DMZ - DeMilitarized Zone, Seoul

57 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • North and South Korea border, joint security area
    North and South Korea border, joint...
    by loja
  • North and South Korea border, conference room
    North and South Korea border, conference...
    by loja
  • North and South Korea border, joint security area
    North and South Korea border, joint...
    by loja
  • Rabbie_Hill's Profile Photo

    What not to do in the DMZ/ DIY visits

    by Rabbie_Hill Written Jul 26, 2010

    When you are on the DMZ tour, you mustn't make any eye contact with any North Korean soldiers, wear ripped clothes or make any sort of hand gestures. The reason for this is because the south claim that the north will take pictures and use them as propaganda.
    When you go there you can really feel the air buzzing with tension, and having the military escort can feel quite intimidating.
    However not many people know that you can actually visit the DMZ at about 6 differnt locations apart from Panmunjeon (the main complex with the blue huts). When I was on holiday in the east coast we drove up to the border and visited a different part of the DMZ which, for my younger brothers was more interesting as it had a display of military armour from both sides. Also, although you have to take your passport for Panmunjeon, you don't for the others. The other plus for the smaller viewing areas is you don't need an escort, the just give you a card to display on the dash and you're through.

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • salisbury3933's Profile Photo

    DMZ tour

    by salisbury3933 Written Jun 7, 2010
    The meeting rooms at Panmumjom
    1 more image

    There are a number of tours each day, and they are well worth doing if time permits.

    Depending on the conditions there may be some limits in regards to what you can and can't see, but I would highly recommend the tour.
    There appear to be a number of providers offering these tours, and it should be easy enough to organise through your hotel.

    Generally a nice lunch will be included as well.

    Was this review helpful?

  • romanista2000's Profile Photo

    Where peace meets war.

    by romanista2000 Written Aug 17, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The DMZ. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, everyone should visit the DMZ, which is notoriously the last remaining border separating two countries, guessing how long it will last. During your visit, with good weather, you can see the North Korean Soldiers performing duties on their guard-post throw binoculars. The tunnels aren't anything exciting, except for the fact that you are visiting pieces of history. The narrow and short infiltration tunnel can be pretty difficult to walk-by, so mind your heads. On websites you can book your visit through many operators as Kaesong Tours or USO which would cost you a 240.000 won fee (as minimum) including a visit to infiltration tunnel and more on option. Of course you can get up there by local train but you can only visit the South Korea border where an open-air military weaponry are also on display. It is only about 40 km distance from Seoul.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • okcjeff's Profile Photo

    Don't buy lunch on your DMZ/Panmunjeom/JSA tour

    by okcjeff Updated Nov 6, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The DMZ tour was great and well worth it, but don't buy the lunch, that is a ripoff! There are plenty of other places to get food right around the restaurant that they take you to, and the lunch costs an extra 14,000 KRW (US$13), really not worth it. And that price for lunch does not even include a drink! The cost was 5000 KRW (US$4) for a beer and the other drinks are equally high priced. Definitely avoid the lunch on any of these tours.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Going to Ongjin Peninsula ang Gaesong (Kaesong)

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 19, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kaesong Day Tours to North Korea for 230 USD!
    4 more images

    Before the Korean War, The Ongjin Peninsula and Kaesong was part of South Korea and the 38th parallel was just 2 kilometers north of Kaesong City Limits but after the war, both were captured by North Korea. Kaesong was Once the Capital of the Goryeo Dynasty but When Yi Songgye overthrew the Koryo Dynasty in 1392 and established the Chosun Dynasty, he moved the Korean capital from Kaesŏng to Hanyang (modern-day Seoul). Places to see in Kaesong are Koryo arts and cultural relics including Chomsongdae, Manwol Pavilion, Kaesong Nam Gate, Anhwa Temple, the Tomb of King Wanggon and the Tomb of King Kongmin.

    Kaesong Tours are available from the website below and costs 240,000 won minimum.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Train Going to Pyongyang!

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 19, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Train Going to Pyongyang!
    4 more images

    freight trains began traveling north past Dorasan Station into North Korea in 2007 taking materials to the Kaesong Industrial Region, and returning with finished goods. It is scheduled to make one 10 mile trip every weekday. Plans to begin regular passenger service across the Imjin River to North Korea have yet to be finalized but hope springs eternal for the koreans.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Dorasan Train Station

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 19, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Train going to Gaesong and Pyongyang
    4 more images

    A milestone of Dorasan station, which reads ‘205km from Pyeongyang and 56km from Seoul, has hope and anticipation for the future as well as the reality of division. It is expected that Dorasan station will be in charge of services for customs and clearance of men and goods and a hub of trade among North Korea, China, and Russia when the railroad of the Gyeongui line is connected.

    Dorasan Station is railroad station situated on the Gyeongui Line, which once connected North and South Korea and has now been restored. For several years the northernmost stop on the line was Dorasan Station, which is served by Tonggeun commuter trains.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Trains
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Dorasan Observatory

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 19, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of North Korea
    4 more images

    Mt. Dora Observation Platform is located nearby the 3rd Tunnel. From this observation platform, North Korean military personnel are said to be visible, and so are the city of Gaeseong and the Propaganda Village but unfortunately, when we arrived here at mount Dora Observatory, it was cloudy hence I can barely see the North Korean Side!

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Imjin River and Park

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 19, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Reunification Bridge
    4 more images

    Imjingak, located 7 km from the Military Demarcation Line, was built in 1972, The park has many statues and monuments regarding the Korean War. The park was built to console those from North Korea who are unable to return to their hometowns, friends and families because of the division of Korea. Imjingak is where the "Freedom Bridge" lies. The Freedom bridge does not actually cross the Imjin river, but it is a bridge which was used by refugees from the north. It crosses a stream adjacent to the Imjin river. In front of Imjingak, there is the Gyeongui Train Line which was destroyed during the Korean Conflict in 1950. It has been under construction since 2000

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Third Inflitration Tunnel

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 19, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Top Secret!
    4 more images

    The Third Tunnel of Aggression was discovered in October of 1978. It is located 52km from Seoul. It is apparently designed for a surprise attack on Seoul from North Korea and can easily accommodate a full division per hour along with their weaponry. A total of four tunnels have been discovered so far, but there are believed to be up to ten moreApproximately 10,000 soldiers can move through this tunnel in one hour.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Panmunjeom Camp Bonifas

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 15, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South Korea on Right, North Korea on left
    4 more images

    DMZ tour is Different from Panmunjeon Tour (DMZ tour doesn't go to Panmunjeom) hence the price is lower in DMZ tours. (Hotel - Imjingak Park - The Bridge of Freedom - DMZ Theater & Exhibition Hall - The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel - Dora Observatory - Dora Station - Pass by Unification Village - Ginseng center (or Amethyst factory) - Hotel) and it costs 48,000 won.

    Panmunjeom tours go to JSA, Peace House, Freedom House, Camp Bonifas, Bridge of Return, checkpoint 3 and costs 70,000 won for a half day tour and must be reserved at least 1 day in advance. A popular option is to Combine both and the cost is about 125,000 won.

    Caveat: always have your passport ready and wear smart casual clothes (no tank tops, spaghetti straps, flip flops, shorts, t-shirts, etc.) in Camp Bonifas, they will let you sign a waiver to avoid any liability if something happens to you.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Reminder of Both Koreas Still Techically At WAR!

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 15, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Reunification Bridge at Imjin River
    4 more images

    The 1950-1953 Korean War came to an end with the division of the country along .. the 38th Parallel. To the north, with the backing of communist Chinese and Soviet troops, a Stalinist state was fully established; while in the south predominantly American forces with the backing of the United Nations supported the régime there. This division, which reflected ancient factions in Korean society, helped shape geopolitics for the remainder of the twentieth century. The border stretches from the west to the east coast of the Korean peninsula, is 4 km wide and is known as the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, (In the Middle is the Military Demarcation Line or MDL) something of a misnomer considering the huge number of military personnel (over two million troops) and matériel in position. This is the LAST front line of the Cold War.

    Caveat: DMZ tour is Different from Panmunjeon Tour (DMZ tour doesn't go to Panmunjeom) hence the price is lower in DMZ tours. (Hotel - Imjingak Park - The Bridge of Freedom - DMZ Theater & Exhibition Hall - The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel - Dora Observatory - Dora Station - Pass by Unification Village - Ginseng center (or Amethyst factory) - Hotel) and it costs 48,000 won. Panmunjeom tours go to JSA, Camp Bonifas, Bridge of Return and costs 70,000 won. Apopular option is to Combine both and the cost is about 125,000 won.

    Caveat: always have your passport ready and wear smart casual clothes (no tank tops, spaghetti straps, flip flops, shorts, t-shirts, etc.) in Camp Bonifas, they will let you sign a waiver to avoid any liability if something happens to you.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • carteki's Profile Photo

    the last station before the North

    by carteki Written Apr 28, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    There is a train station at Dorsan called "the last stop on the way to North Korea". From what I've seen 90% of the tours to the DMZ stop off there (mine did too). There you can get your passport stamped with a commeration of the visit (as you can when you cross the artic cirle etc etc) but you don't get a North Korean stamp. It is all a bit of hype really, but I can say that I've been there... (but don't have the stamp to prove it, although I did buy a key ring).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    DMZ-Panmunjom (판문점) * * * * *

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Dec 15, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The North Korea/South Korea border
    4 more images

    The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separates the communist north from the free south. After arriving at US Army's Camp Bonifas (named for an American soldier killed by the North Koreans during the infamous "Axe Murder Incident"), you'll get briefed on the rules at the DMZ. Do act appropriately so as not to give propaganda to the North. Don't cross the border!

    You'll take a bus to the DMZ town of Panmunjom located in the Joint Security Area. The center of the town are the baby-blue buildings that straddle the border between the countries. Visitors are able to enter the center building where peace talks are held. Be wary of the South Korean soldiers standing in Tae Kwon Do stances -- they guard the door leading to North Korea. They serve a dual purpose--to protect visitors from the North Koreans, but also to prevent people from entering the North. While in this building, you may step across the line into the North...but only for a few minutes until the tour continues. Across the border you'll see the North Korean soldiers with binoculars watching the tourists.

    You will also see the "Bridge of no Return" where POWs were exchanged after the war--upon agreeing they would never return; & you'll see the site of the Axe Murder Incident. At this spot in 1976, a US Army Captain was killed, and 8 other UN soldiers were wounded while trying to "prune" a tree to improve visibility between checkpoints. For more info and pictures of the Axe Murders, go to
    http://members.aol.com/specialtie/axe.htm

    Also nearby is the the Odusan Observatory located on a mountain overlooking the DMZ. It gives a good view into North Korea & across some of the final battlefields of the Korean War.

    Over the years, North Korea has dug several tunnels under to DMZ into South Korea so as to enable a surprise attack. Only 2 km from Panmunjom, the tunnel is accessible on a small tram. Once you arrive, you can walk for 5 or 10 minutes to look at the tunnel an examine the drill holes.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nissanmit's Profile Photo

    PJM is better than DMZ

    by Nissanmit Written Oct 16, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are confused over the differences between the different DMZ tours. I suggest you choose one which includes Panjeomun as part of the itinerary. If you take the half day DMZ tour, you will not see very much. Everything abt North Korea is a tiny speck. On a hazy day, you see nothing! The flag, the village, the bridge etc. Nothing! The only real thing is the infiltration tunnel. Its better to pay a bit more, spend a bit more time and be really near the line at PJM!

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Seoul

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

101 travelers online now

Comments

View all Seoul hotels