Demilitarised Zone – Samcheongdong – Bukchon Hanook
This was one of the highlights of the trip. Earlier on in our trip planning, we had confirmed a tour package at http://www.koreadmztour.net/index.html. Through the tour, we visited the Dorasan Station, which is the last station of the South Korea. The tracks from this station will end in North Korea, but today, no trains are scheduled to pass through. Though in a pristine condition, the atmosphere in the station is sterile and eerie.
The DMZ tour also brought us through the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel – a tunnel that was found to be dug by North Korea, and leading into the centre of South Korea. It was said that this tunnel was part of the greater plan by North Korea to severely damage South Korea through a surprise attack. Some parts of the tunnel are steep, slippery and dark. Prior to entering, all visitors were given safety helmets.
Samcheongdong, Bukchon Hanok
We explored the quaint shops at Samcheongdong, then visited the Bukchon Hanok Village which is one of the few areas that still preserve the traditional houses ‘hanoks’. It is an interesting area to take a leisure afternoon stroll, admiring the architecture, and exploring the back lanes and alleys.
The Trickeye Museum is located in the Hongdae area, which is young and hippy with lots of cafes, lounges and shops. From Myeondong (Line 4), we took the subway Seoul Station, and transferred to City Hall (Line 1), and another transfer to Hongik Station (Line 2). It is also possible to take a more direct route – from Myeongdong to Seoul Station, then transfer to the Gyeongui Line and alight at Hongik Station.
Coming out from Exit 9 of The Hongik Station, we proceeded to locate the Hongdae Tourist Information Centre to obtain a map of the area. From Exit 9, continue walking straight up and you should pass by Citibank and TGIF on the left. Make a left turn at the junction and continue walking straight up for about 2 blocks. H&M will be on the left, and the Tourist Information Centre is right behind it. The Hongdae maps taken from the Tourist Information Centre were extremely clear, and it was easy to communicate with the people on duty.
Trickeye Museum was an awesome choice as a respite from the heat. The only problem we faced was the jostling of space for photo taking. For maximum trickeye effect, the Museum has helped by specifying photo taking spots. There seemed to be a queue for every single photo spot. It is a great chance for anyone with innate dramatic skills to show case his/her talent as well, since most of the photo taking scenes do require one to act to fit properly into the scene. Other than the Museum, the tickets also allows a one-time entrance into the Ice Museum. Trickeye Museum: B1 20 Seogyo Plaza, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul; Entrance fee: 12,000 Won/ pax. Tip: The usual admission fee is 15,000 Won/pax. Prior to departure, we downloaded and printed discount coupons from http://www.vkc.or.kr/en/benefit/coupon.asp. This included a 20% discount for Petite France.
Bumming at pet cafes
Plenty of pet cafes – both cats and dogs, are scattered around the Hongdae neighbourhood. we spent a relaxing afternoon shopping along the Hongdae streets, and visiting the cafes to get some cuddles and love from our furry friends. Note: different cafes have different rules. At some, it is compulsory to purchase at least one drink; at others, there is an entrance fee to be made – comes with a drink. Continue reading Seoul and Busan: Day 3→
Travelling the world to see the flies and lizards … and much more!