Last week during a two day break in the monsoon rains I got up before sunrise and went out to the seashore to make some photos in the morning light. The sun rises around 5:30 and by 7 or 7:30 the light becomes harsh and the temperature uncomfortable, so it’s important to be out as early as possible.

I started out at Gangmun, which is where Gyeongpo Lake empties into the sea through a very short river. Across the mouth of the river is a pedestrian tourist bridge that is unnecessary for traffic but draws crowds and their money. Servicing the visitors are a famous hamburger place, coffee shops, and sashimi restaurants. It’s nice to be there early in the morning because the uncomfortably large crowds don’t show up until 10:00 or so.

From the bridge you can, according to a sign, throw coins or precious items into this bowl and make a wish. People throw the usual coins, but, curiously, many people also throw their lighters into the sand. Having lighters count as precious items says something about the sanctity and importance of the smoking culture. I wish I was joking. A No Smoking sign here is seen by many as a human rights violation.

There were a few people besides myself exercising or enjoying the cool sea air. This lady read the information about the bridge and then made a photo of it.

One of many cafés in the area.

You can walk part of the way out on this breakwater. People climb out over the rails to fish, though you are not supposed to.

After I had enough of Gangmun, I walked up the boardwalk towards the next tourist area. Which is more cafés and sashimi restaurants, but also hotels. Pulled up on the beach here and there were fibreglass(?) speedboats used to thrill tourists out on the water with constant sharp turns, tight circles, and jumps over the wake of the boat.

I saved 4,000 Won at this photo booth by taking a picture of myself in the mirror outside.

In the foreground is the Gyeongpo Emerald Beach Hotel and in the background is the larger and fancier Hyundai Hotel. When I got home and enlarged this photo to check for sharpness, I realised that the woman on the balcony was giving me the look of death.

I quickly got bored of hotels, so I returned to Gangmun. This is the original bridge over the river mouth and it carries cars and has sidewalks on both sides. But it’s not something you’d put in a guidebook to Gangneung. (Are guidebooks published anymore?). The somewhat Fairyland building on the left is a pension and I’m not sure what the buildings on the right are.

It was starting to get hot and bright by the time I made my way to a convenience store for a tin of cold, sweet, milky coffee. As you can tell by the blown-out sky and deep shadows. I downed my coffee, made this photo, and left Gangmun.

I wanted to go directly home and turn on the air-conditioning, but I had things to do downtown. Unfortunately, most shops don’t open until ten in the morning, not even the big supermarkets. So I wandered the shady sides of the streets for a while until I could do my shopping. It was getting so warm that I wasn’t in the mood for photography anymore, but I did make one photo of a plastic pallet and some tarps.

I haven’t been able to get up at 5 since that trip to Gangmun, so my next post might take a while to appear . . . . 🙂

4 thoughts on “Early Morning Seashore (and one from downtown)

  1. Another interesting trip Marcus – dare I say it, but it doesn’t look all that different from over here.
    My favourite is the pallet – I actually thought it was a fancy cushion on a designer seat – it still looks that way to my eyes.


  2. Interesting story and shots Marcus – thanks for posting. Strange that the shops don’t open earlier, given the heat. It was similar (though not quite so bad) in Valencia last year when we were on holiday. I was up early early walking the streets before it got hot but the shops didn’t open until 9. By the time I’d got the day’s provisions it was already uncomfortably hot for me to trudge back to our apartment.

    The lighter thing is just plain weird, I’ve concluded.

    My favourite is the old bridge – the colours remind me of Velvia. Which reminds me, I’ve still that one remaining Velvia in my fridge. Maybe I’ll do the decent thing and shoot it.


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