We weren't allowed to freely take photos which kind of stressed me out. We were told when and in what direction we could take them and it usually was only for a few minutes. This kind of limitation makes me nervous and I end up not taking the photos that I would have. Anyway, check out the highlights from the tour.
|We arrived at Camp Bonifas for a briefing by a U.S. soldier
|This is the Join Security Area visitor center where we got briefed
We took another bus to the Peace House (which we were not allowed to take photos of).
|The Joint Security Area (JSA) where South and North Korean soldiers stand face to face - can you see the NK guy?
|Hurry, take a picture before we're not allowed to!
|And yes, it is pouring rain. The blue buildings are the South Korean conference rooms.
|The microphones are the divider separating North and South Korea in this South Korean conference room.
|I'm on the North Korean side!
|Our guide told us to stay at least 6 inches away from the soldiers
|I got a little closer here but other folks were almost touching them!
|All South Korean soldiers have to stand like this in 2 hour shifts - even the ones outside rain or shine
|There used to be actual flags of the countries who provide support to South Korea but our guide told us that because the North Koreans would constantly disrespect the flags, they made it into a poster.
|We weren't sure how people would react to Paul punching this statue...
After the tour of the Joint Security Area, we headed to the Dorasan train station. This is as north as the train will go in South Korea. It used to go into North Korea but since March of 2013, service stopped since North Korea doesn't acknowledge the armistice anymore.
|Paul is looking south for a train
|The tour guide said I could go on the tracks but we were quickly called back up
|Only 205km to Pyeongyang
|Empty train station - just tourists
|We then headed to the Dora Observatory overlooking the DMZ and is actually the closest to the North
|On a clear day, you're supposed to be able to see the North Korean propaganda village
|But, like I said before, we usually don't get good weather. I was only allowed to take pics behind the yellow line.
|I spy the observation deck where the South Koreans are watching the North Koreans
|We then headed to the third infiltration tunnel - one of four tunnels the South Koreans found that the North dug. This was the third tunnel found (in October 1978 based on info from a defector). The North said they were mining for coal...yeah, sure.
We visited the museum and also were able to walk through the tunnel but pictures weren't allowed within the tunnel. Here are some in the museum. Paul really wanted to punch some of these soldiers. See how anxious he is?
After a long day, we headed back to Seoul to have a celebratory birthday dinner.
|We had dinner at an Italian restaurant at The Plaza Hotel and put on our fanciest clothes; yes, jeans.
|Last shot of the night - cool reflections in a puddle outside our hotel