Today, was another cultural excursion day. We started off the day by traveling up north to the Demilitarized Zone, the boarder between North and South Korea. This area was nothing like I expected it to be. For an area of cease fire, you would expect a bunch of barbed wire and a devastated barren landscape. Wrong, this is one of the greatest nature sites in history. Since no one can step foot in the DMZ it has allowed for flora and fauna to thrive in similar fashion to before industry existed.
We traveled up to an observatory overlooking the DMZ, where we could see a flag of South Korea nearby and, about two miles away, a flag of North Korea, marking the start of their territory. North Korea’s area was also barren of nature, since they decided to get rid of all of it to have a better sight of the South Koreans. Even though the though there has been a cease fire for over fifty years, the Korean War is still going on today. Because of this, North Korea still attempts to attack South Korea occasionally. The North actual built four tunnels under the DMZ for a surprise attack, one of which we got walk through. Luckily, conflicts between North and South Korea have been slowing down, and some progress is starting to begin for unification.
After our DMZ trip, we took a boat ride down the Han river, which flows right through Seoul. This ride made me realize how impressive of a city Seoul is. Even though it sprawls on forever, every building is unique from one another. There are also lots of art and park scattered throughout the city, making the big city feel a little closer to nature. While we were on the boat, we befriend some local seagulls, and proceeded to feed them some fish.
At the end of the day, our whole group went out for some authentic Korean barbeque, which was some of, if not, the best meat I have ever had in my life. We also got to cook the meat ourselves at the table, which was a ton of fun since I was (self) appointed head chef. We all feasted together as we enjoyed our last night in Seoul. I hate to say goodbye, but I am excited to see what Gyeongju has to offer.