Despite being criticised for having elements similar to the story of My Love from the Star, according to Nielsen Korea, the Legend of the Blue Sea TV series managed to gain a 17.6 per cent rating for its final episode, the highest in that time slot on Jan. 26.
Following the popularity of the drama, the Korean Tourism Organisation (KTO) has disclosed and is recommending several filming sites as tourist destinations.
Tri-Bowl Cultural Center
This is the place where Heo Jun-jae (Lee Min-ho) was introduced in the first episode of Legend of the Blue Sea. The building, shaped like a triple bowl, is a cultural centre run by the Incheon Foundation for Arts and Culture. It is located in the Songdo International Business District, which is on reclaimed land in the Incheon area. The building is usually used to hold performances, arts and culture-related education events and exhibitions.
In the first episode of the drama, Heo took Shim Chung (Jun Ji-hyun) to a shopping mall after meeting her in Spain. The mall used as a backdrop is actually not located in Spain, but in South Korea and is called Starfield Hanam.
It is in the Gyeonggi area. KTO named the mall owned by the Shinsegae group as the biggest shopping complex in the country, with approximately 460,000 square meters of floorspace.
Aside from stores and restaurants, the mall also features several amusement facilities, such as the Aquafield waterpark, the Hyundai Motorstudio experience centre and a sports centre called Sports Monster.
Aqua Planet in Yeosu
According to KTO, Aqua Planet is the second largest aquarium in Korea. It was visited by Heo Jun-jae after he returned from Spain. The aquarium is a four-story building located at the 63 Square area in Yeosu, a city in the South Jeolla province.
It features three main exhibitions on its third floor. The main attractions include the main tank, a 360-degree view tank and freshwater fish tanks, as well as penguin, beluga and seal tanks. Ticket prices start at 23,000 won (US$20) for adults.
Yeouido Hangang Park
After reuniting in Aqua Planet, Heo Jun-jae and Shim Chung walked together and later saw a fireworks display at Hangang Park in the Yeouido district. The area is actually a part of the Han River's riverside area that stretches through the city of Seoul.
The area is famed as a place to do various activities for free, such as light sports exercises and hanging out after work. Many broadcasting stations in Yeouido also utilise the area as a filming location. Interested visitors can try riding on the water taxi.