Sunday, 23 November 2014

6 Sep 2014 - Getting back to Seoul from Baengmagoji Station

Our city tour bus reached Baengmagoji Station at 3.46pm. The DMZ train left at 4.06pm sharp. We passed by Yeoncheon Station and were allowed to get off the train to check out the local market.

I couldn't understand why there were so many Koreans busy snapping picture of this structure.
Ermmm...I didn't understand but I took a picture of it too ㅎㅎㅎ 

Just did an online search and learnt that this is Yeoncheon Station Water Supply Tower.
Woww a local band!
As soon as the band started playing, the 아저씨 on the left walked up to the band, dropped his haversack and started dancing. The other 아저씨 joined in the fun not long later.  Both have different momentum for the same piece of music ㅋㅋㅋ

This is a very very small local market, right beside the train station.

I think we were given about 15mins to check out the place.
The crews called out to all passengers to get back to the train.
Back on the train, they prepared games and quizes for passengers to participate. 
The crew also went around taking pictures and they will select the best picture.
Winners get to win some vouchers.
We reached Seoul Station at 6.36pm. Thank you ladies for the hard work. If I have a chance again, I would love to take the DMZ train to explore other parts of DMZ ^^

Friday, 21 November 2014

6 Sep 2014 - Cheorwon Crane Park & Baekmagoji Battlefield 백마고지

Can only take the picture of the stairway...
You can't take pictures of any army personnels in the background.
Anyway, we were brought up there to watch a video.
Ehh...I can't recall what the video was all about.
No photo taking is allowed inside that room. 
Cheorwon Crane Park
It was more like an exhibition to me.
That's the "Park"....
This was the most boring place in the city tour...
Nothing much in this "Park" or rather building.
Next stop is Baekmagoji Battlefield 백마고지.
Soldier explaining in Korean...

The site of the Baengma Hill Battle.

Very nice scenery ahead but no photo taking is allowed. I took this secretly! There was a Japanese woman happily posing for pictures with the beautiful scenery as the background. There were many people but nobody stopped her. Out of curiosity, I asked my guide. My guide went forward to inform her no photo taking is allowed. OOppss!! I didn't mean to spoilt her day. DMZ tour is getting more popular among foreigners. Foreigners can easily break a rule without even knowing it! It will be good if they can install some sign board in English or even Mandarin.

Its time to head back to Baekmagoji Train Station.

6 Sep 2014 - Geumgangsan Mountain Electric Railroad Bridge 금강산 철교

The second stop for the city tour was Geumgangsan Mountain Electric Railroad Bridge 금강산 철교.

From my previous experience to DMZ, I learnt that photo taking is not allowed in certain areas.  Since this tour was conducted in Korean, I took the initiatives to ask the guide whether I can take pictures before I start snapping. She told me photo taking is allowed only at the left side of the bridge.
There was a military soldier standing guard on the bridge. I asked him the reason and he explained in fluent English, that the right side of the bridge is facing the military, thus no photo taking is allowed.
The left side of the bridge.

Friday, 14 November 2014

6 Sep 2014 - Labor Party Office 노동당사

The city tour was conducted in Korean, so I didn't understand what the guide was talking Too chim(means too profound in Hokkien)! Hahahahaha. Anyway, I just make sure I don't lost sight of my fellow tour members and they don't leave the place without me ㅋㅋㅋ

I shall let this picture do the explaination.

I don't understand how people can be so brutal, be it in the past or now.
Pray the world can be filled with compassion and kindness.

6 Sep 2014 - One of the best lunch I ever ate

I got on the city tour bus at 11.50am and it drove off at 12pm.
Our first stop was this place for our lunch.
We reached here at 12.03pm
Seats were very quickly filled up.
Not to worry as they opened up another place for us to eat in comfort ^^
Lunch was served in simple buffet style.
To me, buffet usually means the food is average.
BUT NOoooooooooooooooo!!!!
This was exceptional!!! The food was really tasty!!
One of the best lunch I ever had!!
There was ample time for everyone to enjoy our delicious lunch.
Complimentary coffee was provided.
I don't drink coffee but I thought that was a nice gesture.
Bus left at 12.40pm for our next destination, Labor Party Office 노동당사.

6 Sep 2014 - Taking the DMZ train ^^

It was Saturday and also the eve of Chuseok 2014. 
Decided to check out the new DMZ route from Seoul to Baekmagoji by taking the DMZ train. 
So excited!!
I was early ^^
Haven't had my breakfast so I decided to buy a 도시락 to eat on the train.
Nasi goreng...mee goreng....NOPPEEEE!!
I don't miss them at all!!

I felt there were more choices of 도시락 than before.
This kiosk selling 주먹밥 JuMeokBap (riceballs) had the longest queue.
I finally settled on this kiosk ^^
I decided to get this ^^
Order and pay.
Wait for your number to be called.
The bright colours set the mood for the trip!
Everyone was busy taking pictures of the train.
I was not the only one ㅋㅋㅋ
I got here early and there was not many people yet.
Actually, I was surprised that the train was fully packed because it was the eve of Chuseok.
I thought the locals will be busy shopping, preparing etc.  

BTW, I was the only foreigner on this train *I likeeeee
The 도시락 comes with a cup of water, napkin and wet tissue ^^
Swallowing my saliva as I looked at this picture.
I can still remember how good it tasted!!
It looked simple but this is exactly my kind of 도시락. ^^
An ordinary and simple 도시락 can be so tasty as well!
도시락 will not taste as good without the kimchi.
Yum Yum!!!

The crew on the train went around to ask which city tour you would like to join. So glad they have such service becos I was still wondering where to sign up for city tour as the website did not specify clearly. 
I remembered the train stopped at Ujeongbu to pick up passengers and set off shortly. There was a very brief stopover(about 1 min) at Yeoncheon station at 11.20am. A few passengers went down to take pictures but was quickly shooed back to the train by the crews. You will have a chance to get down the train to take pictures and even visit a very small local market for the returned trip back to Seoul.
The train ride took slightly longer than 2 hours but time passed by faster than I thought.
They tried to make the train ride experience as interesting as possible.
This was especially so for the returned trip.

Hand paintings.

One of the crew asked me something. She came back to me with this pamphlet when she realised I am a foreigner. She asked me to choose one. I asked her which is more popular and she told me everyone on the train chose "Tour 2". answer which I did not expected because I had secretly wanted to choose "Tour 1". She must have noticed my dilemma and told me its also ok if I wanted "Tour 1". I decided to go with the crowd. "Tour 1" cost 11,000 won per adult and "Tour 2" cost 18,000 won per adult. Price was inclusive of lunch.

Reached Baekmagoji Station at 11.45am.

Follow the arrow to get to the tour bus.

There was a washroom inside this waiting area. The queue is always very long for the LADIES and since I was not sure what time the tour bus will drive off, I skipped the washroom. 
Inside the waiting area.
There were two tour buses at the carpark and they served different tour routes. Obviously, I did not know which bus to go to, so I showed the pamphlet to the tour operator/guide standing near the buses. They guided me to the second bus.
Come to think of it, what was the purpose of the crew asking me which city tour I wanted to take. Anyway, I did not have to pay the fees to the crew. I paid my fees just before I board the tour bus.
Yup. I paid the tour fees to her.

죄송합니다. This picture is to let you have a better understanding of how the whole thing works. I didn't mean to be rude by taking this picture. Btw, my student pass didn't secure me with a cheaper rate hahahaha
My ticket.
They were so surprised when I spoke English becos I was the only foreigner in the city tour ㅎㅎㅎ
The tour was conducted in Korean....
That's fine with me although it would be better if it was conducted in English.