Margaret and tree, near Chonji Waterfall on Cheju (September 2000).
(Please read this before you copy our photos or text.)

Korea and Mother Nature are not always on very good terms. Not that this is entirely Korea's fault - they can thank the Japanese occupation and Korean War for rather effectively stripping the land. The wildlife was, and is, pretty well destroyed. And since then building and development have mostly been more important, at least to the government, than beauty and nature.

When Kim Dae Jung was president of Korea, we started to see more interest in preserving what's left. But even unofficially, Korea has sometimes worked with nature in unexpected ways. We were always impressed when we saw walls and even houses built around trees. (This might also have something to do with Korea's Shamanic past.)

Here's a similar example. We found this tree in the park near Chonji Waterfall on the island of Cheju. Did the park's developers let it grow over the path, or did they build the path right under it? Either way, it's another small victory for nature.

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