|These photos are taken from trip to Seoul in December, 2008.
Seoul, or more likely nearby Incheon airport, is probably the first port of
entry for many travelers entering South Korea. Being one of the largest
metropolitan complexes in the world, the city itself may not really be
considered 'attractive' and there may not sport to many 'tourist attractions'.
However, there's plenty to see and do here including the Changdeokgung Palace,
N'Seoul Tower and the Inwangsan mountain trails. It's at night where the city
really comes alive. There's always a show going on - like the excellent martial
arts comedy show, "JUMP" which Dusty treated me to and the city never seems to
sleep. Seoul's vibrant shopping centers are open almost all night long. It's
also a great place to get a taste of some of Korea's 'esoteric' cuisine -
including the infamous dog soup.
One must-do side trip from Seoul is a
bone-chilling tour of the demilitarized zone separating South Korea with its
northern counterpart, better known simply as the 'DMZ'. The 4km stretch of
no-mans land divides two similar cultures yet two completely different worlds.
Nowhere else can the tension be felt any more than in Panmunjom, where
top-ranked taekwando expert North and South Korean soldiers stare each other
down all day in a game of international intimidation. The US military cadets
who act as guides on the tour, put on by the United Service Organization, don't
exactly alleviate the tension by constantly reminding us that world war three
could break out at any minute if we so much as wink at the North Korean
soldiers - not something you'd really want to add to your CV. A walk down one
of North Korean incursion tunnel, apparently built to transport some 30,000
soldiers is a firm reminder that the cold war is still going on in some parts
of the world. A less intense day trip from Seoul is the Korean Folk Village,
Above: Seoul at night, seen from the N'Seoul
The N'Seoul Tower from Namsan Mountain
Below: night out by Dusty's
place near Sinchon