September 21 - September 30 2024

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

9 nights along the
DMZ in South Korea

Travel along the DMZ from West to East, and experience
dynamic Seoul. The tour will be accompanied by North
Korea experts.

From 2595 USD per person

Please apply by 6th September, 2024.

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

9 nights along the
DMZ in South Korea

Travel along the DMZ from West to East,
and experience dynamic Seoul. The tour
will be accompanied by North Korea

From 2595 USD per person

This tour is managed by...

Gergo Vaczi

Greg is the Koryo Tours DPRK Tour Manager.

He grew up in post-socialist Hungary and first travelled to North Korea as a tourist in 2016 following in the footsteps of his grandparents, who visited in 1988. He has since lived in the Netherlands, Israel, China, Korea and Iceland and holds a degree in Sociology and Anthropology. He has taken 26 groups to North Korea and lived in Seoul studying the Korean language full-time for two years. He also completed a long study course in Korean at a university in Pyongyang.

Read more about Greg's journey to become a North Korean Tour Leader here.

  • Overall

    Whilst we have not been able to travel to North Korea since January 2020, we can at least take you along North Korea's borders.

    After our successful South-North Korea border inaugural tour in 2022, and subsequent tour in 2023, we are once again happy to be able to promote a tour to Korea led by Greg Váczi and accompanied by North Korean experts. 

    Travel north of the 38th Parallel as we explore some rarely visited places in Korea, as well as must-see spots along the North-South Korean border. This tour is perfect for those interested in learning more about North Korea and issues on the Korean Peninsula, as well as those lovers of travel a little more on the adventurous side. 

    The tour takes you to islands lying closer to North Korea than South, to various points along the border to get a closer look into North Korea, and all the while will have you dining alongside experts you'll frequently hear about or see in the media. 

    It will appeal to all who want to travel to the DPRK at the moment but because of the closure of the country to tourism cannot currently visit. In the future, we hope Greg will be leading tours to the DPRK. But for the moment, this is your best opportunity to visit Korea.


    • See North Korean villages from some of the best look-out points in South Korea.
    • Tour Yeonpyeong Island, an island bombarded by North Korean artillery in 2010 that’s adjacent to the controversial Northern Limit Line.
    • Scour local beaches for trash washed in from North Korea to see what’s on the shelves of North Korean shops these days.
    • Guest experts will join for multi-day portions of the tour, including Professor Andrei Lankov.
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. September 21 | Saturday

      Arrival Day in Seoul


      • Recommended latest arrival in Seoul.


      • From 14:00 | Check-in at hotel in Seoul.
      • Welcome dinner and orientation | Today we start the tour with a group dinner of some excellent Korean food. Coordination and briefing session, before the adventure ahead!

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong or similar, Seoul (x/x/D)

    2. September 22 | Sunday

      Incheon and Yeonpyeongdo, Yellow (West) Sea


      • Transfer to Incheon (1-1.5 hour drive).
      • Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation | Also known as Operation Chromite, this museum showcases the history of the Incheon landing by the United Nation forces and the battle of Incheon in September 1950 that led to the first turning point in the course of the 6.25 War as known in South Korea or the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War as referred to in North Korea.


      • Ferry to Yeonpyeongdo | An approximately 2-hour-long ferry ride on the Yellow (West) Sea from the Incheon Coastal Ferry Terminal on board Korea Express Ferry’s Flying Café. Scheduled departure is at 13:00. In case of extreme weather conditions, ferry cancellation is possible.
      • Yeonpyeongdo Security Education Center | An exhibition on the importance of Yeonpyeondo from a national security point of view, the Northern Limit Line, and the shelling of the island by North Korea in 2010. The exhibition is housed next to a residential home that was hit and destroyed by the bombing.
      • Dinner, lecture, and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: Dooly Minbak, Yeonpyeondo (*A traditional Korean guesthouse with futon beds on heated floor. Please note that single supplement is not possible at this accommodation; two guests of the same gender will need to share a room.) (B/x/D)

    3. September 23 | Monday

      Yeonpyeongdo, Yellow (West) Sea and return to Seoul


      • Border and beach tour of Yeonpyeongdo | During the morning we'll tour the full circumference of the island, stopping off at all the main vista points, beaches, and cultural sights. There'll also be chances to scour for some DPRK trash (*optional, due to the rough terrain of the beaches it is a potential hazard for some) and tune into its radio channels.


      • Ferry back to Incheon | A 2-hour-long ferry ride bound back to Incheon departs at 14:30.
      • Drive back to Seoul (1-1.5 hour drive).
      • Dinner at own leisure.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong or similar, Seoul (B/L/x)

    4. September 24 | Tuesday

      *DMZ and JSA Tour | Please note that the Joint Security Area (JSA) is administered by the United Nations Commands and visits to the JSA are subject to cancellations according to local circumstances.


      • Camp Bonifas | A UN command post in South Korea, 400 meters away from the southern line of the DMZ. Also home to the “world’s most dangerous hole in golf” as it sports a golf course surrounded by landmines. A safety briefing will be held here by a South Korean or American military guide before visiting the JSA.
      • JSA (*TBC) | Visit the Joint Security Area (Truce Village) from the south. It is the closest you’ll be getting to North Korea from the South side.
      • Imjingak Resort | Located on the banks of the Imjin river – which separates the two Koreas – visitors to the resort can tour an array of fascinating Korean War-related locations: the remains of the last train to cross the border at the start of the War, a gondola that takes visitors across the river, and a newly opened museum in a former U.S. Army bowling alley.


      • Odusan Peace Observatory | Located where the Han and Imjin Rivers become one just before reaching the West (Yellow) Sea and a few kilometres away from a premium outlet, Odusan Peace Observatory is one of the most visited viewpoints over North Korea. The Observatory also hosts an exhibition about inter-Korean cooperation and unification.
      • Drive back to Seoul | Drive back to Seoul arriving in the early evening hours. (1–1.5 hrs drive).
      • Dinner at own leisure.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong or similar, Seoul (B/L/x)

    5. September 25 | Wednesday

      Cheorwon DMZ Tour


      • Drive to Cheorwon Area | A scenic drive to about 100 km north of Seoul. (Ca. 2 hrs. drive.)
      • Cheorwon History Culture Park and Soisan Monorail | An open-air museum opposite the WPK Headquarters housing traditional Korean hanoks and buildings from the Japanese colonial era. The monorail takes us up to Mt. Soi where there is a former US Military Listening Site and views of the Cheorwon Plain and North Korea in the distance. The area known as The Iron Triangle during the Korean War was a site of fierce battles between the Chinese People's Volunteer Army and the US Army, and is today a fertile land and an important migratory bird habitat.
      • Cheorwon Workers' Party of Korea Headquarters | A three-story building that housed the WPK in the area was built in 1946 in a socialist realist style and was destroyed during the Korean War.


      • Memorial Tower of Baengmagoji Battlefield and Memorial Museum | The site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War that took place on October 6-15, 1952 between the UN Forces and the Chinese Volunteer Army. The hill that changed hands 24 times during the 10 days-long fierce battle was completely reshaped as a result, looking like a White Horse (Baengma) lying down. Today, there is a memorial monument and exhibition hall on site.
      • Key Observatory | Opened in 1998, the name of the observatory symbolizes its potential role in reaching national unification. Apart from stunning views of the natural beauty of the DMZ and the fences and guard posts along it; there is also an exhibition hall about the Korean War and military life of those serving in the DMZ.
      • Typhoon Observatory | Named after the Typhoon Battalion of the ROK Army the observatory was opened in 1991. Famous for being the closest observatory to the MDL, it is situated just 800 meters from the MDL, and 1.6 kilometers from the closest North Korean checkpoint.
      • Drive back to Seoul | Another ca. 100 km back to Seoul, arriving at the hotel in the evening. Along the way back to the South Korean capital we will stop at one of the 38th Parallel Markers for photos. Note that we spent most of the day north of the 38th parallel in a territory that belonged to the North before the Korean War.
      • Dinner at own leisure.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong or similar, Seoul (B/L/x)

    6. September 26 | Thursday

      War Memorial of Korea in Seoul; and Sokcho, Gangwon Province


      • War Memorial of Korea | Visit the War Memorial of Korea in South Korea and see things from a different perspective. The War Memorial of Korea features both indoor and outdoor exhibition halls containing approx. 33,000 artefacts.
      • Drive to Sokcho on the East Coast of Korea | We will drive approximately 200 km east across the Korean Peninsula. A drive that takes approximately the same time in the ROK and the DPRK; delayed by heavy highway traffic in the South while by road conditions in the North. We will stop for a light lunch (*at own expense) at one of the highway service stations. Service stations are a real treat in Korea, and the best in the World. (Ca. 3-4 hrs drive).


      • Beach walk to see electric fences and protection against North Korean infiltration | Since the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War North Korean military attempted to infiltrate South Korea. Many of these attempts happened via sea and in Gangwon Province. As a result, the Korean coast is heavily fortified – we will look at these electric fences and other means of protection.
      • Dinner, lecture, and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korean expert.

      Overnight: Ramada Plaza Hotel Sokcho (B/x/D)

    7. September 27 | Friday

      Goseong, Gangwon Province


      • Drive north to Goseong | We will drive North along the coast to Goseong County which is located north of the 38th parallel and became a part of South Korea only after the 1953 Armistice. Goseong County, like the Korean Peninsula and Gangwon (Kangwon) Province, is divided and it stretches north of the DMZ where it is spelled as Kosong County (the only province and county that is shared between the ROK and the DPRK). (Ca. 1-hr drive.)
      • Gift shop at the high-security border entrance | We will stop at the entrance of the Tongil Security Park to get our permit to cross the Civilian Limit Line allowing you time to check out the gift shop selling DMZ-themed bric-a-bracs.
      • Tongil Viewpoint over North Korea | Built in 1983 by a military unit Tongil Observatory is located within the Civilian Limit Line just a few kilometres away from the Military Demarcation Line overlooking the Kumgangsan area of North Korea. Kumgangsan (also known as the Diamond Mountain) is one of the five celebrated mountains of Korea and served as an inspiration for Korean artists for centuries. It has also gained national significance during the Sunshine Policy era when between 1998 and 2008 South Korean tourists were allowed to visit the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region developed by Hyundai. It also hosted numerous family reunion events. On our drive from the high-security border entrance to the observatory you can have a glimpse of the former customs house that processed inter-Korean border crossings.
      • Free time for lunch at Tongil Observatory | An hour-long break to grab lunch (*at own expense) and discover Tongil Security Park on your own.


      • DMZ Museum | Located within the Civilian Limit Line in Tongil Security Park the DMZ Museum tells the story of the past, present, and future of the Demilitarized Zone in four exhibition rooms.
      • Kim Il Sung Summer House | Would be a Revolutionary Site in North Korea and is also known as the Castle of Hwajinpo, the villa was built in 1938 by a German architect for the Sherwood Hall family who were missionaries in Korea; the matriarch of the family, Rosetta Sherwood Hall is the founder of the Pyongyang School for the Deaf and Blind. Kim Il Sung used the villa as a summer resort with his family between 1948 and 1950. The house was damaged during the Korean War and restored in 2005 to its state when the Kim family used it.
      • Beach treasure hunt for North Korean debris washed ashore | Being just a few kilometers away from the North Korean coast the sea washes off debris from North Korea sometimes as far away as Wonsan, some 100-plus kilometers North of the DMZ. We will go for a ‘treasure hunt’ to see what’s on the shelves of North Korean shops these days. Be sure to pack Nick Bonner’s Made in North Korea to use as a guide to identify the goods or see how everyday design changed over the years.
      • Check-in at Geumgangsan Condo Hotel | A hotel with stunning views of the East Sea and that resembles the atmosphere of the hotels found in North Korea. Please note that availability subject to local conditions.
      • Dinner, lecture, and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: Geumgangsan Condo Hotel (*A Korean beach resort targeting local tourists primarily. The hotel is a bit worn down and might be below international standards according to some – on the other hand, it is one of our favorites –, but a real treat if you want to live the North Korean hotel experience outside the DPRK.) (B/x/D)

    8. September 28 | Saturday

      Return to Seoul


      • Drive back to Seoul | Drive West across the Korean Peninsula back to Seoul arriving mid-day. (3-4 hrs drive).


      • National Museum of Contemporary Korean History | Learn about the tumultuous 1960s when South Korea was under a military dictatorship. It was also the time of the 'Miracle on the Han River' when the country transformed from a developing country to one of the most developed economies.
      • Dinner at own leisure.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong or similar, Seoul (B/L/x)

    9. September 29 | Sunday

      Ganghwado, Incheon


      • Manghyangdae | A solemn place overlooking North Korea where North Korean refugees perform annual ancestral rights.
      • Ganghwado Observatory | We'll drive to another great spot for observing North Korea.


      • Aegibong Peace Ecopark | Located on Hill 154, overlooking the Hangang Estuary, which was a battle site during the Korean War Aegibong Peace Ecopark now advocates peace on the Korean Peninsula. The area was designated as a North-South free-zone after the Korean War with accesses for both Southern and Northern fishing vessels; however, to avoid any conflicts it is off-limits for boats with the result that the park has its special ecosystem. The first observatory was built in 1978 and after a massive reconstruction, the park was reopened in 2021. The exhibition focuses on the unique ecosystem of the area and also offers a virtual reality experience to ‘visit’ the Koryo Palace in Kaesong (albeit being south of the 38th parallel, now North Korea). Up on the hill is the lookout with views of North Korea.
      • Farewell dinner.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong or similar, Seoul (B/L/x)

    10. September 30 | Monday

      Departure day from Seoul

      Our trip ends this morning. Catch an international flight from Seoul's Incheon Airport or continue to explore Seoul and South Korea independently. For tips in South Korea please contact your tour manager Gergő "Greg" Váczi.


      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Upgrade to your own room in South Korea (ROK)

      The default rooming option for this tour is shared hotel room or minbak - Korean-style guest house - (one night). Each hotel room on tour has two separate beds. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra $50 USD per night. Please note that no single room supplement is available for the one night at minbak on Yeonpyeong-do.

  • What is / is not included?


    • Two meals a day unless otherwise stated
    • Accommodation in hotel, and in minbak (Korean-style guest house) on Yeonpyeongdo
    • Entry fees
    • Transporation while on tour
    • Ferry Incheon-Yeonpyeongdo-Incheon
    • Local Korean guide and a driver
    • A Koryo Tours tour leader
    • Guest speakers


    • Optional single supplement: USD 50 per night (*Please note that single supplement is not available at the guesthouse on Yeonpyeong-do.)
    • Flights to/from South Korea
    • K-ETA or visa fee
    • Travel insurance
    • Spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of a local Korean guide and a Koryo Tours tour leader. Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ from what is advertised above. Given that many sites on tour are places of national security concerns, last-minute cancellations are also possible. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed.

    We will ensure to make the most of your days in Korea to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

    Entry to Korea

    • Please note that those nationals who do not require a visa for South Korea need to complete electronic travel authorization (K-ETA) at least 72 hours prior to entry to Korea. For details, and full list of all eligible countries please refer to the K-ETA website.
    • As of April 1, 2023 K-ETA is temporarily exempted to 22 countries/regions till December 31st, 2024. For a full list of countries and details please visit the K-ETA website. You will be required, however, to submit an Arrival Card at the port of entry to the ROK.

Please apply by 6th September, 2024.

[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
WhatsApp (message only): +44 7822 014058
Room A409, Jucai Building. No. 76 Caoyuan Hutong.
Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

中国北京市东城区草园胡同76号聚才大厦A 座409 室,
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