Monday, June 28, 2010

Excursion to Ulleungdo and Dokdo 21-23 June, 2010

I was enough lucky to get invited to experience Korean ecological environment and culture by the Korean National Council for Conservation of Nature (KNCCN) on part of people-to-people diplomacy in Ulleungdo and Dokdo. This trip was organized from 21-23 June, 2010. I was part of about 100 international students, therefore besides ecological understanding; it also provided a good platform to meet with friends across the world.

Ulleungdo is an island, located in eastern side of Korea, about 161 KM from Mukho ferry terminal. Dokdo islet is further about 84 KM eastern side of Ulleungdo. First, we visited Ulleungdo and the same day we tour for local places notably the museum, and the very next day we took ferry and did excursion of Dokdo islet and finally on the third day we visited many places in Ulleungdo and toured many villages and beautiful sightseeing at there. This writing tells some observations about this wonderful trip.
No doubt both places are worth to visit in perspective of exploring ecological and cultural environment in addition to its geo-political setting. I had a unique opportunity to travel so long by water way i.e. ferry and experienced differences with road/air travelling. Ferry travelling is very much dependent on the weather condition, hence an important predictors of duration and destination. For example, the ferry used to go to Dokdo islet hardly 50 days in a year due to whether condition. Moreover, I felt a different kind of interest but a monotonous scene of sea.
The way of evolving human settlements is also interesting at Ulleungdo. In present context, it is similar to dream to reside on the moon. The chronological evolution of settlement is very interesting for me which can be found in many resources including handbook provided by the Dokdo museum in Ulleungdo. In brief, the political processes and numerous studies by kingdoms to know its habitation holding capability etc made possible to settle very few (about 50 families) to nearly 10, 000 population now. The process of evolution of governance is also appreciable. At the present moment, the village setting of Ulleungdo may be some of the best in the world; however the urban setting is unlike to the development of Korea. The core area especially, ferry terminal area demands for immediate planning intervention to restore natural fabric and enhance ecological environment.
Dokdo islet experienced was also great. We stayed hardly half hour. I wish I would have stayed some more time there and would have landed on the islet. Although, short stay at the Dokdo, permit us to see rich flora and fauna and interesting forms of islets.
I would like to thanks staffs of the KNCCN for arranging this wonderful trip.

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