Asian Adventures, Spring 2015: Korea, Part 2

June 22nd, 2015
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As I’ve spent a few weeks spending some time in Japan, Korea, and China, over the next few posts, I’ll be outlining my itinerary with explanations of what exactly I experienced and thought of the cultural exposure in each of these countries. You can read what I’ve posted already by clicking on the link below:

Korea

As described in my last post on Korea, I used the hop on hop off bus on my second day in Seoul. Other than the palaces, I did manage to see one of the market areas which I found super touristy. I also saw a reconstruction of a typical Korean village.

The last full day spent in Seoul was doing a half day tour of the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) and half day city tour of Seoul.  This was organized through my aunt’s conference people so it was great to join in.

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Once we arrived at the DMZ, we were taken to the third of the four incursion tunnels. The third tunnel was discovered on October 17, 1978 following a tip from a North Korean defector.  Out of the four discovered tunnels, this tunnel is the only one open to tourists.  We were taken through the tunnel using a sloped access shaft and once we arrived at the bottom, we were then allowed walk through.  The tunnel is about 1,600 meters long and 73 meters below ground.

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Abandoned South Korean Train

We were then taken to a viewing station to look out into North Korea.  Unfortunately, it was very foggy and we weren’t really able to see much.  There was a map indicating the two peace villages, Daeseong-dong in the south and Kijong-dong in the north, and other landmarks.

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View of North Korea and the Freedom Bridge

As part of the DMZ tour, we were also taken to see Dorasan Station built just over the South Korean side of the border. The train station is maintained in the hopes the North and South Korea are united as it would be the first station toward the North once the borders are lifted.

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Dorasan Station

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Dorasan Station, View of North Korea

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Dorasan Station

After lunch, we left the DMZ and headed back to Seoul to begin the half-day city tour.  We explored the Seoul Tower which I had purposely skipped the previous day and saw the Korean village.

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View of Seoul, Seoul Tower

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View of Seoul, Seoul Tower

We were also taken to a night market which seems to be popular in this part of the world. It’s typical of most Asian markets where there’s food stalls and other items including clothing and touristy things.

As short as my trip was in Korea, I could have had more time to explore the city but overall it was a good time.

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