After the pleasant tour by English Site KoreaTravelEasy, I went on another trip with them again! This time, I went to the Demilitarized Zone. The Demilitarized zone is a 250 kilometer stretch of border that runs along the Korean Peninsula, created by agreement between North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953. Normally, access is limited by some organized tour can enter. I'm so glad that KoreaTravelEasy organized this tour!
On this trip, I went to the Imjingak Park, Unification Bridge, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and Dorasan station.
I opted for the morning slot (8.10AM-2.30pm) and was picked up at downtown Seoul. There is also an afternoon option (12.00PM-6PM) available if you prefer a later timing. Do not worry of being hungry if you have not taken your breakfast. The bus would make a stop before the long journey. I got some food!
This is the route of the day
Depart from Seoul > Pass by Unification bridge > ID Check > Short video and explanation at DMZ Theater and exhibition hall > The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel > Imjingak Park> Dora Observatory > Dorasan station > Back to Seoul
Happy girl on the bus!
When we passed by the Unification bridge and the ID check, the guards and soldiers told us that were not allowed to take pictures. You would have to go there yourself to see it! Remember to bring your passport, or else you would be sent back during the ID check.
DMZ exhibition hall
On the first stop, we went to the exhibition hall where there was a thorough explanation of how Korea got divided and what you can see at different places in the area. There were also many potteries, military letters and 3D model of the division between North and South Korea.
The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel
This was the highlight of the trip! We got to put on helmets and actually got to walk through the tunnel dug by North Korea. It was discovered in 1978 before North Korea managed to finish digging through to the South. This tunnel can actually allow 30,000 soldiers to travel through in an hour!
We were also not allowed to take pictures here and we had to keep all our things in the locker. Be warned though! The tunnel was really steep (11 degrees slope) so you have to climb 300m up and down each time. You will be only 175m away from North Korea once you are at the end of the first door.
I found this place to be the most interesting point of the trip! On the observatory platform, we were actually able to see North Korea through the binoculars provided (500won per 2 minutes). From this place, the tour guide told us we were able to see North Korea's propaganda village. There were many soldiers stationed here and you could even take selfies with them!
Rows of binoculars for you to use.
Standing on this platform and looking overhead, I felt a pot of bubbling cauldron in my chest but could not explain why :(
This was the last stop of the tour!
It is actually a non working station to Pyeongyang, which symbolizes hope for the future when North and South Korea could be reunified. There was a sign that says "Not the last station from the South, but the first station towards the North". I was pretty touched when I saw the sign; it was a sign that reminded them to always look towards the future. It really gave me a different perspective.
Once again, thank you KoreaTravelEasy for the trip! I could log onto KoreaTravelEasy and book the trip 2 days in advanced despite not knowing any korean language. The tour was really informational and educational, I learnt so much more things about Korea. I would highly recommend you to go. KoreaTravelEasy also has other services such as Prepaid data SIM card with unlimited data, and even HOT DEALS with Lotte and duty free shops so you can enjoy greater discounts when you shop!