At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.
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If you’re looking for a off the beaten track but short tour to North Korea (DPRK), this tour is for you. From the Haeju city, the little-seen capital of South Hwanghae province. Located 100km south of Pyongyang and 60km North of the DMZ, the famed Mount Kuwol Nature reserve and the West Sea Barrage in Nampho in the west to coastal beach town of Wonsan and Mount Kumgang in the eastern parts, you are to explore the places rarely visited by normal visitors and tourists. This trip to North Korea is ideal for second-time visitors to the DPRK, or ifyou’re of the more adventurous kind!
Itinerary Idea in Detail
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Day 01: Train Beijing - Dandong
Before starting this Unseen DPRK Short Tour with us, we have a pre-tour briefing today at the train station that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers and pay any outstanding tour fees. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea. After that, we will provide you with assistance with the boarding the overnight train to Dandong where we transit another train to Pyongyang.
Overnight hard 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. 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. 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 then spend time for refreshment. 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. Enjoy our welcome dinner at the Koryo Hotel’s top floor revolving restaurant! Overnight in Pyongyang.
After breakfast, drive down to Haeju City through the countryside areas. Upon arrival in Haeju, visit
Sokdamgugok and the Sohyon Confucian Academy, the famous nine scenic valleys have been known since ancient times in the region. The Sohyon Academy was built in 1575 by the scholar Yi Yulgok.
After picnic lunch in Unbyong valley,
visit the Kyenam Stock farm, one of the largest farms in the region, this is a state-run farm. As opposed to a co-operative farm, this means all employees are employed directly by the state and paid a salary. The farm raises goats, poultry, and pigs, as well as growing mushrooms and producing yogurt.
We also pass by Mount Suyang and the Suyangsan Waterfalls. Take a short walk on the mountain and see the scenic Suyangsan falls. Visit the Puyong Pavilion which was originally built in 1500 but was destroyed during the Korean War. It has since been rebuilt and sits in a lotus pond.
Overnight at the hotel in Haeju.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Haeju at Haeju Hotel
Day 04: Haeju - Mount Kuwol - Nampo - Pyongyang
Breakfast in the hotel and depart for Pyongyang via Mount Kuwol and Nampo. Mount Kuwol is a popular site for domestic tourists and is also preserved for its important bird life and forest species, as one of the few forests of its type in the country to survive the war intact. From here, we continue to Woljong temple, one of the DPRK’s official national treasures, originally built in the Koguryo period it was later rebuilt during the Joseon Dynasty.
Have picnic lunch at the Mount Kuwol Area before driving to Nampo. Then it’s onward to the jewel of Nampo, an 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
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 local industry. We will meet a local caretaker to learn of their role here, see inside their home, and also visit the impressive bronze monument of President Kim Il-Sung with local farmers.
Our next stop will be the Chongsanri Cooperative Farm, part of a system of collective farms catering to the agriculture needs of surrounding communities. Learn about farming and rural living in the DPRK at this farming community.
On the way back to the capital, if time permits, we will visit the Three Mausoleums of Kangso, a UNESCO site, to see ancient and original Koguryo tombs. 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.
For dinner, we will 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.
Drive back to Pyongyang.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Pyongyang at Yanggakdo International Hotel
Day 05: Pyongyang - Wonsan
This morning, we’ll depart for the east cost port city of Wonsan. En route, we will stop at the Sinpyong Tea House for coffee or tea in the fresh mountain air. Upon arrival in Wonsan, check in then have lunch before having a quick tour of the grounds.
Afterwards, stroll 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. The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by Germans living in the area in the early 20th century.
Continue to Kangwon Province Art Gallery, a small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists, followed by a visit to Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp, a classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork.
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 (there’s a 1 Euro fee to be paid at the entrance). 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. Return to the hotel for a great night sleep!
Enjoy a 2.5 -3 hour drive south along the East Sea coast to the scenic Mount Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legend. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking.
Upon arrival, explore the Samil Lagoon, a charming green-water coastal lagoon lined by pine forests. Named for the ‘three-day’ stay (sam-il) of a king in days gone-by to take in the full beauty of the area.
After lunch, spend the afternoon hiking in the Mount Kumgang area – ‘The Diamond Mountain’ – a series of peaks and canyons rising above Korea’s eastern seaboard and regarded since time immemorial as one of the most scenic regions in East Asia. A 8 km (round-trip) hike to a scenic ‘Nine-Dragons’ waterfall will take us through forests, along mountain streams and by emerald pools.
Drive back north to Wonsan in the morning then visit Former Wonsan Railway Station Revolutionary Site which was used as a preserved Japanese colonial era train station, waiting room, guesthouse, and the train which future President Kim Il Sung rode to Pyongyang during the liberation of the country in 1945.
Spend time to relax and swim on the beautiful beaches of Wonsan. Before we leave 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 (the ski lift is optional and the fee a $15 fee to be paid at the ski lift.)
On our 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 we will enjoy a picnic lunch here. Watch North Korean countryside life go by as we head back to Pyongyang, and on our arrival we will be treated to an evening cruise on the new full service ferry, Mujigae, docked on the Taedong River across from the Juche Tower (optional for $1.50 entrance fee).
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Pyongyang at Yanggakdo International Hotel
Day 08: Departure
The Unseen DPRK Short 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 and basic breakfast on board is provided by the airlines (no vegetarian option). If you wish to train out of Pyongyang, please let us know.
Dep - Feb 23 Arr - Mar 01
$ 1,242$ 1,380
$ 1,242$ 1,380
Dep - Apr 07 Arr - Apr 14
Dep - May 11 Arr - May 18
Private Tour Price (2 Pax Up)
Tour Price Includes
DPRK visa fees and handling
07 night accommodation (6 nights in DPRK, 1 night on train)
01 train ticket Beijing - Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
01 international flight Pyongyang - Beijing
Meals as mentioned
Meals in DPRK include a complimentary beer and water
Coach/car transportation in DPRK
Two local English-speaking Korean guides and a driver per group
Bottled drinking water per touring days.
Transfer from hotel in Pyongyang to airport
Tour Price Excludes
Other (domestic and international) flights not mentioned in the program
Optional single room supplement (35 EUR or 44 USD per night)
Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (please budget 10 USD per day per traveler)
Travel and medical insurances
Beer at microbreweries (1-3 USD per draft)
Extra drinks if needed
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.) and souvenirs
Private transportation from Beijing International Airport to hotel (approximately 75 USD)
Hotel accommodations before and after DPRK tour
Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
Elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 EUR or 6 USD
Elevator to the top of the Arch of Triumph, 5 EUR or 6 USD
Flowers to be laid at the Mansudae Grand Monument, 3-5 EUR or 4-6 USD
Pyongyang circus (if playing): 20 EUR or 25 USD
Meari Shooting Range: rifle and per bullet fees apply
Kaeson Amusement park entrance and rides, approximately 1-3 EUR or 2-4 USD each
Optional activities such as a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR or 3 USD per person)
When to Go
See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary