When I first traveled to South Korea in 2011, I didn’t join my friends when they visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. My knowledge about DMZ and the history of Korea was very limited that’s why I didn’t find any significance in joining the tour.
Fast forward to my life as a student here in South Korea, I learned more about peace, war, national security, weapons, and such in our subject Peace and Conflict studies. Korea’s case is always discussed in class and has therefore increased my interest on this area. To help us appreciate and know more about this, our professor invited us to a 2D1N exposure trip to DMZ.
The place where we went to is at the Peace-Life Valley. The observatory we visited is different from the one usually offered in DMZ travel tours. If I am not mistaken, it is one if not the closest to North Korea. The distance is less than a kilometer so shooting at short range is possible. We also had the opportunity to go in one of the underground tunnels which was dug by North Koreans in the past in an attempt to attack South. From what I heard, South Korean civilians are not allowed to go this area. We also went to war memorial hall and DMZ wetland, attended a lecture about ecology and peace (very interesting!!), planted apple trees (hopefully I can eat its fruits next April) and had a fun bonding experience at jimjilbang (sauna).
The education center
Monuments and museum
War memorial hall
Time for some relaxation… jimjilbang!!
This trip was fun and educational at the same time. It was a great way to be closer to nature, my classmates and professor, and take a rest from the busy life in Seoul. 🙂