The Pyongyang Marathon Returners Tour – Shanghai Departure – 2.5 Nights

2.5 Nights  –  from €1350

Pyongyang Marathon – April 8, 2018


Have you run the Pyongyang Marathon or visited North Korea previously and wish to return for the event without seeing the same sites? If yes, we’ve got the perfect tour for you! Between running the Pyongyang Marathon we will get off-the-beaten track and visit two different and unique cities of North Korea. First will be Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang often referred to as North Korea’s ‘Silicon Valley’ due to its abundance of science and technology institutes. Secondly, we will visit the west-coast industrial port city of Nampho, an important trade hub home to one of the DPRK’s crowning achievements, the West Sea Barrage. This tour is a great opportunity to see beyond Pyongyang!

Seats are selling fast. Book Now! Registration begins NOW and seats are selling fast! (Standard cancellation terms apply)

** Note: this tour will not go to the main sites of Pyongyang, nor the DMZ. If you are a first-time traveler, see Pyongyang Marathon 2.5N Shanghai Departure or 4N Beijing Departure. **

Approximate registration fees, to be paid in USD cash in Pyongyang (if fees change, the difference will be nominal)
RUN THE FULL MARATHON – separate registration fee of $150 USD
RUN A HALF MARATHON – separate registration fee of $100 USD
RUN A 10K – separate registration fee of $70 USD
RUN A 5K – separate registration fee of $70 USD

Almost anyone can run in the amateur marathon, half marathon, or 10K/5K alongside professional runners. There are no official qualifying times for the amateur marathon. However, the time limits to receive a registered time and finishers certificate are: Within 5.5 hours for the full marathon, 2.5 hours for the half marathon, and 2 hours for the 10k and 5k events. You can still take 3 hours in the 10k event and finish to a roaring crowd in Kim Il-Sung Stadium even though you’ve been disqualified from receiving an official time. The entry to Kim Il-Sung Stadium will close after 4.5 hours for the closing ceremony, the finishing line will be moved outside for full marathoners to register their times.

All participants will receive an official award certificate, participation medal, running shirt, timing chips, and other exclusive goodies. All winners will also receive an official souvenir and finishing shirts. Merchandise subject to change.

More information on the Pyongyang Marathon HERE


Booking Options


At 10:00pm (22:00) on April 5, meet the group at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport to check in for our 12:30am Friday (April 6) departure to Pyongyang. Approximate arrival into Pyongyang is at 3:00am. Our local tour guides will greet you at the airport. On arrival we will check in at the prestigious Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: Dinner on flight)


Begin the day with a stroll through the Mansudae Fountain Park, a serene meeting spot for students and an often used backdrop for wedding photos in the centre of Pyongyang. 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 broadcast internationally. Walk 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. Afterwards, visit the Jonsong Revolutionary Site, which includes a museum and preserved underground system of tunnels used as the wartime headquarters of the Korean People’s Army and President Kim Il-Sung himself. We will then drive 50 minutes to Pyongsong where we will have lunch at the Jangsusan Hotel.

After lunch, witness everyday life go by in Pyongsong 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 right through into present day. Then 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! We will then drive back to Pyongyang for overnight at the Koryo Hotel. Dinner will be at a local Korean BBQ restaurant, a favorite among locals where we will cook our own meats at the table!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)


After breakfast, we 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 about their role here, see inside their home, and also visit the impressive bronze monument of President Kim Il-Sung with local farmers. Afterwards, we will 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 and stop at the 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 rough sea. This is a major achievement well known to all North Koreans and a common backdrop in official state media. If time permits (and subject to availability) we will stop at either the Chollima Steelworks or Kangso Mineral Water Factory, both famous names within North Korea, to get a glimpse into the workings of the local industry. On arrival back to Pyongyang, we will take a driving tour to familiarize you with the entire Pyongyang Marathon route. Dinner will be at the hotel where we will hand out bibs and timing chips for the Pyongyang Marathon!

Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)


Wake up bright and early (approximately 7am) to get ready for the PYONGYANG MARATHON! This is the fifth year in all of history that foreign amateur runners will be allowed to run in the Pyongyang Marathon. Stretch out, lace up and pound that Pyongyang pavement! The race starts at approximately 9am and is over no later than 1pm. There is a pre-race ceremony starting at 8am and a post-race award ceremony starting at 1pm. Spectators are welcome to join this tour, as there will be plenty to see at the Kim Il Sung Stadium – local soccer/football match and runners returning to the stadium in their last lap of the race.

After the race we will cool down at the hotel and give you time to shower and rest up before we have lunch. After a well-deserved meal, it will be easy sightseeing by visiting 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. Then visit the Mangyongdae Native House, the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. 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. Before dinner we will hand out your official marathon certificates. Dinner will be at a local Korean hotpot (Jongol) restaurant, a favorite among locals.

After dinner, grab your luggage and head to the airport for an evening flight back to Shanghai. Approximate time of departure is 10:30pm from Pyongyang with arrival at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 11:30pm.

(Meals: B, L, D)

This itinerary is subject to change at any time.

What’s included in this tour:

  • DPRK visa fees and handling
  • Round trip flight ticket from Shanghai to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
  • 3 nights’ DPRK hotel accommodations (double occupancy, 4 stars)
  • 3 meals per day
  • Coach transportation in DPRK
  • Two local DPRK guides
  • One local driver
  • Admission fees (except those listed under exclusions)

What’s not included in this tour:

  • Marathon registration fee (detailed above) and Kim Il Sung Stadium festival for spectators ($28 USD)
  • Round-trip airfare to Beijing from home country
  • Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
  • Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance (required)
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
  • Souvenirs
  • Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
  • 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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