Day 5 Studytrip South Korea

Today is DMZ day, also known as the DeMilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. A VIP tour bus picked us up. On the drive there we had a short history lesson about the division between North and South Korea and how it came to be. The first stop was a park before we entered the actual DMZ. In the park a few historic items were displayed, like a train destroyed in the war, the Freedom Bell and a vantage point on the Bridge of Freedom. After a short stop we continued as “Michelle’s Group”, which our tourguide Michelle picked, to the next stop. This stop was at the 3rd infiltration tunnel, after a short movie about the war between North and South Korea, a few incidents afterwards, the DMZ and the four discovered tunnels North Korea dug. Once the movie was finished we were allowed to enter the 3rd infiltration tunnel up until the first barricade. Which was after 360 meters walk at a depth of 73 meters. The blockade was a thick concrete wall with a heavy metal door. The third stop was at a vantage point. This point showed the border between the North and the South and a few villages on the Northern side. The villages were mostly faux as they were only used by military forces. Once we nearly arrived at the last stop Mohamed discovered he should duck before taking his seat, to prevent bumping his head each time he sat down. The last stop was a train station. This was only used by people visiting the DMZ. It was constructed with donations from citizens hoping the track will connect the North and the South.

After a hour driving back from the DMZ we arrived in Seoul once again to visit the K-Style Hub. As lunch we had a huge bowl of Thai Noodle Soup or Fried Chicken served by 2 elder ladies. Afterwards we were ready to try on traditionally styled clothing called “Hanbok”, transforming us into Korean royalty.

In the K-Style Hub there was plenty of information about the South Korean culture. The building is financed by the government to introduce tourists to Korean eating habits and traditional ingredients. A photobooth was also installed in the building, which allowed us to take pictures with animated K-Pop stars.

During the free time that followed a group ended up at an event promoting a presidential candidate after taking a large detour. A large selling point of this event were the cute gigantic white bears. Another group went to the YP Bookstore, were they sell cultural books to modern literature and old school records to the latest albums.

At the end of the day we had a few drinks in the garden until the police ended the festivities.

-written by Don en Silvie-