Here’s a key travel tip to Seoul: Don’t miss this!!!
The Demilitarized Zone Tour (DMZ) is amazing! I would say that this is a definite must do! And money well spent! We took a half day tour costing 35,000 won (about $35) per person. We met at President Hotel at the super early time of 8am which was an achievement after our consistent the late night Korean BBQs. Our initial plan was to take the DMZ and JSA tour (more expensive at about $80 – 90) but that had limited capacity and had to be booked at least a week in advance.
Our tour bus then travelled through immigration check point, where our passports were quickly checked, then to the DMZ tourist place. It was super crowded. Our tour group donned hard hats then proceeded to walk down this super looonnngg tunnel. The tunnel was drilled by the South Koreans to intercept a tunnel that was sneakily drilled by the North Koreans. The South Koreans had only found out after information was leaked by defectors. And this was only one of four other tunnels. The tunnel is very long and narrow at some points. Also, the walk back up the tunnel is at an incline and can be quite strenuous! (I wouldn’t recommend it for older people with health issues or are claustrophobic!)
After the tunnel visit, we were showed a mini clip in English of the historical background of the DMZ. Next, we went to the train station that had the potential to lead to the North Korean city of Pyongyang. South Koreans have faith that one day both countries will be united and the station can be in use. Our final stop was the look-out point over the border to North Korea. There was a tiny town that we could see. Our tour guild told us that it was most likely a “model” town that was just for show… The tour was very interesting and I felt it was really worth the money! The only downside was that we got caught in traffic so our journey back took a lot longer.
Traveller tips: Children below 12 are not allowed on the tour 😦 Wear good shoes!!!
Service: **** (tour guide spoke great english, but it’s a large tour group)
Value for money: *****