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Korean DMZ Tour with Expert Tour Guide from Seoul - No shopping
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Reviewed 18 June 2019

It is required if visiting the DMZ that you are part of a tour. Also need to bring your passport and be dressed decently. Our bus met at the President's Hotel in Seoul which is only 30 miles from the border. The DMZ was created after the Korean War in 1953 and is the world's most heavily militarized border. The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel was discovered in 1978 and ran under the DMZ from North Korea and would have been capable of an invasion of 30,000 troops into Seoul in an hour had it been completed. It is one of 4 known tunnels. It is a long steep descent 240 feet underground and altho I tried to keep my head down and crouched over I kept hitting my hard hat on the low ceiling of the tunnel. When we reached the concrete barriers blocking off North Korea we knew we had to come back up and out. At the train station we got a symbolic ticket and a visa stamp. These railroad tracks lie in wait for unification. We had hoped to be allowed into the JSA (Joint Security Area) but it was a no go at this time. This is where South Korea's President Moon-Jae shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in April of 2018. That gesture brought so much hope yet they still are so far apart. Following that day however the propoganda speakers were turned off. North Korea's leader tells the people that they are poor because of the United States. Lastly we went to the Mt Dora Observatory and had the surreal experience of using telescopes to peer into North Korea. It didn't feel scary to be in this area and although I took a couple of photos, one cannot overlook the seriousness of the situation as it is always in the news. The cleanest air in South Korea is up near the border so there are rice paddy fields and ginseng is grown here too.
My tour was with Cosmojin that I booked thru Viator and we had a North Korean defector on board the bus with us. The tour bus made a stop at an amethyst shop which was just a waste of time. I wish tour companies would stop doing these kind of stops.
Overall I was happy with the tour and very glad I had this travel experience.

Date of experience: March 2019
1  Thank vagabondginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 16 June 2019 via mobile

We booked about a month in advance with VIP travel who were excellent. Our English speaking tour guide was excellent and very knowledgable. We met at a hotel and took their air conned coach to the DMZ. You have to provide your passport several times. Here you can visit (and should visit) - Dora observatory, third tunnel, park and the train station.
We went for lunch near by which was great.
From there we went to the JSA which was fascinating.
Really recommend going here - it was just incredible and we learnt so much history.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank Lottelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 14 June 2019

We did this tour, and learned a lot about the Korean peninsula history. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Walking under the tunnel was an incredible experience, but strenuous. Not only was the tunnel walk long, but there were places where you had to bend down for long periods, which may not be easy to do for some people taller than 5'10. There was also another building nearby where you can view North Korea through binoculars. Driving to the DMZ, you cannot take photos in some areas, according to our tour guide, so that's something to keep in mind. Included in our tour is a visit to the old train station that leads to North Korea. It was fairly cheap to gain access onto the platform. There was a section in the ticket counter where you may find a "stamp." I think this was meant to stamp tickets for travelers taking the train (at some point in the past). Some people in our group stamped their passports with it, and I'm not sure that was the intention of why that was there. It'd be good to know if those people had trouble with their passports after that.

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank Darwin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 4 June 2019

I've been wanting to visit DMZ for awhile, and it finally happened! It was definitely a very unique experience that left me with mixed emotions. We first visited the Tunnel that was made by North Korean soldiers and it was so thrilling! P. S: Might be hard to pass for tall people (I'm 170 cm and I was bending most of the time) Afterwards, we went straight to the Observatory and You wouldn't believe what happened! Our tour guide took a photo of the North Korean base using close up, and We could see them straight back at us! It was definitely shocking and creepy :') Afterwards, we went to Dorasan station which is basically will be the first train station to North Korea in case of Unification. All in all, I definitely enjoyed my first trip to DMZ 🇰🇵

Date of experience: June 2019
1  Thank Ramenbowl_t
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 May 2019

You can't go to South Korea without paying a visit to the DMZ. But it was completely different from what I expected. I expected the see the JSA (those two blue buildings) but apparently that area is closed.

On the tour we went to an observatory, a tunnel, a village and a train station. You don't get a lot of time to look around at those places and there is no explanation whatsoever. The obersevatory is worth it, the train station is fun because you can take a picture of the sign of the train to Pyeongyang. I didn't understand why we stopped in that village and the tunnel is interesting, but it's definitely not worth going in that tunnel.

Date of experience: May 2019
2  Thank jolav12
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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