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Fantastic experience, especially the eerie JSA part of the tour. Food at lunch was terrible though.
It was very interesting tour with a highly competent guide. Great way to see JSA and the DMZ. Lunch was also fantastic. Thank you BJ
Our DMZ Tour Guide, Shrek Lee was extraordinary. He tailored the tour to our teen and preteen sons' interests and delivered a day long adventure that they will never forget. As happens often, the JSA cancelled at the last minute, so we switched to the Private DMZ Spy Invasion Route 2nd Tunnel. Prior to the tour, Mr. Lee communicated the status of the JSA and was very responsive to our requests. Shrek can get access to just about anywhere you want to go within and outside of the DMZ. Submitting your passport information to Mr. Lee is necessary for him to secure the booking and you must have your passport with you on the tour.
You simply can't go to South Korea without taking this tour. Shrek Lee is fluent in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese and the best tour guide we've ever had.
The real value of this private tour vs the group tour for the 2 of us was spending a full day with an ex-senior officer in the ROK military police who drove us to the various DMZ and JSA highlights. It was a great opportunity to ask him many questions not just about the DMZ and its history, but also South Korea itself. Though we weren't able to visit all the promised attractions such as Imjingak Peace Park and the War Memorial of Korea the latter we ended up doing on our own another day, this was still an amazing tour. The first major half consisted of joining a group bus tour that led us into the JSA/Panmunjon with all its various restrictions on everything, i.e. what to photograph, wear, how to behave, line up, etc. Note: although Viator didn't indicate it, shorts that expose the knee are prohibited and continual accompaniment by an armed soldier. Tense is the best adjective to describe the atmosphere at Panmunjom, the former truce village. The JSA portion ends with a visit to the gift shop but you should skip this and go upstairs to the 2nd floor museum, which was vastly more informative and interesting. When we rejoined our tour guide/driver for the second half, we went to the DMZ where we surrendered our passports temporarily and visited a military observation outpost. There we were given a briefing about the 4 km-wide buffer zone. At the outpost, one could see views of the North Korean countryside of which we weren't allowed to take pictures and manned observation posts. We also walked part of the foot patrol path taken by ROK soldiers alongside the southern barbed wire fence. All in all, a day well spent!
Wow. This tour was one of the most interesting things I have ever done. Unfortunately, the JSA component of the tour was cancelled at the last minute due to a situation, but the company refunded that part of the price. I decided I would pay a bit more to book this tour as it seemed a bit more in depth and it is worth every penny. Shrek is friendly and very well informed. The day was misty, which impeded views into North Korea, but again - still fascinating. And the BBQ duck lunch was to die for. Highly recommend.
David Kang was an excellent tour guide for the DMZ and provided a lot of interesting personal insights. The JSA Panmunjom guide was not quite as good but the experience itself of being there was memorable.
Excellent. All day trip was great fun. Very nice tour director. Tunnel almost better than the the JSA.
An amazing experience. The tour guide for the DMZ portion was more fluent in English but you have to do the JSA section to get the full experience. Highly recommend.
Seeing both the JSA and DMZ is a must. Don't just do one of the tours that does not do both. This was wonderful.
Shrek was fun and informative. My father really wanted to go on this tour and he absolutely loved it. The trip to an actual Korean millitary observation post on the border was not only amazing but a once in a lifetime experience. Unfortunately the JSA was canceled due to UN things but still awesome!
It was clearly the best part of our trip. Im SO glad that we did it with the JSA part too and not just the DMZ. The DMZ and the JSA tour are led by two different companies and so also have different guides for the parts. The lunch is served at a diner in the middle of nowhere and it was not that great. You dont get to decide what you are going to eat and the place was a bit boring. The guide for the DMZ was great! She was very knowledgeable and spoke good english and made the whole tour a great experience. The guide for the JSA part of the tour was not good at all. His english was poor and barely understandable even when he repeted the same instructions several times because no one understood. The organisation on the JSA part of the tour was overall messy and confusing but the destination was worth it!
I highly recommend JSA area. You can really feel the tension between South and North.
I don't really recommend 3rd tunnel. it's basically a tunnel. it's really a long walk.
The highlight of our Seoul trip. Both parts of the tour were great DMZ and JSA. We had an early tour pickup at hotel at 07:30 which seems like a negative, but the result was arriving at every spot along the tour before the crowds so we would leave when all the other buses arrived.
This was a very interesting tour. We had 2 different guides for the DMZ and the JSA and neither spoke great English so it was difficult to understand the stories they were telling. The locations we were taken to were interesting and seeing the soldiers from North Korea close up made it very real.
Emilie M Philippines
and #34;In front of them all and #34; in DMZ, escorted by JSA soldier- under the watchful eye of lone NoKor soldier, Bridge of No Return, 3rd Tunnel with a depth of 73 meters below ground, Dora Observatory allowed us to get a view of the DMZ and Gaesung Village in North Korea- amazing and surereal!
If you're visiting Seoul, this tour is a must. I will highly recommend doing the JSA along with the DMZ. Going to the JSA is on a totally different level of it's own. Amazing experience!
Sunny was great, she was funny and passionate about the history of Korea and the DMZ. She expressed optimism for a future reunification of North and South Korea. Highly recommend Sunny for leading the tour.
It would have been nice for a bit more time at some of the stops. The JSA stop was rushed at the photo opportunity at the conference building and at the gift shop. Unfortunately, getting everyone back to the back on time in a timely manner was a problem at almost evey stop. I was one of the first to miss getting back on time and time is lost that way. If you take this tour, it is important to return to the bus at the appointed time, otherwise everyone loses valuable time at other stops. There is a constant flow if tours to the DMZ and JSA with lots of people so a smooth flow is critical.
Thank you Sunny and Justin for a good day.
This is an amazing tour! I enjoyed every minut of it! Definetly worth to see place! Tunnel at DMZ - cool, Train Station - super, Panmunjom - best! Even soldier from North Korea let us make a look of photos! At the day of trip weather wasnt so great - it was havy rained and windy but still trip was great! Guides told us many interesting things and even show them if it was possible! And Mrs 김소미 - Thank you for song!
AbyJ United States of ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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