Sunday, June 24, 2012

A FOREIGNER! THERE! Or my trip to the DMZ

My birthday weekend was also my last Saturday off (Wahh!) so Hye Jin and I took the opportunity to go to Paju and the DMZ.

The night before we went out for my birthday/Queena's last night in Korea, which meant that I got home at 3AM (earlier than everyone else) and couldn't fall asleep until 5 AM. I woke up at 8AM to meet Hye Jin and was dying.

Actually, I was surprisingly awake for the entire day. It must have been the multiple doses of caffeine. We left at 9AM thinking there would be traffic, but there wasn't really any, so we arrived at the area we were going to explore before it opened.

So, we went to this cool area nearby that was very pretty and colorful. We got breakfast, then walked around and looked at the different shops.

We then headed to the location. We went to a couple museums then got lunch. We went to an International Traditional Instrument Museum.

We saw an Elvis museum, but didn't actually go inside it.

Buzz Lightyear was at a different museum...I think it was a toy museum.

 We then went to a museum that showed Korean life immediately after the Korean war.

 The Hanbok shop, traditional Korean clothing.
 Some sewing machines.

 Pepsi of course.

We then went to the Trick Eye Museum, which was awesome. Apparently there's another one close to my apartment, so I must go immediately.


 I'm still shocked at how realistic this looks...

For those that don't know, I bought this hat in Ireland in 2008, which my family then decided to do a photo montage with the hat. The hat has been with me to Ireland, England, France, Italy, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria (unfortunately, I didn't own it yet when I went to Turkey) and now, finally, I have taken a picture of me wearing in Korea. In the most non-Korean looking location possible. I took one a few days ago in a more Korean looking location...aka there are Korean letters behind it, so that will be posted soon.
We drove to the DMZ next...Imjingak to be exact. Here are some ribbons people put up on the fence lining the border of North Korea. Actually the barb-wired fence bordered most of the freeway leading up to Imjingak, which was a bit daunting. You can see the last picture of the blog as an example. There were guard check points. Soldiers with guns were at each checkpoint...

 Hye Jin said the little rocks you can see are used as alarms...If someone tries to climb the fence (in either direction of course) a rock falls which sets off an alarm, so soldiers have to then immediately to a search of the entire fence grounds to make sure no one came or went over the fence.

 It was approximately here that I heard a child yell "외국인이다!!!!!" Or Way-gook-in-ee-da! Otherwise known as "A FOREIGNER! THERE! I heard it and understood it (what a shock!) then Hye Jin started laughing. The child was cute, probably about 4 years old, so I didn't mind him yelling at me.
This is the only bridge that can leave or enter North Korea. While we were walking around, a train left North Korea and came into South Korea.

 This is called the "Freedom Bridge." You can't open the gate

 The parking lot of the amusement park, with North Korea in the background

The train coming into South Korea

The freeway.


  1. Awesome pictures ... the first ones looked so colorful; something out of Alice and Wonderland. Then the progressively lost color. Good to see the Viking hat ... remember to let it travel on its own too :-) Thanks for the tour! Those museums are fantastic!

  2. Thank for sharing your adventure with us. Loved the crazy 3-D paintings...some were so funny. The town looked so cute. Was this near the fence? Wow it makes it very real to see the fence. So glad you have your hat! You must write a story of this touring hat!