Battlefield You Can See With a Half Dollar
Have you ever thought you may be able to experience the WAR, if you want? Not many people knows it is possible to do somewhere in the world, like KOREA, the country both South and North are still in the war circumstance.
Visitors in Korea can go to see Korean Demilitarized Zone aka DMZ, which is the safest war zone existing in the world. South and North Korea are technically still at war, having agreed on ceasefire since 1953. Therefore this area still has military facilities including 4 infiltration tunnels. Visitors can go inside the 3rd infiltration tunnel made by North Korea during the tour, Gaeseong industrial complex, the symbol of South and North Korea economic cooperation, and Dorasan train station linked to Gaeseong complex as well.
People definitely wonder if it can be safe to visit this area. They don’t need to worry about it at all, of course it is very safe. All you need to do there is to listen to your guide, be careful with a few simple rules, and enjoy your tour. Fresh icy-cold water in the tunnel is waiting for visitors all the time, and North Korean propaganda village in the DMZ can be viewed from Dora-observatory with only a half dollar coin in!
A, C) Hotel – Imjingak Park – Freedom Bridge – The 3rd infiltration Tunnel – DMZ Theater / Exhibition Hall – Dora observatory
– Dorasan Station – Unification Village Pass by – Drop off at City Hall
B) A + Lunch
D) Hotel – Half day DMZ tour – Lunch – Insadong Antique Market – Hotel
These days, you can experience many more new things at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) than before. One of interesting things to me was ‘The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel’. That was a scary thing because it was apparently designed for a surprise attack to Seoul from North Korea. It was just only 44 km from Seoul, when we found out this in 1978.
From the entrance of the tunnel, if you walk down to the tunnel about 10 min, you can see the real tunnel 1.1 miles long, 6.6ft high and 6.6ft wide. Black “coal” was painted all over the walls to claim that it’s part of a coal mine. It was the moment that we felt disappointed at North Koreans’ duplicity. While walking in the tunnel,you would feel nervous and interested at the same time because it is approaching to the MDL and North Korea.
The second interesting place that I experienced newly was ‘Dorasan Station’ that is connected with North Korea by the Gyeongui Line. The inside of the ‘Dorasan Station’ was really huge and neat. If you go straight to the inside, you can see the signboard ‘Tracks to Pyeongyang’. That shows our hope to go to Pyeongyang by rail someday. We call this station ‘not the last station from the South, but the first station toward the North’.
In addition, at the Dorasan observatory, you can see the ‘Gaeseong’ city of North Korea, using a telescope. It’s not far from the South Korea. But, you might feel totally different atmosphere against South Korea, even though we were the same race 60 years ago.
* All the tours Include the guide, transportation, admission fee.
* Child fares: 30% DC under 10 years of age.
* If you cancel or change the tour after 15:00PM the day before of the tour day, We will apply 100% cancellation fee to you.
* Some morning tours will be dropped off at city hall.
* We notice that We have no responsiblity for your personal incidents and losses during all the tours.
* We are stuck in a traffic jam the pick up service will be delayed.
* It is possible to pay all the tour fees by credit card.
* You must carry your passport on tour day.
DMZ Story, the safest battlefield in the world
Demilitarized Zone, only exist in Korea. The world 11th economy by GDP is still on ceasefire. It is not finished yet. They guard against each other on only 8 km distance. But it is the most wanted visit places of foreigners visiting Korea. How irony is that? You don’t have to worry about safety. More than one million people are visiting this place and even US president and Hollywood movie stars are visiting this place as well.
There is a tunnel to be used during the battle. Of the 4 tunnel, closest tunnel from Seoul is 3rd tunnel. It might be very thrilled experience for you. You may see the North Korea by telescope. It is about 40 minutes away from Seoul and you may reach it by public transportation (takes about 2 hours since it is isolated place). Easier way to visit this place is take daily tour to DMZ, organized by city tour agencies. You will have English tour guide explain about this place as well. They close on every Mondays. If you want to join DMZ tour, just search DMZ tour, DMZ Korea, DMZ South Korea or South Korea DMZ tour on Google. You will find travel agency where operates DMZ tour regularly.
Korea was almost destoyed by Korean War in 1950. Korea was the one of poorest countries in the world. However, it became the world 11th economy by GDP. Demilitarized zone was announced to prevent collision between South and North Korea. 8km DMZ area was strictly restricted for about 60 year. By this reason, ironically, it became the perfectly preserved natural site. It has high value in ecology.
Imjingak park located at 50km northwest of Seoul was built for 5million people who lost home. Major facilities include North Hall where you can get a view of lifestyle of North Korea.
Freedom Bridge is located at 2 kilometers north of Munsan, and it is the only path that connects between the south and north around Imjin river. It was originally the Kyung-eu railway bridge, and reconstructed to the road bridge later.
DMZ Exhibition Hall & Theater
The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel
The third tunnel was discovered in October of 1978. 1.95 meters high, 2.1 meters wide and 1,635 meters long, it penetrates 435 meters south of the military demarcation line and ends at the Truce Village of Panmunjeom.
From Dora Observatory, tourists can view the North Korean propaganda village in the DMZ and as far north as the city of Gaeseong.
52 years of anticipation, waiting for the day when the two countries will be united once again. Dorasan station, the northernmost station in South Korea, has planned to connect the Gyongueisun(Line) and it will be linked to the European continent via the Siberian Railway.
Meaning of a border
The border area between South and North Korea is called by DMZ(De-Militarized Zone), CCZ(Civilian Control Zone) or CCA (Civilian Control Area).
The military demarcation line was established according to the Armistice Agreement in 27 July 1953. DMZ is the place formed by the agreement that both parties should retreat 2km from the line.
Total 1,292 signboards of the Military Demarcation Line were established from Imjin riverside to the east coast. 696 signboards have been controlled by the U.N. Forces and the rest are under the control of North Korea and China. Contrary to the Armistice Agreement, both parties have not observed the principle that they should retreat 2km from the line.
Background of DMZ
Korea was liberated from the invasion in Aug.1945 as Japan surrendered and it resulted in the end of World War II. U.S. had started to confront with U.S.S.R about how to manage Japan and Korea after war.
The reason of opposition is that they have different opinion and hold each other in check; U.S dreamed about domination of the world and U.S.S.R had grown up to a powerful country. Also, trusteeship and divided occupying, which U.S planned as the way of resolution for the Korean Peninsula, was one of restraint. The 38th Parallel, which had decided by U.S one-sidely, was agreed by U.S.S.R on 16 Aug.1945. This is the beginning of direct opposition each other.
The Korean Peninsula was divided into two, South and North, which have its own government in 1948 and 6.25 War broke out in 1950. After that, the Armistice Agreement was put the seal in July 1953. The armistice line is the troop disposition line of truce that is installed by the mutual consents among a supreme commander of the U.N., a commander of people’s army of North Korea and a commander of people support army of China. In accordance with Clause 1, Art. 01 of the Korea Armistice Agreement, there should be one military demarcation line and both parties had to retreat 2km from the line. The armistice line is the same as the military demarcation line, which reaches 248km(155mile) to the land and around 200km to the west coast.
DMZ is the place where entrance and exit or development has restricted for the purpose of military for ages. In other words, DMZ is a neutral zone whose gross area is around 30~40km including 4km(2km X 2) of DMZ and the civilian control zone, (5~20km X 2).
DMZ TOUR 1 DMZ(The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel) Tour (No shopping)
Minimum Pax: A, B, D), 1 C) 2
* We pick you up from your hotel one by one.
Cautions during reservation
Please take caution to enter precise hotel(hotel name, phone number) and email information for efiicient pick ups
After having received a reservation, the pick up time will be noticed through e-mail
If you do not receive a reply mail within 3 days please send your brief information (name of travel product, address, phone number, information of companions, etc) to email@example.com
– All the tours Include the guide, transportation, admission fee.
– Child fares: 30% DC under 10years of age.
– If you cancel or change the tour after 15:00PM the day before of the tour day, We will apply 100% cancellation fee to you.
– Some morning tours will be dropped off at city hall.
– We notice that We have no responsiblity for your personal incidents and losses during all the tours.
– We are stuck in a traffic jam the pick up service will be delayed.
– It is possible to pay all the tour fees by credit card.
This tour is one of my most awaited experiences for my visit in South Korea and it didn’t disappoint me. The tour was exceptionally great and informative. We were picked up from our hotel in the morning and transferred too the official tour bus. The highlight of the tour was the visit at the 3rd infiltration tunnel. It was a loooooong “hike” to and fro the tunnel. It was an amazing experience. Our friendly tour guide Michelle was very helpful and accommodating too! My friends and I were very happy to have taken this tour from viator.
The tour guide was excellent. Picked up on time at my hotel. Very informative tour of the DMZ
The comfort of the motor coach was wonderful. Went on a Sunday so less traffic. You must bring your passport.
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We booked a full day tour (and lunch) to go the DMZ, the third tunnel, lunch and then a short walk through Insadong. We had a great day even though it was rainy. We were really happy how many things we got to see in a short period of time. Our guide So Mi (Rebecca) was great. She shared so much and we learned a lot from here. We had a great local lunch and enjoyed her insights. We would definitely recommend joining another tour with her. The only downside was the mini-bus was a little worn/aged, but it was not a major disappointment that distracted us from the tour.
DMZ Tour was consisted of four memorial places : Imjingak Park, The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, and Dorasan Station. My favorite part was the 3rd Tunnel. Walking down 400m length and 73m depth along the small tunnel of 2m height was very thrilled, and good exercise! I could feel the tension between two Koreas. It was definitely one of interesting moments to remember. And I learned much about Korean history through the explanation of tour guide. Great experience! The place isn’t easy to go by oneself, so I went through Cosmojin Travel. I was pretty satisfied with the service they provided.
Getting picked up at Seoul Station ended up being easy. Driver was there on time. Tour was good – guide Sunny was knowledgeable and personable. The tour ended up being cut short as I paid for an all day and didn’t use the after lunch portion since I was the only one who signed up. I found a little confusion on the website in the descriptions of the various tours so you may want to revise the descriptions. The price difference was refunded. Because I wasn’t staying at a hotel in Seoul , having a US phone number to call eased the way for me to participate on this tour.
Excellent! The guide was very professional and friendly.
One of my goals was to visit this place while on vacation in Korea and I am so glad I did!! Be sure to have a good nights sleep prior to the trip and to have a good breakfast since this trip will take up most of your day. If not , you’ll still be fine since you do go to a couple stores and you are able to get food and drinks. You will also be going on the bus quite often and will give you an oppurtunity to take a quick 5 or 10 minute power nap (Although you will miss some historical information that will be said during the ride)! I would tell more about the DMZ tour but I don’t want to spoil your trip so you must see it in person to experience it!! I will however mention that during the preview of the bridge, it was disheartening to see all the letters and ribbons that are posted because their family got seperated during this conflict.
The DMZ tour was a great learning experience. Going down to see the third North Korean tunnel was one of the most interesting parts of my visit to Korea. Hee-Won was our tour guide and he was amazing, hilarious, knowledgeable and even sang for us at the end of the tour! I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone. Probably a good idea keep the kids at home, it’s a little gruesome when they showed the 8 minute video about the Korean war (someone had brought their kids and they were crying! I felt bad for them…). One thing to improve would be to bring some snacks!
Did a full day tour of DMZ (not the JSC tour) but should have done the 1/2 day or the JSC. Michelle (sp?) was out guide and did a nice job, clear enough English, and was very helpful and attentative. We did tour on 3-26, and was advised after getting on bus that a fire in the area of 3rd tunnel had made touring that area unsafe. Would not have booked the tour had I known that in advance. Went to some silly, supposedly “French like” (it was not) village shopping area for an hour. Not a shopper and not much for shops anyhow so it was terrible boring.
Went to an observatory overlooking Han river and other side was North Korea – this was as close you get to DMZ and only about 45 minutes.
Overall, a good guide, bus, but very little time at the DMZ. Would not recommend this tour – do the JSC tour instead.
Visited March 2015
Excellent trip. Picked up from our hotel in Seoul and had a very informative and interesting tour with a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. Well recommended.