On the third day, we went on a three-hour bus journey to the Southern most city near the DMZ (demilitarized zone). Kaesong used to be the capital of the Koryo dynasty. This city has a population of around 200,000 people.
We visited some tourist attractions like the King Kongming’s Mausoleum, Koryo Museum and Kaesong Nam Gate. We stayed a night at the Kaesong Traditional Folk Hotel. This hotel used to be an ancient Korean village that dated about 700 years ago. Most of the houses are preserved in its original state with some renovations to provide rooms and modern comforts like an attached bathroom. One has to sleep on tatami-like floor mats. The doors were light wooden lattice with translucent plastic panels (in the olden days, rice paper was used)
Each house has between 6 to 8 rooms with a central courtyard. Staying here is like a step back in time. The whole village is well kept and clean. I would love to come back here in autumn or winter to experience a different feel.
The highlight of this trip was a visit to the demilitarized zone (DMZ), situated on the 38th parallel. It consists of a strip of 2km of no man’s land cutting right across the whole Korean Peninsula.
How can one organise a photosafari trip without good food? The luxurious style of Kaesong cuisine is frequently compared with those of Seoul cuisine and Jeolla cuisine. Bossam kimchi (wrapped kimchi), pyeonsu (summer mandu in square shape), sinseollo (royal casserole), seolleongtang (beef tripe soup), chueotang (mudfish soup), joraengi tteokguk (dumpling soup), umegi (tteok covered with syrup), and gyeongdan (ball-shaped tteok) are representative Kaesong dishes. Umegi, also called Kaesong juak, is a holiday food of Kaesong, and known for its delicate style with a sweet and nutty taste.
……to be continued
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