No matter what any other tour agency will tell you, the DMZ is currently closed. So we've discovered an alternate course off the beaten path for people who really want to see the DMZ. It's definitely becoming more and more one of the hottest places to see in Korea. It's been in hot demand ever since presidential summits taking place there. But since the JSA area is shut down there for renovation (or was that reunification?), we are introducing new place to see in replacement of that. The DMZ is always a fascinating place to see as it consistently transforms itself as a symbol of the Korean War to a beacon for peace and hope.
The DMZ, or the Demilitarized Zone is a 247 KM border that divides the Korean peninsula into North and South Korea. That being said, where one section of the DMZ closes, another part is open for viewing into North Korea. We will trek all along the DMZ until we find an opening, so doing the tour one day could be totally different from then next. We will try to start out by going through the Military Checkpoint and go up to the Dorasan Observatory to look into the city of Kaesong in North Korea. It is also the ancient capital of Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty from 918AD to 1392AD. We will also go underneath the DMZ through a tunnel that was dug up by the North Koreans during the height of the tensions. It would have been used to plot another surprise attack on the South Korean had it not been told to us by a North Korean defector. When we discovered them, the North Koreans retreated and painted the walls black, saying they were looking for coal.
The new additions to the tour in lieu of JSA are the trekking course up Gamak Mountain to see a view over a suspension bridge and take a ride on a traditional Korean boat called a Hangpo. This boat takes us along the Imjingak River which flows from North Korea and out into the Yellow Sea. Again, itinerary is subject to change due to actions taking place on the ground and with the UN. Should JSA open up, you will be sure that will be the first place we try.