- 11:30 ~ 14:00 Move to paju from hotel
- 14:00 ~ 17:00 DMZ arrival & shuttle tours
- Imjingak Resort
- The Third Tunnel
- Dora Observatory
- Dorasan Station
- 17:00 ~ 19:00 Return to hotel
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tourism
The Korean peninsula is home to a single nation of people with the same language and ethnicity, divided into two countries. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a buffer zone, which was established on July 27, 1953 when the Armistice Agreement was signed during the Korean War. The DMZ vividly captures the scars and wounds of the Korean War as well as the wishes and hopes for the future.
South and North Koreas drew a truce line across the Korean Peninsula, from the mouth of the Imjingang River in the east, to the town of Goseong in the west. On either side of the truce line is a 2km-wide stretch of land where military activity is forbidden. The zone has been protected from human disturbance for about 6 decades and has unintentionally become a haven for wildlife. The destinations in this ecological area have been regaining popularity among eco-driven tourists. The following information will introduce the major attractions along the DMZ and related package tours to the nearby regions.
Tips & reminders for DMZ tourists
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) extends largely from Gyeonggi-do to Gangwon-do, including seven different cities and smaller counties of Paju, Yeoncheon, Cheorwon, Hwacheon, Yanggu, Inje and Goseong. Thus, to make the most out of your limited time, it is advised to make a plan in advance for which region you are most interested in visiting. After choosing one area, it will be much easier for you to look around the nearby attractions, centering on and around your choice of DMZ destination. Many regions have special Security Tourism programs available, which include admission to the DMZ attractions in the area.
More importantly, you are required to bring a legitimate form of identification and/or your passport when going to the DMZ. Tourists are additionally reminded that photography is highly restricted, so please check before taking photographs.
Imjingak Resort, located 7 km from the Military Demarcation Line, is now at the forefront of tourism related to the Korean War. Imjingak was built in 1972 with the hope that someday unification would be possible. The three-storied Imjingak is surrounded by several monuments, Unification Park and North Korea Center.
Over 400 photos and documents showing the stark reality of North Korea are displayed in the North Korea Center of Unification Board. Outside Imjingak, there are 12 unique tanks and warcrafts on display that were used during the war.
Mangbaedan Alter, which stands opposite Imjingak, is famous as the place where Korean's separated from their families in the North visit to perform ancestral rites by bowing toward their hometowns every New Year's Day and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). The Bridge of Freedom, which South Koreans crossed when they came back to their mother country from North Korea after the signing of the Armistice Agreement, stands behind Mangbaedan Alter.
In front of Imjingak is the Gyeongui Train Line which was destroyed during the Korean War in 1950. It has been under reconstruction since 2000. Every year many events for unification are held at Imjingak. It is now one of the more famous DMZ tourist spots for foreigners because it is possible to visit without going through any security check points.
The 3rd Tunnel (Dorasan Observatory)
The 3rd Tunnel was discovered in 1978 by South Korean forces. It spans over 1,635m in length, 2m in width, and 2m in height and is located 52km from Seoul. It is estimated that approximately 30,000 soldiers could move through the tunnel per hour. The scale is similar to the 2nd Tunnel, but it was thought to be more threatening as an invasion tool than the 1st and 2nd Tunnels. Located only 4km away from Imjingak toward the southwest and 3.5km from the Tongilchon area, it is accessible by car in about 45 minutes.
Dorasan Station, a railway station on the Gyeongui Line, is the northernmost stop on South Korea's railway line. Located 56 km from Seoul and 205 km from Pyeongyang, the station was opened as a tourist attraction on April 4, 2002 right before the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup.
Dorasan station can be reached by getting on the Gyeongui Line from Seoul Station. After presenting your identification at Imjingang Station, you can get on a train bound for Dorasan Station. Since it is the northernmost part of South Korea, Dorasan Station will also play the role of customs and immigration for visitors entering South Korea through the station when the Gyeongui Line Railroad connection is completed.
Since this area is within the Civilian Control Zone (CCZ), visitors and tourists will only be granted access after presenting a valid identification document at Imjingang Station.