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Joint Security Area (Panmunjom)

Visit the 'truce village' known as the Joint Security Area (JSA), or Panmunjon, to get a glimpse of the still simmering tensions that remain here more than 50 years after a truce ended the hostilities of the Korean War. North Korea and South Korea ... 

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Sandra R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Well worth the expense - this was the highlight of my trip to South Korea. Make sure the JSA is included in your tour as it's the best bit.
Tour was promptly confirmed and the pick up was re-confirmed at my hotel the day beforehand. We'll organised.

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

Amy I

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

This was a very interesting tour and learnt a lot about Korea's history. The pick up was on time and transportation was comfortable, the tour initially went to the DMZ for the morning and we joined another tour group to visit the JSA in the afternoon.
Both tours, particularly the morning, covered a lot, we were going to different places and although sometimes you don't have a huge amount of time it was definitely enough to see each place. Personal highlights were the tunnels, the JSA itself and the view into North Korea. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great, I imagine on a clearer day you would have been able to see more into the North but that can't be helped.
Both guides we had were very engaging and were full of facts and information which I didn't know prior to the tour.
To anyone with an interest in North/South Korea, Korean History or history in general this is a must do tour.

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

Anish P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

A very enjoyable tour. DMZ was nice to see, but the JSA was very interesting and would defo recommend to go there over DMZ.
Excellent and very knowledgable tour guide. Very helpful and answered all sorts of questions. Very funny too.
Overall a great tour! A must do if visiting Seoul and South Korea

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

Alex S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Excellent Trip, once in a lifetime experience, highly recommend the JSA tour

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

robstrash

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

This was a really good trip. The afternoon part to the JSA was the best as we actually got to go into North Korea. Great story to tell back at home and we even got our pictures taken. Definitely a once in a lifetime type of tour that I highly recommend!!!

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

Timothy W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Wow! What an experience! Mind blowing and massively eye opening. Our guide was excellent and the tour was soooo informative. Our guide educated us on the border, the conflicts and the current state of affairs between North and South Korea. I highly recommend for anyone to take a private tour of the DMZ and JSA if they want their mind blown and to have an experience like nothing else. Thanks Viator and we look forward to booking our next tour.

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

Lise C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

The afternoon part of the tour was more exciting than the morning part, which just went to the tunnel and the train station, and other places around the DMZ but not actually in it. However, the morning tour guide was better at providing context for what we were seeing. The trip to the JSA in the afternoon was thrilling! Definitely a bucket list day. I can't imagine passing this up on a visit to Seoul.

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

Amanda H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

AWESOME TRIP. I 100 recommend booking the DMZ JSA tour. The JSA was a really unique place and really made it incredible... you'll definitely come out of it feeling like it was worth it. One of my favorite parts about visiting Korea. They give you access to the museum, one of the tunnels, and a full tour of the JSA. There is a dress code and code of conduct they take very seriously. Photography only allowed in limited areas -- they will let you know when and where you can and cannot take your selfies. Got to kinda walk into North Korea and it was sweet

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

Simon D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Both sessions were taken by two different guides, both very funny and knowledgeable. The experience is rather surreal, especially the afternoon session in Panmunjom. It is quite easy to see why the time you have in each area is limited when you are facing North Korean soldiers. Make sure and buy your souvenirs at the first/second stop as it gets more expensive, the further North you go. I was disappointed that you can no longer purchase North Korean beer, but the wine and brand will suffice. Don't bother spending lots of money on the soya chocolate recommended, any cheap chocolate in Seoul is better :.

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

Anne M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

amazing experience. This tour unlike some includes the JSA area which is really the highlight as right up at the North Korean border. Also incredible to go down into the tunnel. Quite a step climb down but this tour includes a ride both ways whereas many tour groups were having to do it on foot.

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

Alan

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

Glen K

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

Barry F

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

Brett H

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

Paul H

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

Kristen P

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

Clayton K USA

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

FuroraCeltica

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

Daniel S

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

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

Sam C

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

Khanh L

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

Joel W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

I had heard and seen so much about the dmz through the media and internet etc, but nothing prepared me for how good and surreal this tour would be, I was completly blown away especially buy the JSA part of the tour I would highly recommend this tour it just wonderful

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

Sam

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

A highly informative and fascinating tour providing a solid background to those not familiar with the history of the area. The tour is run in two parts: the DMZ/3rd Tunnel in the morning and the JSA/Panmunjom after lunch where the tour group composition may change (various tour operators need to work with others so that there is a consolidated group to visit the JSA). The tour guides were very knowledgeable and had excellent English, the second was very firm (almost militaristic in style) yet still highly informative. The highlight was the JSA part of the tour where I visited the T2 building installation. While it was a little tense with all the rules and strict instructions - I learned a lot on this tour on the 38th Parallel - highly recommended.

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

Jason A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

The JSA portion of the tour is the real hit. Do this piece at all costs and make sure you send in your passport scan in advance. Don't wait for the tour company to ask you.

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

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