Itinerary - Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour
April 13-18 2017


tour planJuche Tower

Wed 12th April - MANDATORY PRE-TOUR BRIEFING

4PM: The group assembles in our Beijing office for a pre-tour briefing, which will last approximately 1 hour and is designed so that you will get the best out of your tour.

Thu 13th April - ARRIVAL DAY

AM: Meet together outside the office (time to be confirmed) and head to Beijing Airport T2 for our flight from Beijing to Pyongyang (1.5 hrs), the showcase capital of the DPRK
PM: Meet guides who will accompany you during your stay, Arch of Triumph – similar to the French version (but bigger)

OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Fri 14th April - DMZ & KAESONG

AM: Drive south 2.5 hours to Kaesong. 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 where you can take pictures of (and even with) members of the DPRK military. Next, we head back to Kaesong and visit the Kaesong Koryo Museum, a beautiful old Confucian University, to learn about the history of the area. The stamp shop here is excellent too. Lunch is a traditional pansanggi meal – something like Korean tapas. For anyone wanting to supplement their lunch, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample Korea’s famous delicacy: ‘sweetmeat soup’ (aka dog meat; costs EUR 5). 
PM: We then drive for around 20 minutes to the beautiful Tomb of King Kongmin, the twin-domed tomb of the 31st King of the Koryo Dynasty (AD 918-1392) and his wife. The tomb has recently been made a World Heritage Site. On our return to Pyongyang we will also visit the Golden Lane Bowling Centre, where Pyongyang’s residents go for their ten-pin fix. This is a great chance to mix with local people. Even if you don’t end up playing, it’s worth grabbing a seat here to watch everyone have some fun. There is also a shooting range next door where you can fire 20 rounds for $6.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Sat 15th April - 104TH BIRTHDAY OF KIM IL SUNG

AM&PM
: DPRK HOLIDAY: 104th Birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung - Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery. Here, you will see superb individually- crafted bronze busts of the country’s anti-Japanese heroes. Mansudae Grand Monuments – the giant bronze statues of North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Kimilsungia Flower Show (free to enter) - this greenhouse is dedicated to the cultivation of the Kimilsungia (orchid) and the Kimjongilia (begonia) - today the displays will be focused on the former flower. Pyongyang Symphony Orchestra - usually held in the afternoon this concert of Korean and western music is stunning (EUR 20); Pyongyang Circus - also in the afternoon this is another stunning performance showcasing the talents of the DPRK's acrobats and other entertainers (EUR 20). For these events that require additional payment, we will always offer a free alternative such as a walk in the city or visiting a coffee shop. Moranbong Park - located in the centre of Pyongyang this is a favourite place for locals and during the holiday periods it is not unusual to come across a group of Koreans dancing. Mass dance - university students dress in their finest and gather together in various public spots around Pyongyang to dance together. Kaeson Youth Funfair and with our farewell dinner at Pyongyang’s famous Duck BBQ restaurant
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Sun 16th April - PYONGYANG CITY TOUR

AM: Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il – men should wear a shirt and tie for this visit and no jeans to be worn). Go deep underground for a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, which is the deepest subway system in the world. The designs of the main stations are stunning, and particularly notable for their superb lighting and mosaics. We then visit the Foreign Languages Bookshop and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Pyongyang. On our journey, we walk through the heart of the city, and stop by Kim Il Sung Square. This is where the capital’s mass dances take place and the military parades pass through. Next we visit the Juche Tower. At 150m, and topped with a flickering red torch, this is the highest stone monument in the world. We’ll also go to the Party Foundation Monument – aniconic sculpture of a hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush which was constructed to celebrate 50 years of Workers’ Party rule. Before lunch we’ll take a tour of the Grand People’s Study House. Supposedly stocked with over 3 million books, this enormous library/place of study has a great view over Kim Il Sung Square.
PM: After lunch we’ll visit Mangyongdae Native House – the native birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. Next on our itinerary - a trolley bus ride around the city, in some of the classic 1950s vehicles that still ply their trade on the streets of the DPRK capital. Last stop on our city tour is The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum where you can learn the history of the Korean War from the North Korean perspective. The museum’s different rooms explain the origins of the conflict, and include highly impressive dioramas, tanks, planes, and much more. USS Pueblo – an American spy ship captured by the DPRK navy in 1968. We then drive north to Mt. Myohyang and check into our hotel before dinner.
OVERNIGHT: Chongchon Hotel, Mt. Myohyang

Fri 14th Oct - MT. MYOHYANG 

AM: International Friendship Exhibition - a series of enormous subterranean exhibition rooms housing gifts given to the DPRK’s leaders by foreign political figures, notable figures, politicians and organizationsthous. Thousand-year-old Pohyon Buddhist Temple - destroyed during the Korean War, but was rebuilt as a working temple, complete with North Korean monks.
PM: After lunch we’ll hike in Manpok Valley. We will take a 1-2 hour walk up and down the mountains, following a trail that passes waterfalls and unusual rocks, all set in a stunning landscape. We head back to Pyongyang and stop off for a well deserved drink at Taedonggang No3 Microbrewery and bar before our farewell dinner which will be in Pyongyang’s famous duck BBQ restaurant.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang


Tue 18th April - DEPARTURE DAY

AM: The flight departs Pyongyang at 09:00 and arrives in Beijing at approx 10:00am. The train departs Pyongyang at 10:40am and arrives in Beijing at approx 08:30am on Wednesday. End of Tour.
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TOUR COST: $1,990
DPRK VISA FEE: $75 (to be paid at the pre-tour meeting)
PRE-TOUR MEETING: Wednesday 12th April, 4PM, at our office in Beijing
EXPECTED WEATHER: It will be cold in the morning and evening but warmer during the day, around 15°C so bring layers.
Room upgrades available – please ask for more information.

TOUR FEE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Flight Beijing-Pyongyang, plane/train Pyongyang-Beijing
  2. All meals on the tour except on the train out of DPRK – see below
  3. Hotel accommodations in DPRK
  4. All entry fees
  5. Two guides and a driver per group
  6. All transportation in DPRK
  7. Transportation to Beijing airport prior to departure to DPRK.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR FEE (all payments paid in cash) :

  1. Transportation from your country to Beijing and hotel stay in Beijing
  2. Travel insurance (can be purchased at the pre-tour briefing)
  3. Optional single room supplement of $60 per night (must be booked in advance and can be pre-paid in US with credit card)
  4. Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
  5. DPRK visa fee ($75)
  6. Tip for the guides (approx $7/day)
  7. Meals on the train out of DPRK - (bring your own food or eat dinner and lunch in the buffet car approx $10 per person)
  8. Entry tickets for special events (Revolutionary opera, circus , etc).
  9. The lift up the Juche Tower (approx $6)
  10. 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

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