Saturday, January 2, 2016

Korea Day 5: DMZ tour!

Day 5 was reserved for our DMZ tour! Previously, I went on the 3rd tunnel DMZ tour, purely because the Panmunjeom (aka Joint Security Area) was fully booked. Made it a mission to get there this time round, and we did!

Before we left for Korea, we went to Korea Plaza to get some coupon booklets. One of the coupons available was a discounted price for DMZ tour with JoongAng Express Tour and we booked them while in SG. DMZ Panmunjeom tours must be booked early because it is very popular. The tour was supposed to be 70,000+won but because of the coupon, it went down to 63,000won.

We head down to JoongAng early in the morning. It's located near MyeongDong.

Our first stop: War Memorial of Korea
All the names of the soldiers who fought for S.Korea during the Korean War.
We were too busy learning about the history to take photos.
Our lunch, which was included in the tour.

We were at Imjingak Village. It is the furthest north point in South Korea that South Koreans can go freely. After this point, you must be granted permission to go any further north.
The railway joining North Korea to South Korea.
The tour was accompanied by a South Korean soldier and they are very strict with their photography rules.  You can only take photos when they tell you to do so.

The Military Demarcation Line (MDL). This is the line separating North and South Korea.
Went over to the North Korean side for a couple of minutes to take this photo! They were really strict with the timing you spent in the rooms. They are in this modified taekwando stance to intimidate the North Korean soldiers.
We were told past incidents in the JSA, how people tried to defect from the North, and a couple of other stories including the Axe Murder Incident, as well as the Soviet Defector incident. 
The Bridge of No Return. It was used for prisoner exchanges at the end of the Korean War in 1953. The POWs were given a final ultimatum - remain in the country or cross the bridge to return to their homeland. Once they choose to cross the bridge, they would never be allowed to return, hence the name.

This was the last photo we could take.

After the tour, we went back to Ewha for a walk!
I love their long escalators :D
Went for dinner at some random shop cos we were craving for budae jjigae! We walked down to Sinchon.
The weather was gloomy the whole day..
At my favourite kimbap chain store for some kimbap ❤︎❤︎
The huge church at Sinchon. The very useful landmark for directions!

Even though it was raining, we went back to Homilbat for bingsu hehe.

Day 6 coming soon!

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