A Travellerspoint blog

Obligatory day trip to touristy Korea DMZ

It seems so odd and impractical to have an active military zone made into a tourist attraction; though 5 million visitors a year come see this border

It seems so odd and impractical to have an active military zone made into a tourist attraction; though 5 million visitors a year come see this border

This is as close as I care to get to North Korea; I looked through a telescope and could see no people or cars in North Korea

This is as close as I care to get to North Korea; I looked through a telescope and could see no people or cars in North Korea

The Stones of Peace Wall; poignant sculpture with 86 stones collected from battlefields in 64 countries designed to be a stepping stone for the reconciliation of the Korean people

The Stones of Peace Wall; poignant sculpture with 86 stones collected from battlefields in 64 countries designed to be a stepping stone for the reconciliation of the Korean people

The Freedom Bridge was built in 1953 for exchanging 12,773 prisoners of the Korean War; it felt inappropriate to hear visitors laughing and not considering what actually happened here

The Freedom Bridge was built in 1953 for exchanging 12,773 prisoners of the Korean War; it felt inappropriate to hear visitors laughing and not considering what actually happened here

This steam locomotive was abandoned in the DMZ during the Korean War after receiving 1000  bullets and derailing; the DMZ is 160 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide

This steam locomotive was abandoned in the DMZ during the Korean War after receiving 1000+ bullets and derailing; the DMZ is 160 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide

The Korean War claimed over three million lives and divided the Korean Peninsula along ideological lines; sporadic outbreaks of violence killed 500  South Koreans, 50 US soldiers and 250 soldiers from North Korea along the DMZ between 1953 and 1999

The Korean War claimed over three million lives and divided the Korean Peninsula along ideological lines; sporadic outbreaks of violence killed 500+ South Koreans, 50 US soldiers and 250 soldiers from North Korea along the DMZ between 1953 and 1999

After 36 years of Japanese colonial rule, Korea was liberated on August 15, 1945; then it was arbitrarily divided into North and South by the winning side post WW2 thus separating a country that had existed for thousands of years as one

After 36 years of Japanese colonial rule, Korea was liberated on August 15, 1945; then it was arbitrarily divided into North and South by the winning side post WW2 thus separating a country that had existed for thousands of years as one

The world's fourth-tallest flagpole (160m) flying a North Korean flag over Kijŏng-dong near Panmunjom; South Korea has a similar display on their side but on a slightly shorter flagpole

The world's fourth-tallest flagpole (160m) flying a North Korean flag over Kijŏng-dong near Panmunjom; South Korea has a similar display on their side but on a slightly shorter flagpole

Visitors leave ribbons and messages hoping for peace and family reunification; I'm not sure why, from an economic viewpoint, South Korea would want North Korea since it would be a huge financial drain

Visitors leave ribbons and messages hoping for peace and family reunification; I'm not sure why, from an economic viewpoint, South Korea would want North Korea since it would be a huge financial drain

This bell was made with the wish for peace and national unification; to commemorate the 21st century, the bell weighs 21 tons and is made of 21 stair steps

This bell was made with the wish for peace and national unification; to commemorate the 21st century, the bell weighs 21 tons and is made of 21 stair steps

As sections of fence are repaired the old wire is sold to gullible tourists; maybe Trump could do this to raise money for his beautiful new wall

As sections of fence are repaired the old wire is sold to gullible tourists; maybe Trump could do this to raise money for his beautiful new wall

Sculpture entitled Unifying Earth; in 2005, CNN founder Ted Turner, on a visit to North Korea, said that he would financially support any plans to turn the DMZ into a peace park and a UN-protected World Heritage Site

Sculpture entitled Unifying Earth; in 2005, CNN founder Ted Turner, on a visit to North Korea, said that he would financially support any plans to turn the DMZ into a peace park and a UN-protected World Heritage Site

On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended with a cease-fire; the Northern and Southern Limit Lines were created as each side moved their troops back 2km from the Military Demarcation Line

On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended with a cease-fire; the Northern and Southern Limit Lines were created as each side moved their troops back 2km from the Military Demarcation Line

We toured the 3rd Tunnel of Aggression, built by North Korea, which was discovered in 1978 just 52 kms from Seoul; 30,000 North Korean troops could pass through the tunnel within an hour

We toured the 3rd Tunnel of Aggression, built by North Korea, which was discovered in 1978 just 52 kms from Seoul; 30,000 North Korean troops could pass through the tunnel within an hour

Local delicacies include silkworms and periwinkle snails; I asked how you eat the small snails and was told you suck the snail out of the shell

Local delicacies include silkworms and periwinkle snails; I asked how you eat the small snails and was told you suck the snail out of the shell

The Chinese and Russians have already built a rail network to connect South Korea with their countries anticipating rail being permitted through North Korea

The Chinese and Russians have already built a rail network to connect South Korea with their countries anticipating rail being permitted through North Korea

Dorasan Station was designed to be the northernmost South Korean station on the train line connecting the country to the rest of Asia; the rail line is often a bargaining chip in talks between the North and South

Dorasan Station was designed to be the northernmost South Korean station on the train line connecting the country to the rest of Asia; the rail line is often a bargaining chip in talks between the North and South

The soybeans (both black and white) are produced in the DMZ with the roasted soybeans then covered with chocolate; my friends lucked out since I did not bring any back to the US

The soybeans (both black and white) are produced in the DMZ with the roasted soybeans then covered with chocolate; my friends lucked out since I did not bring any back to the US

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:14

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