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07 November 2016

How to get to DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone)

I went to South Korea with no itinerary in mind -- even when I was already on the plane going to Seoul from Manila! All I know are these facts:
  • Winter Sonata's shooting location was in Nami Island
  • My seatmate in the office and her sisters weren't able to visit Le Petite France when they traveled to Korea
  • Myeong-dong is a shopping district area, so I booked my hostel there (although shopping was not my intention!)
  • Korean peninsula is divided by DMZ
I planned out my itinerary on my first day right after I woke up. I pulled out Lonely Planet's Korea Travel Guide book, some travel guide brochures I got from Incheon airport, and my Ipad. I was bound to DMZ on that day, my 3rd day. It was October 1st, and I left my hostel at 6AM.

I got lost so.. delay on my arrival at DMZ imminent.

So this is How to Get to DMZ (The Korean Demilitarized Zone) from Seoul for only a few bucks!
  1. Take the Gyeongui Line to Munsan Station
  2. From Musan Station, walk your way to a bus station https://goo.gl/Zbc3rH
  3. Take the bus no. 058
  4. Sketch given to me by very helpful staff of Musan Station whom I paid a bow upon my successful return from DMZ on my way back to Seoul^^
  5. Get off at Imjingak
    You will not miss this point because it stuns from all the rest of pick-up/drop-off points.
    Walk your way from the entrance of Imjingak to DMZ Ticket Booth.

I have arrived at the ticket booth around 1PM when I purchased my ticket, I was scheduled for 2PM tour. The ticket to DMZ tour cost ₩9,200. Last schedule of the tour is 4PM, I think, I think, I'm not so sure now, just make sure to arrive early.

I was very lucky to be sat beside a young Korean man who translated every Korean instruction of our bus driver/tour guide. The driver gives instruction in Korean to its tourist to get back by certain minutes in every DMZ Tour stops. My translator by the way called my attention to stop taking pictures while we were crossing this bridge! 

The DORASAN STATION in DMZ which has no scheduled trains for now. No more direct trains from Seoul to Dorasan at the time I made my trip.
This got me teary-eyed and hopeful.


The North Korea

Right after my binoculars have turned off, there was an old Korean man who tapped me and pointed his binoculars and by that he meant "Take mine, I'm done here!!"
Yes, I walked through the stiff tunnel and back! But pictures weren't allowed folks so, there, no pictures.

What I enjoyed the most are the very warm and helpful people I encountered. From the train staff in Seoul when I can't find the right train. To the Musan train staff who went the extra mile by sketching my way to the bus station. To the old Korea man who have cheered me up from bus station from Musan up to when I found him (or he found me again) on the bus station going back to Musan from Imjingak!! He even high-fived me when we meet again^^ And also, the guy sitting beside me on the bus who didn't even waited for me to ask what the bus driver was saying but instantly translated every instruction along the way.

I am now back in the Philippines corporate slavin'. Follow me on my next adventure in Cambodia this December!
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