Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day trip: DMZ

The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) is a 4 km strip of land that acts as a buffer zone between North and South Korea along the 38th parallel. It's the most heavily militarized border in the world. Probably because of that, it's also a really peaceful place, at least for now.

We did a half day tour which took us to a park where we saw this Freedom Bridge that the South Korean POWs crossed after the war.

Here's a closer look at the end of it.

Details on this temple:

You can see the South Korean village and the fake North Korean village from the Dora Observatory. Also, the largest flag pole in the world is visible from here (obviously on the North Korea side).

For some reason we ended up on a tour that didn't get us as close as we would've liked. We saw plenty of South Korean soldiers who were basically on the same tour as us, but didn't get to see any from North Korea. We did get to go into the 3rd tunnel that North Korea built and South Korea found (and is now profiting from). We also stopped by a ginseng store and an amethyst store on the way back, as tours are wont to do. We bought North Korean soju and a few other souvenirs. Mostly the tour was made by the company we kept - a hilarious Colombian girl getting her masters in Tokyo, a thoughtful Spaniard who works for Facebook in Ireland and an interesting Vietnamese-American Seattle based professor. Strangely enough, we spoke a lot of Spanish at the DMZ. We learned a lot about the Korean war and the ongoing conflict between the North and South.

No comments:

Post a Comment