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Joint Security Area (Panmunjom)

Visit the “truce village” on the border of South and North Korea, known as the Joint Security Area (JSA), to get a glimpse of the still simmering Cold War tensions that remain here more than 50 years after a truce on this spot ended the hostilities ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Fascinating visit through the DMZ with knowledgeable tour guide, and access to infrequently visited military instillations. Plus a wonderful and generous authentic Korean lunch.

Doing what: Ultimate DMZ and JSA: Private Tour including North Korea Spy Commando Invasion Route

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Well organized tour although a little fast paced. Would have liked the tour guide to give more historical data and stories.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

While visiting South Korea, I decided to take a DMZ/JSA tour. I selected this particular tour because it appeared to offer something which other less expensive tours did not... The North Korea Spy Commando Invasion route. I was expecting to with a group, but to my surprise this was a PRIVATE tour with just my driver (a seasoned military veteran with relatively high ranking) who was able to take me places and share insight which the general public might not be able to see or experience. At one point, we needed to meet up with one of the few authorized tour buses to take me to the DMZ/JSA. When we met up with the bus, they were having their lunch. I noticed that the lunch I had with my tour guide was WAY better than the lunch the bus folks were having. The bus portion of the DMZ/JSA tour was very controlled (it had to be) and was great. However, the extra value which my private tour guide was able to provide before I got on the bus and after the bus dropped me off more than compensated for the difference in price. Do your self a favor and read up on the Korean War and the history since the war. Your private tour guide and you will be able to have a deeper and more meaningful conversation and you will learn more. I happened to do this, it seemed to surprise my tour guide that I knew so much about Korea, the Korean War, and history since the war that I was able to really learn so much more. Also, my genuine and sincere interest seemed to spur my tour guide to take me to even more places which he said "are not on my normal tour". Also, my tour guide picked me up and dropped me off at the private residence where I was staying. I did not have to venture to one of the "pickup hotels" where the normal DMZ/JSA tour buses pick up. This tour was really worth every penny and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants more than just a "tourist" experience. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Doing what: Ultimate DMZ and JSA: Private Tour including North Korea Spy Commando Invasion Route

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Great experience to see the history and the reality of the only divided county in the world.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

I have traveled a lot and this full day tour to the DMZ and the JSA was tops. Make sure to book early and go to the JMZ, its a must see. The tour guide was fluent in English and told great stories on the hour bus ride up and back.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Outstanding!!! Worth every minute, worth every penny!

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

We would definitely recommend this tour. It was great. We were glad we did this tour. The tour guides did a great job. We learned a lot. The lunch was great.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

This was an excellent tour.
The guides were very good and in time.
The walk through the tunnel is exhausting. Take a bottle of water and sugar candy so that there is no problem.
There are places where you can sit down in the tunnel.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

great ttour. Saw a lot in one day. jSA especially interesting!

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

A very moving experience at one of the most volatile places on the planet. The tour was outstanding.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

It was awesome, the JSA was great

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was a very interesting day trip.
We were collected from the hotel by car and then we were taken to collect one other person before meeting the main coach - all went smoothly.
Sharon our tour guide was friendly and we were given time in each place to wander around on our own.

The places we visited were very interesting - the highlight being the JSA and being able to cross the border albeit within the confines of a building...

The tunnel was worth the climb and the constant banging of helmet protected head against the roof!

The train station showing the platform to Pyeongyang was also interesting, not least for the 'peace wall' of speakers.

All in all, I would recommend this trip.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was definitely the highlight of my time in South Korea and one of the most interesting travel experiences I've ever had. I'd highly recommend doing the full day (+ JSA/Panmunjom) tour; you'd really be missing out on the best parts of the experience if you only do the half-day. The tour was very professionally run and the included lunch was decent.

Not going to lie, there were parts of the tour that got my adrenaline pumping--for example: when we were instructed to "stay on the sidewalk so you don't step on landmines." The second half of the tour is partially run by the United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) and you'll be accompanied by US military personnel. You'll have an opportunity to purchase North Korean wine, whiskey, and money, and there are (enough) times when you'll be allowed to take photos, but it's certainly restricted.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This tour was amazing and our tour guide was so nice!!! Hee Won made the tour interesting and entertaining! There is so much to see and do! I learned so many things about the struggle between NK and SK! I would definitely suggest this tour and I'd probably do it again!!

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2014

Overall it was a great tour. The infiltration tunnel wasn't as interesting as expected, but then I'm not sure what I was expecting other than a cramped tunnel. Panmunjom has changed very little since I was there 40 years ago. Definitely a must see tour for anyone who is visiting the area.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2014

Fascinating view of the DMZ. An absolute must for any visitor to South Korea. As you get deeper in to the DMZ, you see more and more interesting stuff. The high point of the tour is the visit to the blue huts, where you can stand in both Koreas at once. You also get to stand on various vantage points and look in to North Korea, which is a surreal experience. The infiltration tunnel was interesting, though very cramped if you are tall. Photography restrictions apply quite strictly once you enter the JSA, so listen carefully to your guide's instructions.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Best part is the Joint Security Area at the end of the tour, mainly because of the US American soldier who guided the group into the JSA in a very entertaining way.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

I highly recommend this trip, it was a great experience and our guide was very informative.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

Christian L
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

Amazing experience, anyone who goes to Seoul must do this tour, but make sure to do the JSA and DMZ and not just the DMZ tour. Great day out.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Great tour, well executed. Pick-up and drop off were spot on. The real compelling part of the tour is the JSA component in Panmunjom. Able to visit the conference room where negotiations occur and momentarily stand in North Korea. Note that tour availability is subject to political and other considerations but we got lucky on our visit.

The DMZ was very interesting as well. Perhaps one too many spots - Mt. Dora observatory was more of a gift shop than an observation point. More warning re: the conditions in the 3rd infiltration tunnel might have been helpful. A 350m descent (and climb) @ an 11 deg grade to a runnel that is 250m long and no more than 2m x 1m in size. Quite a workout and squeeze.

Lunch was great and recommended on this particular trip as there aren't a tremendous amount of options in the DMZ.

Your guide was well informed, pleasant, and had a decent command of English which made the tour both informative and interestiing

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

The tour was very informative, a little bit tense but very exciting. I love it. This is the kind of tour that I will recommend to my family and friends.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This tour was so fascinating and informative. The tour is split into two parts; DMZ and JSA. I would say that if you can't fit in a full day tour; doing the DMZ tour is still an eye-opener.

It was slightly unorganized in the morning because there were a couple of tour buses/different tour groups at the pick-up point however, everything ran smoothly afterwards.

Our guide for DMZ was Sunny and she was wonderful. She spoke very clearly and was very informative. The tour runs on a very tight schedule. E.g. 20mins for particular places and you have to come back to the bus at a particular time. However, this made it run very smoothly and we were able to do everything because we arrived to places early and avoided the crowd.

I really enjoyed this tour. JSA part of the tour was much more intense because the security check is much higher. Please follow the dress code they give as they do check it on the second part(JSA) of the tour. Plain t-shirts are fine. It was a hot day but the coach had air-con so that made the bus ride comfortable.

Overall, if you have time, I'd definitely recommend the full day tour because with the JSA part, you get to go into the meeting room and also stand across from the boarder line. From where we stood on the steps, we saw a North Korean soldier looking through binoculars! This tour is definitely unforgettable and heart breaking.

Doing what: Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and JSA Panmunjom Tour from Seoul

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