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Visiting the Korean DMZ by train – Part 2

In the first part of the "visiting the korean DMZ by train" post I described how I find out how is possible to visit the DMZ by train, described the procedure to get there including the strict military control and I finished discussing how we left the Dorasan station towards our first stop, the Dora observatory. The story continues and includes a bonus title at the bottom.


4. The Dora Observatory.



We left the Dorasan Station and after a couple of minutes we arrived to the Dora observatory. A video shown in the bus explained that this observatory is the highest point on the South side of the military demarcation line, on top of the mount Dora. It also described how it offers an rare glimpse view of North Korea including the “propaganda village” of Kijong-dong, the industrial city of Kaesong and a huge statue of Kim Il-sung.

I left the bus ready to take some nice pictures from this viewpoint, but remember that the weather was bad and the whole observatory was really cloudy and so this is the “amazing” view that I got:

After waiting unsuccessfully for the clouds to move away, I gave up and returned to the bus. I guess the frustration was evident in my face, because out of the blue a very kind Chinese lady offered me some “DMZ Chocolates” from a bag she bought.
She definitively knew how to put a smile back on my face :).

Everybody boarded the bus and we moved to the next stop, the third infiltration tunnel.

 


5. Third infiltration tunnel.

Unfortunately you can’t bring cameras or backpacks to the tunnel so I was not able to take pictures inside, but the experience is very interesting, and I will try to describe it briefly. The background behind this structure is that since 1974 South Korea has discovered 4 tunnels dug up by North Korea, supposedly created to support an invasion of the south.

This was the third tunnel discovered, based on the information provided by a North Korean defector. In order to get to the tunnel, you need to put a helmet on and walk down the 300 meters of "interception tunnel" built by the South Koreans. Once you get to the bottom you can walk around 265 meters on a narrower and lower tunnel. This is the one built by the north for an eventual attack.

Once I finished the visit to the tunnel I took some pictures outside:

And I watched a short film in Korean about the infiltration tunnels. Based on the images it seems the film was about the 4 different incursion tunnels built by the north and how all of them were created to attack Seoul from different flanks. But again it was in Korean.

After we watched the movie and we boarded the bus, the tour was basically over. The driver picked up our badges, he brought us back to the Dorasan station and we waited patiently for the last train to bring us back to the Seoul station.

When we were riding back to the city, I had mixed feelings. I was happy I was able to see the DMZ Zone … but I was a bit disappointed with the weather. When we were crossing the Imjingak river I saw in the distance some kind of park.

 


6. Bonus: Imjingak Resort.

This morning was absolutely beautiful with a complete clear sky. I didn't have a specific plan to do today and I remembered the park that I have seen when I was coming back in the DMZ train. I found out this was called the "Imjingak Resort".

This park is located 7 km from the Military Demarcation Line and contains many interesting exhibitions such as the freedom bridge (used by returning prisioners of war), an old railway engine that was caught in the fire during the war and monument created for the families separated by the war.

In contrast to my previous visit, today was a perfect day to take pictures. I indulged myself! I hope you enjoy them too.