Having visited Imjingak, the Third Tunnel, and the Dora Observatory earlier in the day, our next stop was Dorasan station, which is the most Northern KORAIL station in North Korea. Although trains do not currently run into North Korea, the South Koreans hope that one day the two countries may unite and that the transport link will provide easy connections into countries all over the world.
There are already luggage check points and seating areas all ready in preparation for that hopeful day in the future!
Trains run from Dorasan to Seoul.
You could also purchase train tickets from the ticket office for Pyeongyang.
With this ticket, you were granted access onto the platform where trains from Seoul currently terminate.
"How does one take such a terrible photo?" I hear you ask.
(Don't mind my battered bag. Even I was surprised it lasted that long.)
On our way back to the coach, we found a South Korean soldier on duty. As several people asked for photos and he kindly obliged, we hopped into the mini crowd and requested for photos too.
Super derp face, but was nice of him to be up for it despite being on duty!
After that, we boarded the coach and was taken for a quick lunch. I was ravenous. That hotel breakfast had long digested... it was 12.45pm!!
This was so cute :)
Such a hearty meal :)
Unfortunately our tour guide would not be joining us for the last part of the tour. She was such a wonderful, bubbly, tour guide, we decided we needed a photo with her before we parted ways.
As soon as we started to move, our tour guide explained the risks of visiting the Joint Security Area (JSA) and Camp Bonifas. She listed a number of rules that we should abide by... this included no pointing, gestures, or expressions such as scoffing, which they believed would be used by the North Koreans as propaganda against the United Nations. In fact, there was a whole A4 sheet of instructions set out as a 'Visitor Declaration'. We were asked to sign this at Camp Bonifas after watching a brief presentation on the JSA.
We then walked through the building towards the JSA and conference room, where we encountered two South Korean soldiers; each on the 'North' and 'South' sides of the room.
Everyone was so exhausted, we all spent the whole journey back fast asleep.
We were dropped off just opposite the Seoul City Hall.
As our time in South Korea was just after the Sewol Ferry Disaster, the open space in front of the city hall was filled by gazebos and trees that were covered in yellow ribbons of wishes and condolences. It was quite an emotional and moving sight.
We made our way back slowly to Myeongdong. It was refreshing to have some down time to just wander through the streets and absorb the environment.
Once we got back, we freshened up a little at the hotel before splitting up and hitting the shops!
Eventually, we decided to get some dinner.
Isn't it awesome how Asian countries save space and time (why did that make me think of the Doctor :D) by having cutlery and napkins in small drawers under the dinner table?!
We went for a large hot pot between the four of us. I have no idea what it was called, but it was super spicy, and I ended up just having the side dishes and a couple of mushrooms/bits of meat.
Of course, I was still hungry. That didn't stop me from causing more damage to my wallet and shopping though!
When it's late, your're hungry, and you're in the streets of South Korea... Try the street snacks!
If you're ever in South Korea, this is a snack that you HAVE TO TRY! It's SO GOOD! If we hadn't had any of the other snacks earlier, I would have happily/easily chowed down another four or five of these...
It is essentially a fatter version of a cocktail sausage, on the same skewer as a rice cake wrapped inside some fish cake!! HEAVEN ON A STICK!!!
Oh, now I really crave it -.-
And here is our last photo of the day! I look hideous, but I thought it would be a nice photo to end on. Plus, it's not every day that you get to see the man behind the camera! :D
Until my next post, where we head to Incheon China Town, and Eurwangni Beach!
Hope you're all well :)
Disclaimer: The amazingly beautiful and professional shots featured in this blog post are not my own. They have been used with kind permission from Kin :) A few of my own photos do appear, but the majority do not belong to me.