Just before winter set in, we set our sights on Gapyeong County for a day and a half of fun and folly. The locations included a silk factory, temples, a factory, hotel resort under construction, train station, a bridge and a spa.
After my first visit to Okpo Land, my good friend Jesse expressed interest in seeing the abandoned amusement park. The US army is shipping him out of Korea at the end of the month, so it was now or never. He invited his friends in the Korean punk scene, and 13 of us caught the KTX bullet train down from Seoul, representing Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, South Korea, and Germany. We met up with the Busan urban explorers and spent one day in Okpo City and one day in Busan, where we scouted five more new sites. This was the largest UE gathering in Korean history, and we raised awareness of urban exploration with a lot of people.
His time in the US army up, Jacob became a regular civilian. He assembled a crew of Vervonauts and they crossed the land, braving such perils as negative weather reports, loud snoring, and soju-induced dementia, in search of abandoned treasures. The destination: 100 Rocky Peaks Land, an abandoned amusement park in the backwaters of Gyungbuk Province. On the voyage, they discovered an abandoned school and some kind of Buddhist temple stacked with far-right-wing literature. At their destination, they met and befriended Korean Evangelical Christians planning to demolish the park.
On Chuseok, Koreans all go to their hometowns, leaving Seoul empty. It's the perfect holiday for exploring. A bunch of people met up, and over the course of several days much fun was had. Sites visited included: a crane, rooftops, an abandoned neighbourhood, a drain, and an abandoned red-light district.
Canada Day, 2017, explorers from around Alberta found themselves bumming around a not-so-terribly-fruitful Deadmonton, however we did witness Steed's aptitude for crafting a story while a random staff member was left mentally questioning the eccentric group of people standing in his lobby. The night included ending up on CCTV in a few places, swatting mosquitos, avoiding witnesses from high places, watching Germ roll-start his Jeep Cherokee, waiting an hour for some pancakes, and finding an unexpected, but generally appreciated, delivery of delicious Chinese food.
For five days, urban explorers of Korea and a few others took to Seoul's rooftops, abandonments, and tunnels over Korea's longest-ever holiday, Chuseok 2017. We wandered through abandoned alleys with a hip-hop group, walked about 2 kilometers underground with a blind guy, and hung out with Peter Parker on a roof.
We rang in the Lunar New Year with a full long weekend of activities.
Day 1: We visited active demolition at Euljiro, where one member of our group ran into an evictee protester she had interviewed and he gave us a tour of some of the remaining machine shops. Then we went to Ahyeon-dong where a hired goon chased after us on a scooter, and then hit a rooftop in Sinchon and got food.
Day 2: Despite a light rain, we risked the Host Tunnel, taking precautions such as staying mobile and being aware where water would come from.
Day 3: I went alone out to Baedari, Incheon, to see the urban renewal happening there at a historic community.