Samick Beach Town, Gwangalli, Busan

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So, that’s what that deathtrap of a waterpark looked like when it was still open.

The excellent Designersparty (a photo and video art project that you should absolutely follow on Facebook) posted this photo recently. For those who don’t know, this is Samick Beach Town. It apparently was built in Busan in the 1970s, long before Gwangan became the absolute go-to place for both locals and foreigners it is today. Before the Diamond Bridge became an iconic image on the horizon. Before the entire area became enveloped in high rises and commerce.

I have heard some unconfirmed scuttlebutt that these are soon to be demolished, to make way for what, I don’t know. More chain apartment blocks like Lotte, Prugio, Xii and LH that can be seen everywhere in Korea? Something unique to Gwangan? I don’t know. But, I would love to. I would also love to know what these look like inside, and how they have held up over the past 40-something years.

If you or someone you know occupies that kitschy apartment blocks, leave a comment!

JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.


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