Living in the San Francisco Bay Area has enabled us to experience people, cultures and food from all over the world. We love Korean food and especially the barbecued meat.
Our first night in Seoul started with walking the Itaewon neighborhood and discovering our first Korean BBQ place. It was a small family owned restaurant and we were the only Indians there, all the others seemed like locals. The owners were very helpful- gave us a suggestion for meats to order, cooked the meat for us and also suggested the Soju. All in all, great flavour and onwards to the Banpo Rainbow Bridge
DMZ- Freedom Bridge
Read about our first dinner in Seoul- Korean BBQ
On Day 2 we took a DMZ tour that took us in to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that lies between South and North Korea. Sonny was a great guide and gave us a ton of local stories. We visited Imjingak Village, the most northern village in Korea that’s open to all South Korean civilians.
We saw a bridge covered with ribbons where nearly 13,000 prisoners of war were traded at the end of the Korean War . This bridge was called the Bridge of Freedom. Because the DMZ is so heavily land-mined, and because any bridges existing before the war had long since been destroyed, this bridge was built with the purpose of trading back prisoners of war. It’s a foot bridge only—prisoners were driven to the bridge, and then they walked across to return to their homes.
The bridge now serves as a place of remembrance for families who are separated—South Koreans tie bright colored ribbons covered in messages to the bridge. Near the bridge you can also see a train car destroyed during the war, with bullet holes clearly visible.
Read about our climb into the 3rd tunnel in the DMZ, a tunnel North Korea secretly dug to enter South Korea
Read about an observatory that looks into North Korea
Read about Dorsan Station, the station that will eventually connect the two Korea’s should they ever reunite
Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain is the world’s longest bridge fountain. The fountain is programmed to play different shows during the day and night. During the day, the fountain show different configurations meant to evoke waving willow branches/leaves. When the sun goes down, 200 lights illuminate the fountain as it sends up dancing, rainbow-colored jets of water in the air in synchronization with music. We started our 2 day itinerary walking to the bridge from our hotel in Itaewan but would recommend taking a taxi instead.