Korea’s been an interesting place, and it’s not just because there is no smell of mutton, and the pepperoni on the pizza is amazing! Of course I can’t really say that I’ve “seen” or “done” Korea. I’ve really just seen Seoul. And of that, I’ve really only seen the War Memorial, and the Itawon area where all the American GI’s go to pick up fat American women or Korean hookers.
The War memorial was amazing. I wasn’t intending to see it at all…I thought it would be something like the American memorial to the Korean war in DC. Just a simple statue with a plaque. Nope, this was huge. It’s more like the ANZAC memorial in Canberra. It’s got a list of all the people killed in the Korean war; Korean, American, and all the other allies. It’s got a museum tracing Korea’s military heritage from the Bronze age to the present. Of course a lot of it is dedicated to the Korean war. I think I learned more about the war yesterday than I did in all my American history classes in both High School and University combined. This was especially interesting since my Grandfather was involved in the war back in the day.
Today I went out to visit the DMZ. It was one of the best tours I’ve done, and was really the reason I even stopped here. First we visited a tunnel that the North Koreans had dug under the DMZ to try to infiltrate the south. Apparently there are 4 known tunnels discovered from 1978 all the way up to 1990. This one had the capability to move 10,000 troops an hour to within 30k of Seoul! After that we went to the DMZ proper. It’s a really beautiful area, and it’s a shame that it’s only so amazing because of an un-ended war The group visited the building where talks are held between the two Koreas. It’s actually bisected by the border, so I got to go into North Korea for a few minutes…granted, it was only about 5 feet, but it was interesting.
Tomorrow I’m flying to Bangkok, and on Tuesday I’m headed to Koh Samui. I’m really excited about the beach!