Seoul Day 2: Seoul Station, Deoksugung Palace, N Seoul Tower

Continuing from my previous post, on May 3, 08 after the DMZ tour ended at around 3 pm in the afternoon we decided to walk back to our hotel in the Myeongdong area because we figured it would be really close since the taxi ride in the morning took only about 10 minutes.

On the road by to the hotel, we passed by Seoul Station, which is the main railway station in Seoul. It serves as the terminus for high-speed railway services to Busan and other cities in Korea. From our experiences with railway stations in Japan, there are usually a lot of shops and restaurants inside the station so we decided to go inside to take a look.

From the station plaza.


The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the USO Korea Tour

On May 3, 08 my family and I participated in a tour of the Demilitarized Zone, a.k.a DMZ (the border that separates North and South Korea) organized by the USO in Korea.

The USO or United Services Organization is a private, nonprofit organization that provides morale and recreational services to members of the U.S. military worldwide.

It has a base near the city centre of Seoul called "Camp Kim". I read through many reviews on the web that only the tours organized by the USO gives you access to tour the conference row area (the blue coloured huts where representatives from the two Koreas hold meetings) inside the DMZ.

In order to join the tours organized by the USO in Korea, I had to email them and book in advance. Their website is not very good and not updated so I had to email them to get the most current schedule. In addition on their website, it says that you have to pay them in advance in order for you to reserve your seats. It doesn't really help that they have no online payment and after I phoned them, they said that I could pay by credit card but that I would get no receipt of the transaction or that I could come in early and pay on the day of the tour. Being wary of giving out my credit card number over the phone with no receipt in return, I opted to choose to pay on the day of the tour. The civilian price was $44 USD per person.

The tour starts quite early and we had to get to the USO Korea "Camp Kim" by 7:30 am.

The USO offices (in reality, these pictures were taken on our way back to Seoul)


Nanyang Trip: Stopover in Seoul Day 1: Arrival and Namdaemun Night Markets

On May 1, 08 my family and I had boarded a Singapore Airlines flight from Vancouver to Seoul. When we landed at Incheon International Airport, it was already May 2, 08 and the time was around 5:30pm. I don't like how you lose a day when you fly towards Asia from North America.

After a quick lineup at the immigration and customs at the airport (most of the arrival passengers were Korean, so the foreigner's line was quite short) we went and boarded the "Korean Airlines Limousine Bus" headed towards Seoul.

Typical Korean style apartments. Pictures taken from the bus.