DMZ

DMZ, Paju: Address, Phone Number, DMZ Reviews: 4.5/5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,044 reviews
Excellent
592
Very good
323
Average
99
Poor
13
Terrible
17

LassiJ
Helsinki, Finland63 contributions
Interesting place to see with a history. Though everything is more commercialised than one would expect.
The tunnel experience is a good easy hike. I don't understand why cell phones and cameras are not allowed as there is nothing to hide. Probably just to avoid people crowding the tunnel in some places while taking photos.
I would have liked to stay longer time on the viewing terrace but that part of the trip was hurried so don't expect to have time to finetune your camera to search people from the North Korean side.
The tour promotes joining the Koreas again trough a peaceful change.
Written May 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Young Suk
Carol Stream, IL746 contributions
Historically valuable and a must-visit because of the rarity of the DMZ.
There is a one-day tour course departing from Gwanghwamun in Seoul, so accessibility is good. If you want to stay for a long time, I recommend moving personally. Along with Imjingak, the Hill of Winds is also worth a visit, and the new gondola allows you to go beyond the civilian-controlled area.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tonelim
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia235 contributions
Solo
Make sure you pick DMZ/PSA tour. Journey to the border take about 2+ hours by tour bus. The briefing by the US guards was interesting and the tour was amazing and informative. Excellent photo ops everywhere. A piece of history you wouldn’t want to miss. Take back a pin souvenir.
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sylvia H
Geneva, Switzerland2 contributions
One of the top places to see when visiting. Always include in the best ofs I read before going. Such an amazing place how they preserved and maintain. Just a reminder, make sure that you have your passport when you are visiting for the security checks.
Written November 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

betty l
Brampton, Canada10,372 contributions
I wasn't expecting my DMZ tour to be challenging but it was. We had to walk through a tunnel built by North Korea to spy on South Korea. It was too steep that going up and down the tunnel was very challenging.

In my case I wanted the adventure so I went back to South Korea just particularly for this visit to the DMZ area.I wasn't disappointed specially with the unexpected tunnel walk.

A definite Must See when you are in Seoul.
Written May 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

travelafeme
QCPhilippines812 contributions
We took the metro from hongik university station to munsan. From munsan we took a taxi to imjingak cost 7000 won. At imjingak there is a ticket booth. We presented our passports and we paid for a walking tour that cost 8700 won each. We then boarded the bus . Our first stop was at the train station,viewing point then to the tunnel. There was a short movie presentation and briefing before we enterd the tunnel. We placed our bags in the lockers and were given helmets. The tunnel was going down and some ceilings were low and i hit my head sometimes. Going back up was quite a feat. I had to stop twice to catch my breathe. It was a good experience and i cant help but wonder how many other tunnels exist.
Written April 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John K C
Washington, DC1 contribution
Solo
Before booking a DMZ tour, I did my research and booked the tour most recommended by other people: USO's Koridoor Tours. Looking back, I am glad that I did. As this tour is limited by the amount of people and days of the week that it takes place, I would recommend that you book this DMZ tour way in advance.

The Koridoor Tour takes you to the DMZ, 3rd tunnel and JSA areas. Most tours take you to the DMZ and 3rd tunnel areas, but few actually go to the JSA, which is the highlight of the trip. From the JSA, you can see North Korean soldiers observing you, enter the key joint security area conference hall and actually walk into North Korea territory. Furthermore, the Koridoor tour costs only 96,000 Korean Won, which is a lot cheaper than other similar tours which cost about 135,000 Korean Won. You also are not taken to non-relevant shopping sites like a Ginseng or Amethyst shop that other DMZ tours will take you.

If possible, try to get a DMZ tour with the guide, Youna Ko. Even though she had only been a DMZ tour guide for only two months, I found her to be a very informative guide who put a lot of effort into making the tour group members understand the background of the DMZ area. She gave us insight into the Korean war and tried to make us understand the relevance of each area within the DMZ. At the 3rd tunnel, she was the first tour group member in and the last one out. Finally, Youna was efficient in her timing of her tour, in getting the tour back to Seoul around 3 PM, beating the traffic and our scheduled time of 3:30 PM.

The US soldiers who guide the tour at the JSA are additionally very professional and give an excellent presentation concerning each area of the JSA. They furthermore will point out wildlife like deer and birds that have taken refuge in the DMZ as it has unintentionally become a wildlife refuge since human habitation is very limited within the DMZ region.

For the 3rd tunnel, avoid it if you have joint pain, are out of shape or are very claustrophobic. The tunnel will provide you with a serious workout and you will have to duck the last 300 meters through the tunnel if you are taller than 5 feet. Wear the helmet that they provide you as I bumped my head numerous times on the top of the tunnel.

For the Dora observatory, you can get a good view of the entire DMZ area. I would suggest bringing your own binoculars to see the DMZ if you wish to avoid paying the 500 Won to look through the observatory binoculars.

For the Dorsan train station, I would also recommend paying the 500 Won to see the platform, train tracks for a future train to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. You can additionally pose with a photo with a South Korean soldier at this train station.

My only two complaints about the USO tour are:

1. There is no option to use your own credit card to pay for the DMZ tour over their Website. You must either wire your payment or pay in advance at the USO Koridoor office. As South Korea is perhaps the most Internet wired nation on earth, this option should be made available.

2. During the tour, the 2000 South Korean film, Joint Security Area, was shown when returning to Seoul. Due to time restrictions, an abridged version of this film was shown and tour group members were not able to see the ending of this film. I would recommend showing the first half of this film going to the DMZ and showing the second half returning from the DMZ as this film will provide a better understanding of the DMZ and the division of Korea for the tour group members.
Written May 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

outlaw1865
Houston, TX1,695 contributions
Family
While there are surely very reputable tour companys that offer the Panmunjom tour, there are also those who are not. This review is based solely on our experince with "TOURDMZ.COM." Which should be avoided at all costs. Here is what we recieved for $ 77.00 USD per person.

From start to finish our tour lasted 7 hrs (8:20am to 3:20pm) and 5 hrs and 30 min's of that time was spent on the bus listening to the tour guide's form of entertainment which consisted of constant and repeated attempts at humor by telling stale, stupid, jokes. Example - " Is everyone here? can I have a show of hands for everyone who is NOT here"? hahahahahaha!.... Sure, nothing wrong with good natured clean humor. But let me tell you after 5 1/2 hrs of that, it would wear even the most happy go lucky person down to a frazel.

To make a long story short, we were actually, physically at the line that seperates North and South Korea for a total of less than 5 min. We were not allowed in the conference room as mentioned on the company website because we were told that the north had visitors during that time, and when they were there, we could not be there, which is completely understandable, however This was never mentioned until we actually arrived at the site.

In reality it is just a 50/50 chance you will actually get access to the conference room, just a luck of the draw which they NEVER told us prior to that. The tour guide told us not to worry about not getting to go inside the conference room, we would instead be "granted" the oppertunity to take pictures from a distance of the North and South Korean guards standing at attention for a few minuets.... What????

After aprox 3 to 4 mins of picture taking from a good distance away that was it!,,, tour over!,,, and it's on to the gift shop! That's all folks!

We stopped for lunch on the way back to Seoul and once again, beware of what they DON'T tell you!!. Lunch was supposed to be included in the price of the tour or so we were led to believe, There was a large table set up with beer and soft drinks, we each grabbed a coke to have with our lunch and just before we finished, we were given a bill for the 3 cokes at $3.50 each!!! we were NEVER ONCE told that drinks were extra.

Please do your homework before choosing a tour company, and beware of this tourist trap called "TOURDMZ.COM.
Written May 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DONNA S
Portland, OR131 contributions
We took the DMZ train from Seoul station. It was half empty on a Tuesday morning but sold out on Sunday afternoon. Doesn't run on Mondays. I would book it a day or so in advance at Seoul station. It cost 15,300 return. You have to purchase a return ticket. You also have to have your passport. Once at Dorasan station you are ushered to the ticket counter to buy a tour to the tunnel and observation deck. You don't have to buy a tour but if you don't all you can do is walk around the peace park. Not a lot to see at the station. I don't think you can see the border without the tour. You have the choice of one tour to the tunnel and the Observatory by bus. The only difference is walking up and down the tunnel or taking the shuttle train up and down. 8700 vs 11700. We took the shuttle train and was happy we did. The walk was very steep. At the tunnel there is an 8 minute movie in Korean. Make sure you get a headset in English. No subtitles. The lady was giving them out to all tourists but she missed us and we didn't understand a word. Be careful in the tunnel as you will bump your head often. Keep your helmets on and walk slow. Once you get off the shuttle train, the walk is easy but you do have to bend over a little to not hot your head every step.

There is absolutely no instruction or explanation in English on this tour so you just got to follow the crowd. The bus driver will tell you how long you have in each stop. If you want to ask questions, buy a tour in Seoul. This tour was just basically the bus taking you to the two places. After the tunnel, they take you to the observatory. You only get about 15 minutes. The binoculars cost 500 so if you can look at one that just emptied, it might save you 500. Or take a telephoto lens. It says no pictures but EVERYONE was taking them and no one said a thing. At all three places (station, tunnel and observatory) they have souvenir shops and places to buy something to drink. However, you don't have a lot of time at each place so check out the souvenirs at the Dorason station before you leave to see if there is anything you want as you have the most time there. Most of the souvenirs are the same price and very similar. All in all, it was a good half day. Was back in Seoul around 2-2:30.

Outside of spending 130,000 for a tour to the JSA where you can actually see the table where they signed the cease fire and step on the N Korean side, I was happy with what we saw and the price. However, we went to the Korean War Museum before the tour and all of my questions were already answered. Those tours to the JSA also have a two or three day waiting periods as they have to do background checks. They also have dress codes. No shorts or faded jeans etc. The tours bought in town to see what what we saw were about 65000. They included being picked up at your hostel and a tour guide. Hope this helps!
Written August 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

techurhighness
Seoul, South Korea35 contributions
Business
Unlike the previous 2 hour bus ride from Seoul through arranged DMZ tour packages, tourists can now go to DMZ in less than an hour and 20 minutes via the newly-built DMZ train that goes up to the Dorasan Station (train station nearest to Pyeongyang) which makes the Paju City and its nearby attractions accessible to tourists.
An 8:30 AM train and 1:40 PM train departs from Seoul Station every day. Interested tourists can find out more about the DMZ train travel through the KORAIL homepage in order to reserve their train tickets. More information [fare, time table] can be found from this link provided by the Korean Tourism Organization [http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FU/FU_EN_15.jsp?cid=1916536]
Please check out the Paju Information homepage for more details on what Paju has to offer. [http://en.paju.go.kr/en/en_culture/en_peace/en_peace_imjingak/en_peace_imjingak.cm]
Traveling just got better with KORAIL. Hope this helps!
Written May 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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