Day 5, Seoul

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June 17th 2015
Published: June 17th 2015
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Todays plan was that we would be going to the DMZ where there is the border of the two Koreas. We were picked up by a car from our guesthouse and taken to the place where the bus was waiting. Unfortunately we were told that the main attraction was closed because of the MERS outbreak and instead we went to the Gangwha Peace Observatory. On the way to the observatory our guide Mr. SP "special present" Hong (he wanted us to call him SP rather than mister Hong) told us about the Demilitarized zone. He told us that the DMZ was established in 1953, it's 4 km wide, there are about 1 million soldiers altogether, and 2 million landmines.

The Peace observatory is the nearest observatory to North Korea. First we saw a 5 minute video telling about what there was in the shore of North Korea's side. Next on the observation deck, we were able to use binoculars so that we could see to North Korea's side better. After that we had some time to walk around and take pictures. Next we went to a place called Deokjin-jin fortress. It was the first place where Korea was opened to western people. There we saw canoons which were used in the battle with American naval forces in 1871. Also we saw the Warning Monument which was erected under an order from prince Daewongun in 1867. The monument has a writing that contains a warning that foreign ships are strictly forbidden to approach Joseon territory.

After tour the bus left us to Itaewon, which is the international area of Seoul. There we went to this restaurant called Busan Galbi where I had Bulgogi stew and Tiina had Kimchi stew. The food was delicious and next we went to had ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I took this really delicious Strawberry ice cream parfait!

Even though we didn't get to see the main part of the border of two Koreas, we were still really happy with the way the tour operator handled the situation. We were still able to get a comprehensive picture of the situation between the two Koreas.

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