Friday, August 3, 2012

The York of South Korea

Maybe if I wasn't so averse to looking at travel guides now and then, I wouldn't have missed out on Suwon last time I was in Korea. I somehow got the idea it was full of bored, racist English teachers, but this nicely sized city just an hour from Seoul turns out to have more going on than some places I took a long haul bus ride for. I'm looking at you, Jeonju.

But these are the reasons I came back to Korea - for the unfinished business of scrambling over broken walls, taking boring photos of reconstructed gates and dressing up like an idiot. There wasn't enough space to write all that in the 'Purpose of visit?' section of the immigration form, so I just went for 'tourism.'

Hwaseong Fortress

Mere days after discovering Seoul has a bloody big wall around it, I got to pretend I was in China again, or York (depending on the paucity of your imagination), and somehow occasionally got lost despite walking in straight line around a big square and having a patronisingly illustrated map that was clearly aimed at children. Hey look, a squidgel!

Seonamammun (south-west 'secret' command post). They'd never think of looking for it here, in-between the south and west command posts

Seojangdae (west command post). Areas like this pedantically required a ticket to get through...

But there are always alternatives

Things start to get disappointingly urban by Hwaseomun (west gate)

These gates are getting a little repetitive, so here's a ceiling at Janganmun (north gate)

Suwoncheon river. I should be half-way now

I'll illustrate the time passing with this radical lighting change (Dongbukporu)

Almost like I got bored after an hour and did the second half on a different day.
Shh, don't spoil the magical illusion

Changnyongmun (east gate)

The York Minster of Suwon

Bongon beacons

Paldalmun (south gate). What an anticlimax, you can't even see it!
That'll teach me to try livening up my blogs with a narrative

Today's relevant soundtrack: Pink Floyd, The Wall

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