[Travelling] 11th – 14th July

11th July

We woke up at 5am for our DeMilitarised Zone tour. The other girls overslept so we were slightly late for the tour, but we still managed to rush in time. It took us an hour ride to get to Paju city from Seoul. From there, we went straight to the Joint Security Area (a.k.a JSA).

We had to switch bus due to security reasons, before we could arrive at Panmunjom. We could only take photos of the North Korea side due to military reasons. Can see that only the South Korea side has guards standing at the blue conference rooms and they are standing in Taekwondo stance, to show that they are in an attack-ready position. Most of the guards are also half blocked by the blue houses, in case of an attack.

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The microphone along the table is aligned with the concrete slab outside of the blue conference room, which represents the 38th parallel dividing South Korea and North Korea.

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North Korea Propaganda Village, which has a 150m tall flag tower. The flag is so heavy that it can only fly if there is a really really strong gush of wind blowing. From the pictures, North Korea looks very bare as there is mostly no trees on the top of the mountains and the land looks baren. A not-so-fun fact that the UN Military Police guide told us was that every 8 mins, there are countless North Korean military aiming weapons towards Seoul >.<

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Another thing that the UN Military Police mentioned was that some of the windows and the doors are painted on so as to portray that there is people living in the village. Well there are people living in the village (those working in the Kaoseong Industrial, a joint production from South Korea with North Korean workers) but not the entire village.

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Memorial for the Axe murders, where North Korean guards ambush South Korean guards when they were trying to ax down a tree that is blocking their view.

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Bridge of No Return! After the Korean war, both sides ‘exchange’ their POWs. Once the POWs makes the choice and cross the bridge, they can no longer return, hence the name of the bridge. Means once I cross that bridge … I will no longer be safe >.<

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The whole atmosphere at the JSA was so solemn, I barely said anything for fear of something that would happen.

The next place we visited was the Dorasan Station.

“Not the last station from the South. But the first station to the North.”

I guess I won’t need to take the DMZ train since I have visited the station le. The interior of the station also had custom clearance stations being built, in hope that the unification would occur soon.

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The meal totally reminds me of dorm food. Rice in one portion, dishes in the top portions, only the soup portion is taken over by the bibimbap bowl instead. The food taste not bad and it was buffet style so I was full.

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After lunch, we went to Dora observatory to use the binoculars to look into North Korea’s Landscape. They showed us a video, so when I went out I started spotting for the statues and buildings.

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If you can see closely on the hill, there is a white spot. This is the max my camera can zoom in, while standing at behind the yellow line. The white spot is Kim Jung Il’s statue in North Korea. The famous one that most people would visit and bow to pay their respects. There is many many more statues other than that one.

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This picture below is an example of how North Koreans built the tunnels. The yellow paint symbolises the area that they place the dynamites to bomb open the tunnel. The black paint was what the North Koreans used to bluff the South Koreans that they were digging a coal mine for profits. To date, there is 4 tunnels found and the third tunnel is the nearest to Seoul.

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After our DMZ tour finished, we took the train to Gangchon in hopes of riding the ATV bikes. However it was close to 6pm and we thought they close at 6pm, so we didn’t go in the end. We headed to Myeongdong instead so that Rynn could change money. Despite all this, seeing celebrities totally makes up for it! haha! We got to see Kim Gura and Defcon hosting some show, which I have no idea what it is. Too bad I can’t speak Korean.

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After that we headed to Sinchon to catch Transformer: Age of extinction 4D. The plot sucks but 4D makes up for it. While watching the show, Rynn and I kept questioning parts that don’t connect, and at the same time being amazing at the 4D effects CGV has 😛

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12th July

Decided to skip out on Nami Island and Petite France, so I slept till 11am. Caught up on my dramas and watch Transformer 1-3, fast forward version ^^

Met Rynn at Gangchon station and headed to the ATV stall. Only after we asked, then we realised that they closed at 9pm 😛 We rode from 5pm-6.30pm and we only rode on the dry grounds. Didn’t really want to go to the wet terrains as my shoe was new.

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We took the itx back to Cheongnyangni, hoping to skip a few stops instead of waiting for the normal train. But we got caught and need to pay for the itx >.< We tried to get refund at the station, but they couldn’t understand English and kept insisting that they were right. They just took our card and gave us the refund money without explaining properly to us. They even asked us to go to the information counter to ask someone who spoke English. We went there and no one spoke English. We wanted to give them an easier way out and ask for someone who spoke Chinese. The reply they gave was that English is an International Language and Chinese is not, so no need to find a Chinese speaking person. The best part still… was them asking us to go to Singapore Embassy to get our refund of 2000+ won.

 

13th July

Went to Tongin Market in the morning with the other girls and Zhuwei’s mum & aunt. Another satisfying meal 😛

In the afternoon, I went to meet Rynn to go to Lotte World.  We took the rides that I didn’t take the other time with Gwen. Okie there was some rides that I sat on my own as Rynn wasn’t feeling well.

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14th July

Today is a chillax day. Went for Brunch at Hankuk Foreign Studies University with Doreen and Wei Fang. The Brunch is so nice but a little expensive though ^^

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Spent the afternoon doing some packing, in preparation to pass my stuff to Yiyi to bring back as she has some spare luggage space. Had our last dinner with Rynn at our favourite ahjumma store before sending her off to take a taxi to the airport.

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