Independent tours are suitable for those who really can’t stand group tours or for people who simply can’t find group dates to match. Independent tours are accompanied by 2 Korean guides with several languages available such as French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Russian to name a few. You’ll also have your own driver and vehicle. Our independent tours are very flexible in terms of itinerary and aside from our various speciality itineraries, come in three main types, budget, standard and deluxe (links).
If you’d like to explore an independent tour option please contact us and we can tailor make the perfect tour for you.
Standard Tours provide an excellent mix of comfort and affordability; offering a significant upgrade in terms of accommodation over budget tours. The standard hotels are not only newer and more comfortable but offer far more in the way of entertainment and services with only a small bump in price.
Budget Tours are for those who are not so fussy about comfort and want to see the DPRK for the best possible price. Using 3 Star accommodations in Pyongyang and the second class hotels in most other cities, the budget tour accommodations also give you a fascinating glimpse of the Soviet Bloc holidays of yesteryear. NB: In some less frequently visited cities there will not be second class hotel options- in cases where you want to stay in these cities anyway, we will provide a separate quote for that night (or those nights) which will adjust the overall cost slightly.
Deluxe Tours are for those who don’t mind paying the extra for a little more luxury. Costs for Deluxe tours are dependent on several factors- hotel choice, locations, ticket upgrade selections and extra cost activities. We can arrange boutique and Joint Venture luxury hotels, business class flights, golf, fishing and other indoor and outdoor activities, internal charter flights, special meals, performances, sporting events and more.
Prices are per person per night
Extra Costs (per person)
- Train fare Beijing = €170 each way
- Train fare Dandong = €120 each way €240 return
- Flight = €280 each way €490 Return
- Visa = €60
To work out how much an independent tour would cost, basically multiply the nightly rate (depending on the number of your group), by the number of nights you wish to stay. Add your desired transport method to the visa fee, and that is how much it costs. Our cheapest itinerary would be, 4 nights in Korea, travelling in and out by train. For 6-9 people this would mean €145 x 4 = 580 + (170 x 2) = 860 + 60 = €920 To really cut down on costs you can travel from return to Dandong, so 6-9 people for 3 nights would be €145 x 3 = 405 + (120 x 2= 240) = 645 + 60 = €705 We offer some example itineraries. Within reason, we can basically give you the chance to design your own tour. Independent tours are aimed at the budget traveler who is happy to pay a low price, and can look after themselves in Beijing. All independent tourists are met in Beijing by one of our staff, who will give you your tickets and visas, and go through DPRK “procedure”, and orientation. Independent tours under 16 people are not usually accompanied by one of our western guides. For tours of 16+, we offer the option of one of our guides traveling with you at no extra charge. For tours of fewer than 16 people, you can have one of our guides travel with you, but there will be a slight extra fee, depending on how many people with whom you are traveling. Please contact us for further information and or quotes on deluxe packages.
- Download and fill out the visa form (right-click and choose “Save Target As…” [MS-Word Format]). If you don’t know what to put on any part of it leave it blank.
- Your entry point is Sinuiju if by train, or Pyongyang by flight. The inviting agency is KITC.
- Passport sized photo taken within the last six months.
- Photocopy of the first page of your passport (the page that includes your information)
- Scan and e-mail to Tours@YoungPioneerTours.com.
- Do this one month before your trip.
- That’s all there is to it! If this seems all too confusing for you please contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
Your Chinese visa needs to be arranged independently by yourself, and most importantly needs to be a double entry visa. This is a very simple process that can be done through your local embassy. Should you need assistance we will gladly help you. Please read here for some information regarding a 72 hour transit visa for China. In emergency situations we can help arrange your visa in Pyongyang (should you have single entry), but this is done only in emergencies and only with pre-arrangement.
Important note: All times are quoted in local time.
|Beijing-Pyonyang||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun||17:25||19:30||Following Day|
|Pyongyang-Beijing||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun||10:50||09:30||Following Day|
On Tuesday, Friday and Sunday you will be required to change trains at Dandong station. All other days are express trains and don’t require you to leave the train.
Flights from China
|Beijing-Pyongyang||JS 152||Monday, Tue, Friday, Sat||12.55||16.00|
|Pyongyang-Beijing||JS 151||Monday, Tue, Friday, Sat||09.00||09.55|
|Beijing-Pyongyang||JS 252 Y||Thursday||14.05||17.00|
|Pyongyang-Beijing||JS 251 Y||Thursday||10.30||11.30|
|Beijing-Pyongyang||CA 121||Mon, (Wed from 1st of March) Fri||13.40||16.20|
|Pyongyang-Beijing||CA 122||Mon, (Wed from 1st of March), Fri||17.20||18.05|
|Shenyang-Pyongyang||JS 156||Wed, Sat||14.10||16.20|
|Pyongyang-Shenyang||JS 155||Wed, Sat||12.00||12.10|
- JS (Air Koryo) Beijing – Pyongyang €280 each way €490 Return
- JS (Air Koryo) Shenyang – Pyongyang €230 each way €440 Return
- CA (Air China) Beijing – Pyongyang JS €320 each way €560 Return
Flights from Russia
|Vladivostok-Pyongyang||JS 272||Monday, Friday||14:20||14:00|
|Pyongyang-Vladivostok||JS 271||Monday, Friday||08.20||12.00|
- JS (Air Koryo) Vladivostok – Pyongyang €240 each way €440 Return
Chinese Visa Free Flights (from Malaysia)
Between April 21st and October 31st of 2013, Air Koryo (JS) will be running direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang *.
|Kuala Lumpur-Pyongyang||JS 160||Sun||11.00||19.30|
|Pyongyang-Kuala Lumpur||JS 159||Sat||23.00||05.20|
|€400 each way €750 Return|
*This route is less secure than the Beijing-Pyongyang and may face some cancellations. In such cases notice will be given 20 days in advance and your deposit for the tour will be refunded.
Domestic flights within the DPRK
|Pyongyang-Samjiyon (Mt Paektu)||Air Koryo||Wednesday||8.00||9.30|
|(Mt Paektu) Samjiyon-Pyongyang||Air Koryo||Wednesday||18.00||19.30|
|Pyongyang-Sondok (Hamhung)||Air Koryo||Monday||9.30||10.15|
|(Hamhung) Sondok-Pyongyang||Air Koryo||Monday||18.00||18.45|
- JS (Air Koryo) Pyongyang - Samjiyon €130 return
- JS (Air Koryo) Pyongyang – Sondok €120 return
- JS (Air Koryo) Pyongyang – Orang €130 return
Please note: when flying domestically in the DPRK tourists must pay for the flight tickets of the local Korean guides. For example if a single indepedent tourists wishes to travel to Sondok and back to Pyongyang they must pay €120 euros for a ticket and 2 x €120 for two local Korean guides ticket. If tourists are travelling in a large group this can be split amongst the group for a cheaper price.
Explore one of the most rarely seen parts of the DPRK, including a brand new city and county opened to Westerners by YPT in November 2012, Hoeryong city and Onsong county. From the beautiful Mt. Chilbo, to the industrial centre of Chongjin this province has plenty to offer to those who really want to get to know North Korea. Highlights include- the North Hamgyong province performance group, the only home stay in the DPRK, Being one of the first Westerners to visit Hoeryong city (Birth place of Kim Jong Il’s mother) and the chance to see a whole new side to life in the DPRK. A sample itinerary can be found here. (N.B Itineraries are entirely adaptable, please contact us for more information). YPT can organise a hotel in Tumen city, flights and train tickets from Beijing to Yanji/Tumen or return. Prices for North Hamgyong extensions (again per person per night with a minimum of 2 nights*):
- 2-5 people = €160
- 6-10 people = €115
- 10+ people = €85
- Single supplement €35**
*As you will be travelling beyond the Special Economic Zone and into the “mainland” DPRK, there is also a 50 euro visa fee on top of the Rason travel permit. **Single supplements only apply for even numbered groups with individuals who want their own rooms.
Independent tours under 16 people are not usually accompanied by one of our western guides. For tours of 16+, we offer the option of one of our guides travelling with you at no extra charge. For tours of fewer than 16 people, you can have one of our guides travel with you, but there will be a slight extra fee, depending on how many people with whom you are travelling. All independent tourists are met in Beijing by one of our staff, who will give you your tickets and visas, and go through DPRK “procedure”, and orientation