We are proud to introduce a our new tour concept for the DPRK – A VIP photo tour run by photographers for photographers. This tour will be capped at 6 people in order to present you with the best and rarest opportunity to photograph 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 various street scenes/famous landmarks at sunset. One of our expert YPT guides will be on hand to make sure we push the boundaries and get to the sites you want to – something only made possible with a small group.
During our stay we’ll obtain some of 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 10 years will allow us to move as a small group with great flexibility for any photo opportunity.
The group is maxed at 6 people to ensure smooth running, flexibility and plenty of time at each location. The tour will be led by YPT’s very own semi professional photographer and prominent Instagrammer; Shane Horan (@shaneohodhrain) who has visited the DPRK over 40 times and has designed this itinerary.
Join us in the DPRK this July for the trip of a lifetime. Book fast as it’s first come first serve!
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 24th July
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 25th July
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.
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
Overnight in Yanggakdo hotel
Thursday 26th July
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.
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
Stop by the reunification arch for sunset
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).
Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Friday 27th July
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun- The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
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
Lunch at the Moranbong Chicken Restaurant
Visit Moranbong hill to dance, party and mingle with the locals as they celebrated the biggest holiday of the year!
Foreign Language Bookshop – with a large selection of books in English and other European Languages as well as other souvenirs, followed by a short walk to:
Kim Il Sung Square- the central square of Pyongyang city and the place where all the action happens.
Special celebratory events (optional: approx 20 euros) – Yet to be confirmed but we will take part in any holiday events that are possible for tourists to attend. These may include a parade, a circus performance, and possibly some other surprises.
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
Expected mass dance for Victory Day, join in or just watch for fantastic photography opportunities!
Dinner at Duck BBQ restaurant
Join the locals on Kim Il Sung Square to watch the fireworks
Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel
Saturday 28th July
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.
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 to Nampo
Dinner and Overnight at the Ryonggang hot spa hotel- with a mineral spa in each room! Great place for billiards and ping pong. Here we have a chance to try Korea’s famous Korean clam BBQ for 5 euros extra.
Sunday 29th July
West Sea Barrage- An astounding example of socialist construction, the barrage was built to keep the salty water of the West sea from rendering parts of the Taedonggan river and surrounding farmland useless as well as to tame the local sea.
Unique trip highlight – Swim at Nampo beach and hang out with the locals!
Drive back to Pyongyang
Lunch at the Koryo Hotel (check out the revolving restaurant!)
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.
Pyongyang Gold Lane Bowling – famous within Pyongyang for having 40 lanes and being super busy with locals on Sunday
Stop by the local Mansugyo bar for cold refreshments and a chance to mingle with Koreans at the bar
Dinner at Potonggang Restaurant
Overnight and at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Monday 30th July
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.
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.
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!
Take a walk down new and bright Future Scientist’s street, perfect for long exposure shots
Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Tuesday 31st July
Flight members depart at 8:30am and arrive in Beijing 9:55am local time.
Train members depart at 10:10am for Beijing
Wednesday 1st August
Train arrives in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am
• 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. 4. Korean and western guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated)