Tourists are increasing in the Munsan Jayu Market in Paju City, Gyeonggi Province. Their visit is aimed at reaching North Korea through the “DMZ Tunnel Tour”, which is being operated here since April 2015.
The Munsan Jayu Market, which presents a new paradigm of the traditional market, is now moving beyond the traditional market of Gyeonggi province to become a representative traditional Korean market.
The Munsan Jayu Market, which was transformed into a combination of traditional markets and tourist attractions by utilizing the geographical characteristics of Paju than the traditional market image of ‘old culture’, the market sales increased by 50% while DMZ tours were operated.
The number of tourists using the DMZ tour in October was 23,000. Except for Monday and public holidays, it operates twice a day from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm every Tuesday to Sunday. On average, 50 to 60 tourists a day are used, and many young people visit on weekends and vacations.
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To participate in free DMZ tour, people must bring their receipt for at least 10,000 won(about $9) per person and submit it to the reception desk at the front of the steel frame parking lot at least 20 minutes before the departure of the tour. It is essential to bring an identification card as it is security tourism. The tour takes about 3 hours with Dorasan observatory, the 3rd tunnel, Dorasan station.
Kim Jin-ha, the chairman of the Munsan Jayu market traders’ association, said, “The tour of the DMZ has played a major role in bringing the unique characteristics of the Munsan Jayu market together with the rise in market sales.” In response to customers’ expectation, we are planning to install additional military zones in mid-November so the market will be a popular tourist attraction in Paju”
In the Munsan Jayu Market, there is a ‘Unification pavilion’ with a photo zone and a resting room in the background of Panmunjom. It is the only resting place in Korea surrounded by transparent glass windows in the market. The market will set up three virtual reality (VR) experience machines on one side of the unification pavilion and will operate the ‘Military Zone’ from the middle of this month.
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