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Military Demarcation Line Tour

Tour Code
Tour No: S5
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Family Friendly
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Group Discount
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Bring Passport
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Min 6 People
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Hotel Pickup

Our Military Demarcation Line tour (MDL tour Korea) takes you on an adventure through time and across the Demilitarized Zone. We get up close to the border, allowing you to gaze into North Korea and complete the tour with a range of interactive experiences at the War Memorial of Korea.

* No Shopping & High Quality.
* For afternoon tours starting at 11:00 am, a minimum number of 2 people are required to join this tour.

Free Cancellation When cancelling by 5pm the day before most tours. See Details.

What to expect

Our Military Demarcation Line tour (MDL tour) is a 6-hour escape into the DMZ. It is packed with a range of attractions and experiences containing remnants of the Korean War to give you a taste of what it was like, and is like today.

During our MDL tour in Korea, you will have the opportunity to peak across the border into cryptic North Korea and enjoy a range of interactive experiences.

The tour starts with our complimentary hotel pickup service. Simply meet your driver at your hotel lobby, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Located just 7 km away from the military demarcation line, we’ll first visit Imjingak Resort, a key area in Korean history.

We’ll then drop by a few key locations, including Mangbaedan Altar, Freedom Bridge, The Bell of Peace, the iconic Dokgae Bridge, and discover a concealed exhibition hall hidden in a wartime bunker.

View of North Korea looking across Imjin River from Odu Unification Observatory at the top of Odu Mountain
View of North Korea from Mount Odu Unification Observatory

Next, we’ll move onto Odusan Unification Tower to get a good look into the secretive North Korean state and see a North Korean Life Exhibition.

For the final stop on our Military Demarcation Line tour, we’ll head to the War Memorial of Korea (Korean War Museum).

At the end of the tour, we can drop you off at City Hall or in Itaewon. Both are central and convenient places to continue with your day.

MDL tour – Course Overview

Our MDL tour is one of our high-quality tours of the DMZ and is a great option with no shopping stops. In addition, it can also be an excellent alternative to our popular DMZ Half Day tour and JSA tour when political or military restrictions stop us from running those tours.

Let’s take a look at the highlights of this experience.

Imjingak Resort Park

A sign at Imjingak shows that the distance to Seoul is 53 km, while Kaesong is just 22 km away.
North Korea’s 9th largest city Kaesong is just 22 km away from Imjingak.

Imjingak, located just 7 km from the demarcation line, harbours a range of attractions, historical artefacts, war documents, important monuments and statues of the Korean War.

Built back in 1972, it provides an area to console families separated by this tragic conflict.

The three-story main observatory building is surrounded by various attractions, including the Korean Peninsula Peace Pond, North Korean Centre and even a small amusement park.

Mangbaedan Altar

Mangbaedan Altar is located near Freedom Bridge at Imjingak Park and is a memorial used by displaced Koreans wishing to pay respects to family members still in North Korea.

A photo of Mangbaedan Memorial which is a stone monument located at Imjingak Park.
Mangbaedan Memorial is a stone monument located nearby Freedom Bridge at Imjingak Park.

If visiting during major Korean national holidays like Korean Thanksgiving Day and Luna New Year’s Day, you may notice families visiting to perform ancestral rites such as bowing in the direction of their hometown in North Korea.

This memorial holds sad memories of the Korean Conflict and families living through separation caused by the War.

The Bridge of Freedom

The remains of the Bridge of Freedom located at Imjingak Park inside the DMZ
The remaining Piers of the Bridge of Freedom

The Bridge of Freedom was a temporary wooden bridge hastily erected to allow for the exchange of Prisoners of War (POW) after the Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953.

It was used by roughly 12,773 Korean and UN POWs returning to South Korea, crossing the Imjin River.

The bridge initially started life as a South-bound railway bridge but was destroyed during the aggression of the Korean War. With only its piers remaining, the Bridge of Freedom was then erected in its place.

The name of this bridge was said to have come from the POWs who shouted “Long live freedom!” as they crossed back over into South Korea.

Peace Bell

Peace Bell was completed in 2000 to welcome the new millennium. It was built to symbolise and pray for the peace of the entire human race and re-unify the divided Korean Peninsula.

A photo of the Bell of Peace at Imjingak taken during Autumn with colourful trees in the background
The Bell of Peace inside the DMZ

Each year, a bell-tolling event takes place here to celebrate the New Year and act as a reminder of the dreadful atrocities and damage caused by the war and encourage future peace.

Dokgae Bridge

Dokgae bridge was first built in 1906 as the north-bound railway bridge which crossed over the Imjin River. However, since being severely damaged through the war and not being used, it was decided to build a new skywalk upon its remaining piers.

It symbolises the pain of war and separation while offering an attraction that depicts the past, present, and future.

At the very end, there is also a two-floor observatory where you can see views of the foot of Dokgae Bridge, Imjin River, its broader ecosystem and the Southside Civilian Restricted Zone.

Beat 131 Bunker Exhibition Hall

Beat 131 Bunker was an actively used military bunker during the Korean War and has now been converted into an exhibition hall while still maintaining its original form.

Upon entering, you will immediately feel the eerie atmosphere that comes with such a military structure, which is indeed its goal.

On reaching the bottom of the basement, you will find a space giving the appearance of a wartime command room and a situation room. You’ll also find many military items and remnants on display, including weapons, safety equipment, communication devices and helmets containing bullet holes.

There are also interactive media experiences, including authentic sound bites and real-time video of the DMZ and North Korean villages.

Being a bunker, it’s not very spacious, so those who feel claustrophobic may not wish to enter.

Odusan Unification Tower

A woman looking into North Korea through binoculars from Mt Odu Unification Observatory
Peer into mysterious North Korea with high powered binoculars from Mt Odu Unification Observatory.

Odusan Unification Tower is located at the top of Mount Odu, roughly 118m above sea level. Situated alongside the narrowest part of the DMZ, it lies just 460 metres away from North Korea, where the Han River meets Imjin River.

There are two main things to do here. Firstly, the Observatory provides wide-ranging views from Gaeseong in North Korea to 63 Building in Seoul. Opened in 1992, it offers high-powered binoculars on the upper deck to help you gaze across the river into North Korea.

Secondly, there is a North Korean Life Exhibition, showcasing North Korean products you can purchase and depicting the everyday life of North Korean people.

The tower comprises 5 floors with various photos and computerised screens showing the stark reality of North Korea.

War Memorial of Korea (Korea War Museum)

The War Memorial of Korea is not to be missed! It is the largest globally, with military weaponry and equipment from different countries on display, including some exhibits from World War 2 and the Vietnam War.

The grounds making up this Korean War Museum also used to be the headquarters of the Korean Infantry.

A statue of soldier during the Korean War outside the War Memorial of Korea
Outside the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul

The museum serves as a national moral educational venue and was established on June 10, 1994, to commemorate the noble sacrifice of patriotic martyrs.

The War Memorial of Korea contains approximately 33,000 artefacts with roughly 10,000 on display, both indoor and outdoor. There is also a range of visual, audio and interactive experiences on offer, including the Cinema theatre, F-15K 3D experience, Operation Chromite 4D experience, Steller’s Sea Eagle protection exhibition, and battlefield experience.

Are you looking for an experience you won’t forget during your holiday in Korea? Then join us on our Military Demarcation Line tour to learn about the Korean War with interactive experiences and a trip to the DMZ.

Tour Availability

  • This tour is closed on Mondays.

Military Demarcation Line tour Itinerary

  • Hotel Pick-up (Seoul)
  • Imjingak Resort Park
  • Mangbaedan Altar
  • The Bridge of Freedom
  • Peace Bell
  • Dokgae Bridge
  • Beat 131 Bunker Exhibition Hall
  • Odusan Unification Tower (Observatory, North Korean Life Exhibition)
  • War Memorial of Korea (Korea War Museum)
  • Drop off at City Hall or Itaewon

Our MDL tour includes

  • Free Hotel Pickup
  • Fully licensed tour guide
  • Transportation to and from the DMZ
  • Entrance fees and tickets
  • NO shopping stops

Additional Notes

  • It is required that you bring your passport with you during your tour for UNC military checkpoints.

5 reviews for Military Demarcation Line Tour

  1. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Daniel Jones

    We visited Korea for 12 days, including Seoul, Busan, Osaek and Sokcho and this tour was one of, if not the highlight of our time in Korea. Jenny was so friendly and accomodation, but most of all she was incredibly knowledgable about Korean history and the DMZ and JSA. We would recommend this tour to anyone. As a number of people above have said, we booked a different tour which was not available at the time due to the Swine flu issue effecting pigs, but we were given the option of this tour if we wanted and I am so glad we did it! Actually seeing North Korean people from the Unification observatory and the evidence of the war at Imjingak were both very informative and also moving to see. Highly recommend.

    • Sophie is a member of our help desk support team

      Sophie VIP Travel

      Dear, Daniel Jones

      I am great to hear that you had a good tour with us.Above all thank you for the review of MDL tour .

      As the MDL tour was the alternative tour of DMZ tour but seems like people are enjoying this tour as well : )

      Hope you have chance to join the tour next time again.
      Regards, Sophie

  2. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Kate Fletcher

    My tour guide, was absolutely fantastic. She spoke very good english and was able to communicate very well. Unfortunately the dmz area was closed because of a swine fever quarantine to protect live stock in the area, but we were still able to see alot of other areas. If you have some time you should absolutely take this tour with VIP travel. You won’t regret it.

  3. Avatar photo
    4 out of 5

    Laura Stuart

    At first I was very disappointed to hear that DMZ has closed due to Africa Swine Fever. However, this alternative tour turned out to be very interesting and educational. Our guide Alice was fantastic and gave us a thorough history of North and South Korea. She was very professional and kind. I highly recommend this tour for everyone who was planning to take a DMZ Tour.

  4. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Tim

    Really enjoyed this tour. Moon guide was fantastic! Her stories really help undertsand the pain of the border and Korean War for Koreans. Thanks again Moon and see you next time!

    • Holly is a member of our customer support team here at VIP Travel

      Holly VIP Travel

      Dear , Tim
      Above all thank you for the review of MDL tour .

      As the MDL tour was the alternative tour of DMZ tour but seems like people are enjoying this tour as well : )
      Our tour guides are all knowledgeable with license .

      We always treat our customer as VIP .
      Thank you
      Holly

  5. Avatar photo
    5 out of 5

    Ralph Andrews

    We tried to book a different DMZ tour, but due to the African Swine flu the DMZ was closed. VIP were very professional contacting us immediately to offer a different option, or full refund. We opt for this MDL tour and are glad we did. Our guide Nancy was fantastic and it was the perfect alternative. Thank you VIP Travel. Also they don’t force you to shop like the other tours seem to do.

    • Holly is a member of our customer support team here at VIP Travel

      Holly VIP Travel

      Dear, Ralph
      Above all thank you for the review of the MDL tour .

      The MDL tour was our alternative tour due to the unavailability of the DMZ tour.
      But really good to hear that you have enjoyed the MDL tour .
      As our tour guide are all licences with several years of experiences so they could give you the informative information history of North and South Korea .
      I will pass your review to the Nancy that you have enjoyed the tour with her.:)

      Thank you
      Holly

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