(Media1=William Harlow) I’m a bit of a historian and by virtue of this fact enjoy going to historic places. My husband gets to Korea more often than I do and last year visited Geoje Island (do means island in Korean) and other south coast locations with his friends.
When I saw that he visited the Geojedo Korean War Prisoner of War (POW) Camp museum, I was extremely jealous and insisted on another visit the next time we were in Korea together.
This year I had my chance. We took and efficient inter-city bus from Anyang (just south of Seoul) to Deajon where we changed buses then took a direct bus to the Geojido main bus terminal.
At the bus terminal was a tourist information booth with maps and information on everything Geojedo had to offer. After learning the location of the POW museum, we opted for a quick taxi ride there rather than taking a local bus. In these smaller cities, buses and taxis are less frequent that you would experience in Seoul or larger cities. Fortunately for us, there was a taxi stand right outside the bus terminal.
Geojedo is a small island located on the jagged southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. It is located not far west of Busan. During the Korean War there was great concern of overloading Busan with refuges and prisoners. It was quickly determined that Geojedo was ideally located to accept both North Korean and Chinese POWs as well as some of the large number of refuges created by the conflict.
At the museum there was a small fee to gain entrance and walking trails that took you to the numerous exhibits there. The museum itself was modern with interesting dioramas that showed the history of the Korean War and the role Goejido played in that conflict.
The exhibits showed the massive layout of the POW camp, living conditions for the prisoners, fighting between the communist and anti-communist prisoners, repatriation issues during the armistice talks and other issues pertinent to Geojido’s role during the Korea Conflict.
There were also reconstructed barracks, displays of military equipment, memorial monuments to specific events during the Korean War and (at additional cost) some interactive displays such as an electronic target range, There were also museum quality displays of weapons made and used by the POWs and those that were used by the United Nations (U.N.) guards.
It is a very modern museum and definitely worth seeing. In addition, at additional cost, you can also take a monorail ride around the museum and parts of the island.
This narrated trip takes a little over an hour. It is not a large monorail. It consists of a single plexi-glass cab on a narrow track that runs through the museum.
Also available is a hybrid zip-line that is similar to an individual suspension roller coaster that, for an additional charge, you can ride through parts of the museum.
The museum also has a small convenience store, snack bar, and gift shop.
2nd Story to be followed next Monday
Photo credit to Geoje-si