Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
One of the reasons we went to South-Korea was to learn about the history and see the nature of South-Korea. That means also visiting the Demilitarized Zone also known as DMZ. The Joint Security Area (JSA) is in the middle of the DMZ. The JSA was closed because of Covid-19. The DMZ was open and we booked a tour via VIP Travel. To prepare we had to bring our passports if we forgot them, we could not enter.
First, we got to see the train rails between the two parts of Korea. One of the rails demobilized, but the other one was still working. They kept it ready for usage between North and South-Korea when the war is over. The people in South-Korea use this place to remember there ancestors from North-Korea.
The next place we went where the tunnels. The tunnels were dug by the North-Koreans for a surprise attack. South-Korea found four of them and there are many more to find. The tunnels were small. At some places we could walk and at other places we almost had to crawl. It was hard to walk outside, because it was uphill. Very impressive.
The last place we stopped was at the observatory where we could see the DMZ. There is a lot af nature in the DMZ. Very beautiful. We could also see the first signs of North-Korea. There is also, as the South-Korean called it, a propaganda village. We could see that the buildings were without windows. It’s really a shame we could not get any further than this, but still a nice view.
The things we like to see when visiting new countries are traditions, parts of the history and nature. In the cities we have seen so far, we only have seen modern places. We like to go further into the country and find the jewels. That is why we choose to hike to Mangwolsa temple. This is a temple build on a mountain. It is a hike of five kilometres (rather short), but it is 650 meter above the ground. Which makes this some kind of a struggle. The path consists mostly out of rocks. It was hard to walk. We had our normal shoes and forgot our deet. Not the best combo, but we managed. We had one and a half litre water with us, but we needed more. Luckily, we were already down at that moment. We saw a lot of nice nature and most of the time we walked alongside a waterfall. There were places we could rest our feet in the water and cool down. The temple was rather big and it was still being used. We thought it was worth to go up. These were the place we wanted to see.
We had a lovely week, and also a heavy one. It was worth is. This really was a part of the history and nature of South-Korea we wanted to see.