Seoul Day 6: National Palace Museum of Korea

The National Palace Museum has a splendid historical artifacts of Joseon dynasty. There are about 900 relics and artifacts in this museum. Here are a few of the displays.

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The throne chair; does not look comfortable.

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Royal robe for the king which is decorated with dragons.

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Royal robe for the queen which is decorated with phoenixes.

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Pendants hung on a coat or a skirt. (more…)

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Seoul Day 5: Panmunjeom Tour

After lunch, we continued our journey to Panmunjeon. Panmunjeon lies 50km north of Seoul along the Tongilro. It is the place where the Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27th, 1953.

Foreigners who possess passports and those who are over 10 years old may enter. For natives, only group tours (30-43 people) are permitted to those who are authorized after personal identification clearance.

We switched bus to a blue UN bus at the Camp Bonifas which is the base camp for the UN Command Security Force. A guard travel with us to the JSA. We were not allowed to bring anything except the camera in hand (no case allowed). All personal belongings must be in your pocket; no bag allowed.

We were advised to walk in twos in a row and no finger pointing at the North Korea direction. This is a serious tour.

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Panmumjeon is the common name but the official name of the negotiating site is the Joint Security Area (JSA).

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The JSA is the only portion of the DMZ where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face. (more…)

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Seoul Day 5: DMZ Tour

Before I continued with the tour, here is the regulation.

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DMZ, The Korean Demilitarized Zone is the buffer zone between North and South Korea, running across the peninsula along the 38th parallel.

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The DMZ, a heavily militarized border. The DMZ is 250km long and about 4km wide.

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We visited the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel which is one of the 10 tunnels built as an invasion route for the North Korea.  So far, only 4 had been discovered. The 3rd tunnel is the most dangerous one because it infiltrated the deepest into South Korea. It is 1.95 meters high, 2.1 meters wide and 1,635 meters long. The tunnel penetrates 435 meters south of the military demarcation line (MDL) and ends at the Truce Village of Panmunjeom. The MDL goes down the center of the DMZ.

No photography is allowed in the tunnel. It is not an easy walk down the tunnel. Sometimes, we had to bend down and we often heard hard hat knocking the ceiling. Walking back up is also a challenge as it’s really tiring with the climb.

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More facts about the Third Tunnel. (more…)

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Seoul Day 5: Imjingak Park

Back to the Seoul travel series.

We decided to join the DMZ & Panmunjeom Tour on the fifth day. We signed up the tour from our hotel’s concierge. The tour cost KRW135,000 (CAD135) per person. It’s a whole day tour, pickup from hotel at 7:30AM and return at 5:30PM.

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The first stop was Imjingak. It’s a park on the banks of the Imjin River.

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There are many statues and monuments regarding the Korean War in the park. The above is one of the memorial.

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The Bell of Peace Pavilion.

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A close up look at the Bell of Peace. (more…)

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