Travels With Coetzer Part 1: The Silk Factory

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Like most things in life, urban exploration is a richer experience with the pleasant company around. Discovering abandonments with like-minded folks is more memorable than solo missions. It’s the shared experience that bonds us together. Most of the best finds have been with friends I trust the most in this hobby. I have mentioned this before; There are not many self-identifying urban explorers in Korea, aware of the subculture as a whole; most of the people I know who do this are foreign and only live temporarily in Korea. That means the number of urban explorers here fluctuates year to year.

 Coetzer is a fellow Korea-based that has stuck around for some time. I haven’t gone on as many explorations with him, but every trip we have gone on has been epic and has tested my physical endurance. Coetzer is a South African with tons of energy and enthusiasm for getting out and wandering the Korean countryside. He can keep going and going; give the man a Hot Six or Monster energy drink, and he will maintain. This post is the first in a series of our explorations together. It was our first place we visited, and we were still unfamiliar with each other. In future posts I hope to show that he is a good guy, quite a character, and a tenacious explorer.

I don’t remember the exact details, but I think we met on Facebook in the old version of our Korean urbex group page. He invited me out to his neck of the woods in fall 2016 to see first hand what seemed to be his urbex playground. He was eager to show me his discoveries all around Gapyeong-gun. Today’s post focuses on an abandoned silk factory, the first location Coetzer took me on that first day I met him oh so long ago. 

The silk factory in better days.
I found these photos in the office, which was my favorite place in the complex.
This picture shows the old front gate to the factory. The local government built a road through the property, essentially cutting the complex into two sections now.
In 2016, you didn’t have to CCTV to worry about, only people walking by on the sidewalk.
The best time to visit was during the fall or winter. I remember going with Coetzer again in the spring, and we almost stepped on a sleeping pit viper snake hidden in the overgrown grass.

A pile of silk reels.
It is evident that this place ceased operations years ago.
Bags of silk cocoons.
“Improve your efficiency”

As stated earlier, the office was my favorite part of the complex. It was here where I found the most information about the place. Scattered all over the room were calendars, magazines, brochures, and catalogs dating back to the mid-90s, offering an estimation when the factory closed down.

Now, you can start your own silk factory in ten easy steps!
More cocoons.
Was this an example of finished product?
Even more cocoons.
The former site of some epic ping pong matches.


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