(SOLD OUT) Yanggu County DMZ Day Tour

Saturday, October 14, 2017 -
7:00am to 9:00pm
Yanggu, Gangwon-do
69,000W for members and 82,800W for non-members
Tour Leader: 
Steven Tharp


We are now taking stand-by RSVPs only.  All seats have been filled.  Will accept new RSVPs on a first come, first served basis, depending on cancelations.

Tour leader: Steven Tharp

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017, 7:00 am to about 9:00 pm

Deaprture:  The bus will depart from the Yongsan Post Office (Subway line number 4, blue line, Sinyongsan Station #429 exit 1) at 7:00 am, and return is slated for 9:00 pm
NOTE: The usual Exit 1 is currently closed for construction. Please take Exit 4 and cross the street twice (exit 1 is to your diagonal left from exit 4: taking exit 6 will take you on a long detour).
                                 There will be a map for directions in the underground passway of the Metro station. 

Price: W 69,000 for members and W 82,800 for non-members and includes round-trip transportation, all entrance fees, and dinner. Lunch is not included in the price: you can either bring a packed lunch or buy at a rest stop or convenience store while we are there.


1. Summary: The day trip to Yanggu includes visits to Dutayeon and the Punchbowl, two sites which abut the Korean DMZ. At Dutayeon, participants will be hike around the site which has both natural beauty as well as security education spots which include military equipment static displays, land mine educational exhibition and a memorial to those soldiers that died at the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War. The Punchbowl is an unusual geologic formation that received its name because it looks like a giant "punch bowl". The Punchbowl is home to Eulji Observatory in the DMZ, North Korean Invasion Tunnel 4 and the Yanggu County Korean War Memorial. Departing at 7AM, the group will spend the morning at the Punchbowl, and after lunch travel to Dutayeon for sightseeing in the afternoon. The group will arrive at Chuncheon at 5 to 6 PM for a dinner of the local famous dish, dalkgalbi, before returning to Seoul around 9 PM.


2.  Itinerary:

0700-1000 En route to Punchbowl
1000-1015 Register group at Yanggu Tourism office
1015-1030 En route Tunnel 4
1030-1130 View video, visit Tunnel 4 (or visit Tunnel 4 then view video)
1130-1150 En route Eulji Observatory
1150-1215 Visit Eulji Observatory
1215-1230  Return to War Memorial
1230-1320 View Korean War Memorial/eat lunch 
1320-1400 En route through Civilian Control Zone to Dutayeon Parking Lot
1400-1600 Visit Dutayeon sites (Waterfall/pond/cave, land mine display, Heartbreak Ridge Battle memorial marker, equipment static display)
1600-1730 En route Chuncheon
1730-1930 Dinner at Maple Garden Dalkgalbi Restaurant
1930-2100 En route Seoul

3. Miscellaneous:

There is not a dress code for any of the locations. Walking shoes and comfortable clothes are recommended for the visit to Dutayeon as there will be time and opportunity to walk the forest paths along the stream.


4. Tour Sites:

Punchbowl was the name given to the bowl-shaped Haean-myon valley in Yanggu County, Gangwon Province by UN Forces during the Korean War. The Punchbowl lies south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. North of the 38th Parallel, it was originally in North Korea until captured by UN forces in late September 1950 during the UN offensive that followed the Inchon landings and the breakout from the Pusan perimeter. UN Forces abandoned the region in mid-December 1950, during the withdrawal following the Chinese People's Volunteer Army intervention in the war. On 4 June 1951 the 1st Marine Division and the ROK 5th Infantry Division began to advance north of Inje towards the Punchbowl and the Hwacheon Reservoir. By June 10 the Marine/ROKA force had secured Line Kansas northeast of the Hwacheon Reservoir and the southern line of hills overlooking the Punchbowl. Following the breakdown of armistice negotiations in August 1951, the United Nations Command decided to launch a limited offensive in the late summer/early autumn to shorten and straighten sections of their lines, acquire better defensive terrain, and deny the enemy key vantage points from which they could observe and target UN positions. The Battle of Bloody Ridge took place west of the Punchbowl from August–September 1951 and this was followed by the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge northwest of the Punchbowl from September–October 1951, meanwhile the 1st Marine Division reinforced by the Korean Marine Corps Regiment captured the line of hills north of the Punchbowl in the Battle of the Punchbowl from 31 August-20 September 1951. Civilian security education sites in the Punchbowl include the Yanggu War Memorial, Unification Hall, North Korean Infiltration Tunnel 4 and Eulji Observatory.



a. Down the mountain and on the northwest portion of the Punchbowl is North Korea’s Invasion Tunnel 4. According to intelligence analysis, it is believed that North Korea began digging tunnels after Kim Il-sung issued the September 25 Combat Readiness Order in 1971. In this order, he stressed the need to dig tunnels through the DMZ saying that one tunnel would be more effective than 10 atomic bombs and would thus be the best means to blow through the ROK Army defenses along the front lines. The tunnels are an integral component of the North Korean military strategy of a quick victory in a blitzkrieg attack on the South. In September 1974, a North Korean officer defected in the area just west of Mt. Dora in Paju and told interrogators of the North Korean tunneling effort which led to the discovery of Tunnel 1 in Yeoncheon County on November 15, 1974. This was followed by the discovery of Tunnel 2 in Cheorwon County on March 19, 1975 and Tunnel 3 south of Panmunjom on October 17, 1978. After a break of 12 years, Tunnel 4 was discovered on March 3, 1990 within the Punchbowl in Yanggu County about 200 kilometers from Seoul. This tunnel is at a depth of 145 meters and is 2 meters high by 2 meters in width. Stretching more than a kilometer across the DMZ, it was designed to infiltrate massive forces in the Sowha-Wondong corridor, the major access route to the Yongdong (Seoul-Gangnung) Expressway. The group will view a video before walking into the Tunnel. At the end of the intercept tunnel (on a slight downgrade for about 200 meters-nothing compared to Tunnel 3 at Paju), guests ride a tram about 100 meters through the North Korean tunnel and return without dismounting.


b. Eulji Observatory is a South Korean civilian security education center located on the northern lip of the Punchbowl on the edge of the General Outpost (GOP) line which is usually also the southern boundary fence of the DMZ. It is manned by soldiers of the ROK Army 12th Infantry Division and Eulji is the division’s name (for a famous ancient Korean general Eulji Mundok, who successfully defended the ancient Korean Goguryeo Kingdom against the Sui Chinese). Photos are not allowed to the north but there is a photo area on the south side with the Punchbowl as a background. It is located in the Korean demilitarized zone about 1 kilometer from the military demarcation line. On a clear day, the five peaks of Mt. Geumgangsan in North Korea are visible from the observatory platform. ROK Army Soldiers provide briefings to visitors on the local area and answer questions but do not allow picture taking of the DMZ and northern area.




c. Unification Hall and Yanggu War Memorial co-located at the Punchbowl tour registration site and is by necessity the first stop. The Unification Hall exhibition center has two display rooms, all in Korean, dedicated to explaining different aspects of North Korean life and attempts are South-North reconciliation over the years since the Armistice was signed. On the north side (left) is a group of military equipment static displays while on the south is the Yanggu War Memorial which is a “chronological walk-through” facility with the lead up to the Korean War near the entrance and the Armistice Agreement signing near the exit. Opened on June 20, 2000, the War Memorial Museum was built to commemorate the sacrifice and heroism of those who fought during the Korean War at the nine major battlefields located in the Yanggu area: Dosolsan, Daeusan, Bloody Ridge, Baekseoksan, Punch Bowl, Gachilbong, Heartbreak Ridge, Hill 949, and Christmas Hill. The museum also reminds the current and future generations of the real cost of war and the sacrifices that were made. The exhibition hall is divided according to themes: freedom, welcoming, meeting, understanding, experience, assurance, tribute, rooftop, and contemplation. Exhibition facilities include a high-quality imaging system and a three-way multi imaging room that combines battle scene dioramas, videos, and slides. In addidtion to the military static displays, there is a monument to all of the Korean and United Nations Command Soldiers that fought in the Korean War.


Dutayeon (Duta Pond) is located on a branch of the Suipcheon stream that originates from the Mt. Gumgang area and flows through Bangsan-myeon in the Civilian Control Zone abutting the Korean DMZ about 165 kilometers northeast of Seoul. It derives its name derived from the Duta Saran Temple, which was located in this area about a thousand years ago. The water going from the miniature falls into the pond is limited but as it drops from one level to the next, it forms the shape of the Korean Peninsula. The surrounding forest provides superb scenery while the pollution-free waters provide a perfect habitat for Korea’s largest lenok (Manchurian trout) population. A 20-meter screen of flat rocks surrounds the pond and the east wall features a 10-meter square cave, the floor of which is imprinted with the shape of a comb and a horse harness. A close look at the rocks from the viewing stand to the south and you can envision a man and a woman about to kiss. The left side is the man and the right side is the woman’s face. The woman is tilting her head up and looking at the man. Even though the man and woman in love are standing apart, they convey the longing for unification just as the Korean people wish for the unification of the Korean Peninsula. The memorial to the Korean War Battle of Heartbreak Ridge is located north of the pond. Additionally, in the area between the Heartbreak Ridge Memorial and the pond is a field with outdoor modern art exhibit and military equipment static displays. The military equipment consists of artillery and armored vehicles used since the Korean War which stands in sharp contrast to the modern art exhibits. At the viewing stand to the south of the pond is a hand molded from actor So Ji-sub so that he could shake the hand of everyone who visited Dutayeon. It is on the path to the land mine exhibit dedicated to explaining about the different types of landmines that are typically found in the Korean DMZ.





Chuncheon: The group will stop for dinner at the Maple Garden Dak Galbi Restaurant along our return route for dinner. Dak galbi, also romanized dalk galbi, is a popular Korean dish generally made by stir-frying marinated diced chicken in a gochujang (chilli pepper paste) based sauce, and sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions, perilla leaves, and tteok (rice cake) together on a hot plate-known as cholpan (lit. steel plate or cooking pan) dak galbi. Another form of the dish is the barbecued dak galbi that is roasted over charcoal with spiciness ranging from plain to soy sauce to red pepper sauce. Dak galbi is a local specialty food of Chuncheon since it originated here. Because of this origin, the dish is also called Chunchŏn dak galbi.


Cost of the excursion is W 69,000 for members and W 82,800 for non-members and includes round-trip transportation, all entrance fees, and dinner. Lunch is not included in the price: you can either bring a packed lunch or buy at a rest stop or convenience store while we are there. The bus will depart from the Yongsan Post Office (Subway line number 4, blue line, Sinyongsan Station #429 exit 1) at 7:00 am, and return is slated for 9:00 pm. 

NOTE: The usual Exit 1 is currently closed for construction. Please take Exit 4 and cross the street twice (Exit 1 is to your diagonal left from Exit 4: taking exit 6 will take you on a long detour). There will be a map for directions in the underground passway of the Metro station. 

To register, click here or email the information below to royalasiatickorea@gmail.com by Wed, Oct 11, 2017


Please reserve space for the YANGGU DMZ EXCURSION, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2017 for the following:

NAME: ___________________________________ MEMBER _______ NON-MEMBER _____

NAME: ___________________________________ MEMBER _______ NON-MEMBER _____

PHONE NO: (Office) ________________(Home) ______________ (C.P) ___________________
☞We can only confirm this excursion with a minimum of 15 people. We will let you know whether we can confirm or cancel. Please make a payment only when the trip has been confirmed. Payment can be remitted to the following account: SHINHAN BANK ACCOUNT # 100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)

Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 but we are short staffed and there are meetings elsewhere often: please call or email before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796
Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

Find Us On...


Subscribe to Syndicate