With a population of about 50 million in an area a little larger than the state of Indiana, South Korea
can't afford to waste land. Grass is a luxury, and in quite a few places where other countries would plant
grass, Korea grows food. |
Thus it is that many Korean cities just don't have suburbs -- at least not ones Americans would recognize. No split-level homes with 3-car garages here. When the cities build out, the housing looks a lot like what's in the city, except that it's newer.
Beyond these suburbs, such as they are, that's it -- the farms begin. These fields are just a few hundred meters from the apartment complex where Margaret lived for her first 3 months in Kangnung.
Koreans eat more western food these days, but rice is still a very large part of their diet. That's what you see growing here. When I shot this photo in May of 2000, the rice fields had just been planted with greenhouse shoots and flooded.