Yesterday I went on a bike tour of the DMZ, aka the most heavily militarized border in the whole wide world. I’ve lived in Korea for a total of 7 months so far, and already have been to the border twice in the past 2 months. What’s wrong with me? Anyways, this was far different from the actual tour I went on with sista a couple months back.
This time about 16 of us made the 1.5ish hour trek to the border. Upon arrival we saw what I would definitely deem the happiest place on Earth. I think it might even give Disneyland a run for its money. That would be the amusement park just grazing the border between North and South Korea. Weird. There were like 2 people there.
Instead of paying $50 for the tour sista and I took, or $100 for the Panmunjom tour which grants you access into the Joint Security Area (where the North & South meet for discussions of sorts. This is the only place where you get the chance to step into North Korea), we paid 10,000 won (~$9) to rent a mountain bike with tracker, helmet and a neon green tank top so we wouldn’t get lost or wander into a land mine and go bye bye. As you can see, I dressed appropriately for a strenuous bike ride. Anything in the name of fashion.
Apparently this bike tour happens once a month. My Korean friends Keira and Jeewon organized it for a group of us to go, which was an awesome get-out-of-Seoul day. Though I must say, it was awfully strange to look to your left and see barbed wire lining the pot-holed road and having suited up soldiers directing you and watching your every move. Bizarre, but cool (?) way to see the border. The ride really got my juices flowing and I worked up quite a sweat. My ass is also killing me today. Since Obama was also walking on the same land as us, we couldn’t bike on a bridge that’s normally part of the tour. However, we were breathing the same air and looking at the same lack of scenery as Barack. Kinda cool.
Here are some more highlights:
Spring water, straight from the border. I am a fan of the barbed wire detailing.
Ze group of waygooks and our token Koreans who organized it ^^
Stretching as a group with 300 Koreans and our bikes. Shake out your hands.
Let me know when you receive this Schaeffs!
Most of us were zonked on the return.
All in all, yesterday was awesome. Twas a great group of people and a fun new thing to add to the list of Korean happs so far! And, I’m back in 1 piece with a new backpack that we received as a souvenir. Schaeffs, you better frame that postcard when it gets to the house as a souvenir from North Korea.