I booked the half day DMZ tour from Trazy.com a local Korea travel agent. Initially I wanted to book from getaguide but I found Trazy price is cheaper. Trazy and Klook pricing is around the same but I picked Trazy because it is a local Korea travel agent.
DMZ tour picked us up at 7.10am. Thank God the hotel is open for breakfast at 6am. I read it was going to be a long journey so I made sure we have breakfast before the tour.
DMZ or Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula. It is established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement to serve as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. The demilitarized zone is a border barrier that divides the Korean Peninsula roughly in half. The DMZ was created in 1953 at the end of the Korean War as a result of the armistice agreement between the United Nations, North Korea, China and the Soviet Union. It was agreed to create a buffer zone 4-km wide, with only a minimal military presence and patrols occurring within the DMZ area.
You can only visit the DMZ with a tour, as it has restricted civilian access and requires a mandatory military escort. Our passport was checked multiple times. In a peak season you need to book ahead to ensure you get a spot.
Our first stop is Imjingak Park. We were given 30 minutes to look around while Jun, our guide is registering our documents.
I had to queue for the restroom. The restroom was so dirty because it doesnt provide a toilet bin. It’s a shame people just throw their rubbish on the floor.
There are many to see in the Imjingak park and too bad we don’t have much time
Our second stop is Dora Observatory tower where we can see North Korea from the top tower. We were lucky it was a clear day so we can see where the flag is as a clear line where North Korea lies. I could see the similar housing compound and plants in North Korea thru the telescope. Jun our guide told us that there still active mines around the area so we have to becareful not to wander off from the designated path.
Our third stop is the infiltration tunnel which was built by North Korean for possible invasion to the South. But a defector revealed the location and South Korea was able to intercept before it was completed. You have to be fit to be able to enter the tunnel as we had to go down walking with a steep inclined. We also have to wear helmet and if you are more than 150m height ocassionally you have to duck. The helmet is a good saviour, I bumped my helmet several times because I forgot to duck. We are not allowed to take pictures inside the tunnel. There is an outdoor attraction after you finish with the tunnel
Our last stop is the freedom bridge and Dorasan station
We head back to Seoul and arrived around 2.30pm We were dropped at Cityhall where we continue to Myeongdong (again but not to shop lol). There is a halal restaurant in Myeongdong so we thought we would have lunch there before we go to Namsan Park
There is a free hourly shuttle bus from Myeongdong to Namsan Park cable car but we missed the shuttle so we took a Taxi to the cable car station.
After boarding off the cable car we still have to take few stairs to reach the tower. In between there is a love locket area with a souvenir shop where you can buy a love locket as well.
View from the top
It started to rain when we were in the top so we hurriedly when down. They have a lift for senior and people with wheelchair to get you to the cable car.