Gangmun is an area in the northeast of Gangneung and the name means ‘river opening’. It’s where a stream enters the ocean after feeding Gyeongpo Lake and it’s a tourist area. There are the obligatory raw fish restaurants and overpriced hotels, coffee shops, a lighthouse, and, a recent addition, a pedestrian bridge called Sotdae Bridge. A sotdae is a long, thin pole with carved ducks on top used in Korea’s shamanistic beliefs. There are no photos of a sotdae in this post.

The photos in this post were taken over a couple of days. On one of the days I walked along the river to Gangmun and made some photos along the way. I’ve included some of those.

Train bridge and ice in Namdae River

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that although the railway has disappeared from the city centre, a rail bridge across the river still stands. As you can see, the river was still partly frozen when I passed this bridge in February (I’m really behind in my editing).

Train bridge and ice in Namdae River

Here is a heavier and darker photo of the bridge. I would like to make as many photos of the rail bridge as possible this year because I like it and because I can’t be sure it will be around for much longer.

20170211-001 gangmun pedestrian bridge
Sotdae Bridge, Gangmun

This bridge isn’t strictly necessary because there is already a bridge for vehicles that has a sidewalk on it. But things like this bring tourists and it’s an attractive thing to have in the city. I like to see how many ways I can fit its curves into the rectangular frame of a photograph.

20170211-002 gangmun gate rope
Rope on storage area

You can go down some stairs that bring you below a boardwalk where some fishers keep their gear. I like going down there to get a different perspective on the bridges and to photograph things like this. I get lots of queer looks when I’m under the boardwalk crouching and leaning to get a good view.

20170211-006 gangmun plywood rope
More rope!

One fisher is keeping some plywood up over his/her storage area with a bit of rope. I like the texture of the wood and the minimalist look of the lines. Compare with the many knots in the previous photograph.

20170211-004 gangmun hyundae hotel bamboo pole bridge
View of Hyundae Hotel and vehicle bridge from under the boardwalk

I don’t know why these bamboo poles are suspended here. For hanging up life-jackets and fishing gear? The tall building on the right is the hotel and I think the central building is a conference centre.

20170211-005 gangmun wharf water
Wharf and Water

Possibly tyres are supposed to be suspended here to cushion boats that are tied up.

20170211-008 gangmun pedestrian bridge hyundae hotel
Sotdae Bridge and Hyundae Hotel

It took a lot of micro-composing to get the hotel in a position where it doesn’t seem messily caught up in the wires. Ideally, the hotel would have no wires over it at all but to do that I’d need to being a stepladder and probably break my neck.

People crossing Sotdae Bridge

I waited and waited for someone wearing bright colours to walk where the man in the black jacket is but no luck. Anyone walking towards me would shoot off to my right to avoid getting in my way and people walking away from me generally stuck to the rails. People always think they are doing me a favour by dodging out of the way (and it’s a polite intention) but I usually want them to walk into view. Maybe later I can bribe a student with a free dinner to come along and walk into all my photos.

Sotdae Bridge

I have the same photo with two people walking on the left but I like this one better because there are no distractions from the bridge’s design. I very carefully micro-composed this photo, which was something because I didn’t have a tripod with me.

Gangmun Lighthouse and Sotdae Bridge

This lighthouse belongs to the military (maybe it’s not even a lighthouse) and once had a sign saying that photography is prohibited. In a tourist area. The sign is gone now and I never see soldiers there. It’s still fenced off, though.

Cyclist on bridge

He’s not supposed to ride bicycle there. On the right you can see the anchor point for the arch. I left the photo at a slight Dutch angle (is that racist?) to make it look a bit more action-y.


As I often do, I make one photo of a scene with people in it and then another when there are no people about. This is another photo that took a lot of effort and shifting about because I didn’t have a tripod.

20170211-009 gangmun white wall happy minbak
Happy Homestay

I guess the sign painter was happy to distraction and skipped off before they could finish filling in all the letters.

20170211-010 concrete wall tin roof vine
Concrete wall

This is the outer wall of a restaurant about ten minutes away from Gangmun. I was going to take a bus home but, after telling off the bus driver who was smoking in the bus shelter on his break, I didn’t want to get in the bus, so I walked off and called a taxi after making a few photographs of this wall.

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