KorUE Tours and Daehanmindecline Productions Present... Abandoned Korea SuperTour!

KorUE Tours, Daehanmindecline Productions, and Broke in Korea have partnered up to offer fans and supporters of the companies a chartered bus tour to some of the coolest and most secret places in Korea.

Spend a four-day weekend with us exploring inside some of the best-known abandoned places of Korea all while riding in a Pierrot Motors luxury bus with wi-fi and a bathroom! - Okpo Land, the Jumbo Jet of Namyangju, a secret tunnel from Cheong Wa Dae to Gwacheon, and the mysterious Joseon Door (locations are subject to change). Along the way to these destinations we will take the "Scenic Route" through some of Seoul's abandoned neighbourhoods in Gangnam, Hongdae, and Bukchon Hanok Village. See Korea's true beauty. Now that is the way to spend a long weekend!


DAY 1 - Friday

0900-0910 - meetup at an undisclosed location for an important mandatory tutorial on UE safety and ethics
0910-1000 - go shopping in Seoul's markets for gear we will all need--respirators, gas masks, rubber boots, steel-toed boots, camping gear, climbing equipment etc
1000-1200 - visit the big abandoned Jumbo 747 where we will have lunch
1200-1300 - go on a walk through an active subway tunnel
1300-1400 - visit abandoned area in Bukchon Hanok Village
1400-1500 - drive through abandoned part of Pimatgol
1500-1600 - visit the abandoned campus of Dan Kook University
1700-1800 - visit Yongma Land, an abandoned amusement park in Seoul
1800-1900 - eat
1900-2000 - visit Okin Apartments
2000-2100 - climb a construction crane (note: due to safety concerns, we will be going up in teams of 10)

DAY 2 - Saturday

0800-1000 - take the secret underground tunnel from Cheong Wa Dae to Gwacheon. I'm undecided yet if we'll be able to sneak the bus inside, so we might have to walk the entire length.
1000-1200 - visit the abandoned mental hospital in Gyeonggi-do, Korea's most haunted site
1200-1500 - visit various abandoned locations in Cheorwon, DMZ (abandoned train station, communist party headquarters, 2nd tunnel)
1500-1600 - rooftopping abandoned skyscrapers in Songdo
1600-1700 - abandoned Bible Expo in Songdo's Central Park
1700-1800 - stop for supper in Wolgot
1800-1900 - drive to Suwon
1900 - Woncheon Lake Land Amusement Park, where we will camp out for the night

DAY 3 - Sunday

0800-0900 - abandoned Ssangyong factory in Pyeongtaek
0900-1030 - drive to Sokcho
1030-1130 - explore Yangyang International Airport, the dead airport
1130-1500 - drive to Yeosu
1500-1600 - abandoned expo grounds in Yeosu
1800-1900 - drive to Geoje Island
1900 - Okpo Land Amusement Park, where we will camp out for the night

DAY 4 - Monday

0800-0900 - catch a ferry from Okpo to Busan
0900-1100 - catch a ferry from Busan to Nagasaki
1100-1200 - visit Gunkanjima, the famed Battleship Island. We will have to bribe fishermen to bring us there, probably taking multiple boats due to the size of the group. Does anyone know anyone who knows Japanese?
UPDATE: It turns out, they offer tours, so we won't have to do anything sneaky at all.
1200-1300 - lunch in Nagasaki
1300-1500 - return to Busan
1500-1700 - return to Seoul

Price: Domestic: KRW 100 000, or KRW 300 000 if you want to sleep in hotels rather than camp in abandonments with us International: KRW 1 million, which covers all costs including airfare from any major North American city with direct flights to Incheon.

Want to join us? The first step is to RSVP on Facebook.

*ALL participants are expected to be in general good health and must sign a liability waiver. If you require special accommodation please feel free to contact Jon or Aloysius

And then Aloysius went rogue and posted a tirade against KorUE Tours.

I first heard about KorUE Tours after their last event, in which they packed a luxury bus past capacity with something like 70 people, then drove all across the peninsula causing trouble.

They are currently advertising for their next event, set to take place across four days with stops planned at 23 locations, including a daytrip to Nagasaki in Japan! It turns out that KorUE Tours is masterminded by Jon Dunbar, a divorced Canadian who works for the Korean government, yet in his spare time runs tours to these shameful places under banners like KorUE Tours and the very negative-sounding Daehanmindecline Productions. He claims that the name Daehanmindecline comes from the fact his page was once hosted on a site called Indecline, how convenient.

It's clear from those 23 sites that he doesn't know what he's doing. Of all 23, seven are definitely long since removed, three aren't abandoned, and some are just totally impossible.

-The active subway tunnel they hope to visit is identified as Line 1 under Yongsan, despite the fact that that stretch of tracks is aboveground. What's more, the pictures bear more resemblance to Freedom Tunnel in New York.
-I am unaware of any large sections of abandonment in Bukchon Hanok Village.
-Pimatgol is removed except for one small stretch. There is NO WAY a luxury bus will fit down any part of that narrow alley.
-Dan Kook University campus was demolished years ago.
-Yongma Land is no longer accommodating to large groups, ever since the Expedition Korea photowalk in January which ended with the police arriving.
-They intend to climb a crane in groups of ten at a time. Do you have any idea how dangerously stupid that is? Anyone who comes along on this tour is clearly tempting Darwin.

-The underground tunnel from Cheong Wa Dae to Gwacheon would certainly have the security measures to stop a large group of intruders, let alone a full-sized bus. During such a time when inter-Korean tensions are high, this is highly risky.
-The picture for the Cheorwon Communist Party Headquarters doesn't look anything like the real building; instead, his pictures credited to Darmon Richter appear more like the Bulgarian Communist Party Headquarters. v-4th Tunnel? The tunnel in Cheorwon County is the 2nd, unless a new one's been discovered. Plus, this is a tourist site, open to anyone.
-Abandoned skyscrapers in Songdo?

-Cross picket lines at a Ssangyong car factory? No thanks.
-Yangyang International Airport is functioning, even if it's not at peak capacity.
-The expo grounds in Yeosu are closed except for the aquarium, but there will hardly be anything else to see. One helpful lurker pointed out that the image of this place uploaded is clearly photoshopped.
-Sneak onto an active military base? Death wish much?

-From Geoje Island to Nagasaki and back up to Seoul in one day? Not likely.

When confronted about these discrepancies, Joseph Chung responded: "I don't know what you're talking about. I've personally vetted all these locations!"

That's right you don't know what we're talking about, Mr Chung.

This trip reeks of incompetence from the logistics (from Yangyang all the way to Yeosu all in one day, with numerous detours along the way) all the way to their dubious ethics. Some members even talk about hunting humans for sport in abandoned areas. They introduce "The Low Impact Pledge" on their site, a shameful attempt at responsible behaviour. The rules include:

-Always make noise so wildlife and squatters know when you're entering their territory.
-Limit only one souvenir per person per location.
-Only break things in self defence.
-You have the right to be there, so don't take no guff from others in the area.

That first point seems to acknowledge that this is an intrusion, yet they even talk about bringing air rifles along to "ward off" security guards and police officers.

I don't know how they expect to have a low impact considering they're travelling around in a bus with a sign on the side clearly reading "Abandoned Korea Super Tour!" which will be parked directly in front of the sites they're visiting. The audacity is dizzying.

Travelling around in a luxury bus, provided by "Pierrot Motors," turns this into a complete facade, a type of poverty tourism akin to the "A Day in the D" tours being offered in Detroit.

"Finally! Urban Exploration with comfort in mind!" wrote one very lazy attendee who RSVPed she'll be going.

"I'm not sure how I feel about interacting with poor people," wrote one attendee. "I mean, I want to see how they live and take pictures of them that I'll publish and sell, but I don't want them talking to me, you know?"

Dunbar wrote himself, "24 are coming so far. This is a great number. 50 would be perfect for a tour like this. Hope to see you all!"

No, actually the perfect number for busting open all these locations is zero. Maybe one or two or a very small group at a time, but taking this many people at once to sensitive locations is treating them with all the dignity ascribed to a clown car.

You should be ashamed if you're going on this tour, or another one just like it (A Day in the D, any of the photowalks by Expedition Korea).

Please remember that these photos are all copyrighted to me. If you want to use them in any way, there's a 90 per cent chance I'll give you my permission, and be able to give you a copy with a higher DPI.
Copyright Daehanmindecline 2013