Adventures #19, #20 and #21: Solo trip, DMZ, 3rd Tunnel

Since I’ve been in Korea, one of the things on my must-see list has been to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which is the border dividing North Korea from South Korea. It is the most secure border in the world!

The first adventure of this trip was to go it alone. I’ve done trips here with travel groups, but I’ve always gone along with friends. For one, it’s more fun to go to explore with friends. And two, there a certain amount of anxiety that comes with traveling with strangers. So, I signed up for the trip, and I went alone. I was with a huge group, and it was liberating to go on a trip without waiting for other people to decide to join. Many of my friends had no interest in seeing the DMZ or had already gone. And some expressed interest but were too slow to respond to my request. So I decided to just go because it was something that I really felt I needed to do. My grandfather had fought in the Korean War, and the outcome of that war was the truce and separation for the north and south.

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The second adventure was visiting the DMZ. I saw the Doraksan Observatory and was able to actually see
North Korea. I saw the propaganda village, which was built by North Korea to fool people and South Korean
soliders into thinking that North Korea is a great place. It is no longer a fake village because North Korean soldiers’ families live there now. We were not allowed to take pictures past a photo line of North Korea. But I got a great view through the binoculars.

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The third adventure was going into the 3rd tunnel. There are 4 tunnels that have been discovered between North and South Korea. They were built by North Koreans in order to make surprise attacks against South Korea. I had much anxiety about entering the tunnel as I am claustraphobic. But I did it! And it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. There were many parts where I had to duck and walk hunchbacked throughout, but
it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I wasn’t able to take pictures inside.

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