Korea Travelogue: Day 4 - DMZ Half-Day Tour and Itaewon
Day 4 Itinerary (Part 1)
- DMZ Half-day tour
Day 4 started extremely early because the tour group's pickup time was 8am. We signed up for the half-day DMZ tour through Traveler's Planet Hostel which cost us approximately KRW40,000 per pax. I cannot remember the exact amount to be honest but TP will book the slots for you and you'll have to pay the guide upon boarding the tour bus.
We left on the dot at 8am on the tour bus and headed for Imjingak. For all DMZ and Panmunjeon tours, please bring along your passports for security purposes. They will check your passports once you reach Imjingak so no passport really will mean no entry and you have to head back to Seoul.
This is just the point of entry into the DMZ and we had a short pit stop to either use the lavatory or refuel at the cafeteria which was what we did. Didn't have time to have breakfast that morning so all of us were starving like crazy. Bought kimbap rolls (1 each for each person) and I had to have some coffee too. No freshly brewed ones unlike our kopitiams so premade ones will have to do. Choco pies were meant to be snacks in case we got hungry along the tour.
Next stop was to The Third Tunnel. This is one of the tunnels that supposedly leads from the north into the southern peninsula of Korea and is now a tourist attraction.
Before entering the tunnel, all visitors have to place their belongings into lockers and put on these yellow helmets as a safety measurement. The tunnels run pretty low, although it wasn't that much of a problem for me (#verticallchallenged), but if you are taller you'll really have to be prepared to bend down whilst in the tunnel.
It's quite a steep way down into the tunnel so be prepared with proper footwear. I was wearing my UGGS and it was horrible having to walk down that slope.
We reached the end of the tunnel and then headed back to ground level by walking the same route. Here's a picture of the 3 slowest on in the team who had to stop at every rest corner lol.
Next stop was Dorasan Station which is the station that you board for the train bound to the north.
Possibly the only time we ever got to see snow the entire trip T.T We took a super long time to take pictures before entering the actual train station.
Trains are fully functional by the way. There are passengers who commute in between both Koreas. At a small corner in the station, there are souvenir stamps that you can keep for memories' sake.
Last stop of the entire DMZ half-day tour was the nearby Dora Observatory where you can see North Korea in the far distance.
There you have it - North Korea.
After taking some pictures, we boarded the bus again and took us back to Seoul to a ginseng factory. Didn't buy any ginseng and we got off at City Hall station to head to Itaewon.
On our way to find lunch in Itaewon which is famous for having a ton of foreign restaurants and cafes. We walked past several restaurants like German ones, Spanish ones, Turkish and of course they had Korean restaurants as well.
Settled on this Korean restaurant because it looked pretty decent lol. Turns out to be a pretty decent meal in the end.
장사랑 (Jang Sa Rang)
72-33, Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
The bff is not impressed with the menu #captioningthispicture LOL
Fav hobby while on holiday haha
The food here is really good, in particular the pancake and meat pictured above. We polished off the pancake so quickly that it was very tempting to order a 2nd one haha.
Ok and that's it for the first part of Day 4. Will continue with the other half where we visited Banana Tree and to Lotte FITIN for K Live. (Update: Part 2 is up!)