Korean Countryside

After my first year in Korea, having lived in a suburb south of Seoul, the word "Korea" conjured up Blade Runner style images of giant grey apartment blocks lit by harsh, multi-colored LED lights in a world that looked like a Soviet-era theme park gone wrong. Crowded streets, dozens of wires crossing overhead, each sign competing for notice, using every blinking, flashing color scheme imaginable. Of course, this is not just a place I've built in my head, this is what part of Korea really looks like. A kind of strangely colorful nightmare. But it turns out that neon dreamscape is only part of what this country has to offer. Get outside of Seoul or any of the big cities and Korea turns country quick. Gone are the forty story concrete housing units, gone are the blinking red and flashing green lights. In their place, hundreds of trees, rolling hills, flowers of all shapes and sizes. Korea in the country is a truly beautiful place. Sara and I like to take our scooter out and drive up the little side roads into the hills. There are a surprising number of houses, temples, lakes, farms, and green hills. Pohang is built right into these hills, and gives great access to this beautiful part of Korea. I wouldn't advise driving a 50cc scooter straight up a gravel hill with a passenger on the back, but you've got to do what you've got to do. As always, here's 10 pictures and some foolish comments.

Follow the Path

Korea country Pohang
We decided not to drive up this dirt path, but I wanted to walk it and see what was around the corner.  What did I find, about a hundred mosquito bites.

Green and Green

Korea country Pohang.
The Korean countryside in summer is so green it's hard to imagine.  The rice fields are just deep deep green that just stretches, and stretches out.  

The Dirt Road

Korea country Pohang
We did take our scooter up this little road that wrapped around a lake.  Our bike is more competent than I give it credit for, off-roading, up and down hills, pushing 60 km's an hour.

Everywhere a Farm

Korea country farm Pohang
If there's spare land here, it's being farmed.  Not a lot of space gets wasted.  You'll even see big gardens in the city tucked between two buildings.  Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, corn, it's all here.

Tiger Lily

Korea tiger lily flower Pohang
Sara tells me this is a tiger-lily.  We saw it on the side of the road and we had to pull over and take 85 pictures while cars whizzed past us.  

Up the Path

Motorcycle Korea Pohang Scooter
This hill was much steeper than it looks and I didn't want to risk flipping over with Sara on the back.  At the top, just more green, more green, and more green.

The Passenger

Motorcycle Korea Pohang
Here we are again in front of a farm/garden.  If there's 15 feet of space, there's something edible growing in the ground.

Hidden Temple

Temple Korea Pohang
This was 5 km's into the forest down a windy one lane sometimes gravel road.  There are lots of these tucked away in the hills.

Speed Racer

Korea Pohang Motorcycle
Tough looking Sara taking a break in front of some rice fields.

Which Way?

Korea Pohang Motorcycle forest
Just a thousand layers of green in all direction.  It's almost hard to get a picture because it's just a blanket of green all around.

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