03 Nov "Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" 2017 Korea Tour
Korea Tour 2017
Is it time to eat again !! Part 4
As seen in the November 2017 edition of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy Newsletter
Saturday morning we head out for a bus ride heading north to the Demilitarized Zone, more commonly referred to as the DMZ or the 38th Parallel. The DMZ is a border that divides the Korean Peninsula in half. It was created by an agreement with North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953. When we arrive we are put on a DMZ bus that has blacked out windows, we can see out but they, the North Koreans, can’t see in! As we approach the gates a ROK (South Korean Soldier) gets on the bus to inspect our passports. It’s all very official. The highlight of the tour for me was going into the tunnels the North Koreans had dug to attempt an invasion in the 1970’s. The first tunnel was discovered on November 20th1974 by a ROK while on patrol. The second tunnel was found on March 19 1975. The third tunnel was discovered on October 17 1978 and the fourth tunnel was discovered on March 3 1990. We get to take train ride down a shaft deep in the earth. Thank goodness we have donned hard hats because you can easily knock your head! The tunnel is 5,200 ft long and 240 ft below ground. It was a slow and steady decent. When we reached the bottom we headed on foot deeper into the tunnel. Then suddenly the tunnel stops and we are as close as you can get to Kim Jong-un !! The tunnel was sealed after its discovery. We hike out on an extremely steep ramp to the surface. This is not for the light hearted. The experience was overwhelming for me. My Dad was stationed right at this very spot. I share a photo book with pictures of my Dad at the DMZ with everyone on the bus. Our tour guide Mr. Kim is moved by the photos and thanks me for my Father’s service to his country.
Time for lunch!! We head into a beautiful country town just outside the DMZ. Mr. KIM brings us to Yo Ree. You would have thought we were dining at home!! Yo Ree is a modern Korean restaurant. I will describe this fusion cuisine as Korean meets Farm to Table. The menu was Chef’s choice, so we had no idea what was coming next! The meal was served family style. First course was a lovely green salad that reminded us all of home. Next came a very unusual rice cake roll very similar to a Vietnamese cold spring roll, so amazing. Acorn jelly seaweed noodles, Spicy Chicken and Peppers, Jeon (vegetable pancakes), can never get enough of these, Beef Bulgoki and a gorgeous Mixed Vegetable Tempura that had tempura Lotus Roots !! Tea was served at their roof top sun room which had a beautiful view of the countryside. There was a Korean family celebrating their son’s birthday and we all sang Happy Birthday to him! They shared their traditional Korean Rice Cakes with us and were so delighted that we were Tae Kwon Do martial artists! So what happens next was wonderful…the birthday boy does Tae Kwon Do too, so he, Nina Rose Cirillo and Luke Cirillo get up and do Taeguek il jang!!! Everyone is clapping and we are all so proud !! By the way Rosa and Luke hit it out of the park!!!
What an amazing day it has been. Thank you again Mr. Kim for being the best guide ever.
We are exhausted when we return to the Sommerset Palace and we don’t want to dine out. We decide we will party at the Cirillo’s Penthouse (yes it’s true!!) and Mr Kim goes above and beyond...
To be continued…
Korean Takeout Chinese Food!!
Haeng bog meogneum !!