On our second to the last full day in Japan, we took a side trip to the port city of Yokohama. Taking the bullet train from Osaka, we arrived at Shin-Yokohama station and proceeded further to Sakuragicho station via the local JR train. Over the past few days, I’ve noticed the weather tapering off, from the cold, rainy and freezing days and nights of Kyoto, to the moderate weather of Osaka, Yokohama was sunny and alive. Gone were our thick jackets and layered clothes, replaced by simple shirts, jeans, and not so thick socks anymore. The sun was out, the skies were clear, and the flowers were all blooming like there’s no tomorrow. Continue reading →
For quite some time, I had been thinking of traveling alone. It was something I wanted to experience while I’m still young and able. But there were always a host of reasons why I couldn’t do it. The simplest of course was: fear, fear that something bad might happen to me, fear that I wouldn’t enjoy, fear of taking that deep plunge into the unknown. It was fear that also stopped me from traveling in my early 20s. But having had a few countries under my belt and the conference on historical reconciliation, there was really no reason for me not to go.
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Yesterday, I finally visited the Demilitarized Zone, a heavily fortified border dividing North Korea and South Korea after the conclusion of the Korean War in the 1950s. For years I’ve always wanted to visit this part of South Korea, promising myself that I would not leave Seoul without going to it. Yesterday, I finally had the opportunity to visit the border zone and it was a mix of excitement and disappointed. Continue reading →
After my adventures in Gyeongbokgung and the National Palace Museum, I moved to Seodaemun Prison Hall Museum. Unlike the first few museums I visited, this museum has to be the scariest and most spine-tingling one that I’ve visited so far. Continue reading →
I’ve escaped the heat of Gyeongbokgung Palace and made my way to the National Palace Museum just beside it. What a relief it is to be inside an air-conditioned building, and what a relief it is to see more stuff about Korea. By this time, I am eyeballs deep in Korean history and frankly, I am enjoying every bit of it. I haven’t picked up any Hangeul along the way but slowly my knowledge of Korean history widens with each museum visit.
It’s day 2 of my Seoul solo trip and I have a day to spend before the start of the Youth Forum on Monday. I’ve spent the entire Saturday learning about Korea’s history by visiting the National Museum of Korea and the War Memorial, really great learning experiences there. Today, I decided to visit the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace and the adjacent National Palace Museum. Continue reading →
After having spent the entire morning in the gigantic National Museum of Korea, I moved on to another part of Seoul to see more of its history. This time, I went to the War Memorial of Korea, a museum dedicated to Korea’s military history. Continue reading →