DMZ

Seoul Travel Blog

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Today we met our guide Geanie at 7:40am and it was off to the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea. Along the 40-minute ride there, Geanie told us about the history of the Korean War and about the DMZ. The first stop was Imjingak, where we saw the Freedom Bridge and many ribbons strung up on the fences from families hoping to reunite with loved ones.

Then we went to Dorasan Station, the last train station in South Korea. Everything is kept running in hopes of immediately opening upon a reunited Korea. Then we went to a look out on top of a small mountain. From the lookout point, you could see the flag of North Korea and the two villages within the Demilitarized Zone. However their picture taking policy is a pain because you have to stand behind a photo line about 10 meters back from the edge and attempt to take a picture above the heads of those at the ledge.
Ribbons and barbed wire
I have pictures of a lot of heads because I had to hold the camera above my head and hope for the best.

After that we headed to the third incursion tunnel. The third tunnel was discovered on October 17, 1978. Unlike the previous two, the third tunnel was discovered following a tip from a North Korean defector. This tunnel is about 1,600 m (1,700 yd) long and about 150 m (490 ft) below ground. Visitors are allowed to enter the third tunnel through a steeply sloped access shaft. At the end of the decent, you put on your hardhat and head to one of the three barricades blocking access to the north side of the tunnel. The first two barricades are 1-meter thick; the third one is 5 meters thick. The hard hats are especially important for taller guests; I hit my head once and Ryan hit his twice.
The inclined slope on the way out is hard for older guests and even though I’m younger and somewhat in shape, I was sweating by the time I got to the top.

We headed across the parking lot to the exhibition on the war. While reading the printed information, Kelly and I were turned around by a Japanese guest wanting pictures with us. The flash went off before I even figured out what was going on. The guests then tried to change spots to take more pictures but I declined and left Kelly to be the American superstar.

The tour then headed to an Amethyst market. I found this to be the most disappointing stop on the tour. I knew we were there because the tour company got a cut of what the guests spent while there (because I worked for a tour company).
It cheapened the experience.

Then we went to lunch at a restaurant in Myeongdong. Kelly and I had bim bim bap and the boys had Korean BBQ. The bim bim bap was really good. It was the first time that I’ve had it hot and it was better than usual.

Our tour included pistol shooting at the Korea Shooting Club in Myeongdong. I went with the Beretta INOX 9mm and Kelly went with the glock. Ten shots later, Ryan came out the winner with 92 points (out of a possible 100), Eric and I tied with 88 points each and Kelly rounded us out with 80 points.
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Ribbons and barbed wire
Ribbons and barbed wire
Bridge of Freedom
Bridge of Freedom
Last station in South Korea
Last station in South Korea
See that little flag?  Thats Nort…
See that little flag? That's Nor…
Ryans target
Ryan's target
Me shooting my gun
Me shooting my gun
Kelly getting excited!
Kelly getting excited!
Seoul
photo by: chiyeh