In Sep 2019, Sky visited to South Korea. KKday provided her some optional tours, DMZ tour is one of them. She had described for KKday in her blog.
Seems as of Sep 2020, there are no perfectly same tour with KKday provided. You may be able to join other DMZ Tours alone.
What is DMZ
DMZ means DeMilitarized Zone.
JSA, Joint Security Area is a part of DMZ.
You are not able to visit there in person. You have to buy a group tour to see.
There are various optional tours to visit DMZ area, if you are a lucky you are able to buy JSA tour. In Sep 2019, JSA was (almost) closed for all the tourists.
Seems there are many operators of DMZ tours, there are few places you can see. Seems those are often to be common in the tours, and the orders are depending on the traffic jam or other tours condition, and of course human/ animal diseases.
Dorasan Station is used with the connection between North Korea and South Korea, and I went to there from Seoul, it is in South Korean side. It is also located inside of DMZ.
We had few mins to spend in the station. The inside is the VERY usual, but new local station of South Korea. It is confusing the chaos of daily life and the tension of DMZ.
I bought a ticket to go to the plat home, I do not read Korean, then I am not sure which is to Seoul, which is to Pyongyang.
Third Tunnel of Aggression
Third Tunnel of Aggression is one of the 4 tunnels built by North Korea, and the most nearest from Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
I thought this is the main part of the tour I joined.
There are “evidences” of the runnel is built by North Korea.
Originally, in my tour was planned to go to the depth and back to the surface by walk. According to the guide, she could arrange to joint other tour to take a monorail to go and back.
On the monorail, it is really a small, and there are no covers.
You should better to wear something jacket to protect yourself from the cold and strong wind. Also, if you are a super fat or extremely tall, you are not able to take a ride of it.
We, monorail riders are wearing blue helmets. Walkers are with yellow.
The groups are mixed in the depth, but you are not allowed to ride as long as with yellow.
I have seen someone are uploading photos on inside of the tunnel, it is prohibited. Please also pay attention.
You can take photos in the models on the surface.
Also, please pay attention. This DMZ area is a minefield.
You can see some small triangles on the net. They are signals of minefield. Due to people are not coming this area, DMZ is also a wonderland for nature.
You may have seen camouflaged observatory as “Dora Observatory”, but as of Sep 2019, it was located on the bus pool, and closed.
The current observatory is on the hill.
The day before the visiting there, I walked old palaces in Seoul, I had thought it was lucky I had no need to walk down and up on the Third Tunnel.
On the Observatory, you can see view of “rural”, and as I remember, the binoculars are free.
South Korean side, It is Gingseng field what is the black things on the ground.
It was a cloudy day, it was not good to see.
It is easy to see which is South Korea, and which is North Korea. According to the guide, North Korean cut woods to prevent escaping.
Here you are.
Guess you may see something standing in right side. It is a flag of South Korea. It is hard to see something left, there is a flat tower of North Korea.
In out side of the observatory, I took a video.
Imjingak is the very place for displaced people. You can visit there individually, and they pray for their ancestors and family in North Korea.
There are also a replica of the bridge for freedom of 1950s. I just took a shot, but I did not go. There were no time. I saw an actual bridge over there.
The most moved is this steam engine locomotive.
This engine is built while Japanese colonial, they may be made in Japan. It kept running while Korean War, and destroyed.
Somewhere not related to DMZ??
In some optional tours, they also brings you to somewhere shopping zone or something.
In the tour what I was brought to Provence Village.
There are small restaurant, it was the lunch zone for us.
They did not force me to buy something in Provence Village. Oops, I found typo!
DMZ is a special tension, it is not a daily life for me. But those Provence Village kind shopping centers are daily for me. I thought it is not bad idea to spend few hours in those shopping zone before back to Seoul.
I did not buy anything in there. Too daily to buy.
The tour operator is located in the President Hotel.
Seems many optional tour companies have offices in this hotel. I took City Hall station. When your purpose is DMZ or JSA tour, staying at this President Hotel is one of the solution.
The subway in Seoul itself is not complicated, but full of steps in stations, and often long way to change trains, like in subways in Tokyo. While in Seoul, I found I was spoiled by Taipei.
agoda President Hotel