Young Pioneer Tours

Top 20 Things to do in North Korea (Part 2)

Continuing on from Part 1 of our list of top 20 things to do in North Korea, we bring you the top ten things to do while in North Korea!

10. Visit the Rason Markets

One of the lesser-seen and unknown parts of North Korea is Rason, the unique special economic zone bordering China and Russia in the far north. This is the only part of the country where tourists are permitted to visit the very, very local markets. Truly an experience.

9. Homestay on the Chilbo Sea

Similarly, the only homestay available in North Korea is nestled on the Chilbo Sea, at the foot of the Chilbo Mountains in North Hamgyong Province. With two travelers per family, life in the village slows down as we compete in friendly volleyball matches and Korean wrestling tournaments before heading to the beach in the evening for a bonfire and some of the most epic night skies you’ll see.

8. Visit Moran Hill during a national holiday

During the summer months and national holidays, a visit to Moran Hill in central Pyongyang is a must-visit. With families picnicking, BBQing and dancing in the park, Moran Hill’s vibe is electric. Arm yourself with a celebratory bottle of soju for mandatory “chuk baes” as you walk through the celebrations and join in the dancing.

7. Visit Wonsan beach in summer

Visiting the east coast city of Wonsan is another must-see and favorite of many travelers come and gone. From swimming on the beach with the locals looking for a respite from the summer heat to eating clam BBQ and freshly caught sashimi on the pier during the evening, Wonsan is a change of pace and surprise visit for many visitors to North Korea.

6. See Mt. Kumgang in the autumn

With epic, untouched landscapes, crystal clear watering holes and waterfalls, visiting Mt. Kumgang is particularly spectacular during autumn when the leaves turn a psychedelic mix of bright red, yellow, orange, purple and brown. A trek to the highest peak is well worth the effort with some of the most epic mountain peaks in the country.

5. Ride a bike through Pyongyang

Skip the bus and grab a bike while copping some very curious looks from the locals as you ride through the streets of Pyongyang. You’ll see the city from a totally different angle and learn more about the geography of the city. An extremely fun experience is available only on our Pyongyang Bicycle Tour.

4. Climb Mt. Paektu

Not just a catchy Moranbong Band song, one of the most epic and picturesque sites of North Korea is the active volcano Mt. Paektu. A true pilgrimage for all Koreans, this revolutionary site is just as important to the North as it is to the South and features some of the most breathtaking summits views imaginable. Only available to visit during our once a year, very special Victory Day & Mt. Paektu tour.

3. See New Years Eve fireworks in Kim Il Sung Square

With this year’s new year festivities featuring live music and performances, entering Kim Il Sung Square packed to the brim with thousands of locals ready to bring in the new year is a mind-boggling experience. We guarantee you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more brag-worthy location to spend your new years count down as you watch the fireworks, drones, and laser shows over the Taedong River and Juche Tower. 

2. See a Military Parade

A bucket list for many travelers is the surreal experience of seeing tanks and military equipment roll down the streets of Pyongyang. With all the locals out cheering in celebration and support, catching a military parade generally happens on every consecutive five year anniversary of special or national holidays.

1. See the Mass Games

Featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest mass human performance, there’s nothing in the world like witnessing the Mass Games, let alone in North Korea itself. Taking the word “awesome” to its literal level, this mass gymnastics, arts, music, and performance took on huge new levels in 2018 with its return featuring drones and more audio-visual effects than ever. Will the Mass Games return in 2019? Nothing’s announced yet but watch this space!

Have you been to North Korea? What did we miss and what were your highlights? Let us know in the comments!

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