6.5 Nights – from €1480
** DPRK Visa and return flights to Pyongyang included! **
In this comprehensive special tour of North Korea, be there during May Day (International Workers’ Day) festivities including a mass dance and witness absolutely everything from the political sites of Pyongyang to the historical city of Kaesong, the serenity of Mt. Myohyang, right over to the east-coast port city of Wonsan and even Pyongsong, often referred to as North Korea’s ‘Silicon Valley’. This will be one life-changing week sure to satisfy the curiosity you have in this fascinating country!
THURSDAY – DEPART FOR PYONGYANG
Option 1: Depart from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
At 11:30am on Thursday, meet us inside Terminal 2 of the Beijing Capital International Airport to check in for our scheduled departure of 02:00pm (14:00). We will hand out your DPRK visas at this time. Timings to be confirmed.
Option 2: Depart from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
At 08:00pm (20:00) on Thursday, meet the group at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport to check in for our 10:35pm departure to Pyongyang. Approximate arrival into Pyongyang is at 01:55am (Friday). Timings to be confirmed.
Our Korean tour guides will greet us on arrival at the airport. On arrival we will check in at the prestigious Koryo Hotel.
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
(Meals: Dinner on flight)
DAY 1 – PYONGYANG CITY TOUR
Begin the day with a visit to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, an elaborate museum depicting the Korean people’s fight against foreign invaders. We’ll have a guided tour of the war remnants, exhibits, and dioramas and learn about the Korean war from the North Korean perspective. We’ll also board the USS Pueblo, the “American Spy Ship” captured in 1968.
Visit the Grand People’s Study House, North Korea’s national library and the heart of study on the revolutionary Juche ideology. Check out the local intranet, visit the music appreciation room and flick through a handful of the up-to 30 million books said to be available here!
After lunch, tour the Mansudae Art Studio, the most prestigious fine arts studio and gallery in North Korea, the only studio given permission to depict the Great Leaders in monuments, murals and mosaics.
Stroll through a park to the Mangyongdae Native House, a modest straw-thatched house in a serene park setting which is the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. Take a look through Kwangbok Department Store, a five-story department complex filled with local and imported products. It’s one of only two places in Pyongyang where tourists can exchange and use the local North Korean Won.
We’ll visit the Tower of the Juche Idea to learn about North Korea’s national ideology, the Juche philosophy, and take the lift 150-meters to the top for the best views in Pyongyang city! Visit the Party Foundation Monument, built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea, recognizable by the communist hammer and sickle but with an added North Korean twist.
We’ll then get the chance to taste local Korean draft beers at the Taedonggang Bar Brewery No. 3.
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 2 – MAY DAY!
Our first stop will be the Mansudae Grand Monument, an important site famous for its large, bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il. It is customary to visit the monument on important holidays to bow and lay flowers. Today is May Day, and we expect to see join large numbers of locals here!
Visit the Mansudae Fountain Park, a serene meeting spot for students in their free time and an often used backdrop for wedding photos.
We’ll then visit Pyongyang’s central square, Kim Il Sung Square, home to many of North Korea’s military parades broad internationally. Take a city walk with a stop at the Foreign Languages Bookshop, the best chance in the DPRK to pick up souvenirs such as books, stamps, DVD/CDs and posters.
We’ll then head to Mt. Taesong, where every year on May Day there are folk activities such as music performances, sports, and games enjoyed by families on their day off. This is a great chance to interact and a lot of fun!
Enjoy lunch at the Okryu Restaurant on the banks of the Taedong River, where the specialty is Pyongyang Cold Noodles, the most famous dish in North Korea.
After lunch, visit Moran Hill, a central park buzzing with festivities as locals celebrate May Day over a picnic with music and dancing, a great opportunity to join the fun!
Head deep underground to take a 5-stop ride on the Pyongyang Metro, the deepest metro in the world and filled with mosaics, monuments, and plaques commemorating the DPRK’s revolutionary history. We’ll alight at Kaeson Station and visit the Arch of Triumph, the world’s largest triumphal arch.
As part of today’s festivities, we’ll attend an unforgettable student Mass Dance event held in Pyongyang. Join in the dancing celebration for yourself, the sea of colour makes for magnificent photos!
We’ll then begin driving to the historic city of Kaesong for overnight.
Overnight at the Chanamsan Hotel.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 3 – KAESONG & THE DMZ
Our day begins with a walk through the historical Kaesong city where we’ll pass the South Gate en route to Janam Hill. At the peak, visit the grand monuments of the Great Leaders before getting a breathtaking view over the Kaesong Old Town. Kaesong was left largely untouched during the Korean War and its traditional dwellings still stand.
Head to the DMZ where we’ll hear from our guides a perspective of the Korean War that often gets discredited or unheard. At the DMZ, explore Panmunjom, shake hands at the exact place that the Armistice Agreement was signed between UN forces and the DPRK, and wave hello to the South at the blue houses in the Joint Security Area.
For lunch, enjoy pansanggi, a memorable Kaesong cuisine dished up in brass bowls, traditionally served for royalty.
Head to the Koryo History Museum, a UNESCO site, to learn about the Koryo Dynasty (where the name Korea originates). You’ll also have a chance to pick from the most varied range of postcards in the country at the Koryo Stamp Shop.
On our return to Pyongyang, stop at the Arch of Reunification, a massive monument spanning both sides of the motorway.
We’ll then visit the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park, where the thrill-seekers among us can brave the rides with Pyongyang locals on a night out!
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 4 – PYONGSONG & MT. MYOHYANG
This morning we’ll drive the city of Pyongsong. Pyongsong is often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of North Korea due to its role as a major hub for science and technology research.
We’ll first visit Konji-Ri Revolutionary Site, a covert site hidden in the hills that was once the headquarters to the Korean People’s Army during the Korean War.
Drop in on an English class at Pyongsong Primary School where we will get to meet and interact with the students (school supply donations are very welcome!) The students here will also be eager to show off their sporting skills against you! We’ll then visit Pyongsong Square, the central square of the city headed by two grand monuments of the Great Leaders. It is customary to lay flowers here.
After lunch, we’ll drive onwards to Mt. Myohyang, one of North Korea’s most celebrated mountains.
we’ll join the scenery as we hike the Manphok Valley trail, an area popular with picnicking locals and filled with dense forest, waterfalls and temples with great views. Bring comfortable shoes. All hiking is optional and at your own pace. Manphok Valley is a return route, there’s no obligation to reach the peak. Views are beautiful throughout!
We’ll then check in to the Hyangsan Hotel, North Korea’s self-confessed best hotel, with striking pyramid design nestled within the mountains. The facilities here are world-class with amenities including swimming pool, spa and massage facilities, barber and a bar with pool tables and ping pong!
Overnight at the Hyangsan Hotel
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 5 – MT. MYOHYANG
Our day begins with a visit to the International Friendship Exhibition, a massive complex housing the gifts given to the Great Leaders by foreign dignitaries. Gifts are displayed in over 150 rooms, everything from gem-encrusted swords to tea sets, bullet-proof vehicles and basketballs signed by NBA stars Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman.
We’ll then visit the ancient Pohyon Buddhist Temple founded under the Koryo Dynasty and which remains active with practicing Korean Buddhist monks today.
After lunch, we’ll return to Pyongyang and visit the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace, a massive extracurricular facility for young students to further their talents in arts, technical skills, and sports.
Dinner will be aboard the Taedonggang Dining Boat! Enjoy views of Pyongyang’s most iconic landmarks and an upbeat performance as we cruise the river Taedong.
Overnight Koryo Hotel
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 6 – WONSAN
This morning, we’ll depart for the east coast port city of Wonsan. The countryside scenery becomes increasingly mountainous on the east, and we’ll pass through no less than 22 tunnels on our journey! There will be a rest stop at the Sinpyong Tea House for coffee or tea in the fresh mountain air.
After arriving into Wonsan city, we’ll walk between dozens of fishermen to the Jangdok Islet where you can buy seafood that was caught just seconds ago by local vendors. The view back of the Wonsan city skyline is fantastic here. Lunch will be at a local seafood restaurant.
Walk in the sea breeze along the Wonsan city docks to Wonsan Square, the heart of the city with grand bronze monuments to the Great Leaders. We’ll then visit the Wonsan Revolutionary Site, a railway museum with historic relevance to Kim Il Sung’s victory over Japanese colonial rule.
Drive seafront to Wonsan’s yellow sandy beaches to the Songdowon International Children’s Camp, a typical socialist-style summer camp where we’ll have a guided tour of the facilities.
We’ll then drive to our overnight accommodation, the extravagant Masikryong Hotel inside the Masikryong Ski Resort complex, built at the order of Marshal Kim Jong Un in 2013.
Overnight at the Masikryong Hotel
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 7 – MASIKRYONG AND RETURN TO PYONGYANG
Wake in the mountains and watch the sunrise from your private balcony before enjoying a hearty breakfast made with locally sourced ingredients. Before we depart, we will take the Masikryong ski lift or cableway to the near 1400m peak for an incredible morning view over the untouched mountain ranges. The ski lift or cableway is optional and there is a $15 USD fee to be paid on the spot.
We will then drive to the stunning Ullim Waterfall discovered relatively recently by the Korean People’s Army, a waterfall you’ll hear well before you see! If it’s a nice day we will enjoy a picnic lunch here. Feel free to throw our frisbees around, it’s a great way to interact with the locals.
After a stop for tea or coffee, we’ll continue to the Tomb of King Tongmyong, a UNESCO site with unique wall paintings showcasing the Buddhist influence of this time.
On return to Pyongyang, we’ll visit the Koryo Stamp Museum, a great place not only for stamps but any last-minute souvenirs.
Grab your luggage and head to the airport for an evening flight back to Shanghai. Approximate time of departure is 7:55pm from Pyongyang with arrival at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 9:35pm. Please reserve connecting flights departing after 01:30am local time (+1 day), to allow sufficient time for immigration/customs clearance, baggage claim and re-check-in. Timings to be confirmed.
(Meals: B, L, D on flight)
RETURN TO SHANGHAI PUDONG AT 19:55 ON THURSDAY NIGHT
This itinerary is subject to change at any time.
What’s included in this tour:
- DPRK visa fees and handling
- Round trip ticket from Shanghai to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
- 7 nights’ DPRK hotel accommodations (double occupancy, 4 stars)
- Meals as indicated
- Coach/car transportation in DPRK
- Two local English-speaking Korean guides
- One local driver
- Admission fees (except those listed under exclusions)
What’s not included in this tour:
- Round-trip airfare to Shanghai from home country
- Shanghai hotel accommodations
- Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
- Travel and medical insurance
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
- Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
- Beer at microbreweries (1-3 EUR per mug)
- Extra a la carte items incurred during meals
- Tips for guides and drivers
EXCLUDED ENTRANCE FEES FOR OPTIONAL EVENTS
Entrance fees are priced in EUR but RMB and USD accepted.
- Elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 EUR
- Elevator to the top of the Arch of Triumph, 5 EUR
- Flowers to be laid at the Mansudae Grand Monument, 3-5 EUR
- Pyongyang circus (if playing): 20 EUR
- Taedonggang Dining Boat: 10 USD
- Meari Shooting Range: rifle and per bullet fees apply
- Kaeson Amusement park entrance and rides, approximately 1-3 Euros each