Pictures from Buldangdong

I’ll start by explaining a little bit about Buldangdong. I live in the city of Cheonan, but every couple blocks of the city have different names. I live in Buldangdong. It’s kind of like saying Buldang neighborhood. I learned today that Buldang is actually a pretty rich part of Cheonan because of all the development going on, which I’ll get to in a bit.

This is a little strip of shops about a minute walk from my apartment. The red and yellow sign with the awning that sticks out is a Kim Bap shop. I eat there almost every day. Cheap, fast and delicious. I don’t want to say it’s Korean fast food, since the quality is much higher than what we think of as fast food, but it’s a chain of restaurants. Each franchise is different. This one is run by one woman with a couple girls under her, so it’s closed on Sundays, but some are open 24 hours. It just depends on who runs it. Also in this block is a butcher shop, pharmacy, eye glasses shop, bank, and the Dunkin Donuts (heretoafter DnD) is on the corner.

My DnD that I stop at near daily.

The following pictures demonstrate the amount of development going on. All of them are on the three opposite corners around DnD.

You can imagine the sheer number of kids that live in these apartment buildings. Each apartment block takes up and entire square city block. All of them are 10-15 stories tall. Around 7:30 AM the corners around DnD are just a river of kids.

Cheonan Buldang Elementary School has over 2000 kids, which is large, even by Korean standards. Of course, there isn’t just one school in the area.

This is a middle school less than a block from Buldang Elementary.

The area’s high school directly next door to the middle school.

Cheonan Seodang Chodeung Hakgyo – Cheonan (city) Seodang (neighborhood/school name) Elementary School, right next to the high school. If you stand on the right corner you can literally see all four schools left to right. Two elementary schools, too.

Just behind the row of schools is the hill I mentioned, so let’s check it out.

If you don’t feel like reading all that, essentially the hill is a historical site where they excavated and restored a dwelling and burial site from the Bronze Age (800-400 BC).

This appears to be a burial site. There’s nothing to show the scale well, but these were definitely small people. Now Koreans are much bigger. I’ve seen Korean guys taller than I am. Old women are positively hobbit-esque in height. Until after the Korean War, South Korea was extremely poor, but it ha developed very quickly in the last 60 years. I think improved nutrition is a big reason for the discrepancy between the size of old Koreans and young Koreans.

Just a straw hut.

I can’t be quite sure, but I’m pretty sure this is the Bronze Age village toilet.

Bronze Age dwelling, or cock with lop-sided balls? You decide.

Last hut.

After I walked around the historical site I walked about three blocks in the opposite direction and came kind of to the edge of the developed part of Buldangdong. All of the following pictures were taken from the same corner:

Just to give an idea of the huge size of the area that’s completely under construction.

Way in the back the long building is the KTX/subway station from behind. While it’s technically finished in that trains are running, the area in front of the station is still under construction to finish the fancy sculptures and fountains and such. I didn’t want to spend half an hour walking over there to take a picture or two, but it’s going to look futuristic as hell when it’s done.

The first two in this block of three are just the beginnings of new apartment blocks. The last I’m not sure about, but it’s absolutely massive. Probably a shopping mall or some such. Also, closer to the train station there’s a place called Y City under construction. It’s half apartment buildings, half gigantic shopping mall. Again, though, didn’t feel like walking that far.

Lastly are some picture I took in Yawoori, the downtown shopping district of Cheonan. I was on the fifth floor of the Galleria Mall there and found a smoking patio that offered a really nice view of the strip.

The Cheonan Bus Terminal is right where all the taxis are in the first picture. When Lawrence called Mr. Lee to let him know where he was all he said was “In the bus station next to the mall” before the phone cut out. The problem is that the bus station is basically a basement under a mall that’s like three city blocks long.

I was in Yawoori early this morning to meet up with some people in a Korean-English language exchange group, but I’ll talk about that more in the next post.

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One Response to “Pictures from Buldangdong”

  1. thanks for these pictures, i never was in korea but it looks interesting and nice those buildings

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