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In this comprehensive 8-day tour to North Korea, you’ll see absolutely everything from the political sites of Pyongyang such as the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum to the rugged countryside mountains of Mt. Myohyang and pristine beaches of the east coast port city of Wonsan! You’ll even get a chance to visit Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang which has been recently open in 2013. Of course, no visit to North Korea would be complete without a visit to the DMZ dividing North and South Korea and we will do so a day-trip that includes other historic UNESCO sites! This will be one life-changing week sure to satisfy your curiosity in this fascinating country!
***NOTE: Our price is inclusive of train ticket Beijing - Pyongyang via Dandong AND flight ticket Pyongyang - Beijing on Air Koryo. This tour can be organized privately any time of year upon request.
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Day 01: Train Beijing – Dandong
Our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel (in inner Beijing city) then transfer you to the Beijing train station.
Receive the train ticket for your 9-day North Korea Tour, then attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities while travelling in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. A proper briefing is an essential part of any trip to North Korea.
After that, we will provide you with assistance with the boarding the overnight train to Pyongyang stop en route in Dandong. Your North Korea Trip has already begun.
Overnight Sleeper Train
Day 02: Dandong – Pyongyang Arrival
The train arrives into Dandong train station in the morning. You have some hours free before continue boarding another train to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea (DPRK). The train is supposed to departs at 10 am then arrives at 5.30 pm. A lunch box is provided on train.
Arrive into Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK and home to many of the most iconic monuments and political sites, you will be met by our Asia Senses Korean tour guides with a warm welcome, then transferred to the city. En route to the hotel, our guides will point out the Arch of Triumph, the world’s largest triumphal arch.
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. Stroll through the Mansudae Fountain Park, a serene meeting spot for students and an often used backdrop for wedding photos.
Optional: If the time permits, 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. Entrance and rides, approximately 1-3 Euros each.
We will then check into then spend time for refreshment. Enjoy our welcome dinner at the local restaurant then overnight at the hotel!
If you day coincides Thursday or Sunday, start your North Korea tour this morning with a visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the grand mausoleum where the late leaders lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men are required collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women required covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes.
Note: The Palace is open on Thursday and Sunday; and closed during May - June period.
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.
Stroll in relaxed manner 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 and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung, a traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding. We will then head deep underground to take a 5-stop ride on the Pyongyang Metro, the deepest metro in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
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. (Optional; elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
We will also have a photo stop at the massive Monument to Party Founding, built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea, featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
Take a one hour circus show including clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, and much more at the incredible Pyongyang Circus. (Optional; 20 EUR entry fee paid at the door).
Afterwards, pay a visit to either Golden Lane Bowling or Meari Shooting Range and 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.
For dinner, we will have Korean bibimbap and get the chance to taste local Korean draft beers at the Taedonggang Microbrewery.
In the morning, enjoy a 2.5 hour drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' 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. Your travel to North Korea is not complete without a visit to this historic place.
At the DMZ, explore Panmunjom Armistice Village, shake hands at the exact place that the Armistice Agreement was signed between UN forces and the DPRK in 1953, and wave hello to the South at the blue houses in the Joint Security Area. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
Afterwards, we will head to the Koryo History Museum or Kaesong Koryo Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage 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 stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more in the country at the Koryo Stamp Shop.
For lunch, enjoy Pansanggi, a historic Kaesong cuisine traditionally served for royalty. It is made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Afterwards, stop at the original Sonjuk Bridge, a UNESCO site.
On our return to Pyongyang, visit the newly renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo in its new spot (the “American Spy Ship” captured in 1968).
Then enjoy dinner at a local Korean BBQ restaurant, a favorite among locals where we will cook our own meats at the table!
Begin the new day with the visit to 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.
The next place is the Grand People’s Study House, an extensive library 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!
Depart to the mining city of Pyongsong. This satellite city of Pyongyang was opened for the foreign visitors in 2013. Visit the Pyongsong Central Square where houses a giant bronze statue of a young Kim Il Sung and a history museum with the party symbol in between the slogan "One United People's Heart", followed by the Paeksongri Revolutionary Site where the Kim Il Sung University was moved to in the Korean War.
After lunch, stop at the Pyongsong Number 1 High School, Kim Jong Suk high school. The school's headmaster will show us around the school where we will be able to join in a lesson and interact in English with the students as there tend to be extra lessons on Saturdays. If the time permits, we will visit the Paeksong Food Factory or Taedonggang Textile Factory, a rare chance to see a DPRK factory.
Continue to the picturesque Mt. Myohyang (Myohyangsan). This will be a 1.5 hour drive filled with beautiful scenery, providing a great look at what life is like outside of the capital. Check-in hotel then spend time for refreshment.
After breakfast, we will visit the International Friendship Exhibition, a massive complex containing the gifts given to the Great Leaders by foreign dignitaries over the years, displayed proudly in over 150 rooms. There’s even a basketball signed by Michael Jordan presented by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Take the elevator to the top floor and enjoy the mountain view and fresh air while sipping organic mountain root tea.
Then visit the ancient Buddhist Pohyon Temple, founded under the Koryo Dynasty and remains populated by practicing Korean Buddhist monks.
After lunch, hike the Manphok Valley Trail. This area is popular with picnicking locals and filled with dense forest, waterfalls and temples with great views (bring comfortable shoes; all hiking is optional and at your own pace). There will be plenty of opportunities for photos here!
Return to the capital and 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. If your energy allows, visit Science and Technology Centre, a newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike.
For dinner, visit South Pyongyang’s famous Duck Barbecue Restaurant, where you can grill your own meats or have Jeongol, a Korean-style hotpot at a local restaurant.
This morning, depart for the east cost port city of Wonsan. En route, stop at the Sinpyong Tea House for coffee or tea in the fresh mountain air.
Optional: Upon arrival at the Masikryong Ski Resort complex, have a quick tour of the grounds. The hotel complex was built at the order of Marshal Kim Jong-Un in 2013.
After lunch, drive 40 minutes into the city of Wonsan and have a guided tour of the Revolutionary Sites that played a prominent role in the fight against Japanese occupation and the Korean War. We will also get a tour of the Wonsan University of Agriculture, touted as the top institution for agricultural development in the country.
Visit the Wonsan City Docks which includes a central square and bronze monuments to the Great Leaders. Walk along the pier between dozens of fisherman to the Jangdok Islet where you can buy seafood that was caught just seconds ago by local vendors. We will get a picturesque view of the Wonsan skyline from here.
Enjoy a city leisurely stroll through Wonsan before settling in for dinner at a local seafood restaurant.
Wake in the mountains and watch the sunrise from your private balcony before enjoying a hearty breakfast made with locally sourced ingredients. Before leaving back for Pyongyang capital, you can take the new Masikryong ski lift to the peak for an incredible morning view over the untouched mountain ranges.
Note: The ski lift is optional and the fee a $15 fee to be paid at the ski lift.
On the way back to Pyongyang, halt for a quick visit to the stunning Ullim Waterfall discovered relatively recently by the Korean People’s Army. It’s a waterfall you will hear well before you see. If it’s a nice day, you can enjoy a picnic lunch here.
Watch North Korean countryside life go by as we head back to Pyongyang. Upon arrival, you will be treated to a dinner on the new full service ferry, Mujigae, docked on the Taedong River across from the Juche Tower.
The Absolute North Korea Tour wraps up today. This morning, you will be transferred by our guides and driver to Pyongyang Sunan International Ariport to catch the flight back to Beijing.
Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:25 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:55 local time. If you wish to train out of Pyongyang, please let us know.
Group Tour Dates
Dep - Dec 23 Arr - Jan 01
$ 1,510$ 1,590
$ 1,510$ 1,590
Dep - Apr 11 Arr - Apr 19
Dep - Sep 02 Arr - Sep 10
Tour Price Includes
FREE North Korean Visa
FREE pick up and transfer to Beijing train station/Beijing airport
Train Beijing - Pyongyang and Dandong - Pyongyang
Flight Pyongyang - Beijing
08 night accommodation (7 nights in DPRK, 1 night on train)
All meals on the tour
A complimentary beer and water for each meals
Transportation in North Korea
Two local English Speaking Korean guides
FREE bottled drinking water
FREE transfer from hotel in Pyongyang to airport
Tour Price Excludes
Travel and medical insurances
Tips for the local Korean guides and driver
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, souvenirs...)
Other flights not indicated
When to Go
See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary
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