visiting the DMZ - So.Korea

Old Oct 1st, 2010, 03:08 PM
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visiting the DMZ - So.Korea

Anyone recommend a tour company? What about USO tours? How long is it from Seoul to DMZ? Thanks for you input.
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Old Oct 1st, 2010, 09:57 PM
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I think they all give a similiar tour - although I wanted the USO tour. It takes more prior planning for that one and we just picked one up from the hotel concierge. You can leave early am and return about mid afternoon. There are other choices but not as popular. I remember realizing that it is much closer to Seoul that I had imagined.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the info. Is this something I should reserve before leaving the US? We will be there on Nov. 2 & 3.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Hi –

I recently looked into the DMZ tours for a long lay over in Seoul next week. I’m sorry I cannot recommend a tour but wanted to share what I’ve found.

If you are like me and want to visit the famous UN-light-blue huts of Panmunjom/JSA (Joint Security Area), one tip is to be sure your tour specifically includes this area.

As for the USO tour - here is the itinerary & calendar – they are run by Koridoor:

07:30 : Departure from Camp Kim USO
09:00 : 20 Minute Briefing at Ballinger Hall in JSA
And then tour to the JSA area
11:20 : The Third infiltration Tunnel, Dora observatory
12:30 : Lunch at a Korea Restaurant. (It is not included)
13:30 : Dorasan Station.
14:00 : Departure to Camp Kim USO
15:30 : Arrive at Camp Kim USO

http://www.koridoor.co.kr/bbs/board....=2010&month=10

There are other companies that run DMZ & DMZ/JSA area tours (many from the Lotte Hotel Seoul). With different itineraries, prices & departure times. I found these other companies through VisitKorea website:

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/...ate4=&keyword=

There is also a transit tour that provides round trip transportation from ICN airport to the DMZ (*does not include Panmunjom/JSA). But it sounds like you are in Seoul for a few days – rather than a layover - so you’ll have plenty of options.

I did make a reservation ahead of time to make sure I had a seat on the tour. Don't know when I'll have the chance to visit Korea again.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:52 PM
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I didi the DMZ tour with USO a few years ago; I have the details in my trip report:





http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ietnam-108.cfm
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Old Oct 4th, 2010, 06:51 PM
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Hello, we took the USO tour last month. We thought it was fascinating and very well-done.

One tip: if you require coffee in the morning, find some before venturing to the base area, as there is none to be had @7am in that neighborhood.

Also: we found the subway to be convenient, but some people on our bus were expecting to meet friends who were taking a cab to the base. Friends called, to say their driver was hopelessly lost, and they ended up missing the tour.
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 05:32 AM
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29FEB - Coould I have a bit more info? We will be staying in Seoul and am assuming you took the subway to the base. Is this easy to do? Did you reserve a place on the tour before setting out and how did you do that. I am hoping the concierge can assist. How did you pay for this - cash, credit card?
Thanks for you input.
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Koridoor (see above for website) handles the USO tours.
All the info you need, including subway directions, is on their site.

You will have a civilian Korean (at least we did) guide on the bus to the DMZ and then military guides take over.

After you sign up for a tour on the Koridoor site, they'll send you a confirmation email with payment info.

We provided a credit card number, but were not actually charged until we signed in at the camp.

Re the subway, its easy to use and stops are very clearly marked both by the name of the stop and a numerical designation. We used the "T money card" which is the equivalent of the London tube's Oyster card.

Hope this helps; the tour was well worth the effort!
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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Thanks - just tried to reserve. Trying to register is difficult. Will try again.
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 05:35 AM
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Have decided not to do the DMZ tour. Finally got to the reservation point and it just doesn't seem worth the effort. 45 min. from where we are staying to Lotte Hotel - be there by 8 am. Think we'll just stay in Seoul and tour the city.
Thanks for everyone's input - much appreciated.
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Back from the trip. Booked a DMZ tour thru hotel which picked us up at 7:20 a.m. Had 3 other people and we all got along quite well - guide spoke reasonably good English.
Enjoyed tour and walk thru tunnel. Would recommend it just for the experience. We returned to hotel about 3:00. One of our fellow tourists continued on after lunch to Panmunjom.
We took the easy way. Thanks for everyone's input.
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