Even cycling, you can go sightseeing

Special way of tourism in DMZ will be introduced in 4th post! In the first, you learned about the DMZ itself, in the second post you found out all the tourism spots inside DMZ along with matters that require your attention. Last post covered 12 different courses you can choose from with special attractions of their own. Compared to the last post that covered specifics about trip on foot, this post will deal with the details of trip by bicycle!

DMZ accepts up to 300 bicycle riders, in the 4th Sunday of every month from March to November. You can register yourself as a member of bicycle club community or you can register as an individual bicycle rider. 10,000 Won per person is required as an entrance fee. If you want to rent bicycle and protections including helmet for your ride you will have to pay extra 3,000 won. Once you enter, you can enjoy the beauty of DMZ while riding a bike.

The course of bicycle starts from East Gate of ImJin Gak. And it passes through South gate Reunification bridge, Gunnae junction, North gate of Reunification bridge, Cho Pyeong Island before rest. After a short rest, you pass the Reunification bridge again and arrive at the place where you left. During this recess, water and snacks will be provided. Once you finish your ride, 5,000 won worth of gift ticket will also be given. This ticket can be used when buying Korean traditional products such as souvenirs. By paying your entrance fee of 10,000 won, your water, snack and gift card is for free.

However, if you are a beginner in riding bike, you are not allowed to enter certain parts of the course. The total length of the bike course is 17 kilometers. (Normally takes about 5 hours by foot.) And among this course around 10 kilometers is unpaved road. Before planning your trip to DMZ using bike, you have to give these notions your attention.

There are some other matters that requires your attention if you want to go for bike ride to DMZ. First, usage of protection including helmets and gloves is mandatory at all time of your ride. There are areas with wire entanglement considering that DMZ is a military area. It is prohibited for you to trespass these wire entanglements. While you are riding, concentrate on the road every moment so you can be aware of where you are riding your bicycle. You need your ID card in case you hold nationality as Korean. If you are foreigner who want to schedule a ride, you have to bring your passport with you. There will be a check point to identify yourself before you enter DMZ.

This special experience that you can ride bike in one and only place in the world, DMZ, is held by Gyeong Gi Do, one of provinces inside South Korea. For you to sign up for this opportunity, you have to sign yourself up in http://peace.ggtour.or.kr , this website. For more information regarding bike ride, you can always call +82) 031-956-8306.

Thank you for your interest in DMZ tour!


Introduction of 12 course in DMZ tour

This post will cover specific courses of tour you can choose from in DMZ tour; <Pyeong Hwa Noori Gil>.

If you want to know the general information about DMZ itself, about tourism points inside DMZ or if you want to know the matters that require your attention when visiting DMZ, you can read my previous posts regarding DMZ. First post covers the introduction of DMZ; its definition, history, location etc. Second post you will find the details of the places you would like to visit when you go for DMZ tour along with cautions when you are there as a tourist.

Pyeong Hwa Noori Gil is a road that holds the yearning of reunification of Korean Peninsula, habitat for numerous plants and animals and 5000 years’ old artiquities. This road is divided into 12 courses. Each courses take around 4 to 5 minutes by foot. On this post, I will introduce these 12 courses so you can decide which will fit you the best.

First course is the very beginning of the Pyeong Hwa Noori Gil. It starts from Dae Myeong port and ends at Moon Soo fortress. It is 14 kilometers in length and takes around 4 hours by walk. It is the perfect course for you to have a walk with your family, enjoying the scenery of sea and island.

2nd course is length of 8.0 kilometers, which will take about 3 hours and 20 minutes of walk. This course brings you as close as you can be to North Korean territory. When you walk up toward Moon Soo fortress, along the second course, you will be able to observe the North Korean region clearly.

3rd course shows the great view of Gim Po plain. This path allows you to walk through the history of industrial development, feeling the situation of divided nation. This course also has one of the biggest migratory birds’ nesting area. Length of 15 kilometers that takes around 4 hours for you to walk.

4th course starts at HaengJu Fortress and ends at Lake Park. This path is 11 kilometers and takes 2 hours and 40 minutes on foot. Throughout this course, you can catch the whole scenery of Seoul in your eyes. Its final destination, Lake Park has many attractions and relaxation areas.

5th course is 13 kilometers in length and takes about 3 and half hours. Starts at Lake Park and ends at . Here, you can see Go Yang city where technology industry and agricultural town coexists. Walking along this course will let you feel the path of development and history Go Yang city underwent.

6th course is from Chul Pan City to Seong Dong Junction. It is 10 km and takes 2 hours and 50 minutes. Here, you can feel the exotic sense inside Korea. As you pass the Chul Pan city, artificially made wet land it leads to Korean agriculture town. You can enjoy the whole view of Han River in this course.

7th course is much longer than all the courses introduced before. It is length of 21 kilometers and takes 6 hours and 30 minutes to walk. However, they offers you diversity of tourism points. They have Gyeong Gi English town, Province Cafeteria town, Heiri town and many more on its course. Since it is a long course, you will have to schedule your walk well if you choose 7th course.

8th course is 13 kilometers in length that takes 3 hours and 40 minutes. It starts from Ban Gu Jeong to Yul Gok Swamp Park. This course concentrates on the beautiful scenery of nature. If you go for JangSan observatory, you can see the Cho Pyeong Island in the end of the Im Jin River.

9th course starts from Yul Gok Swamp Park to Hwang Po Dot Bae. This takes 16.5 kilometers, 5 hours and 30 minutes’ walk. As you pass through Yul Gok Swamp Park, which is a theme park that introduce the significance of swamp in ecosystem and animals living inside it, you will reach the Juk Byeok passage. Juk Byeok Passage gives you the whole breath taking view of Im Jin River.

10th course starts from Hwang Po Dot Bae to SungI Jeon Ji. This is also one of the longest courses among Pyeong Hwa Noori Course. It is 21.5 kilometers long that takes 5 hours and 55 minutes’ walk. It is a place where the goods from South and North part of Korea were traded before the division. Since it is a long course, you need a preparation before starting your walk. Bringing drinks and snacks are recommended.

11th course is 19 kilometers long, taking 5 hours and half to finish. It starts from SungI Jeon Ji until Gun Nam Hung Su. SungI Jeon is a place where history of Goreo Dynasty (Dynasty before Joseon) lives inside. During the path, there is marvelous columnar joint cliff scenery. This looks even better in autumn with foliage of fall. If you are planning trip in fall, 11th course is recommended.

Last course to be introduced is the longest of all. 24 kilometers in length that takes over 7 hours. It ends at Shin Tan Li Station. There, you can see the iconic spot where the train stopped, with sign saying ‘Train still wants to run’. Other than the station itself, you can enjoy the walk through the famous Job’s tears (Adlay) field surrounded by perfectly preserved nature’s environment of DMZ.


The best part of DMZ tour #2

First tourism places to be introduced are Dorasan Station and Dora Observatory. Dorasan Station is located at the 30 meters’ point of Southern Limit Line. There you can see the actual barbed wired fence of Southern Limit Line and enjoy the scenery of Dorasan (mountain). From this station, you can get a shuttle bus going to Dora Observatory. This observatory built at 1986 by Ministry of National Defense of South Korea and was used for military purpose for short period of time. Afterwards, it was opened for civilians at 1987. It has lots of telescopes that allow you to see clearly until the outskirt of GyeSeong city, Songak mountain, propaganda towns of North Korea.

The very next station of shuttle bus after Dora observatory is the 3rd tunnel. The 3rd tunnel was discovered in 1978 based on the confession of refugee from North Korea. This tunnel is 2meters in height, 2 meters in width and length of 1,635meters. This is a size that 30,000 soldiers can move per hour. You can use monorail to look through the tunnel or you can walk inside the tunnel. In front of the 3rd tunnel there are facilities, exhibitions and galleries related to division of Korean peninsula. One of the must see among these is DMZ video Exhibition. There they show the history of division, scenery of whole DMZ and introduction of ecosystem in DMZ.

If you want to take a closer look, not just to the outside but to lives of North Korean people, there is Yeolsoe Observatory. It was built in 1988, 11th of April and opened to civilians. There, outside of the Observatory, you can have a clear view toward the beautiful scenery of the other side of Korea, surrounded by mountains. However, inside of this observatory, they have daily products and military gadgets of North Korea for exhibition along with introduction of North Korean people’s daily life routines. There, you can feel the pain of divided country better than anywhere else.

However, since it is military region, there are several matters that require your attention before you plan a visit to DMZ. First of all, for you to enter DMZ, you have to get a permission of entry before your visit. You have to hand in information of your nationality, passport number and your name at least 3 days prior to your visit. (For more information call 02-399-2698) There is one exception for this registration rule. When you are visiting yeolsoe Observatory, Typhoon Observatory or GyeongSoon Royal Tomb, you only need your Identification card or passport to pass the check point on the day of visitation.

Second, wherever you go, whenever it is, once you are inside DMZ, you always have to carry your Identification card. Foreigners should always carry their passport with them in every circumstance. Third, you should take pictures only in designated areas. Even if you are there as a tourist, DMZ is still a very sensitive military area. Taking pictures in certain military zones will be prohibited.

Thank you for your interest in DMZ tour and reading this post.