DMZ, an Ecological Treasure Trove
Bearing the pain of a divided nation and hope for peace, the DMZ(Demilitarized Zone)is a neutral zone created by the Korean War Armistice Agreement signed on July 27 1953. It expands 2km south and north of the Military Demarcation Line across the center of the Korean Peninsula. Having been a restricted area for decades, the very well-preserved natural ecosystem has become a major eco-tourism destination.
1. Imjingak & Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park 임진각 & 평화누리
This is one of the few DMZ tourism sites open to all visitors without any form of application process. North Korea can be seen from Imjingak, and various works of art dedicated to peace and unification can be seen throughout Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park.
Location: 177 Imjingak-ro, Munsa-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
2. Camp Greaves 캠프그리브스
This is a former US army base located within a restricted area. After the withdrawal of US military forces, the base was renovated into a DMZ experience site with lodging facilities. The Korean drama Descendants of the Sun was filmed here.
Location: 137 Jeoksipja-ro, Gunnae-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
3. Odusan Unification Observatory 오두산통일전망대
Only about one hour away by car, this is the closet observation deck from Seoul. On a clear day, Songaksan Mountain in North Korea can be seen. It was built to console families separated during the war.
Location: 369 Pilseung-ro, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
4. Panmunjeom 판문점
Also referred to as the Joint Security Area(JSA), this is a place within the DMZ where inter-Korea talks are held. It is one of the most visited DMZ sites and was featured in the Korean movie JSA.
Location: Gunnae-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
5. Cheorwon Peace Observatory 철원평화전망대
This observatory offers views of the central front of the DMZ and of North Korea. There is a monorail that goes up to the observatory, and a checkpoint was recreated below the observatory to serve as an exhibition hall.
Location: 1658 Durumi-ro, Dongsong-eup, Cheorwon-gun, Gangwon-do