"Not really North Korea..." North Korea by Ewingjr98
North Korea Travel Guide: 550 reviews and 1,757 photos
OK, I was in North Korea, but not really... While in Seoul, I made the ever-popular trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the communist north from the free south. After arriving at US Army's camp Bonifas (named for an American soldier killed by the North Koreans during the infamous "Axe Murder Incident"), we received a briefing on the dos and don'ts at the DMZ. Do act appropriately so as not to give propaganda to the North. Don't cross the border!
I returned to the DMZ in 2013, but not much had changed. Tourists still visit in droves, the North Korean soldiers still watch the tourists through binoculars, and animals (especially pheasants) retain unmolested control of the DMZ.
Then you take a bus to the DMZ town of Panmunjom located in the Joint Security Area. The center point of the DMZ are the baby-blue (UN blue?) buildings that straddle the border between the two countries. All visitors are allowed to enter the center building where peace talks are held. But be wary of the burly South Korean soldiers standing in Tae Kwon Do stances with sunglasses -- they guard the door leading to North Korea. They serve a dual purpose -- to protect visitors from the North Koreans, but also to prevent people from entering the North. While in this building, you may step across the line into the North...but only for a few minutes until your tour continues.
When you move on, you will also see the "Bridge of no Return" where POWs were exchanged after the war -- upon agreeing they would never return; and you will see the site of the Axe Murder Incident. At this spot in 1976, a US Army Captain was killed, and 8 other UN soldiers were wounded while trying to "prune" a tree to improve visibility between checkpoints.
- Pros:North Korea is a good place to lose weight, easy to choose something on TV
- Cons:No food, only one TV channel, daily beatings
- In a nutshell:This place sucks!
ُThe most impressive building on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area is called Panmungak. This gray,... more travel advice
The Third Tunnel of Northern Aggression is located near Panmunjom at the DMZ. It was the third of four confirmed tunnels... more travel advice
Ewingjr98's Related Pages
North Korea Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "North Korea - The World's Most Isolated Country"
- "Behind Enemy Lines in the Forbidden Land"
- "DPRK - not another BIG story"
- "Close Encounter with DPRK"
- "A surreal experience"
- "Not really North Korea..."
- "North Korea - Poor, but beautiful"
- See All...
- Things to Do in North Korea
- Hotels in North Korea
- Transportation in North Korea
- Nightlife in North Korea
- Restaurants in North Korea
- Shopping in North Korea
- Warnings and Dangers in North Korea
- See All...
Badges & Stats in North Korea
- 10 Reviews
- 59 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (70)
Have you been to North Korea?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in North Korea
Top 10 Pages
- Tokyo Intro, 261 reviews, 1398 photos, 27 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Tampa Intro, 283 reviews, 1243 photos, 12 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Monterey Intro, 245 reviews, 1123 photos, 7 travelogues
- Japan Intro, 226 reviews, 1055 photos, 12 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Washington D.C. Intro, 194 reviews, 902 photos, 7 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Seoul Intro, 214 reviews, 848 photos, 17 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Alexandria Intro, 168 reviews, 735 photos, 8 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination San Francisco Intro, 107 reviews, 469 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Pittsburgh Intro, 90 reviews, 470 photos, 12 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Arlington Intro, 71 reviews, 373 photos, 4 travelogues