The Absolute DPRK – Kim Il-Sung Birthday Special – 7 Nights

7 Nights  –  from €1580

** Our price is all-inclusive of round-trip flights from Beijing on Air Koryo. Taking the train is possible on most tours and you may be eligible for a discount. Contact us! **

In this comprehensive special tour of North Korea, join the festivities of President Kim Il-Sung’s Birthday on April 15 where a mass dance, special exhibitions, and fireworks are expected, 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 west-coast industrial port city of Nampho 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!

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Room Accommodations

Pay a deposit of 500.00 per item

DAY 1 – DEPART FOR PYONGYANG

At 10am, meet us at Terminal 2, Air Koryo counter E, of the Beijing Capital International Airport to check in (flight times to be confirmed but usually Air Koryo flights depart at 1pm). We will hand out your DPRK visas at this time.

We will then fly to Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK and home to many of the most iconic monuments and political sites. Our Korean tour guides will be meet us at the airport with a warm welcome. En route to the hotel, our guides will point out the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery with its striking monument of a bayonet before we stop at the Arch of Triumph, the world’s largest triumphal arch. From the top, we will get our first panorama view of Pyongyang city! We will then check into the Koryo Hotel, our deluxe accommodation in the heart of Pyongyang popular with local residents, foreign diplomats, delegations, NGOs. We will then have an optional visit to the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park where the thrillseekers among us can brave the rides with Pyongyang locals on a night out. Our welcome dinner will be in style at the Koryo Hotel’s top floor revolving restaurant!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: L, D)

DAY 2 – DMZ

Take a morning drive through the countryside to the historic city of Kaesong. We will head for 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. Afterwards, we will 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.

For lunch, enjoy Pansanggi, a historic Kaesong cuisine traditionally served for royalty. Afterwards, stop at the original Sonjuk Bridge, a UNESCO site. On our return to Pyongyang, we will visit the newly renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo in its new spot (the “American Spy Ship” captured in 1968). We will then enjoy dinner at a local Korean BBQ restaurant, a favorite among locals where we will cook our own meats at the table! End the night with a casual evening walk on the new Ryomyong Street, home to Pyongyang’s most extravagant apartment complexes and opened in just April 2017 to international media attention. We will then head deep underground to take a 5-stop ride on the Pyongyang Metro, the deepest metro in the world also filled with mosaics, monuments, and plaques commemorating the DPRK’s revolutionary history.we will

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 3 – KIM IL-SUNG’S BIRTHDAY

After breakfast, we will head over to 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 bow and lay flowers here. Afterward, stroll through the Mansudae Fountain Park, a serene meeting spot for students and an often used backdrop for wedding photos. We will then visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the grand mausoleum where the late leaders lie in state inside glass sarcophagi (formal dress required).

After lunch, we will visit the Mangyongdae Native House, the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. Then go walking on Moran Hill, a park place buzzing with festivities as locals celebrate the Day of the Sun with picnics and dancing! We’ll then learn about the DPRK’s defining ideology, the Juche philosophy, on a visit to the iconic Tower of Juche Idea. For those who wish to take the lift 150-meters to the top, you’ll enjoy the best views in Pyongyang city. We will also have a photo stop at the massive Monument to Party Founding, 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. Then check out the Kimilsungia Flower Festival, a multi-floor display of the flowers named after each of the late leaders which is only open during this time of year.

We will take part in the day’s festivities which will usually include an unforgettable mass dance event in Kim Il-Sung Square where you’ll even get to join and celebrate with the locals if you wish. The Day of the Sun usually also includes a fireworks display and we will be there in Kim Il-Sung Square to witness it. We will continue the celebrations over a Korean bibimbap dinner and get the chance to taste local Korean draft beers at the Taedonggang Microbrewery!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 4 – PYONGYANG AND MT. MYOHYANG

Our first stop will be the Mansudae Art Studio, the most prestigious fine arts studio and gallery in North Korea. This studio is the only one given permission to depict the Great Leaders in monuments, murals, and mosaics. We recommend getting the ink block paintings here. Then visit the Grand People’s Study House, an extensive library and the heart of study on the national Juche ideology. The viewing deck here provides a great photo opportunity of the Kim Il Sung Square and Taedong River! Then visit Kwangbok Supermarket, a five-story department complex filled with local and imported product and the only place in Pyongyang where foreigners are able to exchange and use the local North Korean Won. We will then tour the grounds and sit in on some classes at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace, an extracurricular facility for young students to further their talents in arts and sport.

We will then road-trip to picturesque Mt. Myohyang (Myohyangsan). This is a 2-hour drive filled with countryside scenery providing a great window into rural North Korean life.  Overnight will be at the Hyangsan Hotel, the self-confessed best hotel in North Korea with striking pyramid design nestled within the mountains.

Overnight at the Hyangsan Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 5 – MT. MYOHYANG

Our day begins with a formal visit to the International Friendship Exhibition, a massive complex housing the gifts given to the Great Leaders by foreign dignitaries over the years, displayed proudly in over 150 rooms. There’s even a basketball signed by Michael Jordan presented by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Take the elevator to the top floor and enjoy the mountain view and fresh air while sipping organic mountain root tea. Afterward we will see the ancient Buddhist Pohyon Temple founded under the Koryo Dynasty and which remains populated by practicing Korean Buddhist monks today.

After lunch, 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). There will be plenty of opportunities for photos here!

On return to Pyongyang, we will enjoy Jeongol for dinner, a Korean-style hotpot. Afterward, enjoy some drinks at a bar brewery beside the Koryo Hotel, where you’ll be able to come and go as you please!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 6 – NAMPHO

After breakfast, depart for the western industrial port city of Nampho. Our first stop will be the Chongsanri Cooperative Farm, part of a system of collective farms catering to the agriculture needs of surrounding communities. We will meet a local caretaker to learn of their role here, see inside their home, and also visit the impressive bronze monument of President Kim Il-Sung with local farmers. We will stop at the Kangso Mineral Water Factory, a famous name in North Korea, to get a glimpse into the workings of the local industry. Visit the Three Mausoleums of Kangso, a UNESCO site, to see ancient and original Koguryo tombs. Drive through Nampho city to see local port life go by as we pass Nampho City Square containing large monuments depicting the Great Leaders.

For lunch, we will enjoy a famous Nampho specialty, Gray Mullet Soup. Then it’s onward to the jewel of Nampho, the West Sea Barrage, a massive dam and tidal wall built in five years across an 8-kilometer section of the rough sea. This is a major achievement well known to all North Koreans and a common backdrop in official state media. On arrival back to Pyongyang, witness a performance of the Pyongyang Circus (20 EUR extra).

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 7 – PYONGSONG

Our first stop will be the Pyongyang Zoo, home to a large number of exotic animals from all over the world and some domestic animals you perhaps may find very familiar! We’ll then drive 30km to the satellite city of Pyongsong, the ‘Silicon Valley of North Korea’. Witness Pyongsong come to life as we drive through the city to the Revolutionary Museum of South Pyongan Province, a lavish multi-floor museum exhibiting the revolutionary exploits of the Great Leaders from the anti-Japanese period, the Korean War (and rebuilding), right through into present day. Visit Pyongsong Square, the heart of the city headed by two grand monuments of the Great Leaders. It is customary to lay flowers here.

After lunch, visit the Pyongsong Primary School where we will get to meet and interact with an English class (school supply donations are very welcome!), then enjoy a special musical performance. The children will be eager to show off their sporting skills to you here and we urge you to play them at Ping Pong…if your ego can handle the loss, that is! Return to Pyongyang for a dinner to remember as we cruise Pyongyang on the Taedonggang Dining Boat ($10 USD extra).

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel

DAY 8 – FAREWELL

Morning departure to Beijing. Estimated time of arrival is 10:00 a.m. local time. Please reserve any connecting flights departing after 1pm local time to allow sufficient time for immigration/customs clearance, baggage claim, re-check-in and security.

(Meals: B)

This itinerary is subject to change at any time.

What’s included in this tour:

  • DPRK visa fees and handling
  • Round trip ticket from Beijing to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
  • 5 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:

  • Private sedan transportation from Beijing International Airport to hotel (approximately $75)
  • Round-trip airfare to Beijing from home country
  • Beijing hotel accommodations
  • Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
  • Souvenirs
  • Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
  • Beer at microbreweries ($1-3 per draft)
  • Extra a la carte items incurred during meals
  • Tips for guides and drivers (please budget $10 per day per traveler)

Excluded Entrance Fees for Optional Events

Entrance fees are priced in Euros but RMB and USD accepted.

  • Elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 euros
  • Elevator to the top of the Arch of Triumph, 5 euros
  • Flowers to be laid at the Mansudae Grand Monument, 3-5 euros
  • Pyongyang circus (if playing): 20 Euros
  • Meari Shooting Range: rifle and per bullet fees apply
  • Kaeson Amusement park entrance and rides, approximately 1-3 Euros each

For more information on the booking process, see How to Travel To North Korea
See Terms and Conditions for our refund policy and other disclaimers.

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