Join us as we follow the footsteps of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and cross the Yalu River into North Korea. Our DPRK: Political Interest tour is themed around the relationship between China and North Korea, the ‘War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea’ and North Korean politics and ideology, suitable for the first time North Korea visitor and the political geek alike!
The Political Interest tour combines the classics of Pyongyang and the DMZ with specialist China-related sights, and we have a discussion group with a North Korean cadre where we can learn more about Korean communism and Juche ideology.
During our visit we’ll drive out of the capital to the grave of Chairman Mao’s own son, Mao Anying, who was killed by a UN napalm attack, reportedly while he was cooking fried rice for his lunch.
In Pyongyang we’ll visit the must-see sights and have an in-depth look within the Korean War Museum, visiting the exhibition on Chinese involvement in the Korean War against the UN and US forces. This section of the Museum is usually out of bounds for anyone but Chinese tourists so gaining access to this is certainly a unique highlight. And no trip to the DPRK is complete without a visit to the DMZ, where North meets South!
The DPRK essentials and the Korean War tour follows on directly from the Chairman Mao Revolutionary Tour of China and picks up where we left off looking at China specific monuments and exhibitions in North Korea and delving deeper into the political ideologies of northeast Asian communism.
Meet your YPT guide at 1:30pm at the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel near Beijing Railway Station found here. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, receive DPRK visas and tickets, as well as a great chance to meet your fellow travellers and to discuss any other questions you may have about the DPRK.
Train takers depart Beijing Central station at 5:25pm for the 24-hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang
Tuesday 19th June
Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:30am for the extensive border control from the DPRK side
Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 12.55pm (Meet the group at Air Koryo check in counter at 10.00am). Flight group arrive in Pyongyang at 4:00pm to a warm welcome from your Korean guides
Train group arrive at 6:45pm to an equally warm welcome
In the evening your YPT guide will show you around the hotel before taking you for drinks and to get to know your Korean guides
Dinner and overnight at the Koryo Hotel
Wednesday 20th June
Up nice and early to drive to Kaesong and the DMZ
Koryo Museum- Korea’s first university and now a museum of history and culture. Also home of the best stamp and propaganda poster shop in the DPRK, so don’t forget your wallet!
The DMZ- See one of the tensest places on earth complete with a friendly KPA officer who will not only give you a guided tour but also keep you safe. Also the only place you can take photographs of and even with a soldier!
Lunch at the Thongil Restaurant in Kaesong City- try your hand at traditional Korean Pansangi- a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog soup 5 euro, Ginseng Stuffed Whole Chicken 30 euro- can be split between several).
The concrete wall of the DMZ – this is a little off the beaten track and gives us a great glimpse at the wall which was erected b the South Koreans during the 70’s. We can even see South Korean watch towers along the hill from the DPRK post.
Drive back to Pyongyang stopping in Sariwon to see the folklore park and enjoy Makkoli in a local bar if you wish.
Drive back to Pyongyang
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
Stop by Taedonggang Brewery #3 for micro brewed beers, juices or coffee!
Dinner at a KITC restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles or Korean Bibimbap
Overnight at the Koryo hotel
Thursday 21st June
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – The mausoleum where the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state
Walk through Mansudae Fountain Park and see the mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il
Visit Mansudae Grand Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking the city. (Optional extra- you can present flowers if you wish: small bunches are 2 euro, larger ones 4)
Lunch at a local Korean hot pot restaurant
Pyongyang Metro! Ride from Stop 1 to Stop 2 then on to stop 6! Exiting to:
The Arch of Triumph- The largest Victory Arch on the planet- it celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of the general Kim Il Sung to his home city
Visit the recently renovated Korean War Museum, concentrating on the exhibition on China’s role in the war which is not usually shown to anyone but Chinese tour groups – let the expert local military guide show you around the enormous museum featuring dioramas, locally used weapons, tanks etc, and captured American equipment!
USS Pueblo – The only US Naval Ship still held captive by another country
Juche Tower- The tallest stone tower in the world it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology
China Korea Friendship Tower – built on the Moran Hill this tower was built in the late 1950s to commemorate the Chinese sacrifice in the Korean War and the friendship between the two socialist countries
Dinner at the Famous Lamb BBQ with singing and dancing waitresses
TRIP HIGHLIGHT – Head back to the hotel where we join a discussion group with a local party cadre, who will tell us about politics and ideology in the DPRK and where we have the chance to ask questions and discuss the Juche idea. Hopefully the discussion will continue over beer and soju in the hotel bar!
Overnight at the Koryo hotel
Friday 22nd June
We leave Pyongyang early for the drive to Hoechang County, and to the cemetery where Chairman Mao’s son, Mao Anying, is buried. The bumpy roads are an experience on their own, and a good chance to see the Korean countryside which feels far removed from Pyongyang
Lunch at the Hoechang Hotel
Arrive at the Cemetery for Fallen Chinese Soldiers in the Korean War. Hundreds of Chinese People’s Volunteer Army soldiers were buried here and it is a sight for top-level Chinese delegations to come and pay their respects.
Walk up to the pavilion and the murals depicting the Chinese contribution to the Korean War
Visit Mao Anying’s grave – the son of Chairman Mao, he was killed by a UN napalm attack and was buried in this cemetery, though some claim his body was later sent back to China
Drive to the site of the headquarters of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in the DPRK
Drive back to Pyongyang and dinner at the National Restaurant
Visit Kaeson Youth Park (entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
Overnight at the Koryo hotel
Saturday 23rd June
Flight members depart from Pyongyang to Beijing at 8:50am on Air Koryo arriving in Beijing at 9:50am local Beijing time
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• Train in and out Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing. Flights are extra.
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).