Hello everyone! I can't believe I'm almost a week into this trip. It seems like I've been traveling for weeks - it is amazing how fast time flies when you are moving around so much. I am currently in Mongolia but I am going to update you all on how my short time in South Korea went. We arrived in Incheon City, Korea at about 6 in the evening on the 27th. Out hostel wasn't far from the airport so we spent the evening getting dinner (Korean hot-pot, which is like a big bubbling bowl of broth that you put whatever you want in) and retiring early. However, I didn't sleep at all the first night. Oh jet lag. Getting no sleep the first night was especially horrible because I had to wake up at 4 am to go to the DMZ!
Going to the DMZ was an amazing experience, to say the least. The very north of South Korea is beautiful: rolling hills, green grass, vast skies. It is a very interesting setting for one of the most politically unstable places in the world. Our tour included going to the actual DMZ, which is basically a military base. We saw the layout of the whole area, watched a film briefing us on some of the regular highlights of the Korean War, and stared down some N. Korean soldiers. There is essentially a little line that separates the two countries and the two groups of soldiers stand on the opposite side of the line and stare each other down. When our tour group came down to take pictures, a guard from one of the towers got out his binoculars and checked us out. CREEPY. The second part of the tour was fascinating. Apparently in the 1970's N. Korea built a series of tunnels under the DMZ with the purpose of invading S. Korea. The tunnels were discovered and we got a tour of one. From inside the tunnel the dynamite holes are still visible and the whole experience is really eerie.
After our DMZ tour, we wandered Seoul for a short while. Because I didn't sleep the night before, I was a zombie so I opted to retire to the hostel after briefly walking around Seoul. I was rewarded with a restful nights sleep! We then flew from S. Korea to Mongolia on the 29th.
Thanks for all of the support these last few days! I am feeling happy, healthy and very excited to be here so thank you for all of your kind words! Bye for now!