Here are some of my photographs from Korea. Over the past few years I have been working in central Korea and have also spent some time in Seoul. Every opportunity I get I’m taking photos! Click on the links below for more photos from each area of Korea.
We have had many days in Seoul when we arrive and depart and have taken many opportunities to see the sights. Changdeokgung Palace in the fall is spectacular especially if you are lucky and happen to go on the day when you can guide yourself! This palace is the smaller palace that was used by the emperor while the Gyeongbukgung Palace a few blocks away was being remodeled. There are great sights to see in Seoul itself on the streets, from the Namsan Tower, the markets and street vendors. Itaewon is a tourist area catering to foreigners, particularly American GIs, who have a base nearby. I like the Namdaemun (South Gate) Market as this is the place Koreans go to get a bargain. There are also a slew of camera stores around the corner… The South Gate near the market is one of the original gates of Seoul. It was burned down by an arsonist last year and is being rebuilt. I have some photos before this unfortunate event.
Another nice area of Seoul is Insadong Street near the Gyeongbukgung Palace. This is a pedestrian street with many interesting tourist shops and local restaurants. You can buy high end art objects or have a snack from the street vendor selling homemade Korean candy.
Nearer work is the town of Gimcheon with the beautiful and ancient Jikji Buddhist Temple. We stay in the industrial city of Gumi that has a vibrant downtown area and a central market of its own. Gumi is home to Samsung and LG making flat screen TVs and cell phones. A major attraction in town is Geumo Mountain which is a state park famous as the start of the Green movement in Korea. It’s about a 2 hour arduous climb – one way – that I have done four times in different seasons. At the top is the Yaksa Buddhist temple, a 10th century carved Buddha and fantastic views of Gumi and the surrounding area. You can really see that Korea is 70% mountains and that the cities hug the valleys. There is a lot of competition for space.
We made a visit to the East Coast and stopped at the 38th parallel the official dividing line between North and South Korea. After the truce in the Korean War both sides made a final push to establish the border. The South pushed northward on the east coast and the North pushed south on the west coast so the border is tipped southwest to northeast. Consequently, the 38th parallel is on the side of South Korea on the east coast. The South also got some spectacular mountain scenery in this corner of South Korea.
An interesting day was spent at the Korean Folk Village which recreated life from 200 years ago. There was a demonstration of silk spinning from silkworm pupae.