Ibike Korea People-to-People Program

   
 

   

Photo essay: Geoje-do to Busan

   

Geoje-si to Busan (31mi, 50km) Cross a hilly island and take a ferry to Busan.
Points of Interest: POW Camp, fishing villages, beaches, rocky coast, coastal defenses, ferry.

Preceding construction zones there can be larger-than-life (3 meters) automated flaggers.  The 'hands' are fit to hold large light-sticks and the arms wave up and down.  It is a friendly gesture to wave back and greet them but they are always pretty deadpan.
The Gohyeon fortress was constructed in the form of a ship that stood on the eastern slope of Gyeryeongsan. It was over 4m high. There were gates to the north, east and south, with a defensive moat around the wall. The structure of this fortress is characteristic of town-fortresses from the Joseon period. The fortress deteriorated when the UN started using the valley as a POW camp.
Geoje Prisoner of War Camp Geoje Prisoner of War Camp Map showing layout of Geoje Prisoner of War Camp Geoje Prisoner of War CampGeoje Prisoner of War Camp opened in 1951.  The Incheon Landing created a rapid increase in the number of captives.  With the intervention of the Chinese and the change of fortune for the Korean and UN forces (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, England, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and USA), they need a place to houses the POW remote from the front, with security, ample water and good access. Gmonument to UN Forces, Geoje POW Campeoje Island was selected. Eventually it filled two valleys and held 170,000 POWs (150,000 North Koreans, 20,000 Chinese) among 28 compounds in 4 enclosures.  The camp was served by the 64th Field Hospital.

The camps were not always tranquil: There was a series of riots by pro-communist prisoner, violence between pro-communist and anti-communist inmates, and on May 7, 1952, the communists abducted Brig Gen Dodd, camp commander.

Geoje Prisoner of War Camp

Sculpture of a famous picture of refugees clambering across a destroy bridge on the Daedong-River. National leaders that played a role in the Korean WarThe sections of the exhibition included: Fountain Square, a tribute to the National leaders that played a role in the Korean War (upper right), dioramas of POW camp, Invasion by North Korea, defense by South Korea, a sculpture of a famous picture of refugees clambering across a destroy bridge on the Daedong-River (right), the lives of the POW, turmoil in the camp, and repatriation.  

Replica of Geoje POW Camp, Korea Reminents of original buildings, Geoje POW Camp Mock-up of sleeping barrack, Geoje POW Camp Mock-up of kitchen building, Geoje POW CampThe last section is a replica of the camp with dormitories, mess and other buildings and a few remnants of brick buildings the were used by the camp guards.
bicycle stop at convenience store, Geoje Island, Korea box of dried fish, KoreaHere is a convenient intersection, with a convenient store and a convenient large tree to rest under.  If you need some extra protein in your diet there is a convenient box of dried fish.  The fish don't taste fishy and probably have a high oil content.
Geoje Island bicycling Geoje Island bicycling Geoje Island bicycling Geoje Island bicycling
Hotel C Palace, Geoje Island, Korea After a couple hours of beautiful cycling up river valleys, through the mountains, along the coast and in and out of villages, this new hotel is striking for being out-of-scale and having no visible Korea content, except for a temporary banner in Hangul.  The permanent graphics on the building say, "Hotel C Palace" and "Western Restaurant." Unfortunately, this is probably indicative of the future for the area.
Geoje Island bicycling View over Angol-ri, Yongwon-dong, Jinhae-siWhat you probably didn't know is that there are five species of loons that come to Korea to spend the winter.  The coastal area on the Island of Geoje is an important refuge and the only place in Korea where the loons can be found in large flocks. One rare specie, the gray-headed loons has a winter population of 1000-2000, but their numbers are decreasing.
Ship Building Marine Museum, Jisepo, Korea Turtle ship replica, KoreaIn Jisepo there is a Fishing Village Folk Museum and Ship Building Marine Museum. The fishing museum is about the economy and culture of fishing on the South Sea islands. The marine museum covers the past, present and future of boats and shipping.

The link for the marine museum is two of Korea's big three ships builds on Geoje Island; Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME) (second largest ship builder in Korea and the world) and Samsung Heavy Industries (number three).  Korea and the world's largest shipwright is Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan). In 2011, these with four other Korean top ten ship builders, had a 53.2% share of the global market.

Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME) at Okpo harbor DSME packs Okpo Harbor with boats and cranes.  Since it was founded in 1973 its products have continually gotten large.  The output now include liquefied natural gas carriers, liquefied petroleum gas carriers, bulk carriers, oil tankers, containerships (the world's largest holding 18,000 containers), roll roll-on roll-off carriers, passenger ferries, passenger ships, pure car carriers; offshore structures, such as fixed platforms, drilling rigs, semi-submersible drilling rigs, FPSO (floating, production, storage, and offloading) units, and drillships; and naval vessels, including submarines, destroyers, rescue ships, battle ships, submarine rescue vessels, AUVs, and patrol boats.
We left the island by ferry, directly for Busan Harbor.  There is a new bridge/tunnel system to the island from Busan, which will not be accessible to bicycles and the future of the ferries are in doubt, so in the future this route may be more problematic.
 

Geoje Busan

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