The other side of South Korea

What comes to your mind when you hear “South Korea”? If you throw the question right back at me, I’d say handsome oppas! Kidding. The fact that I was first introduced to this beautiful country through “Boys Over Flowers”, a Korean TV series which was a big hit in the Philippines a few years back, it left me with a glamorous impression of their country. Like their skin was white as pearl and impressively poreless. When it comes to their cities, I would always imagine how instagramable those places could be. 😀 Coming from a simple family, I used to think that all Koreans were wealthy and the country was full of extravagance. This was before I learned about its history, okay? 😀

With the passage of time, my impression has eventually changed. Having a number of chances to mingle with Koreans in the flesh which were my ESL students, hearing stories from them about their country, and of course the media have contributed a lot in that change. Let me be clear, this is not a negative change rather it’s like a realization of sorts.

After having a blast in Hanwha Resorts and Gangwondo, my husband and I decided to visit a market in Sokcho. The curiosity in me had to be fed. Thankfully, Danny was on it. His younger bro dropped us off near the market after watching “Train to Busan”. The first Korean film I have ever watched with no English subtitles. It was an absolute tearjerker. I don’t know with you. Would you agree?

So it was somewhere in Sokcho when I saw the other side of South Korea. To those who haven’t seen it yet, brace yourselves. Remember this is not to frustrate anyone nor insult my first love South Korea. It’s good to know something, you know.

sokcho-south-korea
spider-web-like electric cords, small stores, old establishments
streetfood-in-south-korea
Not all Madams there wear fabulous clothes. Some of them wear aprons to make a living. Forget about the makeup.
street-vendors-in-south-korea
Street vendors are also present there not just cosmetic shops and grandiose malls.
wet-market-in-sokcho
They have a market that’s not all that glossy.
transportation-in-south-korea
It’s not all about fancy cars and despite the rush culture, they hop on this not so fast aged barge to get across the opposite area.

I wish we had all the time to discover more about South Korea. There’s probably more things to come upon. We only stayed there for about 3 hours. Seeing these things, I couldn’t avoid remembering my homeland, the Philippines. They’re somewhat alike. This goes to show that somewhere in this more developed country, it still has things that are yet to be improved and leave prints of its humble beginnings. Just like the Philippines. That being said, no one should be a hypocrite and say that their country is better than any other countries because behind the razzle-dazzle is the downside less noticed or left unnoticed.

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12 thoughts

  1. This reminds me the few days I spent in Busan some years ago. The night street market, the port, the beach, it had such a great atmosphere. the “other side” is often as exciting as the shiny side.

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  2. Why I just saw this post? And I am stopping at Sokcho for my next visit. Nice to see this other side.
    Btw, Did u drop emails to me? Someone sent me email, similar to ur name. I had someone asked my emails with lik different name. *sorry for being out of topic*

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  3. This is my favorite part of Korea. The women and men under spider webbed wires is where the real stories come from. The glamour in Gangnam is great but the authenticity lies in these rural areas when you get lost and stumble into some small restaurant.

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  4. We can all still day Korea has come a long way since the devastating war just over 60 years ago. Economic advancement is not evenly distributed and this is the same in many other countries. We know of many colleagues who moved to Seoul for work, leaving behind aged parents etc…Its the same in China and even in Japan. So we in Singapore feel very blessed.

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