The Absolute DPRK – Kim Jong Il Birthday Special – 7 Nights

7 Nights  –  from €1580

** DPRK Visa and return flights from Beijing included! Taking the train is possible and you’ll be eligible for a discount. Contact us! **

In this comprehensive special tour of North Korea, you’ll join the festivities held for Kim Jong Il’s Birthday on February 16 and see 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 Nampo 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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Booking Options

Dates *

Room Accommodations

Rooms come standard with two twin beds. If signing up with a companion and sharing a room, the double rate applies. If requesting your own room, single rate applies. If sharing is requested, we do our best. But if we cannot, single supplement fee applies.

Pay a deposit of 500.00 per item

DAY 1 – DEPART FOR PYONGYANG

At 11:30am, meet us inside Terminal 2 of the Beijing Capital International Airport to check in for our scheduled departure of 14:00pm. We will hand out your DPRK visas at this time. Timings to be confirmed.

We will then fly to Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK, home to the most iconic monuments and political sites. Our Korean tour guides will be meet us at the airport with a warm welcome.

Our first stop will be the Arch of Triumph, the world’s largest triumphal arch. From the top, we will get our first panorama view of Pyongyang city!

Check into the Koryo Hotel, our deluxe accommodation in the heart of Pyongyang popular with local residents, foreign diplomats, delegations, NGOs. We will enjoy a welcome dinner in the revolving restaurant!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel

(Meals: L on flight, D)

DAY 2 – PYONGYANG

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.

Then 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, visit Pyongyang’s central square, Kim Il Sung Square, home to many of North Korea’s military parades broad internationally. We’ll walk through the city to the Foreign Languages Bookshop, the best chance in the DPRK to pick up souvenirs such as books, stamps, DVD/CDs and posters.

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.

Visit the Mangyongdae Native House, a modest straw-thatched house in a serene park setting which is the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. Pick up some supplies at the 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 begin our road-trip to picturesque Mt. Myohyang (Myohyangsan). This is a 2.5 hour drive filled with countryside scenery providing a great window into rural North Korean life.

On arrival 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 3 – MT. MYOHYANG & RETURN TO PYONGYANG

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, 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 weather permitting, optional and at your own pace. Manphok Valley is a return route, there’s no obligation to reach the peak. Views are beautiful throughout!

On return to Pyongyang, we’ll take an evening stroll on Ryomyong Street, an impressive boulevard home to Pyongyang’s most extravagant apartment complexes. Opened in just April 2017 to international media attention.

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 4 –DAY OF THE SHINING STAR (KIM JONG IL’S BIRTHDAY!)

We’ll begin the day with a special holiday visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the grand mausoleum where the late leaders lie in state inside glass sarcophagi (formal dress required).

We’ll then visit 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.

Take a stroll through Moran Hill, a central park buzzing with festivities as locals celebrate the Day of the Shining Star over a picnic with music and dancing, a great opportunity to join the fun!

Learn about North Korea’s national ideology, the Juche philosophy, on a visit to the iconic Tower of Juche Idea. We’ll take the lift 150-meters to the top for the best views in Pyongyang city! Then 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.

Look through the impressive exhibits at the Kimilsungia Flower Festival, a multi-floor display of the flowers named after each of the late leaders. This festival is only open twice a year, during February and April as part of birthday festivities of the Great Leaders.

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!

Cap off the festivities with a chance to taste local Korean draft beers at the Taedonggang Bar Brewery No. 3.

A fireworks display is often held in celebration of the Day of the Shining Star. If this is scheduled, we’ll head down to Kim Il Sung Square for the best views!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 5 – KAESONG & THE 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 military 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.

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. Afterward, stop at the original Sonjuk Bridge, a UNESCO site. On our return to Pyongyang, see the iconic Arch of Reunification built to commemorate the proposals of reunification.

Visit the Mansudae Fountain Park, a serene meeting spot for students in their free time and an often used backdrop for wedding photos. Take 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.

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 6 – NAMPO

After breakfast, we’ll then depart for the western industrial port city of Nampo. Our first stop will be the Chongsanri Cooperative Farm, a model collective farm catering to the agriculture needs of surrounding communities. We will meet a local farming family and see inside their home here.

Afterward, visit the Kangso Mineral Water Factory a famous name within North Korea, to get a glimpse into the workings of local industry.

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 return to Pyongyang, we’ll catch an afternoon performance of the incredible Pyongyang Circus.

We’ll then tour the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace, a massive extracurricular facility for young students to further their talents in arts, technical skills, and sports.

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 7 – PYONGSONG

Our first stop will be 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.

We’ll then begin our drive to 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.

Stop at the 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.

After lunch, 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. Tour 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.

Return to Pyongyang and let your hair down and show off your curveball to the locals at the retro Golden Lane Bowling.

For our farewell dinner, Korean-style hotpot at a popular local restaurant. Celebrate a great trip gone by with farewell drinks at a bar brewery beside the Koryo Hotel.

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 8 – FAREWELL

Morning departure to Beijing. Estimated time of arrival is 11:35am local time, although flight times are subject to final confirmation. Please reserve connecting flights departing after 15:35pm local time, to allow sufficient time for immigration/customs clearance, baggage claim and re-check-in. Timings to be confirmed.

(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
  • 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 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 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 1-7 EUR 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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