Our DMZ Tour

The DMZ tour was something that I skipped the last time when I was in South Korea. I know it would be on my list on my next visit.

We were picked up at the hotel lobby and the car dropped us off on the meeting place where the bus (a brand new one!) was waiting for the rest of the tour group.

Once were off the road, the tour guide gave us an insight and history of Korean history and the creation of DMZ (De Militarized Zone). She had us fill out our name and information on the list to get permission to enter the zone. You also need to bring your passport.

Our first stop was the Imgingak Park. Nothing much here but there were toilets and food stalls to grab some quick bites.

Second stop was the tour of the 3rd Infiltration tunnel. Discovered in 1978, this mile long tunnel is measured at 6.5 ft high and 6.11 ft wide. North Korea declared that it was built as a coal mine but there were no geological signs that indicate any coal in the area.

We were allowed to walk through the tunnel. They warned us the it is an easy walk down inside due to the steep incline but walking back up would be difficult. They also gave us hard hats since the tunnel gets smaller further inside.

Photos are not allowed but they built a replica. The walk inside can be daunting, you start on a steep incline down, the temperature is cold similar to a wine cellar. You start to feel claustrophobic, the walls seems tighter and ceilings are shorter.

Once we got to the end, we hike back up and this time our legs are starting to cramp and our breathing becomes labored. Halfway through the tunnel, there were benches which we stayed to catch our breath. We made about 2 stops through our way out. The floor seems to be getting steeper on our way out and the light on the end of the tunnel deemed to be deceiving. It felt close but not close enough.

After we made our way out, it felt we had a sense of accomplishment. I asked the tour guide how often she walks through the tunnel, she said about 2-3 times a week. She probably have steel legs by now. It was a tough hike for an out of shape person like me.

Next stop was the Dorasan Observation deck. Located on top of Mount Dora, it is an observatory that you can look through the binoculars and catch a glimpse of the DMZ and the North Korea Propaganda Village.

Overlooking the North Korea Propaganda Village.

Our last stop was the Dorasan station, it was once a train station opened in 2007 that connected North and South Korea but closed again in 2008.

Our tour went smoothly, it was well organized. If you happened to be in Seoul, this is something you should do at least once. I recommend DMZ Tours. It was informative and an eye opening experience.

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