How about a trip to the Shangri-La of Korea?
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How about a trip to the Shangri-La of Korea?
  • Hong Jee-won
  • 승인 2008.11.04 00:12
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With 5,000 won, one can enjoy a scrumptious meal at the ECC food court. However, with the same 5,000 won, one can go to Imjingak, the northernmost area of , and enjoy a train trip, watch a movie, visit historical sites, experience Korean culture, and even have a romantic time. Which one would you chose? If you choose the latter, grab an identity card, a blanket, a mat and some snacks, and come along to the Shinchon Train Station. The Ewha Voice has prepared a one day trip at Imjingak for Ewha students to gear up for the remaining semester. Here we go!

 

 

 

On board a train at Shinchon Train Station, the serene ride will take you to the Imjin River Station where thePyunghwaNuriPark is located. The park is famous for its great scenery and is an “it-spot” for photographers. Before heading to the park, do not forget to make a reservation for a guided tour of Dorasan at a booth located 10 meters from the station. Dorasan, located 700 meters from the South Limited Line, is an historical spot that symbolizes the division of the two , but is hoped to be the gateway of exchanges between the South and the North. Since there are only a limited number of tourists allowed, hurry and reserve your own seat! Purchase an 11:05 a.m. train ticket to Dorasan and another 4:20 p.m. train ticket back since tickets cannot be purchased at the Dorasan Station.

 

 

 

While waiting for the train to arrive, visiting thePyunghwaNuriPark located five minutes from the station is a good way to spend some time. Students must visit the “hill of wind,” where there are hundreds of red, blue, and yellow pinwheels blossomed like flowers, visit the café ‘Annyung’ which is built on a pond, and drop by the souvenir shop to check out the several UNICEF funding programs, purchase a pinwheel, and even have a taste of the mouthwatering ice-cream.

 

 

 

After clicking the shutter a few times and looking around the park, head back to the train station and get ready for a ten minute ride to Dorasan. At the station, you will find soldiers doing all the ticketing, but don’t get intimidated - they are very kind to visitors. Then, take the a bus and enjoy a guided tour around the area, including the Third Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, and the unification village.

 

 

 

The Third Infiltration Tunnel, found in 1978, was designed by the North Koreans for a surprise attack on Seoul . You can go inside the stuffy tunnel, which is only two meters in both width and height. But keep in mind that the air gets stuffy and the temperature falls drastically deeper down the tunnel.

 

 

 

Next, a chance to take a glimpse of the Kesung city, the second largest city of , is offered at the observatory. Then, the bus will pass by the unification village where the lives of the people near the border can be seen. One thing that is notable at this village is that houses don’t have gates and addresses since there are no thieves in the area. Moreover, the village is famous for its rice, soybean, and Jinseng; which can be purchased at the restaurant run by the villagers. Also, at the restaurant, there will be signature dishes, such as the hot boiling dwen jang chigae (bean paste soup) and lots more!

 

 

 

Before going back to theImjinRiver station, visit Imjingak to see theFreedomBridge and Korean Peace Bell. Imjingak, located only 7 km from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), was developed after the 1971South-North Korea 's Joint Communiqué. This area is an important and painful reminder of the 1950-1953 Korean War. You will first encounter theFreedomBridge which represents 's desire for peace and unification. As you walk along the bridge, a large gate with thick barbed wire will stop you from going any further.

 

 

 

"It was at that moment when the reality of the situation finally hit me. Standing there looking at the messages written on the gate, the flowers and trinkets left behind, a cold chill came over me. You could almost hear the cries in the breeze, and feel the pain of those who stood around me," said Lena Bose, a foreign tourist.

 

 

 

            After experiencing the stark reality of the separated , head back to thePyunghwaNuriPark and sit down on the Hill of Music to watch a free movie that will be screened at 8:00 p.m. daily on a huge screen. The movie and event schedules are available online at http://peace.ethankyou.co.kr/. From November 21 to 23, the Paju Festival will also be held where students can enjoy exceptional agricultural products such as the Jangdan Soybean, and enjoy several events and programs, such as face painting and making soy.

 

 

 

The earliest train, which is the commuters’ train, leaves from Shincon at 5:57 a.m. for only 1,300 won. At 9:32 a.m., the Saemaeul Train also leaves for Imjingak at only 2,000 won ($2). (To find out more about the train schedule, check details online at www.korail.com)

 

 

 


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