Young Pioneer Tours is incredibly pleased to announce that we have returned from our YPT-exclusive inaugural trip to the newest North Korean border open to Western tourists: Manpo, North Korea! Located in Chagang Province and sitting directly opposite the Chinese town of Ji’an, Manpo sits on the banks of the Yalu/Amnok River.
In the very near future, we will be offering day trips to Manpo City via Ji’an, as well as trips to Pyongyang via Manpo. After having visited, we are confident that this will offer a completely different experience to the standard Dandong-Pyongyang route, and is not to be missed even for seasoned visitors to the DPRK!
Read on to discover what we saw in Manpo on our very first trip to the newly opened region!
Ji’an-Manpo border crossing
This newly opened border crossing is the newest link between the DPRK and China. Opened in April of 2019, the crossing is an attraction in of itself, straddling the natural border demarcation that is the Yalu River.
The first stop in Manpo is a pavilion that gives a bird’s eye view into Ji’an City. Most people only get to see the pavilion from the opposite side, and it’s quite an exciting experience to look over the tourists located on the Chinese side, peering over with their binoculars.
Junggang Revolutionary Museum
After a stop at the pavilion, our Manpo trip continues our way down to the Junggang Revolutionary History Museum. This details the history of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il in this region, from the times of Japanese occupation all the way through the Korean War and up to present day. An essential insight into the regional history of this part of the DPRK.
Junggang farm and Junggang School
The next stop on the tour is a chance to experience local life in the Manpo region. Junggang farm specialises in harvesting wool from their flocks of sheep. The wool is then processed at the nearby Manpo Wool Mill. A visit was also paid to a local school in the city, where we had the chance to meet students and get a glimpse at the rural educational system used in the DPRK.
Manpo City Hotel
At present, tour groups on the Manpo trip have lunch in the city’s main hotel. Those who have been on DPRK tours with YPT before will recognise the dishes immediately. Those who have not will get to tuck into the local cuisine. Kimchi, pollock, green bean pancakes and cold noodles are all on offer here.
The wool harvested from the sheep at Junggang Farm ends up being processed here. At Manpo Wool Mill we can see how the raw wool is processed and refined so that it is ready to be used in the manufacture of garments.
Manpo Children’s Traffic Park
This was one of our favourite stops, and certainly the most unique stop on the tour. The park was developed to teach Manpo’s youth the rules of the road before they are eligible to drive. Students drive miniaturized cars around small-scale replicas of roads and buildings. There is even a virtual driving simulator available to the students. Out back there is a souvenir shop and a variety of activities, including target shooting.
Manpo City Kindergarten
The finale of the visit was a trip to a local kindergarten, complete with what may just be one of the best student performances in the country. The perfect way to wrap up the day trip!
Watch this space for news regarding our first group tour to Manpo to do the Manpo trip . If you’re interested in a tour to the DPRK, have a look at our list of available tours.
For a more in-depth understanding of Manpo city click here.