Sightseeing

The day after the game and the reality of not playing in the final of Division 1 is sinking in. It was good to have a break from rugby and get our minds off things with a trip to the DMZ: DeMilitarized Zone. This is the area between North Korea and South Korea established in 1953 as a ceasefire for the Korean Wars.

The day started off slowly with little photography allowed at out first stop looking over the DMZ. It is crazy to think that this peaceful area has guns pointing into it at constant readiness. We watched a short video describing the DMZ and looked at a scale model.

We then stopped for lunch in the DMZ. The place we stopped was full of local workers and we dat down amongst them for bulgolgi. This is a stir-fried beef dish that tastes delicious. Along with rice, there were the traditional Korean side dishes of preserved vegetables including kimchi, bean sprouts and cucumber. This kimchi seemed to have fermented a little longer and was spicer than the kimchi I’ve eaten in Ansan. The meal was awesome and worth going on the trip for by itself.

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After lunch came the highlight of the day, a trip down into Tunnel 3. Since the split, North Korea has been actively trying to reunite Korea under a communist banner. To do this they have attempted to dig tunnels under the DMZ to bring in soldiers to attack Seoul. So far South Korea has discovered and shut down four tunnels. Before entering the tunnel we watched a movie and looked a museum with details about the conflict. Then we took a train down into where the tunnel ended on the South Korean side. It was surreal being down there. It was cold and the rock was damp. The tunnel was low and I ha to stoop most of the way to the end. They say that the plan for this tunnel was to bring through 30,000 troops an hour and launch an attack on Seoul only 48km away! With not much else to see underground most of the boys chose to walk out of the tunnel, a steep 350m climb!

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It was a great day and I enjoyed it. I learned a lot about the Korean conflict and I hope that it is resolved in the future.

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