Wednesday, 18 September 2013

South Korean Shenanigans

After two trips to South Korea, I have lots of photos and stories from days spent exploring Incheon and Seoul (and many a Korean Karaoke joint). I've summarised some of my experiences in pictures because otherwise this was one long post! I still have a wealth of exploring to do in both Seoul and Incheon and I hope I get back there very soon - especially to go shopping.

My Digs.

In Incheon, an area made entirely from reclaimed land, the Koreans had created their own Central Park (modelled on the famous Central Park, NY)

The Central Park view from my room in Incheon. 

The Incheon aesthetic is so vast. Growing by the minute, people can't move in fast enough to mirror it's square-metre growth it seems. 

The Tube.

There is no doubt that the tube is more high tech than anything on offer in Europe. Tube stations have touch-screen kiosks where you can search for tourist attractions around different tube stops and even watch movie trailers while you wait. Awesome! I'm thinking about sending a letter to Boris to campaign for some London tube upgrades that actually enhance the user experience!
This couple look like they stepped out of a vignette in 'Paris Je T'aime'
Kool Kiosks
A crouching lady selling fans. A girl can never have too many oriental fans.
Squatters paradise.
The little train at the bottom of the screen indicates the tubes arrival. When it reaches the station a fanfare plays throughout the station, giving everyone waiting a rushing sense of accomplishment. Seriously!

Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Feeling oriental!
Impeccable palace detail.

Ladies in Korea have sunbrellas!
Palace guards.

The Demilitarised Zone.

I went for a tour of The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) while on my first trip. The DMZ is the stretch of land between the North and the South border. The trip was pretty comprehensive and while we had to endure a weird film about the DMZ as a nature reserve (narrated by the most ridiculous blockbuster accent), we had the chance to visit the inactive Dorasan train station connecting the North and South and observe (through binoculars) both the Northern and Southern flags over the 4km-wide DMZ terrain. 
I learned about the Northern plan of attack on the South whereby tunnels were constructed from different northern locations and lead towards the southern capital, Seoul. It is said that by the time southern intelligence discovered the tunnels and identified them instruments in a plan of attack, the north had painted the tunnels with coal and claimed that these constructs were nothing but inactive coal mines. I'd like to know who came up with that brainwave of an excuse.
We had the pleasure of venturing down the 3rd of 6 inflitration tunnels that have since been barricaded. Amazing! If you're going to SK anytime soon, make sure you make a point of doing a tour!

The closest my camera got the to border. Binocular observation only from here, lads.
Dorasan train station hopes to one day connect the North and South.
Army friends.
An empty Dorasan train station.
The walk down the 3rd Infiltration tunnel.
The first of many barricades in the tunnel.

Other Seoul Observations.

BRB. Gone to the Casino.
The Sisters.
Sweet pizza tastes good!
Amazing traditional clothes shops.
View from our table at a cute bar in Seoul.

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