We had a great time with Scott who was extremely friendly and accommodating. He brought us through the army barracks and helped our dad who was less mobile as we need to cope with a child which we brought along for the tour. The drive was made even more pleasant as Scott shared deep insights of the Korean culture and history. We found Scott a very knowledgeable person and he has an extremely good command of English. We wish Scott well and will not think twice to recommend his services to anyone looking for a great tour in Korea!
Our tour experience was definitely way better than expected. Our guide, Paul and driver Moon, were so accommodating and gave us a personalized tour that I highly recommend. I've been to both the JSA and DMZ before, but learned and enjoyed it so much more this time. My kids even had fun, which was surprising because I thought it would be too serious for them but they seemed to appreciate the history.
Paul and Moon arrived early right outside where we were staying, drove us through some main parts of Seoul and gave us some general background information. The drive up north was actually very interesting and engaging. We stopped at several places but my kids most enjoyed seeing all the war machines - tanks, planes, missile systems all laid out on display in a huge field. Overall a definitely MUST-DO tour, history buffs would love this!!
This was a great tour -- a much better option than taking a bus and going in a tour group. My wife and I were driven in a luxurious minivan by driver Top and tour guide Shrek. There was third-row seating in the van in case you have more than 2 people. The tour makes five main stops: the Blue House area in Seoul with a discussion of the North Korean infiltration, then Unification Tower with a view of North Korean farmland, then a DMZ miltary base this is the highlight this is why you need to bring your passports, then lunch we had the vegetarian option, which was a yummy tofu-based meal, then the War Memorial in Seoul my wife and I skipped this because we were tired. I appreciated the fact that lunch was ready for us at the moment we got to the restaurant they called ahead. Shrek was nice and gave us insightful information without being overwhelming. The driving was high-quality. Overall, it's a great trip.
My wife and I were originally booked into a different tour that included a visit to the JSA, but due to it being closed to visitors for most of the month after we had booked the tour ended up cancelled so we chose this one instead. While we would have liked to have seen the JSA, it probably ended up being a blessing in disguise because we had a great time on this tour. Would definitely recommend!
- BJ is one of the best tour guides we've ever had the pleasure of traveling with. He was exceptionally personable, very knowledgeable, insightful and has a wonderful sense of humor. He kept us on track, informed and engaged the entire day. Just a cool guy all around and to top it off he cooks a mean duck! He could be giving tours of a junkyard and I'd sign up for it.
- The actual DMZ visit was very interesting and well put together. We were bummed we couldn't get into the JSA as originally planned, but what we did see definitely helped to make up for it. All of the soldiers we encountered were extremely nice and welcoming as well. With all the guns and artillery around it would be easy for visitors to feel intimidated but that wasn't the case at all. Both BJ and the soldiers who were tasked with assisting that portion of the tour did a wonderful job explaining what they do, why they do it and what they hope to achieve.
- Lunch was great! If you've never had Korean BBQ duck you have to try it! Not something you find on the menu in most American KBBQ places so it was really fun to try. Super good!
- The Korean War Memorial Museum was very neat to see. We didn't actually go inside but instead spent a bit of time outside looking at all the tanks, planes, ships and artillery on display. Super cool to see that stuff up close and anyone who is even remotely interested in that stuff should enjoy it.
- This will seem minor to most people, but my wife gets extremely motion sick and it is often a problem in cars during tours. However, the tour car was extremely clean, comfortable and well driven again, props to BJ.
- Getting into the JSA seems very hit or miss. It was a miss for us, which was unfortunate. But that is hardly the tour operator's fault so it can't really be held against them. Just keep in mind when booking tours that when they say it may be cancelled, they really mean it!
Our guide led us through a day that was one of the most unique experiences in our lives. As Americans in this time of immature 'saber rattling by American and North Korean heads of state that only raises fear and does not move to peaceful resolution, it was a life changing experience to stand at the DMZ in conversation with South Korean Army officers learning more about this war that after 64 years has not yet ended. We trust that compassion, wisdom and patience will one day end the war and need for a DMZ and bring peace and reunification to the Korean people. I recommend this experience to every American who travels to Korea.Thank you.