Baekhwasan is a small mountain located right next to downtown Taean. It is one of the few places in town where you can get the panoramic view of the downtown area, and if you arrive in time, you'll also be able to watch the sun slowly set into the yellow sea. It takes roughly around an hour to hike up the mountain and once you reach the top, the view is breathtaking.
It's been a week since the workers were finished tearing down the insides of the old building. Now that all the rubbish has been cleared away, the main structure has been slowly torn down. This morning, there is nothing left of the original building except for re-bar and chunks of concrete. I went onto the site one last time to document the final stages of the demolition before it becomes nothing more than a distant memory.
Last Sunday, I headed up north to Gyeonggi to meet up with some awesome photographers to explore an abandoned movie set. It was pretty neat being around these faux traditional buildings because some of them where pretty well built. The interiors weren't that exciting though. For some reason, I forgot to charge my camera battery but thankfully one of the photographers lent me his camera and an extra SD card so I could take the photos that you see below. We all agreed that the site would be a pretty cool place to make short films and photo shoots since everything is already there. If you have time, check out my "Please Also Visit" section.
After visiting the school on Hwangdo, I headed back to the main road to explore another abandoned school. This school and the school on the island both were originally independent schools but later were incorporated as branch schools of Changgi Elementary respectively in 1999 (This school) and 2003 (Hwangdo). On the way to this school, I was surprised to see pheasants since I've never seen one before in the wild. After a good 20 minute walk, I finally arrived to the site. The school was relatively easy to enter. Most of the windows have been removed on one side of the building. The school was built in 1984. Although built 29 years after the school on Hwangdo was established, the interiors of both schools were remarkably similar. There was a peacefulness while exploring the classrooms of the school with the breeze rattling the old wooden window frames. Parts of the floor had started to collapse and I didn't dare test to see if they held my weight. The very end of the hallway was bored up and it there was no way of opening the door. Peering from the outside, it looked it served as a storage room. One of the spookier parts of the school were the toilet. This is probably from watching too many Korean horror films but I still did go in explore the toilet stalls. Overall it was an interesting day and after walking 5 kilometers from the island to the main road, I called it a day and headed back home
This abandoned school is located on an island which is connected by a bridge to the mainland. Interestingly, it is a local attraction where the school buildings have been colorfully decorated. What used to be the field is now part of the public area for the residents of the island as well as a bus stop. The entire site is quite small, consisting of three small buildings which are all accessible. The school grounds is over grown with vegetation. Exploring inside the buildings felt like a step back in time. Most of the interior gives off the feel of something built in the 60s with wooden window and door panels. The building which I first went housed the teachers office, the computer room and the library. The two other buildings were the classrooms, with three classroom each. Aside from being completely accessible to the public, it was still an interesting find.
This abandoned construction site was an unexpected surprise when I was on my way to the abandoned school last Friday. Seeing that I had time, I hopped on a bus which was heading in that direction and I arrived in no more than 10 minutes. Once I got off the bus, I started scouting for an entry point only to realize that I could literally just walk into the site. Unlike other the other places which I've visited which still had people guarding the grounds, this one was completely abandoned. Still cautious by the fact that someone might call me out, I quietly made my way into building 101. This was an unfinished 7 story building which was closest to the gate. Like the other sites that I've visited, the bottom floors are usually free from debris and the higher you go, the more rubbish you'll encounter. This was true when I was on the staircase going from the 6th floor to the 7th floor. There were rusty supporting beams and wooden planks blocking my way up. After spending a bit of time finding the right places to step on (there were rusty nails EVERYWHERE), I made it to the rooftop. After enjoying the view, I decided to call it a day and I took the bus home.
Last week after my staff and I moved into our new school building, the old one was officially abandoned. Yesterday morning, the construction crew started stripping away the metal roofing and the wooden beams which held the roof in place. This morning, mini excavators were hoisted into the second floor had started tearing away the old partitions, windows and floor boards. When the workers went on lunch break, I went inside to take a last look of this 44 year old building before it was reduced to rubble. It was a bit dodgy since the floor was now scattered with shards of glass, metal and wood. Parts of the hallway were blocked off with rubbish that was eventually going to be removed.
This project started from a simple idea of collecting photos of bus shelters. The reason they interest me is because back in Toronto, the bus shelters looked more or less the same since because they are gradually replaced with a new model every few years. However in Korea, there’s more of a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude which results in the wonderful diversity of different bus shelters from different eras. As the project continued, it eventually turned into the goal of visiting every city and county in Chungcheongnam-do, to document the different variety of bus shelters which represented each city and county. In order to complete this goal, I spent a lot of time on Daum Map (Korea’s version of Google Map) since I had to find out where the bus shelters were located and how I was going to reach them. One thing that made this project difficult is that I could only travel during the weekends since I had to work during the week. The time I had taking photos was also limited because not every city/county had direct buses going back to where I lived. This resulted in meticulous planning of which buses and trains I had to take and where I had to transfer in order to decrease traveling time. Through this project, I can officially say I have visited every city and county in Chungcheongnam-do. Although it took me almost six months to complete, it has motivated me to go out and visit places where I would have never had the chance to go to. At the end, it has made me realize there is more to bus shelters than a structure to keep people out the elements. They represent a community; of where people from and where their roots are.
Yesterday, a friend gave me information about an abandoned school located not too far from where I live. I looked up the bus route last night and decided to head out the following morning. Once I arrived at the location, there was one thing I immediately noticed; dogs. Since they were mostly leashed near the old school gate, I scouted for an entry point and found one near the back of the school grounds. The school itself was quite clean to my surprise and I later found out that someone actually lives there. On the second floor, there was a golf practice set-up in one of the classrooms, something I did not expect to see. After exploring all the classrooms in the building, I headed towards to what used to be the playground but I had to turn back and run. The dogs which were leashed near the gate had been barking non-stop for the past hour had alerted the person who "occupied" the school grounds and that guy was heading towards my direction. After making my escape, I hid in the bushes for a bit until the footsteps were gone. Seeing that it was safe, I took a different route out and headed towards the main road.
The main school I work at has just finished constructing a new building, therefore they're going to tear down the old one after we finish clearing it out. Although it has stood for a good 40 something years, it has had it's share of structural problems. According to my co-teacher, the roof was severely damaged during a storm and they had to replace the whole thing. It was not until they took out the air conditioning unit could I see that the basic structure of the roof was made with raw timber. Here are some of the photos I took today. I reckon they'll start tearing it down in a few weeks time.
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