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South Korea, 2016-18

From late 2016 to early 2018, my wife and I lived in South Korea. I took very few photos during that time — partly because I usually had a pair of birding binoculars around my neck instead of a camera, partly because if I had photographed all the side trips we took it would have added up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of photos, partly because when you're living and working in a country it feels more like home and less like tourism, I guess. The other reason I didn't photograph a lot is that my wife was blogging extensively during this period, so I decided to kind of delegate the responsibility for documenting our life there to her. She has a great many photos up at her website, Keewi's Adventures, on temples and food.
A Fall Walk in Daejeon
We lived in Daejeon, the fifth-largest city in South Korea (only 1.5 million people!). This first set of photos is from the first long walk we took up into the hills above Daejeon (on the northeastern side of the city), probably in November 2016. This general vicinity because a regular walk for me whenever the air was good (i.e., relatively unpolluted); I would start in Uam Park and go up (a bit different from the route of this first hike). The first photo is the start of the path, in a downtown city park. Little temples and shrines are scattered about in the mountains all over Korea, as well as ancestral tombs (the second photo). The last three photos show panoramic views west to Daejeon, east over a reservoir, and outward from the ruins of an old fortress. Particularly in the Daejeon photo, you can see the cloud of air pollution, which caused me many respiratory problems; and remember, this was quite a clear day! On even an average day, the city would not have been visible at all from that vantage point.
The Insect Museum
These photos are from a privately owned insect museum in Daejeon, run by an amateur collector. It is not open to the public in any regular way; we arranged a visit over email, since I have an interest in things entomological. It'd probably be hard to set that up unless you speak Korean. He has a pretty big collection, in many cases spread through at least a half dozen rooms. Note that the insects here are not all from Korea; he collected them from all over the world. My photos here mostly focus on Lepidoptera; he had a pretty wide variety of other kinds of insects too (and some spiders too), but my photos of them mostly didn't come out.
Palaces in Winter
I think these photos are from one or perhaps two palaces inside Seoul, probably taken in the winter of 2017-18, but the details have been lost. In the last photo, the two girls have probably rented those clothes, called hanbok, to play dress-up for the day while walking around the palace; that's a popular pastime. Nobody dresses that way in Korea for ordinary life any more; it's for weddings and other ceremonies, jobs in the tourist industry, and dress-up.

These images copyright © 2019 Ben Haller. All rights reserved.