The Absolute DPRK – National Day Special – Mt. Paektu Charter – 7 Nights

7 Nights  –  from €1689

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

Join us for our annual trip to Mt. Paektu, North Korea’s most revered and beautiful landscape. Mt. Paektu is the most sacred location in North Korea, reachable only by charter flight making it an ultra-exclusive destination. Not only that, this tour ensures you’re in Pyongyang for National Day festivities on September 9, expected to include a mass dance event. We’ll visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone to see where Korea is divided, stay overnight in North Korea’s self-confessed finest hotel nestled away in the mountains of Mt. Myohyang, we’ll take a ride on the Pyongyang Metro and tour all of Pyongyang’s highlights such as the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the Tower of Juche Idea and the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. This is an incredibly rare opportunity to see it all. Book early to avoid disappointment, as seats on the charter flight are very limited.

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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 10:30am, meet us inside Terminal 2 of the Beijing Capital International Airport to check in for our scheduled departure of 13:05pm. 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. After dinner, 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: L on flight, D)

DAY 2 – PYONGYANG CITY TOUR

Visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the grand mausoleum where the late leaders lie in state inside glass sarcophagi. This is one of North Korea’s most sacred sites, formal dress is strictly 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.

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.

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! We’ll 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.

We’ll then 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.

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 3 – 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.

We’ll continue our journey to 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.

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.

On return to Pyongyang, we’ll 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!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 4 – 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. Stop at the original Sonjuk Bridge, a UNESCO site. On our return to Pyongyang, stop at the iconic Arch of Reunification built to commemorate the proposals of reunification.

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 5 – NATIONAL DAY!

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.

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

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 then catch an afternoon performance of the incredible Pyongyang Circus, especially popular on national holidays.

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.

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 6 – CHARTER FLIGHT, SAMJIYON, MT. PAEKTU

In the morning, drive to Pyongyang Sunan International Airport where we’ll take our 8:00am Air Koryo charter flight on a 40-seater Antonov AN-24 to the remote Samjiyon Airport (1.5 hours). On arrival, we’ll travel to Mt. Paektu, a volcano and the tallest peak in all of Korea, said to be Chairman Kim Jong Il’s birthplace.

Mt. Paektu was formed by volcanic eruption towards the third period of the Cenozoic Era and the crater Lake Chon in the center is one of the deepest (and surely most beautiful!) mountain lakes in the world. The mountain is sacred in both North and South Korea and is regarded as the origin point of the first Korean kingdom.

Upon arrival, visit and oversee the majestic Lake Chon, which measures about 384 meters in depth. We’ll have a high-altitude picnic lunch before visiting the Paektusan Secret Camp that once held the headquarters of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army and where Chairman Kim Jong Il’s Native Home is located, said to be his exact birthplace, one of North Korea’s most sacred sites. We will see some preserved items from his early years, Jong-Il Peak and other odes to the camp’s revolutionary history such as monuments and famous slogan trees.

Afterward, we will visit Samjiyon Schoolchildren’s Palace, an extra-curricular facility for children to learn performance arts and sports.

Enjoy a special dinner cooked by the campfire. Overnight will be at the Pegaebong Hotel at the edge of Samjiyon town.

Overnight at the Pegaebong Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 7 – SAMJIYON AND RETURN TO PYONGYANG

Start the day with a visit to the powerful Rimyongsu Waterfall created from the waters of Lake Chon flowing out from the ground-water zone and through the cliff.

We will then visit Chongbong Secret Camp, where military guides will tell us about this revolutionary site once occupied by Anti-Japanese guerillas. Lunch will be back in Samjiyon town.

After lunch, we will get magnificent views over Samijyon County from atop the Samjiyon Ski Resort.

Then visit the Samjiyon Grand Monument, a massive bronze monument of a young Kim Il Sung. This is the second-largest monument of Kim Il Sung in North Korea and the complex is home to other large and intricate monuments with backdrops of both Lake Samji and Mt. Paektu!

We will head back to Samjiyon Airport for our 18:00 charter flight back to Pyongyang.

Our final 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 at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

DAY 8 – FAREWELL

Morning departure to Beijing. Estimated time of arrival is 09:55am local time, although flight times are subject to final confirmation. Please reserve connecting flights departing after 14:00pm 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
  • Round trip charter flight from Pyongyang to Samjiyon
  • 7 nights’ DPRK hotel accommodations (double occupancy, 3-5 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 1-3 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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