Yangyang Traditional Market


Across Korea traditional markets are still a common feature. Taking place every five days in towns and even cities, the markets give a brief insight into an older part of Korea. For the most part these markets are straightforward occasions and possibly a bit like you could imagine in the so-called olden days, drawing in all the local populace for not only business but also social reasons.

Throughout you can see people meeting and doing business, while at the same time there is a good quantity of back slapping and hearty laughing by the stalls. There are rows and rows of people, mostly old women it has to be said, selling what is clearly the excess from their small gardens, and for them it seems to be as much a chance to get out and meet people, with the added benefit of actually making some money.

This is a K-Pop free zone. Not because of the age, but because of the distance it sits from the modern and vibrant image which K-Pop and Hallyu parades as Korean. There are no hanboks, palaces, models with plastic surgery, dramatic light shows, or indeed very many young people at all. Korea will be more like this, the majority of the population being between 30 and 50 years old, and this relatively young country will soon be an old one holding on to its past as much as its future pushes to break free.

These markets are not only rural occasions, as they function within every city, the most famous being Moran Market. Travel past the glitz of any main street and burried in its alleys and side streets this side of Korea persists, struggling against the tide fueled by a minority keen to present a new Korea to the world.

Talk will persist eternally about how to combine these two elements but one is always going to be a loser. I’m not trying to sound critical here, just to explain a reality which isn’t spoken of much. Too many distractions seem to occupy the imaginations of everyone invested in Korea with a voice, but still Korea carries on, some struggling, a few thriving, many taking what they can from the ride and hoping for the best in the end. It’s no denying what demographic the people thriving usually make up, and if you need it hint, it is rarely the vendors and patrons of places like Yangyang market.

Below is a selection of an extended set of photographs now available to view on flickr. Please click this link to see more!

Walking Around Jumunjin – June 15, 2012


Kindergarten closeup.A wallCylindersThe back of a buildingHalf and halfShutter down
Another closed door.Minimalist gardening.Sneak a peek.Big and smallGreen doorsGrowing through the concrete.
Old fashioned window box.This is not a flower shop.Roses fenced in.Almost symetricalYeongjin sea wall.An alley - note the old style houses.
The East SeaShowersWallIrishEvacuation routeRestaurant

By no stretch of the imagination do I consider myself a photographer, but I do like taking pictures, and I do like sharing them with others. Before I wrote my last post on Jumunjin, I spent an hour or two walking around a small area close to Herself’s folks’ place. As usual, I took my camera with me. Continue reading

My Second Home in Korea – Jumunjin, Gangwon-do.


I’ve been coming to Jumunjin in Gangwon-do as long as I’ve known Herself. She’s a local, but she hasn’t lived here since she finished highschool and moved to Seoul to go to university. Not long after we started hanging out together she sneaked me down here and we hung out at the beach in between the time she would spend with her family. It wasn’t long before we started to make regular trips here and these trips increased in frequency once I was formally introduced to her parents. Now I’d almost say I’m a local here. I don’t think too many of the real locals feel that way.

Sogum River and Jumunjin in the winter.

Not only is Jumunjin the place where we later got married, it’s also probably the place outside of Seoul we visit the most. A couple of summers ago we were almost every second or third weekend. That being said, it has been a while since we were last out here. I’d say we haven’t been here since some time last autumn, which is quite a while.

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Empty Hooks?


This Friday (January 28) on the drive out to Gangneung myself and herself stopped by Jinbu in Pyeongchang to do a spot of ice fishing. “What”? you ask, as I asked my beloved also. Ice fishing – as in fishing for ice? Surely you can make your own if you’re that desperate for a gin and tonic my dear, I chuckled. This exercise could have potential if one was in a desert or somewhere hot, but travel experts will know that Korea is not hot in the winter, and as we drove through the mountains and saw all the signs for Pyeongchang 2018, I began to realise that there was something else to this ice fishing.

 

A hole in the ice

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