Written by Miss Bels on 21 Apr, 2004
North of Sokcho you can go to the edge of the DMZ and peep over at North Korea. As most guide books say, this is nothing like the experience you get from heading north from Seoul and checking out the view from there.…Read More
North of Sokcho you can go to the edge of the DMZ and peep over at North Korea. As most guide books say, this is nothing like the experience you get from heading north from Seoul and checking out the view from there. For one thing, you can get public transport there. We got a mixture of buses to the tourist center -- I found that having the name written down in Korean really helped us on our way; unfortunately, I don't possess the power to write it in Korean for you here.
We were told that we would be at the visitor's centre for a couple of hours and so settled into looking at the usual souvenirs and eating some food. However, we had barely had time to wolf down some noodles before we were called to the bus and off we went. We had registered at the visitor's center -- I used my passport as ID but my mate got away with using her alien registration card.
There was a lookout point but with my lack of Korean geographical knowledge, I wasn't really sure what I was looking at. I knew that North Korea was over there somewhere but I couldn't really tell where South finished and North started. There is a distinct lack of English signs there. Or indeed any information in English at all. In the small museum they have been good enough to label the posters in English- such as 'Education in North Korea' -- but my Korean was not good enough to translate what was written below. There is an eclectic selection of items from North Korea on display there -- from a pair of shoes to a computer. Overall, life looked pretty grim from what I could make out.
It was interesting as I had also visited the tunnels near Seoul. Plus, I lived just down the coast so it was good to see exactly how far away I really am from North Korea. And just how soon after you leave Sokcho you start to see the tank traps on the roads (large concrete blocks designed to block the roads in case of invasion). But if I hadn't been to Seoul already I wouldn't have known what they were.
In conclusion, of course I was interested to see what is just a few hours away from my home but it wasn't as informative as it could have been. In fact, it had little to say at all. Plus it was raining. It was certainly interesting to see the lack of obvious military presence there compared with the other trip. Also, as far as capitalist tourist attractions go, I find peering at the communists a pretty weird one. So I would say that unless you are in the area, probably it is not really worth making the effort to go there. But if you are close by, I would say that it makes for an interesting afternoon's diversion.
Wow, was this locally famous bar ever a delight! Seemingly handcrafted from old tin cans, it certainly boasts the best bathrooms I had seen in Korea, to date. Nothing sums up this bar as much as a photo- seeing is believing and all…Read More
Wow, was this locally famous bar ever a delight! Seemingly handcrafted from old tin cans, it certainly boasts the best bathrooms I had seen in Korea, to date. Nothing sums up this bar as much as a photo- seeing is believing and all that. The only strange thing was that it was so empty. It looks like a Martian head or even a spaceship- depending on whether you look at it before or after imbibing the delights within.
The large windows offer a great view of the beach which is just the other side of the road. Inside, you should just gorge yourself on the sumptuous surroundings- don't forget to go upstairs! The drinks were the usual mix of cocktails and beers. The prices were not out of the ordinary. And while it seemed like the bar was going to be hard to find, it wasn't too bad. Come out of the bus terminal and head towards the water. Turn left at the lighthouse and follow the beach until you see it looming in front of you.
It is truly hard to miss and so you shouldn't miss it at all!