• 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 • Pyongyang National Gift Palace • Grand People’s Study House • Mangyongdae Native House • West Sea Barrage • A ride on the Pyongyang Metro • Kim Il Sung Square • Schoolchildren’s Palace or Local School • Ryonggang Hot Spa Resort •
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 flanked 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.
Day 2: Pyongyang/Kaesong (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.
PM: This afternoon we’ll return to Pyongyang (2.5 hrs) and 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. A great chance to have interaction with the locals if you are prepared to learn basic greetings in Korean - and if you meet students get them to greet you in English! Next stop is the Party Foundation Monument - an iconic sculpture of a hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush commemorating 50 years of the Workers' Party rule. Great view to the Mansudae Grand Monument and on to the Ryugyong hotel.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
Day 3: Pyongyang/Nampho/Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel
(casual dress code for the day)
AM: This morning we start our day with a trip to the Grand People’s Study House. This is an enormous library/place of study (originally designed for the people who had missed an education due to the war) and has a great view over Kim Il Sung Square. We will tour the lecture rooms (complete with tables designed by President Kim Il Sung to aid study) and hopefully get to see a few classes. Next we drive approx 20 mins to the Pyongyang National Gift Palace. See gifts given to DPRK’s leaders from Koreans around the world. And 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 Pyongyang Grand Theatre- another chance to walk with locals in the downtown.
PM: After lunch we begin the afternoon driving along the Youth Hero Highway which leads to Nampho, a coast port city of Korea West Sea. This 10-lane highway was built by student shock brigades during the Arduous March in the late 90's. Upon arrival in Nampho we’ll go straight to the West Sea Barrage overlooking the picturesque scene- an 8km long dam separating the Taedong River from the West Sea of Korea. Then we’ll visit West Sea Barrage. It stops Pyongyang being flooded by preventing tidal surges as well as providing more agricultural land. Regarded as a great feat of engineering, the project was personally overseen by President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il. Our final destination for the day is the Dragon River Hot Spa guesthouse - a complex of guesthouses where each room has a private bath which can be filled with water direct from the hot springs - said to have many medicinal benefits. Time permitting, it is here that we can experience the famous Nampho petrol clam BBQ (costs EUR 5 per person but you can still watch for free if you don't want to have any of the clams).
OVERNIGHT: Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampho
Day 4: Nampho/Pyongyang (casual dress code for the day)
AM: After breakfast we’ll check out of Hot Spa Hotel and on the way back to Pyongyang we’ll visit a local industry at the Kangso Mineral Water factory, initially a South Korean and North Korean joint project but with the deterioration of relationships during the Lee Myung Bak presidency the major market in South Korea was closed. Next we visit Mangyongdae Native House - the native birthplace of DPRK President Kim Il Sung.
PM: After lunch we see Grand People’s Study House. This is an enormous library/place of study (originally designed for the people who had missed an education due to the war) and has a great view over Kim Il Sung Square. We will tour the lecture rooms (complete with tables designed by Presient Kim Il Sung to aid study) and hopefully get to see a few classes. Afterwards we visit the newly-opened Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (Korean War Museum). 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. There will be a chance to meet one of the sailors who was involved in the capture of this ship. Hear a first-hand account of what happened. We then 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 local people’s see as key battles during the war.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo International Hotel
Day 5: Pyongyang/Beijing
Today is departure day. The flight departs Pyongyang at 09:00am and arrives in Beijing at approx 10:00am.
TOUR FEE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
∙Round-trip airfare on Air Koryo from Beijing to Pyongyang
∙All entry fees
∙DPRK visa fee
∙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
∙Lift ticket up the Juche Tower
∙Meals will include a complimentary beer but you will have to pay for additional drinks. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements then please inform us beforehand
∙Room upgrades available – please ask for more information.
DURATION: 4 nights, 5 days
TOUR DATES: Choose your own dates. This tour departs every Thursday year-round.
TOUR PACKAGE PRICE: $1800/person