’s opening scenes? In the vicinity of Münsterbrücke, it overlooks the Niederdorf and the Limmat River. The Lindenhof fountain (where Se-ri mistakes a pianist for Jeong-hyeok) and the statue commemorate the women of Zurich who defended the town from the Romans in the 13th century. Do budget some time to visit the Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg.
Lake Lungern, Switzerland
This picturesque lake appears at the very end of the final episode where Jeong-hyeok arrives while Se-ri is preparing for a picnic on the meadow. Located in Obwalden, the lake is tucked between Interlaken and Lucerne. If you are adventurous, go hiking, swimming or kayaking here.