October 8 - October 17 2023

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

9 nights along the
DMZ in South Korea

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

From 2,595 USD per person

Please apply by 15th September, 2023.

Tour closed for bookings Tour Details

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

9 nights along the
DMZ in South Korea

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

From 2,595 USD per person

  • Overall

    Whilst we cannot travel to the DPRK since January 2020; after our successful inaugural tour in 2022, we are once again happy to be able to promote a tour to Korea led by Greg Váczi.

    Greg (who ran twenty-six of our groups to North Korea before the pandemic) lived and studied the Korean language full-time in Seoul for two years. He also completed a long study course in Korean at a university in Pyongyang, North Korea.

    We strongly recommend him as both a Korean language and Korean history and culture expert.

    His tour 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.

    Highlights

    • See close-up a handful of 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. October 8 | Sunday

      Arrival Day in Seoul

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Seoul.

      PM

      • 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: Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro, Seoul (x/x/D)

    2. October 9 | Monday

      Incheon and Yeonpyeongdo, Yellow (West) Sea

      AM

      • 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.

      PM

      • Ferry to Yeonpyeongdo | An approximately 2 hours 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. October 10 | Tuesday

      Yeonpyeongdo, Yellow (West) Sea and return to Seoul

      AM

      • 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.

      PM

      • Ferry back to Incheon | A 2-hours 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: Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro, Seoul (B/L/x)

    4. October 11 | Wednesday

      *DMZ and JSA Tour | Please note that the Joint Security Area (JSA) is administered by the United Nations Commands and visits to the JSA is subject to cancellations according to local circumstances. Due to recent events at the JSA all tours are suspended until further notice.

      AM

      • 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.

      PM

      • 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 co-operation 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: Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro, Seoul (B/L/x)

    5. October 12 | Thursday

      Cheorwon DMZ Tour

      AM

      • Drive to Cheorwon Area | A scenic drive to about 100 km north of Seoul. (Ca. 2 hrs. drive.)
         
      • Seungni (Victory) Observatory | The observatory is the centre of the 240 kilometres Military Demarcation Line and probably the closest point to North Korea civilians can get to apart from the JSA. You can see military outposts, lines of defence, and if lucky (!?) Korean People’s Army soldiers. Kumgangsan Railroad, Gwangsam Plain, and Achim-ri town is alos visible from here.
         
      • Lunch at Goseokjeong National Tourist Area | A scenic spot in Cheorwon that is the starting point for the DMZ tours in this area also know as the Iron Triangle Battlefield.

      PM

      • Second Infiltration Tunnel | The Second Tunnel of Aggression is one of four known tunnels built by North Korea running from north to south. Visitors can take a tour of this tunnel.
         
      • Cheorwon Peace Observatory | Approachable by the Cheorwon Peace Monorail this observatory offers views of North Korea (Seonjeon town), the DMZ, and Cheorwon Plain. The observatory also houses an exhibition hall.
         
      • Woljeong-ri Station | The last railway station on the Southern side of DMZ on the now defunct Gyeongwon (Seoul-Wonsan) Line. There is also wreck of a North Korean train that was bombed by the UN forces during the Korean War. The former railway station at Wonsan Railway Station Revolutionary site in North Korea was on the same railway line.
         
      • Cheorwon Workers' Party of Korea Headquarters | A tree-storey building that housed the WPK in the area was built in 1946 in 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.
         
      • Drive back to Seoul | Another ca. 100 kms back to Seoul, arriving at the hotel in the evening.
         
      • Dinner at own leisure.

      Overnight: Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro, Seoul (B/L/x)

    6. October 13 | Friday

      War Memorial of Korea in Seoul and Sokcho, Gangwon Province

      AM

      • 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).

      PM

      • 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 into 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 Korea expert.

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

    7. October 14 | Saturday

      Goseong, Gangwon Province

      AM

      • Drive north to Goseong | We will drive North along the coast to Goseong County that is located north of the 38th parallel and became a part of South Korea only after the 1953 Armistice. Goseong Conuty, 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 know as the Diamond Mountain) is one of the five celebrated mountains of Korea and served as an inspiration for Korean artists for century. 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 high-security border entrance to the observatory you can gave 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.

      PM

      • 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 kilometres away from the North Korean coast the sea washes off debris from North Korea sometimes as far away as Wonsan some 100 plus kilometres 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 is 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 favourite –, but a real treat if you want to live the North Korean hotel experience outside the DPRK.) (B/x/D)

    8. October 15 | Sunday

      Return to Seoul

      AM

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

      PM

      • National Museum of Contemporary Korean History | Learn about the tumultuous 1960s when South Korea was under a military dictatorship. It's 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: Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro, Seoul (B/L/x)

    9. October 16 | Monday

      Ganghwado, Incheon

      AM

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

      PM

      • Aegibong Peace Ecopark | Located on Hill 154, overlooking the Hangang Eastuary, that was a battle site during the Korean War Aegibong Peace Ecopark now advocates peace on the Korean Peninsula. The area was desingnated as North-South free-zone after the Korean with an accesses for both Southern and Northern fishing vessels; however, to avoid any conflicts it is off-limits for boats with the result that the parks has it’s own 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: Travelodge Myeongdong Euljiro, Seoul (B/L/D)

    10. October 17 | Tuesday

      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.

      (B/x/x)

      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?

    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

    NOT INCLUDED

    • 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 and COVID-19 preventive measures

    • 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.
    • There are no COVID-19 requirements at present for entry to Korea.
    • Quarantine COVID19 Defence (Q-Code) registration is no longer required effective July 15th, 2023.
    • Starting January 30, 2023, masks are no longer required indoors. However, masks will be required at facilities susceptible to infectious disease and recommended on public transportation and at tourist attractions. We encourage our travelers to follow local customs even if there is no legal requirement to wear masks indoors.

Please apply by 15th September, 2023.

Tour closed for bookings Contact us Free Guidebook

[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
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,
邮编:100027
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