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This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Aegibong Peak, Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province: The place where you required a Passport to access this RED Zone.


Aegibong Peak (Hanja: 愛妓峰) which is located at 139 Peace Parkway/PyeonghwaGongwonno, Gageum-ri san 59-13 beonji, Haseong-myeon, Gimpo City, Gyeonggi Province - about an hour’s drive from the downtown Gimpo. The mountain is where North and South Korea engaged in a fierce battle at the end of the Korean War; after the battle, Korea was divided into two nations. Since the peak is still a restricted area, visitors must present their passport in order to be admitted. From the peak, an open view of North Korean territory unfolds below and visitors can see South Korean territory as far as Mount Songhak in Southern Chungcheong. 

Even before the Korean War, Aegibong carried much historical significance as the setting of the sad love story between the governor of Pyongyang and his mistress. The two lovers were separated during the Byeongja Chinese-Qing Second Invasion a.k.a Byeongja Horan/병자호란 in 1636 and the peak (‘Ae, 애’ means love, ‘gi, 기’ mistress in Korean) was named in honor of their love. 

In 1968, president Park Chung-hee visited the peak and wrote a note by hand, saying the mistress' pain of being separated from her lover because of the war was much like those of families separated by the division of the two Koreas. The president’s writing was carved in a tablet and placed at the peak, where separated families still come every thanksgiving to perform an ancestral ritual and wish for reunification. 

Currently, the observatory at the peak is used for security training. Within the observatory is Mangbaedan Altar, which is where those originally from North Korea perform rites honoring ancestors in the North. Every year, there is a giant tree at Christmas and large lamps on Buddha’s birthday that are lit up here, their lights so big and bright that the even shine onto North Korean soil. The observatory also contains a naval war monument that commemorates naval personnel lost in battle. 

At the foot of the mountain, Han River empties into the ocean along the west coast, which is expressed by the term 'Jogang (조강)‘ (‘grandfather river’ in Korean). The scenery of the river with its boats, surrounding islands, and converging estuaries creates a unique and cozy scene that seems to be in harmony with the image of a kindly grandfather. 


HOW TO ENTER TO THIS PEAK
1) Only those traveling by car will be admitted.
**Entrance will not be granted to those traveling on foot or by bike.
2) All visitors are required to show their passport.
**Korea citizens may show their government-issued ID instead of their passport.
3) Visitors must be fluent in Korean or accompanied by someone who can speak Korean fluently.
4) Fill in the tour request form and submit it to the office at the entrance.
**All visitors must show ID; choose 1 person to fill out the form on behalf of your party.


POINTS OF INTEREST
1) View of North Korean territory through telescope
2) Naval War Monument
3) Navy promotion video
4) Lecture on Aegibong (reservations required)