Entering the Quaint Zone in Naju

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Welcome to the Quaint Zone! I hope you enjoy this truncated tour of a former entertainment complex in rural South Jeolla Province, Korea. At one point in time, the Quaint Zone provided a respite from the domestic responsibilities. Located to rice patties and a small, provincial university,  I imagine farmers and university students alike letting off steam at this place. The complex included a noraebang (karaoke rooms), colatec (Alcohol-Free Dance Club), billiards hall, and bowling alley.  Attached to the Quaint Zone was a western style pub called Rock “N” Roll. IMG_6239

On a rainy Sunday in July, my fellow explorer and I went back to the bowling alley that we last visited in February 2015. I have pictures of that visit buried on my computer, but frankly speaking, they are not very good. Actually, it doesn’t matter. Nothing significant has changed since that last visit. Except for some siding falling off, the place appears to have been left to become a final resting spot for feral cats, adrift birds, and wandering toads.

The significant change since the last visit. 
A torrential downpour came moments after this picture was taken. 

As I reflect on my revisit, I remember this was one of my first ever urban exploration visits. Back in late 2014/early 2015, I was living with my friend Lex in her roomy, yet decaying two-bedroom apartment near her workplace, Gwangju Women’s University. I have known Lex for a long time. Our friendship goes back to the Evergreen State College.  Specifically the College Recreation Center, where we both worked at the time. While working a shift, I suddenly began having an LSD flashback. If there is one thing college taught me, it is never to do LSD it’s not worth it! Anyways, Lex was very kind and helpful in helping me come unscathed from the flashback. She showed her true colors then.


The Quaint Zone is a special place because of Lex. She introduced me to Mr. Urbexpating Gwangju and the world of exploring abandonments. The exploring of abandoned buildings, let me to an interest in digital photography, which in turn got me into analog photography. I am forever grateful to how Lex, just being herself, has impacted my life for the better! I hope our paths cross soon. Hopefully, we will find ourselves on another adventure shortly.

Without further adieu, I present pictures of the Quaint Zone!! Let’s start with the bowling alley, where it has become a tradition to roll a frame with the leftover pins and balls. 000110001200016



Evidence pointing to a teenage girl living in this room adjacent to bowling lanes.

After the quick game, we head to the building which had the karaoke rooms and the billiards hall.


Heading down the stairs, we made a beeline straight to the next building.



A quick analysis of the first floor showed nothing has changed, so we headed up to the second floor to the lounge. IMG_6203IMG_6204IMG_6200IMG_6195IMG_6194IMG_6197IMG_6199

Besides a few dead toads, we moved on to the third-floor billiards hall. Highlights include the vending machine with long-defunct brands of beverages. IMG_6207IMG_6213IMG_6208IMG_6210





Very little has changed the entertainment complex. Maybe it’s a bit more structurally unsound. For us,  my companion had lived and studied in Eastern Europe andI had moved to Seoul, Hanoi, and Nagano, in the in-between years. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane and see something familiar. If only Lex was here to enjoy it with us….

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