Blogs from DMZ, South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » DMZ August 2nd 2019

Trip 2019 has gotten off to a great start. Bill and I arrived to Seoul on a warm, humid evening. After a swift immigration and baggage collection we boarded a KAL Limousine bus to our hotel in downtowan Seoul (Jung-gu). We wandered around neigbouring Myeongdong distrct to familiarise ourselves and search for something to eat. Myeongdong was everything I expected – dazzling lights, a plethora of shops (in particular K-beauty cosmetic shops) and a bustling street food scene. We finally settled for authentic Korean crispy chicken and beer, the air conditioned restaurant a respite from the opressive humidity. An early start for our tour of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom the next day. Earlier in the week, I had received an email from the original tour I had booked a ... read more
3rd inflitration tunnel
Panoramic view of North Korea
On the way to the Dora observatory

Asia » South Korea » DMZ November 14th 2018

We set a 5.30 am alarm for our trip to the Demilitarized Zone and were in Reception awaiting collection bang on time. Unfortunately, Reception took a phone call to indicate the trip organisers were running late, though only by ten minutes. Ho hum. We were first on the bus so managed to bagsy the front seats. We stopped at various other pick-up points where feeder buses brought in more travellers, often after lengthy waits. Our driver clearly didn't like hanging around but our guide, Gemma (I'm pretty sure that wasn't her real name!), was quite relaxed about it all. In the end the bus was reasonably full and Gemma gave us all a potted history of the N and S Korea split and the various moves to re-unite the two countries. You can look up the ... read more
Barricades to DMZ
Me and Freedom Bridge
Imjingak Park

Asia » South Korea » DMZ August 23rd 2018

Dear All Greetings from London! I have arrived back safely, and actually had a good journey back, considering it was about 24 hours from door to door! Incheon Airport near Seoul was a dream, and was so different to the dusty, chaotic airports I am used to flying back from! Check-in and immigration were both quick and friendly, and it was indeed a good idea to stay my final night in the hotel near the airport. In fact, it was probably the best hotel room I stayed in for the whole trip, so I was quite sad to just really spend my sleeping hours there, arriving late in the evening and leaving early the next morning. Before I go into the journey back though, I believe I have one more full day of travel to catch ... read more
De-Militarised Zone (DMZ), South Korea
De-Militarised Zone (DMZ), South Korea
De-Militarised Zone (DMZ), South Korea

Asia » South Korea » DMZ July 21st 2017

Nachdem 1945 mit der Kapitulation Japans der Zweite Weltkrieg beendet worden war, wurde die Provinz Chōsen, welche dem Gebiet des seit 1910 in das Japanische Kaiserreich eingegliederten und kolonisierten Koreas entsprach, von den Siegermächten entlang des 38. Breitengrads in zwei Besatzungszonen aufgeteilt. Der Süden wurde von US-amerikanischen Truppen besetzt, der Norden kam unter Kontrolle der Roten Armee. Als 1948 zuerst im Süden und wenige Monate später auch im Norden Staaten ausgerufen wurden, die Anspruch auf die gesamte Koreanische Halbinsel erhoben, eskalierte der Konflikt 1950 zum Koreakrieg. Im Waffenstillstandsvertrag wurde 1953 die Einrichtung einer entmilitarisierten Zone vereinbart, die beide Staaten voneinander trennt. (Wikipedia) Im Zeitraum von 1974 bis 1990 wurden insgesamt vier Tunnel gefunden, die vom Norden aus unter der DMZ in den Süden gegraben wurden;... read more
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Asia » South Korea » DMZ October 17th 2015

Saturday 17th October 2015 We had booked a tour through a tour group we'd found recommended on Trip Advisor for a day trip to the DMZ. This tour wasn't cheap costing approx £85 per person, but was the easiest and most hassle free way of getting there and seeing the sights. We left our guesthouse about 7am to take a 20 minute walk to Lotte Hotel (very plush) where the tour bus left from. We took the bus for 1 hour north out of Seoul towards the boarder with North Korea. On the bus, which was an English speaking tour group, we had a tour guide who gave us lots of information throughout the day on the various places we would visit and the history behind it. After the day was over Gemma and I had ... read more
Next train to N.Korea
Train down to the 3rd tunnel
View of North Korea

Asia » South Korea » DMZ April 17th 2015

Hyundais ready for shipment filled the Port of Incheon as we arrived in South Korea this morning. It was a little chilly when we walked to our bus this morning for our tour but the sun was shining and there was no smog from China. When we arrived at the DMZ area we were surprised to see rides and gift shops near the Freedom Bridge. We used the restroom facility there and then reboarded the bus to go to the DMZ third tunnel. We were warned by our guide to take pictures only from behind this yellow line on the observation deck. The line was four feet from the wall and had view finders that were in the way. After taking our photos we approached the wall and obeyed the rule until a huge group of ... read more
Third Tunnel Monument
View of North Korea
Hard Hats for Hard Heads

Asia » South Korea » DMZ March 17th 2015

The day started pretty early for us. We had to get up at 6 am because today we were finally going to go on the tour I was looking forward to the entire trip: the demilitarized zone, so almost North Korea! We took the metro the office of our tour organizers from where we took a bus to the DMZ. The tour was by http://www.koridoor.co.kr/ and it was well organized. Our first stop was a viewing platform from where you could look over to North Korea. Unfortunately the weather was really bad, so we didn’t see much, but it is said that with good conditions you are even able to see people on the other side of the border. My camera was so confused by the fog that it didn’t know what to focus on, so ... read more
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Asia » South Korea » DMZ October 10th 2014

Tunnels, the DMZ and Trains to Nowhere Incheon, South Korea 8:30am on this cloudy morning and we’re off to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. This is an area 2 ½ miles wide roughly on either side of the 38th parallel. The area is accidently a wildlife refuge and is a “no man’s land” or “buffer zone” between the two countries, overseen by peace keeping forces and led by the Americans. It is the worlds most heavily guarded boarder running 148 miles. Our tour guide told us that young children in South Korea are taken to the American Memorial with a statue of General MacArthur as he is their hero for coming to their aid. The trip out to the DMZ took about an hour by bus. As we headed out north out ... read more

Asia » South Korea » DMZ June 11th 2014

While intense and intimidating, I did not find the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) the scariest place on earth so called by former President Bill Clinton. I took a USO sponsored tour to the DMZ a few days ago and was actually kind of surprised how calm it appeared. After a US Army briefing, we were escorted on a bus from Camp Bonifas at the DMZ boundary right through to Panmunjeom which straddles the military demarcation line (MDL). Each country has 2 buildings right across the MDL (called the Joint Security Area, or JSA, here) and we could enter one of the South Korean's where there were 2 South Korean soldiers on guard: one standing across the MDL; the other was entirely in North Korea. We then proceeded to checkpoint #3 which, through a demarcation oddity, is ... read more
Specialist Woods at the JSA
North Korean Soldier Checking Us Out
North Korean Building at the JSA

Asia » South Korea » DMZ May 4th 2013

The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea is one of the most famous and heavily fortified borders in the world, and we've been planning to visit since we arrived. One Friday evening, my friend Jackie and I got the KTX from Busan to Seoul. We stayed in the same hostel in Itaewon, Seoul's multi-cultural district, and finally managed to find a quiet bar for a few drinks. Despite out best intentions we ended up going to bed a lot later than planned, and the big excitement of the night was finding salt and vinegar crisps tucked away in a tiny shop! The next morning we were booked to do a DMZ tour with USO tours. We had to get up early to meet the group at 07:30 but got to doze a bit on ... read more
NK soldiers
Bridge of no Return
MDL sneak photo




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