It's been a while since I revisited Samcheong-dong in Seoul. The first time I actually visited the place was in 2012 when I had a friend from secondary school come to Korea and wanted to visit a particular cafe in there. Ever since, I've sort of forgotten about the place until I had my friend from university who was staying in a hostel near that area and I thought it would be a good chance to not only take him there, but also check it out myself. While Samcheong-dong is also a main area that tourists flock to, the thing I love about it are the small independent shops, art galleries and cafes located in traditional hanoks and old buildings in small streets which makes it an awesome place for street photography. If you want to explore the area, you would have to take the orange line (line 3), get off at Anguk station and head towards exit 2. It takes around a good few hours to explore Samcheong-dong and since its situated in a hilly area. Also, do remember to wear a pair of comfortable shoes.
Autumn is one of the best seasons to head out to the coast since not only is the weather cooler but the days are also getting shorter, which means more spectacular sunsets for Taean. When I go hiking, I tend to head out early in the morning and come back early in the afternoon. However, I wanted to see the sunset at Kkotji, therefore the girlfriend, a friend and I headed took the 13:10 bus from Taean bus terminal to Baeksajang. From there we started our 11.7KM hike towards to Kkotji. 3 hours and 20 minutes later, we arrived at Kkotji with the sun slowly making its way down towards the horizon. Since we missed the last bus leaving from Kkotji to Taean (which left at 17:20), we walked our way towards Anmyeong bus terminal and took the bus back into town.
Palbongsan, which translated into eight peaks mountain, sits at the border of Taean and Seosan. Like the name, the mountain consists of eight peaks, with the 3rd peak being the highest at 362 meters. There are two areas where one can start the hike up; one in the north and one in the south. Today, my girlfriend, my friend Kevin and I took the local bus from downtown Seosan and started our hike from the south side of the mountain. It took us around 20 minutes before our trail turned into a small dirt path. From there we literally had to climb rocks at some places before we reached our first peak which was the 8th peak. We slowly made our way to the 3rd peak and then after a quick rest, we made our way down. I have to say this mountain was one of the harder ones to climb since there was a lot loose dirt along the trail which made it quite slippery.
Taean county, located on the west coast of Chungnam, consists of mainland Taean and the island of Anmyeong. Between those two are the harbours of Baeksajang and Deureuni Harbour. Baeksajang is also known for it's yearly shrimp festival which runs from the end of September to the end of October. Beside the harbour lies the Baejsajang beach, which is also know for its white sandy coast. A pedestrian bridge located next to the harbour allows people to walk across the channel. The bridge itself is a suspension bridge with spiral ramps on both sides. Not only does it provide a birds eye view of the coastline, it is also one of the many places for one to view Taean's stunning sunset.
Last night, the girlfriend and I decided to tackle a stretch of Haebyeongil which starts at Baeksajang to Kkotji, and by the time we arrive, we would be able to see the sunset. Unfortunately, I didn't plan carefully enough and the sun started to set once we were half way on the trail. By the time I took this photo, we were are Duyegi beach and decided to call it a day. Luckily, we managed to get to Anmyeong Bus Terminal and got on the last bus just before it started leaving for Taean. Autumn is one of the best times to come to Taean since the air is clear and the sunsets are absolutely magnificent.
One of the reason why I love living in Taean is because of its beaches and amazing coastline. Out of the 30 odd beaches along the coast, the one that almost everyone knows is Manripo Beach. It even has direct buses which go to Seoul. Since my girlfriend and I stayed in Taean for Chuseok, we decided to head out to Manripo Beach. We took the local bus which left town at 1735 and arrived around 30 minutes later. The tide was slowly receding so we made our way down to the soft yet spongy sand. The sun was slowly setting and it was view absolutely amazing. Once the sun had set, we went to a local seafood joint and had BBQ shellfish (I forgot to take photos since I was the one doing the barbecuing). After a splendid meal, we took the last bus at 2020 which headed back into town and called it a night. If you do plan to come visit Taean, do come while the pleasant weather lasts!
Seoul is a weird place for street photography. For some reason there is an awkward feeling when I'm wandering around the streets in Seoul. I guess the reason why I find it awkward is because when I started street photography in Hong Kong, it was easy to find interesting things to take photos since everything was tightly packed together. While in Seoul itself is quite a dense city, there seems to areas of "dead space" of concrete towers with little or no "character" in the newly urbanized areas. Nevertheless, the older neighborhoods are still interesting to explore but it does take a bit of time of walking around to find something interesting to photography. While it is a lot more challenging to find an interesting subject, it's still good practice. The photos below were taken around Nambu Bus Terminal and the stretch from Ewha Womans University to Shinchon.
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