A Dragon Boat replica...they look cool!
A friend of mine Iâ€™ve known since elementary school age is a Major in the US Army and had been stationed in Korea for a couple years. I figured it was a great chance to see a few parts of South Korea since he would have hopefully seen a few things already! So another buddy and I planned a trip over there to visit him and get a little taste of Bi Bim Bap, Kimchi and local history. Our first day there, we went to the War Museum (heâ€™s in the military, what can I say!) it was rather interesting however as weâ€™re talking about 2000 years of war history instead of what we have in the US. There is a lot of interesting things in there from ancient times spanning all the way to the infamous Korean War.
From there we went to Seoul Tower (yes I think just about EVERY major city in the world has one of these things these days.
They all copy my beloved Seattle and the Space Needle!) The view from the tower is impressive though and to see the incredible urban sprawl of Seoul and its 20 million plus metro area residents isâ€¦well WOW! We also walked around the street markets near Itaewon.
Another cool shot of the wall.
Another of the days, we took a short trip SE of the city to Namhansanseong Fortress which literally means â€śSouth Han Mountainâ€ť Fortress. The initial fortress was apparently built some time in 600AD and various portions of wall were built over the next 1000 years. Amazing history. There are many many miles of wall here and I hiked about ten miles of themâ€¦accidentally! Yeah, thereâ€™s a story there, but youâ€™ll have to meet me to hear it! : )
On yet another day we took a trip up to the DMZ.
I couldnâ€™t find Panmunjeom (the actual name of the village on the border of N & S Korea) in the Travel Buddy look up, so I associated these pix with Seoul also, even though it is about 50km north of Seoul. The DMZ is interesting. They tell you not to make any weird gestures toward the North Koreans who are busy scoping you out with binoculars and trying to look â€śhard.â€ť A very surreal experience to be sure. We also hiked down into one of the tunnels that the North Koreans had dug into South Korea. Good thing they gave us construction helmets, because I kept bumping my head on the rock ceiling.
Namhansanseong wall on the outskirts of Seoul. Was about a ten mile hike.