The North Korean way of life is is perceived negatively throughout most of the western world, but many of us are equally as fascinated by it. North Korea is located north of South Korea (SHOCK); the two countries being separated since the 1950’s and now a 150 mile long and 2 1/2 mile wide barrier runs between them. This barrier is known as the DMZ or the Demilitarized Zone.
Anybody visiting or living in South Korea (it’s highly unlikely you’ll see many South Koreans there though) can visit the DMZ as part of a tour. The majority of the tours depart from Seoul and most companies offer both morning and afternoon options.
When I visited in 2015, I used a company called VIP Tours. They were very helpful and provided a great service. I’d recommend them!
You can check them out here VIP TRAVEL
VIP Tours and most other DMZ Tour operators offer several different options, two of the most popular being:
1) DMZ TOUR
The cheapest and most common option allows you to visit several interesting places –
The Bridge of Freedom – A park full of statues and monuments, built to console the families of both the North and South Korean people.
Dora Observatory – From here you can look into North Korea. On a clear day, it’s very impressive.
Dorasan Station – A brand new railway station built to connect South Korea and North Korea. However, in 2008 the North Korean government stopped the service accusing South Korean government of a confrontational policy. So now it stands empty.
DMZ Theater & Exhibition Hall – Full of artifacts and information on the Korean war and the DMZ itself.
The Third Infiltration Tunnel – My favourite part of the tour! In 1978 a tunnel was uncovered. The tunnel was built by North Koreans trying to pass under the border. The tour allows you to travel deep underground and see for yourself.
2) DMZ & JSA TOUR
The second option allows you to visit all of the above AND the JSA or the Joint Security Area. The JSA is where North and South Koreans discuss diplomatic engagements and negotiate. This option does cost a bit more and require a but more time, but a good experience for those who are interested.
If you are interested the Korean war and/or are curious about the mysterious North Korea, or maybe you just have some time to kill in Seoul, I’d definitely recommend checking this tour out!