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“Well worth doing, especially for the tunnel experience.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of DMZ

DMZ
Munsan-eup, Majeong-ri, Imjingak Tourist information center, Paju, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
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Private Tour
$176*
and up
Ultimate DMZ and JSA: Private Tour including...
Ranked #2 of 40 things to do in Paju
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/bus tour
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Well worth doing, especially for the tunnel experience.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

I did a tour of the Dmz with grace travel. The tour guide was polite, informative and attentive. The tour covered most of the stops but not the JSA. Despite this it was still worthwhile doing. We went to the third infiltration tunnel which was a great experience but not recommended for unfit or claustrophobic people. Avoid being taken to the ginseng or amethyst factory places.

Visited May 2013
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Busan, South Korea
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207 reviews 207 reviews
198 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“JSA, Observation Point, Tunnel, Dorasan Station”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

I liked the JSA a lot more than anything else. I'd suggest just doing that as it is the most informative.

It was a gray day so we couldn't see anything from the Observation Point, but there are pictures of what you should see and it wasn't that different from any view of Korea.

The tunnel was dark and damp, cool once you reach the end but it's far to get there and you have to wear ill fitting helmets.

The idea of Dorasan Station is cool, in that it can connect South Korea to the rest of the world and make imports cheaper, but in reality it is just a train track that doesn't run. You can stand on it, which is cool if you've never done that and the photos are nice.

Lunch was standard Korean fare.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Do Your Homework Before Booking a DMZ Tour...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We had a guide and driver from a local company for a tour of the DMZ and local markets. The morning trip to the DMZ was pleasant enough except we didn't really don't go to the DMZ. You go...near the DMZ. There is small train ride that takes you to the Third Tunnel which is interesting, but I would caution anyone who is elderly, claustrophobic or out of shape. You spend most of your walk banging your scarred blue hardhat on the pipes and rocks overhead. After that there are several stops for the usual tourist junk and then you arrive at the Dora overlook which features a extremely distant view of the DMZ. The final stop is at a train station that actually is not really in use...it was built in anticipation of reunification and a connection with the North Korean rail lines. However, there are gifts for sale there. After reading the other reviews, make sure you get what you want prior to booking the tour...they are not all the same.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Great opportunity to visit a very surreal place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I came on this tour with my partner. We did the full day tour and I think it was very worthwhile as you not only got to see the infiltration tunnel, observatory, last train station in S. Korea before heading north but you got to go to the JSA. The morning was spent at the tunnel etc and it was very interesting to see how far N.Korea got before being discovered, it was amazing to see the determination by getting through all that granite! But the best and most interesting part was going into the JSA, this made our tour as you got to see the border up close and personal! We couldn't go into the conference room as N Korea were doing works on their side so the security had been increased but we did see lots of soldiers and N.Koreans! I must add that the lunch the tour provided was lovely and the S.Korean stance when they are guarding is very intimidating! I brilliant tour and I recommend the full day, more expensive but you see far more and it made our day very interesting and surreal! The only annoying thing was that the company said their was a camera lens zoom limit and nobody paid attention to this and took their massive cameras, us, going by the rules took our small camera :( and think we may have missed out on some better pictures!

Visited May 2013
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Greater Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“DMZ tour great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

Exactly what you get on a DMZ tour depends to some extent on who you go with and what the political climate is like at the time. We were advised by our family serving in a local Diplomatic Service to use the USO tour service to maximise our chances of getting as far as the Conference Huts which straddle the border. So we did that, and booked several months in advance.
You leave from the Seoul USO office at Camp Sims in the centre of Seoul. They use a local tour operator for the non military sections before and after the DMZ, and the bus was quite OK..would have been better if the aircon was left on when we had to sit for over 30 mins..? and even better if the tour guide had described what we were seeing at a speed more suited to her level of English...It was really almost impossible to understand...however, lets not be picky. Once at Camp Bonifas the US Army took over like a well oiled machine, transfer to their buses, walk behind one of them in double file, dont raise your arms and point, take photos only when told allowable and only in the direction shown....if you cant do what you are told then don't go on this tour.
We went to within 30 metres of the actual blue "conference row" huts sitting astride the MDL ( the actual Military Demarkation Line...ie...the real border.) Sometimes you can actually go into the huts but today the North Koreans were replacing paving at their end of the huts and we had to stay well back from any possible interaction. The upside was that the NK soldiers were actually deployed all around the huts in full uniform which is apparently very unusual...possibly because they had maintenance workers on the ground...who knows..?...what they do and think is obviously as much a mystery to the Army guys on the ground as to everyone else.

After the real hard core DMZ military area ( The JSA or Joint Security Area) we were handed back to the local tour company for somewhat lower organisation levels and less exciting sights...too many souvenir shops. The amazing white elephant Dorasan Station is incredible and almost a little surreal... a testament to overreaching dreams of early unification. I tunnel that I passed on anticipating a ground level video which we then had to skip to go to lunch in the JSA canteen.

Back to Seoul by about 3.30pm after a 7.30 start. All in all a day not to be missed.

Before doing this tour you would really benefit from checking the USO dress code. You are in US Army hands and they seem to have a "no slob" rule... and more strength to them..!

You really really should research two things to get much more out of the day.

1. The 1976 Axe murders on the DMZ ...vis a vis Arthur Bonifas..the event is central to the place. Wikipedia good.

2. The general meaning of MDL (Military Demarkation Line... the actual border of short white posts), the DMZ, a broader area which runs 2km up and down from the MDL, and the JSA (Joint Security Area) which is the actively used part of the larger DMZ....this is awfully confusing but would have been very easy if I had taken the trouble to work it out first....but if you just jump on the bus and start getting hit with DMZ/JSA/MDL you wont know what the heck is going on.

3. See if you can get a regional map..? (Paju)

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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