I recently took a short personal trip to lock myself in a room and put a few days of work into my Tattoos of Asia book project. I looked up and down the east coast of Korea for small villages that had accomodation. These spots might be packed in the summer, but I guessed that with the winter winds blowing, I’d be almost alone for most days. The villages of Gampo, Jeonchon, and Najeong are exactly what I was looking for, so I took a bus from Gyeongju to the end of the line and found myself a room.
Villages like these typically have “pension” style hotels and campgrounds for the summer months. A handful of small restaurants serve the incoming crowd with, usually, mediocre quality. A good portion of a town’s annual income is made then. In the past, it was common for people to stay in minbak (homestay) style accommodation. Over time, this has faded, but every second house in town will still rent you a room if you’d like. Few residents still call these towns home and they are extremely peaceful off-season.
The remnants of these towns and this culture along with the sound of the waves were what I hoped I might find in my early morning walks. These peaceful starts to my day would fuel the long writing sessions I was setting for myself each day. With a coffee in one hand and a camera in the other, I spent 5 mornings walking a 2km stretch of coast and came back with this small essay. I hope you enjoy it.