Europe, Asia · 295 Days · 39 Moments · July 2016

Cat and Damien's trip to South Korea

14 May 2017

28 July 2016

The North Korean countryside turned into a water colour!
Flight to Japan this afternoon. May add some more photos to this trip but then will begin adding to the Japan one.

27 July 2016

Entrance to the tunnel. It doesn't look steep but it really really was. Slippery too as the whole tunnel slopes towards North Korea to Send the water to them. It was bad enough walking down but the trek up was incredibly tough
We went in the third tunnel (there are 4 known and lots of undiscovered tunnels). The tunnels begin in North Korea and stretch a long way towards Seoul. It is thought they were going to used to invade. The most recent was discovered in the 1990s. At the end it is sealed but has a little window cut out. There used to be guards there but it is now monitored by cameras and motion detectors. It takes you to 170m from North Korean soil.
I found the border rather unnerving!
Cat at the Buddhist temple
These were taken at the Buddhist temple.
The palace on culture day. Culture day is the anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
Decent Food Has been surprisingly difficult to come by. Think it will be much easier when we get to Japan.
In case you weren't sure!
Land mines are covering the DMZ area and slowly being removed by the South Korean army.
They are clearing the DMZ of land mines. As they do they gain land used for rice paddies. You can buy DMZ rice. Not sure how land mines affect the taste. Damien managed to buy a rather rare North Korean wine. It looked a bit cloudy and unappealing to me but supply is so limited. It's unknown if it is still in production.
One of the most (potentially) dangerous places in the world is now a major tourist attraction.
North Korea!
Bizzare train station the the DMZ. It does have a train but I can't quite see it getting Pyongyang!? It's called the ghost station. We bought train tickets though and got into the platform! (Closely watched by guards the whole time!)
Freedom bridge. Built to get the pow's back from North Korea.
By freedom bridge
The peace bell by the freedom bridge at the border with North Korea

26 July 2016

Back to toilets! Urinals containing ice and a worry of running out of loo roll (64 holders!!!)
No this is not a cell in Alcatraz-it's a restaurant and brewery!
Rather sweaty after lots of walking
Visit to the Changdeokgung royal palace and the Bukchon Hanok village.
This was at a palace/temple that's a world heritage site. If you wore traditional Korean dress you got free admission. It was only £2 but must remember for next time!
It looks stormy on the pics and we do anticipate a deluge. However it's hot and sticky. The sun still breaks through the cloud making the humidity quite intense.
Bankon village the way to carry things
Large wide roads. It's not entirely made with pedestrians in mind.
Amusing sign in the Korean palace museum. It was in a cafe. Not even convinced the cafe sold balloons
So far we have been unlucky with the temples and palaces. The one we went to on Monday was closed only on Monday. This one closed only on Tuesday! Lots of people use umbrellas to shade from the sun as it's fashionable to be very pale!
Remote control for the toilet!??

25 July 2016

Setting sun looks like cartoon balloon.
We ordered a gin and tonic. But they gave us a Korean soldiers drink as a gift instead! Worst bit is we can't not have it!
Fighting through the jet lag, we visit the Namsangol Hanok village.
We went to an old village today. While there people wanted a photo taking with me! Very odd
Metro stations are used as air raid shelters in the event of attack from the north. As a result they all have gas masks ready in cupboards on the platforms. Tried to discreetly take a pic
Room view. The toilet comes with a remote control!!????

24 July 2016

On board ready for take off. Bet we are not smiling like this in 14 hrs time when we land!
The Heathrow to Munich flight had some rather odd items in the on board duty free!