Trip to the DMZ

The Korean Demilitarized Zone or simply DMZ is that strip of land, running across the Korean Peninsula, dividing the two Koreas. It basically serves as a buffer zone to prevent directly military collisions.

Before coming to Korea, I’ve had only heard about this place but knew I had to visit it.

I really want to use this post to thank the HOW (HanyangOneWorld) organization for making this trip happen.

(Here is a little tip: sign up for this group at the orientation and definitely make sure to follow/join their page on Facebook so you get the latest updates on upcoming events.)

This was an organized visit, with lunch, snack and transport provided for the total price of 15,000 Won. We got a Hanyang University bus on our disposal, which was super comfortable for the purpose of the trip. It took round one hour and 20 to 30 minutes in each direction.

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First of all, it was great fun. You meet new people, either Korean or International students. Second of all, it is a great way to socialize. And furthermore you spend a day sightseeing and making friends all at once.

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Personally, it felt strange to be visiting such a sensitive and actively tense area on a sightseeing tour.

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You have to know that at a place like DMZ, civilian access is strictly controlled. Also a visit there requires a passport.

When we arrived we first stopped at the Nuri Peace Park to rest, have lunch and wander around the area. What actually surprised me was the theme park they have built there. The area/park itself has a variety of artwork and also provides huge space for visitors to have a walk around. Families with kids are running kites high up in the sky, everybody is enjoying their leisure time and the place itself really gives you an impression of peace.

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Our second stop – Dorasan station (도라산역). This is where a train station was built to connect South Korea to Pyeongyang. However, the war has separated the two areas. Therefore, when the station was completed, the trains were not allowed to operate.

dorasan peace station dorasan station empty sttion

Then we made it to the 3rd tunnel. First discovered in 1978, the tunnel was designed for a surprise attack on the Republic of Korea by the North. The tunnel is 1.7 kilometers long, 2 meters high and 2 meters wide. It is a prime example of the South-North confrontation. The tunneling walk was a little uncomfortable, as it is narrow and has a low ceiling. So be aware of this.

And finally we got to the observatory point from where vast landscapes showed up on the horizon. We could see North Korea in the distance. The view on the other side is much desolated with barely any trees, comparing to South Korean side.

  • An interesting fact is, North Koreans (except for high society people) do not have electrical boilers, so most of their trees are cut down and used as means to heat water.

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Article by Jani from Bulgaria

 

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  1. […] was already introduced on myHUBS back in 2014 (https://myhubs.org/2014/11/03/trip-to-the-dmz/), so rather than writing more about it, I would like to show you a little video clip I made of […]

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