Travel Note – Seoul Day 3 – DMZ Tour

Thursday, 1 August 2013

We went to DMZ (Demilitarize Zone) between North Korea and South Korea with USO tour today.

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We should be there by 7 am but came 45 minutes early. We thought that we would have breakfast first near the USO tour office before going with the tour. Unfortunately there were no restaurants or eatery that open that early in that area. Lucky there were deep fry snacks shop one block away from USO so we had some snacks from that place.

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The tour ran smoothly as planned. Everything went well and we took a lot of photos whenever they gave us permission for it.

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North Korean guard post:

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We also went to Dorasan station. Our tour guide said we can buy a ticket to get in to the railway area for 500 Won and we can stamp our passport with a stamp written “sold to Pyongyang”. He said one person did it and got trouble with the immigration of her country because she didn’t get any permit to go to North Korea. We bought the ticket but maybe they’ve changed the stamp so our stamp doesn’t have anything like that written in it.

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Don’t forget to bring money for the tour because we had to pay for our lunch and drinks. It was a nice lunch. I’ve had Bulgogi and The Husband had Bibimpab (a vegetarian meal).

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The last stop of the tour was the observatory. You can go down a tunnel dig by the North Korean here. I didn’t go because I think there is no point to go in to a steep tunnel and see nothing at the end of the tunnel and then turned back up again. The Husband did it and he wasn’t sure whether it was worth it to go in or not. At least he got to burn a lot of calories by went in to the tunnel.

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One thing I can’t understand is the reason behind the rules to banned people taking photos inside the tunnel. It’s a tunnel for god sake, what’s so secretive and sensitive about that.

So, everyone had to put their belongings in a locker before they go in to the tunnel.

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On the way back to USO office, the tour guide put on a Korean War movie. I didn’t bother to watch it because he said the movie won’t finished when we arrive at USO.

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In conclusion, it was a good experience. I’m glad we chose to do the tour with USO because they were very organised.

Some tips for this trip:
1. Bring hat & sunny
2. Dress formal casual (do not wear: flip flops, shorts, top that shows of armpits and cleavage, mini skirt).
3. Bring water bottle
4. Make sure you have breakfast before you go or bring some snacks to eat in the bus.
5. Bring some cash for lunch.
6. Wear comfy shoes especially if you want to go in to the tunnel.
7. Bring a passport is a must.

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