South Korea – Train to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), Cheorwon Part.1

Seoul, South Korea, May 2017: A very last minute decision having ruled out a trip to the DMZ a few weeks ago at the height of US/North Korean tensions. Today is my final full day in Korea and now that the situation has eased somewhat, a trip to the DMZ is calling like a magnet to a nail! Quick research reveals there is a train from Seoul main station leaving around 9.45 am and that’s pretty much all the information I have. Better take my passport just incase of trouble.  I’m assuming there’s some kind of a shuttle bus between the end station and the DMZ!

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£17 return ticket on the DMZ train leaving at 09.27 am. Tickets can be bought at any counter and paid for with a credit card, so far so good. About 1 hour 40 minutes to the end station, place called Baengmagoji – Yes, I can’t say it either! A slow meandering between the suburbs of North Seoul, soon though the thing gets going and time to sit back and watch the scenery pass by. A mountain, green hills and soon evidence emerges of a militarised area – camouflaged shelters and transport compounds. I’d say riding the DMZ train is a unique experience.The thing is nicely themed along the lines of peace and humanity. Inside and the walls are adorned with a fine display of photos depicting aspects of the Korean war. The train though is largely empty, just a handful of Koreans and me, the only white tourist – but that’s not so bad!

The DMZ Train…

Here at a place called Hantangang is a hillside covered in white crosses. Although Google isn’t coming up with any information, one can only assume its a monument to the fallen during the Korean conflict. On the other hand this could also be the local grave yard.

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Here at last! 2 hours after leaving Seoul Station the train pulls up at Baengmagoji, a rather small halt in the middle of nowhere. (Google Map)

Next…at the DMZ fence.

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