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This was a great all day tour. The guides spoke English very well, the meetup point is centrally located. The War Memorial and the JSA tour were expertly handled and we really enjoyed the experience. The lunch served was also excellent and they were very helpful in arranging a vegetarian meal for one in our party, which can be tough to do in Seoul sometimes.
Booked this tour exactly 4 days before the tour. Aside from all the information asked from this website, they only needed me to send a copy of my passport and it's done!
This trip was very, very informative. I highly recommend this if you wanna know more of the Korean War and how the JSA came about. We also had some awesome Bulgogi beef at the park before JSA. Our tour guide, Son Mee, was really helpful and friendly in assisting and teaching us.
I highly recommend this tour! Worth every dollar!
Took a tour to the JSA only as I had read this is the most worthwhile site visiting. The only way to get to this zone is by tour. Tour departed from the hotel with no issue and was organised. Passports are required and they assign you seat numbers to remain throughout the day. We shared a bus with other tourists and another guide who was translating in another language so there was the shared microphone and talk time.
First stop was the War Memorial. Despite the tour guide not being fluent in english, she was nice and aimed to accommodate to tourists if they had any certain requirements. It would be best to stay near the front of the pack if you are keen to try and understand what the guide was saying. The guide may have spent a bit too much time explaining only one certain section of the War Memorial and leaving 30 mins as free time for tourists to explore.
As described in the package, lunch was bulgogi stew in a restaurant. Stew pots are prepared dependent on your travelling group/party and are prearranged by the time you arrive which was convenient. You basically get some side dishes, 1 bowl of rice each and the stew to share containing bulgogi beef and some vegetables. Flavours are good especially during winter.
We had to go through several checkpoints before being accompanied by a US Navy officer into the JSA. Be prepared to wait as the military officer will accompany the bus into the zone.The officer spoke very quickly as he had probably done this numerous times and was open to answering questions near the end of the tour. Unfortunately, I heard that the tour guide was not allowed to translate for the other tourists who could not understand english. We had a strict 3 minutes each for the whole tour group outside the zone and inside the JSA to take photos. Although it did feel like 60 seconds. By the time I took a few photos, it was time to go.
We arrived back at the hotel before 5pm.
Overall, a tour is the only way to get into the JSA. I wouldnt expect a local tour guide to speak fluent english and I cannot fault the tour company for restrictions imposed by the military. I was grateful that the tour was not cancelled due to military reasons. Despite being short lived of time, the most interesting part was the last part of the tour, into the JSA area.
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