The Gangwon side of the DMZ is worth a visit if you're bored one weekend. The drive from Sokcho is pretty good, it's just straight the whole way. I went during Seollnal so it was pretty quiet. To get there, you do need your own transport. There's no option to get there by bus.
At first, I drove all the way to the check gate. I got sent back because I had to purchase a ticket first and go at a certain time. So, if you drive and you go through a tunnel, you went too far.
There's a right turn just before the lights at the tunnel which says DMZ! It's pretty easy to miss, so don't worry if you miss it. They're pretty chill about it.
You go, pay for your ticket for parking, then fill out a form and pay for your actual tickets. They give you a set time to leave by. Once at the check gate, they give you various signs to put on your dashboard. There's no photographs from the check point until you get to the car park. Also, you can't stop anywhere in-between!
At the observatory, you can see right across to North Korea. We questioned the legitimacy of it though. It looked pretty close. According to online information, the shortest distance is 16km to North Korea.
The photo above shows the view from the observatory. Those mountains you see in the foreground belong to North Korea. Pretty crazy! They could easily shoot from there if they wanted to.
The weather was pretty good so, it was really clear and we could see the mountain peaks clearly.
There's a giant buddha sits facing the North. It symbolises the hope for unification in the future.
There were various war planes on show too. There are also exhibition halls in the area too, which you can see at your own pleasure.
Cost per person was 3,000 won and 4,000won extra for the car.
It's definitely worth a visit. It's nice not being confined to a tour group like the 3rd infiltration tunnel on the Seoul side.