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ITINERARY INFORMATION

We are proud to introduce a brand new tour concept for the DPRK – A photo workshop tour run by photographers for photographers. If you’re a professional photographer, a keen Instagrammer, or an absolute beginner, this tour will present you with the most perfect and rare opportunities of daily life in the DPRK.

This is not a conventional DPRK tour that you may have heard of. Besides the usual stops at Mansudae Grand Monument and Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, we have designed an itinerary that allows you time in key places to get that perfect shot. We get up super early to catch sunrise along scenic spots like the Taedong River and the Juche Tower. As well as setting up our gear over looking the most iconic 105 storey Ryugyong Hotel and other famous landmarks at sunset. We’ve even secured a rare dusk photography session of the large bronze statues of their leaders – a fantastic location to learn, experiment and share some night photography techniques.

During our stay we’ll obtain the highest rooms available in the 47 storey Yanggakdo Hotel which overlooks the Taendong River and Pyongyang skyline for a perfect vantage point to do some time lapse and long-exposure night shots. Our visit to the Chollima Steelworks Factory is an absolute photographer’s paradise with a retro soviet themed factory built during the 50’s of workers wearing old-school uniforms. We’ll also be photographing the many of Pyongyang’s futuristic and retro buildings for great architectural photos.

Our incredible relationship we have built with the Korean guides over the last 9 years will allow us to move as a group with great flexibility for any photo opportunity.

Groups are maxed at 10 people to ensure smooth running, flexibility and plenty of time at each location. The beginner/ intermediate group will be led by experienced professional photographer Philip Gorny and experienced professional videographer Pierre Depont who each evening will host a review/workshop session of the days shooting. YPT’s very own semi professional photographer and prominent Instagrammer; Shane Horan (@shaneohodhrain) who has visited the DPRK over 40 times will also be available to guide. Philip, Pierre and Shane will be on hand each evening to answer any photography/technical related questions you might have. Our workshops will be held in interesting restaurants and bars throughout the city such as the Koryo Hotel Revolving SkyBar.

Join us in Pyongyang this June for the trip of a lifetime. Book fast as it’s first come first serve!

ITINERARY

Monday 5th June

  • Meet your YPT guide at 1:30pm at the Beijing Jingu Qilong 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 6th June

  • Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:00am for the extensive border control from the DPRK side, along the way photography of rural DPRK is permitted
  • Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 12:55pm (Meet group at Air Koryo check in counter).
  • Flight group arrive in Pyongyang at 3:30pm to a warm welcome from your Korean guides.
  • Train group arrive at 5:00pm 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 Yanggakdo Hotel.

Wednesday 7th June

Morning

  • We'll start the morning by setting up at Kim Il Sung Square to catch the early commuters as they make their way to work. Kim Il Sung Square is the grand central square of Pyongyang where the military parades are televised
  • We'll then continue our way to Mansudae water fountain park with mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il in the background
  • We'll set up at the Mansudae Grand Monument where the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il stand overlooking the capital.
  • We'll walk down to the main road where the Chollima Statue stands above for an explanation and perfect traffic scenery.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at the KITC restaurant in Mangyongdae District – here you can have the chance to sample Pyongyang's famous Cold Noodle dish or the Korean traditional Bibimbap amongst other dishes.
  • Now it's time to explore the mysterious Pyongyang Metro. We'll start from Puhung station, then ride one stop to Yonggwang station, and 5 more stations onwards to Kaeson station. That's three stations in total.
  • 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. Kim Il Sung Stadium is nearby with more opportunities to snap Pyongyang's traffic.
  • Dinner and drinks at the Korean Hot Pot restaurant
  • Evening sunset shots at Kim Il Sung Square
  • Evening shots of Mansudae Grand Monument
  • Optional evening photo review and workshop at the Yanggakdo Microbrewery and tea house
  • Overnight in Yanggakdo hotel

Thursday 8th June

Morning

  • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun- The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. There is no photography allowed inside, however photography outside where locals dress their best and to capture the front of the palace is allowed.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at an underground local Korean restaurant
  • Visit the recently renovated Korean War Museum – let the expert local guide show you around the enormous museum featuring dioramas, locally used weapons, tanks etc, and captured American equipment! Photography of the captured American equipment and the USS Pueblo – The only US Naval Ship still held captive by another nation - is permitted
  • Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s palace- The largest of the schoolchildren’s palaces (extracurricular centres) in the DPRK, we’ll first observe some lessons then watch the amazing performance
  • Dinner at the National Restaurant with a performance by the friendly waitresses
  • Walk along the new Future Scientist Street as it brights up Pyongyang in the evening
  • Optional photo review and workshop inside the comfortable and classy establishment of Taedonggang Microbrewery #3
  • Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.

Friday 9th June

Morning

  • Up Nice and early to drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
  • Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
  • 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.
  • 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. Here we will secure photo shoot with the active soldiers serving on the front line.

Afternoon

  • 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).
  • Tomb of King Kongmin- the only original tomb of it’s kind still standing in the DPRK.
  • Drop by Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the local folkcustom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda.
  • Try locally brewed Makkoli in the local tea house
  • Get back to Pyongyang for dinner at the famous Duck BBQ
  • Kaeson Youth Park (entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
  • Optional photo review and workshop at the Yanggakdo Hotel's revolving bar and restaurant
  • Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.

Saturday 10th June

Morning

  • We'll set up alongside the Ryugyong Hotel (the tallest and most famous building in Pyongyang) for early sunrise shots over Pyongyang. As the morning progresses the daily grind will pick up with road and foot traffic.
  • Stop by the Taedongang River to capture the morning crowd of retired folk fishing or walking their grandkids and school kids making their way to school.
  • Grand People’s study House - Library and academic centre for adult learners, this grand building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over Kim Il Sung Square

Afternoon

  • Lunch at a local restaurant on Liberation Street
  • Drive towards Nampo city (1 hour drive) - a port city located on the west coast of the Korean peninsula. A fantastic opportunity to see country life as we pass many rural villages on the way. Along the way we'll stop to take some compelling/eerie shots of a ten lane motorway with no traffic on it.
  • Stop at Chollima Steel Complex - One of the DPRK’s most famous industrial sites- named after the Chollima movement it helped lead.
  • Chongsan Co-operative farm - One of the top co-op farms in the DPRK and a model of the co-op method. Here we'll visit inside a farmers house, stop by the local nursery and snap any farmers working nearby.
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Dinner at the Meari Shooting Range Restaurant
  • Optional photo review and workshop at the Ryanggang Hotel Revolving Restaurant overlooking the sports district of Pyongyang
  • Overnight in Yanggakdo Hotel

Sunday 11th June

Morning

  • Monument to the Party Foundation - built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the worker’s party. This is the large monument with hammer, sickle and writing brush.
  • Munsu Water Park- a modern indoor and outdoor Water park built recently in Pyongyang. Sunday is the most popular day for locals to come and take advantage of the facilities. Lots of families, couples and friends mingling. Incredible for photography.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at the Koryo Hotel
  • Pyongyang Gold Lane Bowling - famous within Pyongyang for having 40 lanes and being super busy with locals on Sunday
  • Walks and shots along the Potong River that runs within the cental district of Pyongyang. This particular river gets very busy with local life as it's the majority of people's day off.
  • Stop by the local Mansugyo bar for cold refreshments and a chance to mingle with Koreans at the bar
  • Dinner at Potonggang Restaurant
  • Optional photo review and workshop at the Koryo Hotel's Rovolving SkyBar
  • Overnight and drinks at Yanggakdo Hotel

Monday 12th June

Morning

  • Juche Tower- The tallest stone tower in the world it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology. To visit the top of the Juche Tower is 5 euros. The best vantage point of a a panoramic view of Pyongyang city.
  • May Day Stadium - we'll have a local tour take us through the entire stadium for the best possible photograph opportunities on the world's largest stadium (behind the seats and on turf)
Afternoon
  • Lunch at the new stamp restaurant on Reunification street
  • Afternoon slow and gentle stroll downtown Pyongyang - starting from the Culture house and ending up on the east side of Pyongyang
  • Any last minute requests within reason can be done so this evening
  • Dinner at Pizza Restaurant (Pizzas around 10 euros each) - the staff here are all females. The chef was taught in Italy, she now runs the restaurant and everything is imported. Even the plates and cutlery!
  • Optional photo review and workshop at the Diplomatic's Club along with our farewell beers
  • Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel

Tuesday 13th June

  • Flight members depart at 8:30am and arrive in Beijing 9:55am local time.
  • Train members depart at 10:10am for Beijing

Wednesday 14th June

  • Train arrives in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am

MAP

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