Photos from my 2019 Korea Trip

 

Yes! Another year spending some time in Korea. No, not North Korea… the other one. (Just to clear that up.) Visiting Korea means several things for us: One, my daughter (20 months old) can visit with her grandparents. Two, my wife can eat spicy rice cakes on any street corner. Three, we can both meet up with friends we made when we lived in Seoul. And of course, four, I get to shoot some photo projects. These photos I’ll share here are some personal photos I took along the way.

 
Mermaid statue on Hagosu-dong Haesuyok-jang Beach (하고수동 해수욕장). The purple color streaks are light bouncing off myself while moving through the water during the exposure.

Mermaid statue on Hagosu-dong Haesuyok-jang Beach (하고수동 해수욕장). The purple color streaks are light bouncing off myself while moving through the water during the exposure.

 

I spent the majority of the time on a small island with a population of 1500 people, Udo (우도). Udo Island is a hot tourist spot from 10am-5pm with up to 50,000 people crowding onto the ferry boats a day during the busiest time of the year. Since I first visited and made local life-long friends in 2012, tourism has skyrocketed and really evolved the vibe. It used to be that after the last daily boat departed at 5 or 6pm, the only people you’d find would be locals who are mostly in their homes. There were a few guesthouses so I guess some other visitors besides myself who would stay overnight, but it was rare that I would actually run into them in evenings. Now, with what looks like a 20x growth in tourism businesses, all those employees who came from the Korean mainland to work here get off work and add a whole new life to evenings on Udo. Hotels, guesthouses, and campgrounds also bring in more overnight visitors.

 
 
My daughter and wife on a ferry boat from Jeju Island to Udo Island

My daughter and wife on a ferry boat from Jeju Island to Udo Island

 
 
The Graffiti Ferry

The Graffiti Ferry

 
The lighthouse on the edge of Biyang Island (비양도) being surrounded by ocean during high tide.

The lighthouse on the edge of Biyang Island (비양도) being surrounded by ocean during high tide.

 
Just one benefit of having good friends here. They hook me up wheels! Which makes it much easier to get around and take photos.

Just one benefit of having good friends here. They hook me up wheels! Which makes it much easier to get around and take photos.

 
Udo-bong Mountain

Udo-bong Mountain

View from Udobong shows Jeju’s 2 biggest landmarks. On the left is Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉) and fading into the haze is Hallasan Mountain.

View from Udobong shows Jeju’s 2 biggest landmarks. On the left is Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉) and fading into the haze is Hallasan Mountain.

One of many abandoned houses on the island

One of many abandoned houses on the island

 

My 3rd day on the island, outside an abandoned house similar to the one above, in I came across a kitten. She had been abandoned by her mother and was desperately crying for something to eat. My friend and I had just done some fishing and had a fresh fish in the back of the truck. We threw a piece of it to the kitten which was just enough to win her trust and be able to pick her up and take her home. Over the next 3 weeks I had a new companion with me everyday. Now, as I type this, she is in a loving home on the island with a local family.

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GG and my friends daughter Lia. They are just two months apart (sitting on different height chairs lol). The last time they hung out they were still embryos.

 


Hello, Yoon Seok

 
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My friend Yoon’s beach front cafe, 2012 (마를린먼로 카페, Marilyn Monroe Cafe)

My friend Yoon’s beach front cafe, 2012 (마를린먼로 카페, Marilyn Monroe Cafe)

My friend Yoon’s beach front cafe, 2019 (안녕 육지 사람, Hello Land People)

My friend Yoon’s beach front cafe, 2019 (안녕 육지 사람, Hello Land People)

 

In 2012 I approached this cafe and met the owner. Somehow we became instant friends. Although I planned on heading out the next day, I stayed around for 3 days and we hung out. Since that day, this island has become quite a special place for me.

 
Rooftop view at Hello, Land People (안녕 육지사람) overlooking the beach.

Rooftop view at Hello, Land People (안녕 육지사람) overlooking the beach.

 
 
Mangru LIghthouse (망루 등대) at the north point on Udo Island

Mangru LIghthouse (망루 등대) at the north point on Udo Island

Sanga swimming at golden hour. She came from Paju, South Korea to work on Udo Island.

Sanga swimming at golden hour. She came from Paju, South Korea to work on Udo Island.

Friends (who happen to work for competing cafe businesses on the same street) hanging out at night.

Friends (who happen to work for competing cafe businesses on the same street) hanging out at night.

 
While driving I asked my friend what all those lights out there are for. “Those are for the squid fishing boats, of course” he replied.

While driving I asked my friend what all those lights out there are for. “Those are for the squid fishing boats, of course” he replied.

 
 

I headed back to the South Korean mainland and to Seoul where I had the chance to see another friend, Taehun Lee, playing live with 까데호 (Cadejo). For the show, I headed to the center of Gangnam District, which is “widely known for its heavily concentrated wealth and very high standard of living”, to a somewhat out of place underground hookah bar called Rainbow (레인보우 강남).

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guitarist Taehun Lee playing with Cadejo (까데호)

guitarist Taehun Lee playing with Cadejo (까데호)

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Other stuff we did: spent time with family, went to a children’s zoo (Zoolung Zoolung Hanam, highly recommended if you have kids), I did a photoshoot on the top of a skyscraper, another photo project (not yet released), actually watched movies together in the theater (thank you subtitles), and we went to the clothing district night market.

GG and Halmoni (Grandmother)

GG and Halmoni (Grandmother)

Settling in on the airplane

Settling in on the airplane