Matsimitsu

Day Six

South Korea - North Korea (Panmunjeom) & N Seoul Tower


Panmunjeom (North Korea)

The amount of photo's from today will be very low. Most of the time we weren't allowed to take photos. And i also kinda forgot my memory cards...

We got up very early (what else is new) to meet our driver who took us to the bus heading for the DMZ.

We visited the No. 3 tunnel dug by the North Koreans to invade Seoul. After that we got lunch and headed for the DMZ. First stop: the Bridge.

Seoul Panmunjeom
Bridge to North Korea

The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel

There are mine warnings everywhere, best to stay on the marked paths.

We got issued a helmet (wich is absolutely requried as a tall Dutch person, I bumped my head so many times) and you enter the tunnel that the North Koreans dug to South Korea. You venture in quite a long way and the guide explains what happened and how the tunnel was discovered.

Mine warnings

Dora Observatory

Next up was the Dora Observatory, from where you can.. observe North Korea.

Dora Observatory Dora Observatory

Dorasan Station

This is the most northern Railway station. And it was supposed to connect with the tracks to North Korea, but after South Korea built the station, nothing really happened.

Dorasan Station Train outside of Dorasan Station

The Joint Security Area

After countless ID clothing checks and always accompanied by guards, it was finally time to visit the famous blue buildings on the border of North and South Korea.

Guards at the Joint Security Area

Korean border tour

If you have the option I'd definitely recommend taking this tour to the border. It's a really weird experience that begins with lots of guard posts and barbed wire next to the river that you follow to the area.

Then you start driving through narrow roads with huge concreate blocks at either side, rigged with explosives to block the road if North Korea happens to invade.

You are guarded constantly and you have a set dress-code when you visit the area. No T-Shirts with big brands or any flashy clothes. Dress modest.

They count the group more times than I can count and you get very clear instructions on what to do and when.

The tour is dependent on the mood of the North Korean government and can be cancelled at any time, when tensions rise. This happened quite a lot in the past few years so you have to be lucky to get a spot on a tour that is not cancelled.

It's an unique experience worth the daytrip.

Blue houses at the border with North Korea at the Joint Security Area Looking into North Korea from the blue houses at the Joint Security Area

Sand/Concrete is North Korea, gravel is South Korea.

The border between North and South Korea at the Joint Security Area

The tour was at it's end and we headed back to Seoul, where we found a spot for dinner.

Seoul streets Seoul streets

N-Seoul Tower

After a delicious dinner it was time for the final attraction of Seoul on this trip, the N Seoul Tower.

Seoul streets at night
View from the N-Seoul tower View from the N-Seoul tower
View from the N-Seoul tower N-Seoul tower