Who / what / where is Sintanjin I hear you ask? Well, Sintanjin is the area in which I spend most of my time here in Korea. Until a few years ago it was recognised as a separate town to Daejeon but was incorporated to make the outline of Daejeon stretch from an almost circle to a strange letter ‘d’ shape.
Sintanjin is not a tourist destination but more of a cluster of kimbap restaurants, recycling plants, high-rise apartments (with helipads on them!) and a rail link to Seoul.
Sometimes I feel a little lost in Sintanjin, it’s a small labyrinth but this way I feel that I will continue to explore the area throughout the year. My favourite places here are on my walk to work. My journeys are conducted in sunrise and I get to watch the people of Sintanjin begin their days. I pass the ever-present ‘gas station dogs’ (they still don’t like me), see the same group of men sorting deliveries of water dispensers and watch as a neverending convoy of trucks filled with scrap metal, wood and plastics pass me by.
It is here that I find the Korea that I had imagined, one that is simultaneously industrial, ultra-modern and full of people and life.
Sintanjin may never be on anyone’s ‘must see’ list but it is easily one of my favourite places in the country.You can visit it by taking the Express 2 bus from Daejeon station or bus terminal, but in case you don’t make it, here are some photos of this strange place.