How to Book a North Korea Tour
So you’ve finally decided to take that trip to North Korea (DPRK) you’ve been thinking about for a while. Now what? Here’s how to book a North Korea tour with us! It’s easier than you think.
Step 1: Choose a North Korea tour
The first step is choosing your tour to North Korea! We run scheduled group tours all year round ranging from short weekend trips away to cross-country adventures covering all corners of North Korea. If you’d prefer a closed tour setting individually or with friends or family, we can arrange private tours of any length with flexible dates.
Our tours are designed to maximize interaction with the locals. Beyond the major political highlights, we can arrange everything from cycling, surfing and marathon running to Buddhist temple excursions or ringing in the New Year in Kim Il Sung Square!
Once you have chosen a tour, simply contact us by email or book directly through our website. On the selected tour page:
- 1. Choose your dates from the dropdown (see flex-date options on some regular tours)
- 2. Select your room occupancy*
- 3. Choose to pay the deposit or full amount**
- 4. Click the “Book Now” button, check your booking details, and then select “Proceed to Checkout” for payment options.
* Twin/double rate is the default and this applies if you’re sharing a room with someone. If you’re traveling alone, the single rate applies. In most cases, upon request, we can pair you with another single traveler for the twin/double rate. If we’re unable to pair you, the full single rate will apply.
** Only the deposit is required to confirm your booking. The balance becomes due closer to departure. We accept all international credit cards, international and domestic wire in a range of currencies, PayPal, WeChat, Alipay, and we even take Bitcoin!
Note: At this time we’re unable to take United States, South Korean or Malaysian passport holders on our tours.
Step 2: Complete your visa application
Once you’ve booked your North Korea tour either by email or through our website, you’ll receive our booking confirmation. The link to our DPRK visa application will be contained. The application is entirely online and you’ll need a high-resolution scan of your passport biographical page (both pages visible) and a passport-style photo ready to attach. After submission, we formally process your application for lodgement. If we require any clarification, we will contact you.
We handle the entire DPRK visa process for you and it’s included in our price. You don’t need to send us your physical passport and you don’t need to visit a DPRK Embassy. North Korean visas are separate documents that are not stamped inside your passport. We provide this visa to you in China on departure day.
Step 3: Book Your Connections to China
After we’ve processed your DPRK visa application, we’ll notify you. The next step will be booking your connections to China.
Your travel between China and North Korea, whether it be by train or flight, is arranged by us and included in our price. However, you must independently book your own travel to China.
For Beijing morning departures, we recommend arriving the night before. For evening Shanghai departures, it’s typically sufficient to arrive earlier that same day. We provide further advice on connections in our orientation materials.
We can arrange private airport transfers in both Beijing and Shanghai and can assist with booking hotels or local trains. If you need any assistance in China, we’re able to provide support.
Step 4: Get a Chinese visa
In all cases, you must clear immigration into China to meet us in Beijing or Shanghai. Depending on your nationality, you may or may not require a Chinese visa to enter China. It’s the responsibility of the traveler to get to China. There are two main options, outlined below.
Chinese visa: We highly recommend obtaining a Chinese visa. This is the most reliable method of entry into China. For most of our tours by flight or train, you should apply for a double-entry tourist visa (type L).
To apply for a Chinese visa at your nearest consulate or visa service centre, you will typically require a China flight itinerary (confirmed, not reserved) and a hotel reservation if applicable. You should provide your flight and/or train reservations with us as supplementary documentation. In addition, on request we can provide a stamp-sealed letter confirming your travel with us.
Please handle visa processing at least two weeks prior to your departure. Note that Chinese consulates often will not process applications outside of the three month window of departure.
24/144-hour visa-free transit policy: For select nationalities, there is a 24 and 144-hour visa-free transit policy through Beijing and Shanghai airport. However, we strongly recommend obtaining a Chinese visa as some travelers have had varying success with this policy.
If you decide to use this transit policy, read our guide very carefully to understand the risks, the eligibility criteria, and prepare all necessary documentation.
Step 5: Get Medical Insurance
Medical insurance covering North Korea is required for all of our tours. It’s worth checking with your current insurer to see if you’re covered. If your medical insurance covers the DPRK (most worldwide plans do), then nothing further is required. Just bring your insurance card with you on the trip in case of any emergencies.
If you are not covered, simply let us know and we’ll direct you to an appropriate insurance provider.
Note: If joining one of our ski and snowboard tours, you will need winter sports cover.
Step 6: Pay Your Balance
Your balance payment becomes due one month prior to departure. We can accept all aforementioned payment methods, and we are flexible with the payment currency.
Step 7: Meet Us in China and Begin Your North Korea Adventure!
This is it! It was that easy to book a North Korea tour with us. After meeting us in China, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!
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