Archive for April 19, 2013

A Korean Holiday   Leave a comment

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Today, we, comprising of my mother and Marilyn, shall be departing Penang for Petaling Jaya by Aeroline Express bus. On arrival at Petaling Jaya, we shall be taking a short rest at my sister’s house. My aunty, my mother’s younger sister shall also arrive from Singapore in the afternoon. We are thankful to my sister for footing the bill for this delightful tour of Korea. There was some second thoughts of the unstable political climate in the Korean Peninsula. But, later we were told by Mr Lee, our Korean tourist guide, this was no alarm at all as tourists from Mainland China were swarming into South Korea from nearby Chinese cities. The question is will North Korea dare to launch a missile while a large number of Chinese tourists are in South Korea ? Definitely, a “no, no” as “it shall not bite the hand that feeds her”. Fast-forward to the tour, putting politics aside, my itinerary for today was the late night flight by Korean Air to Incheon Airport at around midnight. It shall take 6 hours from Kuala Lumpur or rather Sepang, Malaysia to reach Incheon, South Korea, early the next day, Saturday, 20th April, 2013. After clearance at the Immigration and cUstoms Check-points, we were whisked to the the most dangerous area in South Korea peninsula with slight shower dripping down ie the DMZ – the Demilitarized Zone, the border with North Korea. The morning was the sightseeing tour of the DMZ – the Third Tunnel, Dora Observatory, Dora Station, and certain areas, photography was strictly prohibited. Lunch followed and we were bussed to the Dosmetic Airport for our transfer to Jeju Island at the souther tip of the Korean Peninsula by Flight KE1251. On arrival at Jeju Island, we were taken to see a stretch of mysterious road in the country-side. When the bus engine is switched off, the bus kept on moving even the road was slightly inclined. No scientific explanation but according to the tourist guide , it was an optical illusion. Nothing really spectacular to me actually. After, dinner we were taken to stay at the Jeju Neighbourhood Hotel. So ended the first day in Korea.

SP Lim
Photos to follow after edit.

Day 1 Malaysia – Incheon – Seoul – Jeju Island
Arrive in Incheon International Airport
Morning Sightseeing DMZ Tour ( 3rd Tunnel, Dora Observatory, Dorasan Station ) Lunch
Transfer to Jeju by KE1251 Flight
Afternoon Sightseeing Mysterious Road & Shineju Shopping
Accomodation at Jeju Neighbourhood Hotel

From Wikipedia:-
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ; Hangul: 한반도 비무장지대; Hanja: 韓半島非武裝地帶) is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea which runs along the 38th parallel north. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. It was created as part of the Korean Armistice Agreement between North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and the United Nations Command forces in 1953.

It is 250 kilometres (160 miles) long,approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) wide and despite its name is the most heavily militarized border in the world.The Northern Limit Line, or NLL, is the de facto maritime boundary between North and South Korea in the Yellow Sea and the coastline and islands on both sides of the NLL are also heavily militarized.

More on Dorasan Station from Wikipedia:-
Dorasan Station is a railway station situated on the Gyeongui Line, which once connected North and South Korea and has now been restored. For several years the northernmost stop on the line was Dorasan Station, which is served by Tonggeun commuter trains.

On December 11, 2007, freight trains began traveling north past Dorasan Station into North Korea, taking materials to the Kaesong Industrial Region, and returning with finished goods. It was scheduled to make one 16-kilometer (9.9 mi) trip every weekday.

However, on December 1, 2008, the North Korean government closed the border crossing, after accusing South Korea of a confrontational policy.This coincided with the South Korean legislative election, 2008, and a change to a more conservative government.

The station is currently served by four trains from Seoul per day for tourists.

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it. — Benjamin Disraeli

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