Great times but more still to come
02.02.2010 - 06.02.2010 -4 °C
Ok so like i said im In Seoul Capital of South Korea such a great town. In the last week and abit i have literally done what im best at and just bummed around may i add iv taken my time to do that. gone here and there and then nowhere.
At the end of my last post i said i was going to the DMZ which i did ended up going with these two yanks that had turned up the day before and had a good laugh. The tour itself was really interesting and informative i found out so much about the divide between the North and South Korea that i would probably never have known about without going on the Tour. The tour kicked off on a bus like so many tours do, then headed to the border. At the border we had a soldier come onto the bus and check all or passports and we were then waved through. *little fact all men after they graduate school and before they turn 30 have to join the army or military police for 2 years and most of them will work the border patrol for those 3 years* When your in the Border or DMZ area you weave your way through road blocks and were taken to one of the 4 discovered Tunnels between North and South Korea, this is out of 20 they believe to have been dug so far. when you arrive at the 3rd tunnel Entrance house I was surprised to find that all around had been developed into a big tourist attraction with gift shop too. At this point you are ushered into a theatre and whath a short film on the DMZ and the Tunnels Once this is finished you are ushered again through a small museum explaining more about the DMZ and taken to the 3rd Tunnel. Now you have to place all your cameras, phones, and other electronics into lockers and are given a hard hat. Now we walked down this long step slope that runs down to the tunnel system taking about 15 minutes. at the bottom you reach the main tunnel which i was told was 2 meters wide and the same high so enough for me and one of the guys Austin(another tall chap) to duck but not struggle to walk through. Well when getting there the start was maybe a little under 2 meters so we werent too fussed but 20 meters into the tunnel it dropped to a alot under a meter in height and me and Austin may awell have crawled because there wasnt much space and had to hunch over like Quasimodo, Alex on the other hand the other american well he was a much shorter guy so the little hobbit had very little trouble. Anyway yeah we headed along the tunnel and kept noticing drilled holes painted yellow, this was planned holes for dynamite to keep building the tunnel. The other thing we noticed was that the tunnel had been painted black or if not painted, blackened in someway this turned out to be a sneaky North Korean move, which involved telling the south they had been coal mining once they had been caught, which was proven an absolute lie as the rock was sampled and found to have 0% coal in the area. Again after this we found out the North had then Accused the South for the tunnel saying they where trying to dig into North Korea, Which is why the dnamite holes were painted yellow, so the south could prove the direction the blasts were towards them not away. Anyway yeah the rest of the tour involved different sights in the DMZ and the observation post that looked straight at North Korea and we stopped from taking photos too close to the edge incase we saw some of the hidden camps.
So enough of that last friday was 'the big club night' in Seoul so the whole hostel plus mr Kim(the owner) and Jin Young (his friend and member of staff) had to oblidge and hit the town going a variety of different clubs and bars all mainly playing English and American music which was strange but had a great night and with mr kim buying lots of drinks it was cheap which gave me a big smile and made my wallet very happy. but with that and not getting back till about 5-6am the next day was a write off not a problem for me as i had given myself plenty of time in this city. so right after that the rest of this week iv just been exploring and eating all kinds of food still havent found dog though! i think i need a few more back streets. Now last night after a skype session with abi i headed to Deaksugung Palace the only on that is open late. I got there at 2010 50minutes before close but wlaking arond in the cold night was so peaceful and just sitting listening to the busy city outside of the palace walls compared to the emptiness and calm in the grounds was so unreal and serene one thing that i was gutted about about was that my camera wasnt up to the task of taking decent photos in the dark but i think i got a couple but just doesnt do the atmosphere justice. After that i headed down the road to the Cheong gye Cheon the center piece of the city a small river that has been developed with lights, waterfalls, bridges, stepping stones and fountains plus an art exhibit of the construction and history of the river. Then today i headed out to one of the palaces in the city Gyeongbokgung palace. Which in from what i read if i understood it correctly was the main royal palace, i think but don't quote me! but walking around the grounds i found it was huge just one walled courtyard inside another inside another with temples, shrines and different royal rooms and stuff everywhere with the big palace in the back surrounded by the mountains and just beautiful.
Then came back to the hostel to find it very full and food being prepared which is good but very hard to get a shower as there are only 2 on different floors. but yeah i will get one eventually so now going to have a korean feast and crash goodnight from me will write again before china.