Yeokchon-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul

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Despite being a full member of UER.ca, I don’t participate much in the online forums. I am what you call a “lurker” and don’t have much time and energy to get involved with the scene and global urbex politics. I enjoy what people share, but I don’t feel the need to add my two cents. I try to post pictures and locations for the database. I enjoy documenting Korea’s abandonments, knowing they won’t last forever. It’s fun to keep a record of neighborhoods and/or buildings that no longer stand. RIP Yellow Building. Goodbye, Nam Gwang Hospital. Farewell Nightmare Lab.

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This particular redevelopment zone in Yeokchon-dong is about 90 percent gone at the time of the picture. I am sure it’s all gone by now. The Bukhansan mountain range lies in the background.

I bring up UER because I wonder if there are intrepid explorers out there that keep detailed records of each abandonment they have visited. Is there an extremely motivated and ambitious Youtuber that lays claim to the world record of visiting most abandonments visited? An achievement that not many people would care about except other urbex nerds. While America has tons of abandoned buildings, they are all scattered throughout the continent, it would take a lot of time and money to explore the 5,432 (and counting) locations documented on UER. There are thousands more uncounted for spread out across fifty states. You would basically need to dedicate your life to exploring abandonments in the US, but how would you make money to fund your adventures? Most explorers don’t have monetized Youtube accounts, despite best efforts to create a clickbait video.

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Double Bodhidharma (菩提达摩) sighting!

  I have had quite an effortless time in general exploring here in Korea and Asia in general. In the States, there are many security obstacles, and people itching to call the cops. In Korea, there is very little in the way of keeping someone out of abandoned areas. And while the police aren’t usually called, remaining residents aren’t too pleased to find foreigners wandering around with cameras taking pictures of what’s left of their neighborhood. You want to proceed with caution, foresight, and appear as if you are a lost tourist, not another Youtuber with a Go Pro.

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I think this room was used in a Wes Anderson movie.

In the UER database, there are currently 610 locations documented in South Korea. The majority of them are based in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do area. I would say that 80 percent of the sites have been photographed and uploaded by Jon Twitch of Daehanmindecline and Broke in Korea zine fame. Many of these places are/were entire neighborhoods with hundreds of houses being knocked down for high-rise, high-density apartment/shopping centers. It would be impossible, and not to mention terribly dull, to go inside every building, but I’d have to say that Jon has been urban exploring for so long in Korea that he might have the World Record of most abandonments visited. Next meet up, I think I will present him with the Urbex Crown for accomplishment.

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And the winner is….. Jon Twitch!

Back in April, I wrote about neighborhoods I was visiting regularly and chronicling. This was one of those places. I can finally reveal the area of this location as most have been leveled. There isn’t much to say about the site. It was a neighborhood with some once beautiful middle-class houses—the highlights I have enclosed down below.

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Someone forgot to take their artwork of kids in underwear hanging from a pole. Oops.
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An ink stamp that comes with various congratulatory and condolence messages.
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Demo workers were spraypaint-happy.

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“One Mind”

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We tried to open up and determine what alcohol it was, but the lid was stuck on good.
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Morrissey, in April 1994.
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Tower Records had two branches (Seoul and Busan) in the 90s. The Busan branch closed, and the Seoul location became Synnara Record.
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This cat didn’t mind me exploring the empty church next door.
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This was from the preschool I had to climb the emergency ladder to get in. Not much was left.
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On the other hand, access to this preschool was effortless. They left behind lots of toys and musical instruments (see below).

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I will leave you with a few videos of the church I got into on my final visit to the place.

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