Day 2: Kaesong/Pyongyang (Casual dress for the day)
AM: After an early breakfast we take a 2.5 hr drive south to Kaesong, an historical city near the DMZ which avoided being destroyed in the Korean War as it was chosen as the place for armistice talks. Kaesong was also a capital of Koryo Dynasty, 1st unified kingdom in the Korean history and an original place of Ginseng products, special product of DPRK. There is a service station halfway where we will stop for a rest. This is a popular place for tourists to take photos of themselves standing in the middle of this empty highway. Upon arrival in Kaesong we take a short drive (approx 15 minutes) to Panmunjom/DMZ where North and South Korea continue their decades old face-off. It is possible to go into one of the huts that straddle the demarcation line and actually cross over into South Korea! This is one of the few places you can take pictures of - and even with - members of the DPRK military.Next we head back into Kaesong and visit the Kaesong Koryo Museum, which is a beautiful old Confucian University, to learn about the history of the area. There is also a collection of steles and pavilions from around the area. The stamp shop here is excellent too. Lunch is a traditional bansanggi meal-up to 10 different dishes served in gold bowls.
Day 3: Pyongyang/Mt.Hyangsan (Casual dress code for the day)
AM: After breakfast we’ll drive to Mt Myohyang (2 hours) - the Mountain of Mysterious Fragrance, two hours north of Pyongyang. It is said that the air here is so fresh that regardless of how much alcohol you drink while staying here, provided you sleep with your window open you won't have a hangover the next day. Our first visit of the day is to the highlight of the area - the International Friendship Exhibition. Built in 1978, these 2 huge subterranean halls are filled with gifts to the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il presented to them by people all over the world - from heads of state to ordinary citizens. The gifts are divided into region and they estimate that if you spent one minute in front of each gift it would take over 1 year to see the whole exhibition - we will only be shown a small sample! This year, they have opened a new room showcasing gifts presented to the new leader Kim Jong Un. Then we look around the nearby thousand year old Pohyon Buddhist Temple. It was destroyed during the Korean War but was rebuilt as a working temple complete with DPRK monks.
PM: After return to Pyongyang we’ll take a walk on Kim Il Sung Square - Pyongyang’s largest square in the heart of the city. This is where the military parades pass through and the mass dances take place - you can see the podium on which the leaders stand to view these incredible displays - not even an annual event. From here we walk to the Foreign Languages Bookshop - read up on what you are seeing here and buy your gifts and night time reading and to Pyongyang Grand Theatre- another chance to walk with locals in the downtown. And we visit Schoolchildren’s Palace or Local School- a centre of extra-curricular activities for gifted children - for a tour of the classrooms with children demonstrating their talents including music, art, taekwondo and speech-making. As a finale we get to see an impressive performance by the students. In addition to the function of the building the architecture is quite remarkable.
Day 4: Pyongyang/Beijing
Today is departure day. The flight departs Pyongyang at 9:00am and arrives in Beijing at approx 10:00am
TOUR FEE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
∙Round-trip airfare on Air Koryo from Beijing to Pyongyang
∙All Hotel accommodations
∙DPRK visa fee
∙All entry fees
∙Two guides and a driver per group
∙All transportation in DPRK
NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR FEE:
∙Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
∙Tip for the guides
∙Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Revolutionary Opera, Pyongyang Circus if being staged, or a visit to the funfair
∙The lift up the Juche Tower
∙Meals will have a complimentary beer but you will have to pay for extra drinks above those provided. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements then please inform us beforehand
∙Room upgrades available – please ask for more information.
PM: After lunch we’ll be back to Pyongyang. Our first stop is the newly-opened Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum Korean War Museum. It built in 1953 right after the end of the Korean War on July 27th. In 2012 it was closed for renovation and opened again in July 2013. Doubled in size it is also the site of the USS Pueblo - the US spy ship which was captured in 1968. This was moored on the Taedong River until December 2012 when it mysteriously disappeared. Next we’ll visit the War Victory Monuments. Built on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Korean War 27th July 1993 (in DPRK referred to as the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War and the end of the war as “Victory Day”) - it comprises of a series of monuments which show the key battles during the war. Then we drive to the Mangyongdae Native House, birthplace of Kim Il Sung. And we go deep underground for a ride on the Pyongyang Metro - the deepest underground system in the world and the designs of the main stations are stunning with superb lighting and mosaics. We start at Puhung (Rehabilitation) Station, and then take the train to the next station Yonggwang (Glory). Here we get off to take pictures before getting back on the train and going through 3 stops and getting off at the fourth which is Kaeson (Triumphant Return). A total of six stations.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
• Mansudae Grand Monument • DMZ – the border with South Korea • Mt. Myohyang and Pohyon Temple • Arch of Triumph • Kaesong Koryo Museum • The newly-opened Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum Korean War Museum • Mangyongdae Native House • A ride on the Pyongyang Metro • Kim Il Sung Square • Schoolchildren’s Palace or Local School •
Day 1: Beijing/Pyongyang (casual dress code for the day)
AM: This morning we will together head to Beijing Airport Terminal 2 for our flight Beijing to Pyongyang (1.5 hrs) - the showcase capital of the DPRK with a population of approximately 3 million.
PM: Upon arrival in Pyongyang (approximately 4pm - DPRK is one hour ahead of China), we proceed through immigration and customs and meet our guides who will accompany us during our stay. On our way to the hotel we’ll visit the Mansudae Grand Monument - statues of DPRK leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il flank ed by powerful sculptures telling the story of the anti-Japanese War, the rebuilding of the country and finally the Korean War. President Kim Il Sung's statue has been here since 1972 but General Kim Jong Il's was added in 2012 on the occasion of President Kim Il Sung's 100th birthday. This is a very important place for Koreans and visitors are requested to follow the local custom and bow in front of the statues after placing down a bouquet of flowers. And we will visit the Arch of Triumph –bigger than the one in Paris. Important in Korean history as the first place President Kim Il Sung gave a triumphal speech to the Korean people after the surrender of the Japanese.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo International Hotel, one of the deluxe-class hotels, Pyongyang, in DPRK located on an island in the River Taedong which flows through the middle of the city.
DURATION: 3 nights, 4 days
TOUR DATES: Choose your own dates. This tour departs every Friday
TOUR PACKAGE PRICE: $1500/person