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.
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.
Highly recommend this tour! Our guide was amazing, very patient and informative! I do suggest not going to the DMZ during a hoilday because everything is really busy!
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
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.
Excellent guide and very well organized. Highly recommend including JSA Panmunjom with the DMZ trip.
The tour guide was excellent. Picked up on time at my hotel. Very informative tour of the DMZ
The comfort of the motor coach was wonderful. Went on a Sunday so less traffic. You must bring your passport.
An excellent, interesting, and informative day. It's not often that you get to go somewhere as unique and daunting as the DMZ so the experience would have been good regardless, but the vast knowledge of the tour guides really help give a better perspective on the history and current situation. I would definitely recommend this one for anyone visiting South Korea.
The guide was very entertaining and full of information. Going to the DMZ was quite an experience and really brought home the sadness of the Korean War even after all these years. We strongly recommend including the JSA Tour. We weren't in the blue building a long time but it was worth the trip. Was awesome seeing US troops at work and being able to tell them how much we appreciate their service. The DMZ tour was in the morning, then the group was split for those going on for the JSA tour. Some of the morning DMZ group did not know they had to plan in advance for JSA so please make a note that you must plan ahead. For Viator we had to send passports 7 days in advance. Once in South Korea the guide said you had to submit passports a minimum of 48 hrs in advance. You can't decide at the last minute you want to go and you'll wish you had made plans for this once in a lifetime experience.
Thoroughly enjoyed myself in this tour. Tour guide Sunny was very professional and engaging at the same time. Keeping a relatively large group of 29 people entertained constantly. She could explain about virtually anything and everything with regards to the DMZ. If you love history and want to know about the conflict between North and South Korea, it is highly recommended that you join this tour.
It was very interesting to see the past and present of DMZ. The tour itself was very well organized and informative. Highly recommended!
Convenient pick-up from the hostel.
This tour surpassed my expectations with a fascinating trek into the tunnels below the DMZ.
Cons: Instead of the Ginseng upsell at the end of the tour (300 bucks for a box!) an earlier lunch would've been preferred (as it was we didn't have lunch until 3pm).
The DMZ tour is a tour I believe that needs to be experienced at least once. The tour gives the story of the divide between the North and South of Korea, the North's attempt to invade the South through tunnels to get to Seoul, the Freedom Bridge, Propaganda city and the first train station, Dorasan train station, to hopefully travel to parts of North Korea when unification of both Koreas is established. Our tour guide has been very informative but also quite entertaining, and his English is very very good. I really did enjoy the trip and enjoy learning a little bit of history of Korea. Good views from the outposts to see into North Korea and the tour of one of the tunnels that was built by the North Koreans as to be used for invasion of the South. Very good especially for a brief history lesson.
This tour was great. Being able to get an overall view from the observatory and going into the 3rd tunnel was great. However, these only built to the best part of the tour which was the JSA. Not too many pictures allowed. I would not consider doing a tour of the DMZ that didn't include the JSA.
It is a fascinating place to visit and there is a mixture of excitement and fear and sadness. There is always the looming chance that the tour could be canceled at any minute, for various reasons, so be aware of that chance. Days before our trip, there was some exchange of gunfire along the DMZ, but no activity while we were there. Seoul is much closer to the border than we thought and the entire experience really put the ongoing tension in perspective. The bus ride was comfortable and the tour guides did their best to advise us of all the precautions.
Friendly English speaking guide, we saw and learned a lot of the DMZ that day. Lunch was great.
DMZ was good. Unfortunately, due to a military situation, our tour to Panmunjom was cancelled.
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