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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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AbyJ United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

This full day tour has so much packed into it that it will seem like it goes by fast. But if it didn't go by fast, one wouldn't be able to see it all. Our Holiday Tour with 'Rebecca' was excellent. A bus picked us up at our location in the morning. Once all the passengers were gathered, we transferred to another charter bus that drove us to Paju City. We stopped at Imjingak observatory where we saw the Peace Bell, among other monuments. Then we were taken to the Dora Observatory where we could look over in the distance and view the somber sight North Korea with our own eyes, and the Third Infiltration Tunnel, which we were able to climb down and observe the now blocked opening that originates in N. Korea. Our tour guide provided important historical information as well as the current status of the nations that gave us a deeper perspective. We stopped for a delicious and satisfying lunch where the half-day tourists were separated from the full-day tourists. We then continued on to the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom, Camp Bonifas, where we waited patiently for access to visit the United Nations buildings. The guards kept watch over us and gave us strict rules of conduct in here, where we could step over within the building into controversial territory. It was a sad moment visiting the Bridge of No Return, also the site of the Axe Murder Incident of Captain Bonifas and Lt. Barrett. The hopefulness for unification of the South Koreans was prevalent in the construction of the Dorasan Train Station, which was built in the hopes of providing transportation between the divided country. At the conclusion, we visited a shop where we can purchase mementos, and then were transported back to Seoul. I recommend this tour to anyone as it was one of the greatest highlights of my visit to Korea.

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

LFG M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Very cool tour. Especially the JSA part. Very effeciently run. It gives great insight and information about the history of the 2 koreas. Also being right in the middle of the DMZ on the exact border under UN protection makes it rather special.

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

Tyrone G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Very enjoyable - we did the full all-day tour. Highlights were walking down to the third tunnel, and going to the JSA Panmunjom complex. Our tour guide for the morning, Sunny, was terrific. She provided lots of insights and information, and was a pleasure to be with. I recommend this tour for others.

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

david

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2016

Do book the joint DMZ and JSA tour as those who book the DMZ only tour will miss visiting the blue huts at the actual border in the JSA. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to go down the tunnel under the border,going down is easy but the steep climb back up is a hard slog. At the bottom of the tunnel where it levels out it is difficult to stand upright if you are over 5ft tall,so you have to walk to where the tunnel is sealed in a stooped position,hard hats provided.There isn't much to see at the end of the tunnel but worth going for the experience. When in the JSA you will go inside the blue huts that straddle the actual border,once inside you can take photos standing inside DPRK.
A very good tour with a decent lunch provided, Highly recommend

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

David L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

The tensions were running high between the North and South Korean governments when we were scheduled to go. The South had just issued some major economic sanctions the day prior. We were thrilled that the tour was moving forward. We enjoyed learning about the historical context and timeline and exploring the Third Tunnel was interesting. The highlight for us, though, was visiting the JSA. Being right on the border and seeing the opposing sides' soldiers standing literally just meters away from each other. Do not do the DMZ tour without the JSA component. That would be a regret.

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

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

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