The DMZ & Lack of Zzz’s
It was really hard to get up that morning. Clubbing the night before was maybe not a good idea when you have to wake up 6am to catch a bus tour the Demilitarized Zone. People interested in going into the DMZ have to pre-register and follow strict guidelines that are imposed in the zone. Some of which involve clothing, photography and personal conduct.
That day we were touring the 3rd Tunnel. A tunnel allegedly dug by North Korea to invade Seoul. We had to wear helmets to descend into the cave, and for good reason. The tunnel is not very high. I bumped my head a few times. I don’t really see how North Korea could immobilize troops quickly… unless the soldiers were short enough.
Unification Monument at the 3rd Tunnel
Me trying to unify Korea
Andrew, Takeshi, Ben and Heather outside the 3rd Tunnel
Next stop was the Dora Observatory, where you can view the “Propaganda Village”. These days the anti American propaganda has been taken down thanks to Korean talks. But I’m sure it’ll be along while before Korea is reunified again. Also from the observatory you can also see the tallest flagpole in the world baring the North Korean flag.
Dora Observatory. We couldn’t enter that day cause of a military meeting or something
Me trying to photograph North Korea. We weren’t allowed to take pictures beyond the yellow line.
North Korea amongst the haze
After, we visited Dorasan Station, the last stop northbound. The station is not actually in use, but more of a symbol of hopefully reunification. Apparently some goods and cargo are the only things that pass through here.
Outside Dorasan Station – the last station to the north
With some army guys inside the relatively unused Dorasan Station
By this time I was soo hungry! We had a lunch of bulgolgi and had free time to explore the last stop on the tour, which was the Unification Park (Imjingak) which contains the Freedom Bridge. This park was constructed for families to be closer to their long lost relatives across the closed border. There are a few monuments and statues erected in memory and dedication to the families and the idea of reunification.
One of the monuments inside Unification Park for separated families
The end of the Freedom Bridge marked with well-wishes for unification and messages from separated loved ones
The park was designed for families and has a few rides for the kids. Though the DMZ is a serious matter, the park is a nice place for families to visit. This is me with my friend the giraffe. ^_^
Some Zzz’s and More Clubbing
After the tour we headed back to the guesthouse for a long nap. That night we planned to do some more exploring and clubbing, this time in Itaewon. Itaewon is apparently a big clubbing spot. It also contains an area called “Homo Hill” because gay people gotta party it up too! LOL
I was able to finally meet Cliff at a bar in Itaewon with my friends. Cliff had recently moved to Korea to teach English. I was so happy to have a chance to see him (even if it was for one night). After a few drinks, we all headed over to one of the clubs. I have to say I REALLY enjoyed myself! There weren’t many people at the club, but Cliff tells me it doesn’t get busy until around 2am. And we had to live around that time for an early day of exploring what Seoul has to offer.
Cliff & I being wild in Itaewon!
Side note, the subway and taxis are really cheap in Seoul! It was a welcome change from the overpriced taxis of Tokyo. To put it into perspective, I once traveled 30 minutes from Tabata Station to Warabi Station and it cost me $50. The same ride in Seoul would be less then 10 bucks I’m sure.