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Daegu’s top expat news of the past year
By Craig White

DAEGU — Daegu seems to be in that perfect little zone that carefully bridges metropolitan city and traditional roots. It’s evolving every year and we expats are witness to it. Anyone who has been around and has had their eyes open, will attest to having witnessed big changes in the past several years. The internationalizing of Daegu is underway. Careful, or you might just miss it. 1. Daegu Pockets brings together Daegu My shamelessly biased plug has relevance for the top spot. No single event or story in Daegu’s 2009 has broadly impacted the local expat community in the same way that our monthly, bilingual magazine has done. 2. Daegu goes nuts for Facebook groups There is an insane glut of Facebook groups focusing on Daegu. And not just foreigners in Daegu. Koreans in Daegu are embracing the social networking wave and helping foster a legit international community. 3. Stephannie White loses lawsuit against Daegu Stephannie White lost the legal battle, where she sued the City of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, early in 2009 over the controversial death of her son in 2008 at a jjimjilbang in nearby Gyeongsan. Her son, Mike, drowned in a hot pool and Stephannie’s lawsuit claimed that the city was liable due to inadequate laws governing emergency response and treatment. 4. Major push continues for medical city status Daegu continues to pour oodles of money into their medical tourism initiative. Foreigners arrive in the city and partake in medical tours, meanwhile medical complexes get fast-track development throughout the city. 5. Bolt takes a pass on Daegu In advance of Daegu’s 2011 World Championships in Athletics, pre-championship games are being held every fall. Daegu citizens eagerly awaited the arrival of Usain Bolt, only to learn that he opted to take a time out for this event and rest up, instead. 6. Daegu’s international events flourish Dongseongno Festival, Daegu International Music Festival, Summer Screen Festival, World Body Painting Festival. It seems like with every passing year, a new international festival sprouts up in Daegu and continues to make its mark. 7. Love it or hate it, Dongseongno renovation concludes Daegu’s main downtown pedestrian street received a major facelift. Along with it, was the booting out of the street vendors. Protests ensued. Bulldozers came in to rid the vendor tents. Problem solved. Still can’t find decent street vendor food downtown, though. 8. Rewards for NARCing on illegal teachers Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education decided to give its first hak-parazzi reward. This is a Korean/English fusion word combining “hak” meaning education, and the English word “Paparazzi.” In short, DMOE is now paying rewards to those who tip them off on illegal tutoring and illegal hagwon. 9. Development of Daegu Subway Line 3 The long-awaited development of Line 3 has begun. Drafting, planning, designing, and soon to follow, actual grunt work. Expected to finish in 2014, the Line 3 will be a monorail, breaking tradition with Korea’s penchant for underground subway tubes. 10. Agent scandal rocks Daegu FC Sport agents were caught embezzling money from Daegu FC players. Over $600,000 was swindled. Craig White is the managing editor of the Daegu Pockets. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of The Korea Herald. — Ed.

Korea’s hundreds of temples, palaces and fortresses are without a doubt some of the most beautiful places to shoot. Here, the sun sets over Gyeongju.

Simon Bond

Top 10 photographic locations
The Photo Challenge is sponsored by Hyosung Camera (English: 010-7203-9599) and Babo Shirts (www.baboshirts.com). Winners of the weekly competition receive a 50,000 won store credit at Hyosung Camera and a Babo Shirt. To take part in the competition, simply upload your photo at www.flickr.com /groups/seoulphotoclub — Ed.
By Aaron Raisey

prepared to go a little out of your way to seek a choice vantage point. Mount Halla and the oreum colonies are truly unique in Korea. Use the sunrise and sunset to enhance these incredible vistas. 3. Buddhist temples Bulguksa near Gyeongju is the big one of course, but no matter where you are, there is a Buddhist temple nearby. Special mention must be made of Gwaneumsa on Jeju Island with it’s hundreds of stone statues, Buseoksa in North Gyeongsang Province sports the patina of age and Bongeunsa nestles quietly amid the shining glass and steel of Gangnam in Seoul. Of course look out for the small hidden temples tucked away on a mountainside or in an inner-city back-alley near you. 4. Traditional markets Again, these are ubiquitous but of special appeal is the opportunity to capture the characters you will see and meet, especially in the smaller towns and villages. Not to mention all manner of culinary delights to impress the family back home. 5. Rice fields in South Jeolla Province Spectacular carpets of vivid green in the summer and seas golden yellow in early fall. Bump up the saturation levels for some stunning acreages of solid color. Best in the late afternoon for maximum effect. 6. Festivals Korea, as we all know, is the land of festivals. Two events worth mention outside of Seoul are the dynamism and colors of the Maskdance Festival in Andong and the Jinju Lantern Festival with the brilliant and creative lanterns afloat on the Nam River.

7. Fishing village Any journey along the south and east coasts of Korea will take you not only along some fantastic coastal scenes but also through any number of small fishing villages where you can capture countless squid drying in the sun alongside socks and t-shirts where the pace and style of life remain almost unchanged from pre-industrial Korea. 8. Metropolitan back-alleys Getting off the beaten track in urban areas will yield some surprising photographic opportunities. Buildings in various stages of demolition and decay make great images, while modern structures often provide a backdrop of contrast for traditional tiles and eaves. Just don’t wear that good white shirt. 9. Night views of Seoul The view from the Namsan Tower is the obvious candidate here, but try a hike up one of the several mountains surrounding Seoul for a different night-time perspective. Wander up Inwangsan for a fantastic view of Gyeongbok Palace and greater Jongno while the summit of Gwanaksan overlooks impressive night lights in areas further south. 10. Anywhere you are Finally, probably the most important photographic location in Korea is anywhere you Two women admire some are. One of the great lanterns at the end of last positives Korea has as year’s festival. Simon Bond a photographic location is the seasonal cycle. Blossoming in spring, verdant in summer, colorful in autumn and white in winter, the seasonal changes to the character of the country are dramatic and often provide something new to see all year round no matter where you are. All you need to do is be out there with that camera. (raisey@hanmail.net)

What are they? It’s a tough question and when it was asked of me, several obvious spots sprang to mind. Insadong in Seoul, Palaces in Seoul, the view from Seoul’s Namsan Tower, the DMZ. These locations are certainly must-haves and almost all expats in Korea, no matter where they live, get to Seoul at least once before returning home. But let’s set these locations aside for a moment and think about other locales around the country. Places that might provide something unique or special photographically while retaining that ‘Korean-ness’ we’re looking for. I put the question to the Seoul Photo Club and a distillation of the collective wisdom and diverse photographic experiences revealed 10 places that, while admittedly are a bit general, have the benefit of being accessible to A man rests after summitanyone almost any- ing Mount Jiri, considered one of Korea’s three most where in Korea. Simon Bond beautiful. Here they are: 1. Boseong tea plantation in South Jeolla Province You won’t see a greener place in Korea. In season, the curving rows terraced upon the hillsides catch the golden sun in the afternoon and make for amazing images. Try to strike a time when there’s few people though. Like anywhere in Korea, this isn’t easy. 2. Jeju Island There is so much to be impressed by in the breathtaking landscapes that Jeju Island offers if you are

Lovers are captured under the soft light of a streetlamp in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province. Simon Bond

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