The ongoing conflict between North and South Korea has a complicated history. A visit to the DMZ—the zone separating the two countries—offers visitors the opportunity to learn about this divided nation in a variety of ways. Here are some options.
For the First Timer
Those who have never before visited this historically significant area should opt for a full-day tour with stops at all the important sites—the Joint Security Area (JSA), Freedom Bridge, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, the DMZ exhibition hall, and the Dora Observatory. While it makes for a long day, the reward is a thorough understanding of the conflict, both past and present.
For the Budget Traveler
Travelers with a tight budget for their trip can save money by opting for a small-group tour. These include all the benefits of roundtrip transportation from Seoul, as well as a tour guide, without emptying your wallet.
For Those Short on Time
If you can't dedicate an entire day to the DMZ, don't worry. Half-day trips don't get quite as close to the border, but they do often include highlights such as the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and the chance to view a North Korean village from the Dora Observatory.
For the History Buff
If you have a serious interest in the history of the Korean conflict, you'll benefit from having your own private tour guide (to ask as many questions as you want) and a flexible itinerary (to spend more time in the places that interest you) on a private tour of the area.