4 Nights – from €1190
Take a break and spend Chinese New Year in North Korea on this 4-night tour. Discover the highlights with a tour of the major political sites in Pyongyang, a visit to the DMZ and even make an off-the-beaten-track visit to the satellite city of Pyongsong, often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of North Korea’. This is an action-packed tour of the DPRK not short on variety!
** This tour can be organized privately any time of year over Tuesday – Saturday **
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, 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! Afterwards, 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. Afterwards, stroll through the Mansudae Fountain Park, a serene meeting spot for students and an often used backdrop for wedding photos. We will then check into the Koryo Hotel, our deluxe accommodation in the heart of Pyongyang popular with local residents, foreign diplomats, delegations, NGOs. Our welcome dinner will be in style at the Koryo Hotel’s top floor revolving restaurant! 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.
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). For dinner, we will have Korean bibimbap in a local restaurant before enjoying some farewell drinks nearby the Koryo Hotel!
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 3 – PYONGYANG CITY TOUR
We will start the morning off with a visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the grand mausoleum where the late leaders lie in state inside glass sarcophagi (closed in May and June; formal dress required). Afterwards, take a walk in the Kim Il Sung Square, the 3rd largest public square in the world and home to many of the North Korean military parades broadcasted internationally during important holiday events. Take a stroll through the city to the Foreign Languages Bookshop which provides the best chance in the DPRK to pick up postcards, publications, posters and other trinkets that make perfect souvenirs. Then visit the Grand People’s Study House, an extensive library used to further education 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!
After lunch, we will visit the Mangyongdae Native House, the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. 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’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 then visit 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! We will then tour the grounds and be treated to a children’s performance at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace, an extracurricular facility for young students to further their talents in arts and sport.
Afterwards, we will visit either Golden Lane Bowling or Meari Shooting Range before driving 50 minutes to the satellite city of Pyongsong for our overnight.
Overnight at the Jangjusan Hotel
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 4 – PYONGSONG AND RETURN TO PYONGYANG
After breakfast, witness Pyongsong come to life as we drive through the city and into the countryside to reach the Paeksong Revolutionary Site. This is a tranquil forested area where Kim Il Sung University was relocated during the Korean War. It is now commemorated by preserved buildings, murals and monuments. Afterwards, visit Pyongsong Square, the heart of the city headed by two grand monuments of the Great Leaders. It is customary to purchase and lay flowers here. We will then have a guided tour of 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 the subsequent rebuilding, right through into present day.
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 also be eager to show off their sporting skills to you here, we urge you to play them at Ping Pong…if your ego can handle the loss, that is!
On return to Pyongyang, we will visit 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. Take a look into the DPRK’s push towards technological advancement at the newly developed atom-shaped Sci-Tech Complex. 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 follow up 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.
Dinner will be at a local Korean BBQ restaurant, a favorite among locals where we will cook our own meats at the table! Visit the Taedonggang Microbrewery to taste locally brewed Korean draft beers.
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 5 – 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.
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
- 4 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.)
- 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