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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.
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
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.
Very well planned. Our guide Michelle was very engaging, animated and very personable. She shared her personal perspective of N. Korea which made the drive to the DMZ zone interesting. She kept us abreast of what we were going to see and how much time we would have. Highly recommend. Best part of our trip to Seoul.
It was a great learning experience.
Because of a miscommunication the confirmation email from the tour company was dumped into my Spam folder in my email, and we were advised also by the hotel officer that nobody from the tour came at the agreed time, we missed the hotel pick-up. However, Sunny and Erica were very gracious and asked us to meet them at another pick-up point, and they paid for the taxi fare.
On our way to Imjingak and DMZ, our tour guide, Erica, kept reminding us of important details so that we don't run into problems while visiting DMZ, such was when not to take photos because we will be in a military facility, the steep slope going to the tunnel so that we can gauge if we are healthy/fit enough to be able to go up and down the tunnel, to stay with the group so that we don't get lost since it is peak season of the tour, etc.
The way Erica provides information about the tour, the history of the Korean War, etc. is very inspiring and moving. I can sense in her the national pride of being able to fully recover and develop into a rich nation from being a totally poor and devastated post-war country, and the hopefulness for a reunification. It made me respect South Korea and its people even more.
When we got to the observation platform overlooking the demarcation line/Korean border and North Korea, my friend told me that some of the tour guides from the other tour groups simply pointed the tourists to the huge billboard and asked them to read the labels of the interesting spots, and them left them on their own. Our tour guide, Erica, however, took time to point and explain to us the interesting things we can see where is the flag pole, where is North Korea, where is the Kaesong Industrial Park, etc..
Overall, we were taken care of very well and Erica provided a very good learning time to us.
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.
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
When I took the tour, I happened to be the only one signed up for that particular day. Regardless, Shrek showed up early, picked me up from my hostel, and gave and excellent tour. It is a very personal tour, Shrek is extremely knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions. For my particular time in Korea, the JSA was closed to tourists and I was a bit worried I wouldn't get the full experience, but on this tour we were still able to enter the DMZ, speak to soldiers, and see the actual routes used by North Korean spys. To top it all off, the lunch was authentic Korean BBQ at a local place and not touristy at all. I highly recommend this tour.
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.
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.
Great way to see DMZ! Highly recommend to all!!!
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
Best tour I took during my stay in South Korea. Michelle and her driver were outstanding!! her knowledge of the DMZ and history were spot on. loved seeing the DMZ without a large group. the outpost were very interesting. very well worth the money.
a good trip well organised ,we were a bit late back due to some demonstrations in the city ,the tour showed all about the DMZ and the tunnels what wasn't included was a trip to the actual border so if you want to see the North Koreans make sure you include that in your trip ,this one didn't but all round a great day out well guided by a lovely lady callled Sunny ,and she was !
The DMZ tour was one of the larger tours we went on during our trip to Seoul but thoroughly enjoyable. Our tour guide, Yunha, provided us with an insightful lesson on the history of Korea. She was a wonderful guide, ensuring that we were all accounted for and went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable and well informed. Would definitely recommend this tour to those who are visiting Seoul for the first time.
Fascinating visit through the DMZ with knowledgeable tour guide, and access to infrequently visited military instillations. Plus a wonderful and generous authentic Korean lunch.
This tour was fantastic! Our guide Ji Yeon Yoo was very insightful and had extensive knowledge about the history of the DMZ and various landmarks we passed. She was so approachable and helped with any questions or queries asked. The lunch in Myeongdong was well worth it too!!
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.
The tour guide, Nana, was extremely informative and provided a rich history on the ride to the DMZ. She was easy to understand and very humorous. I loved that she told us the top places to visit in our limited time at various sites. There was ample time at the Observatory to gaze into North Korea and to explore the Third Infiltration Tunnel. This was an amazing tour for the price, and I was very glad that my family and I were able to experience it!
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.
It's a great tour. Our tour guide Nana was so awesome. She kept us entertained and informed. Be prepared, wear hiking shoes.
I prefer the combination DMZ and JSA tour.
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.
Christian L United Kingdom
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.
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
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.
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