Review: My Local Guide Istanbul Tours

Big city, short vacation: a tour guide was the perfect answer.
Big city, short vacation: a tour guide was the perfect answer.

Istanbul is one of those huge cities with both way too many things to see and longer distances to navigate to get there. Because my mom and I had a short time in Istanbul, only five full days (we traveled to Cyprus as well), I suggested that we look into a tour that covered some of the most famous sites in a shorter amount of time, right at the beginning of our trip. The idea was that we’d see the must-sees and wouldn’t waste any time getting lost on the way there, and in the process get ourselves somewhat oriented to getting around the city. So I did a little blog research and came across My Local Guide Istanbul, also known as Salih.

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write up: a trip to the DMZ (part 3)

this is the 3rd and final part of a series about my recent day-trip to the DMZ. if you need to catch up: my photo highlights, part 1 & part 2.

stop #4: Dora Observatory

Dora Observatory is an outpost next to the DMZ which sits on higher ground, lending the location a nice view of the DMZ itself and also a little bit of North Korea. it’s also across from one of the few villages near the border, as well as a South Korean factory. a few years ago, there were numerous South Korean factories in North Korea because of the cheap labor… but once again, change of government means a change in policy. the factory near the Dora Observatory is the last one that is currently still allowed to run. Continue reading write up: a trip to the DMZ (part 3)

write up: a trip to the DMZ (part 2)

this is part 2 of a series about my recent day-trip to the DMZ. read the first part here and you can also refer to my photo highlights of the trip here.

stop #2: lunch in Tongilchon (통일촌) or Unification Village

our guide explained to us along the way that the village we were entering is one of two that rests inside the civilian control zone (CCZ), next to the demilitarized zone (DMZ). from what I understand, nothing enters the DMZ, pretty much ever. (as a result, it’s wildlife has flourished, an interesting twist.) the two kilometers outside of it (at least on the southern border) are called the CCZ, where entry and exit of all persons is severely monitored. we were granted tourism entry permits and stopped here for lunch… and yet another souvenir shop. Continue reading write up: a trip to the DMZ (part 2)