We’ve designed our DPRK Express August tour to take you from the heart of China’s capital straight into Pyongyang whilst exploring the sights and sounds along the way. By taking advantage of China’s fast rail this will give us extra time to explore Dandong – the border town city directly across from North Korea.
Our first evening begins by exploring the street food scene that Beijing has to offer from Chinese styled burgers and lamb skewers to fried scorpion and grilled starfish. We’ll spend the evening overnight and then catch the fast train from Beijing to Dandong. Once arriving we’ll freshen up and begin an incredibly detailed walking tour of Dandong, the Yalu River, the broken bridge and then head out for Dandong’s finest BBQ.
The following day the North Korean tour kicks off by boarding the train and heading into Pyongyang. We’ve designed this trip to be packed full of all the must-see sites of Pyongyang. We’ll be visiting the Kim Il Sung Square, the Korean War museum where the captured US spy ship rests, riding the famous Pyongyang Metro and amongst other awesome activities!
For those who want to spend an extra day with us to see the DMZ from the north side come join our Group B option! We’ll visit the city of Kaesong which is only a few kilometres from the border. We’ll also check out another city halfway between Kaesong and Pyongyang to try their famous locally brewed Makkoli.
Please note: All travellers must have a re-entry visa into China as there isn’t enough time to apply for a Chinese visa in Pyongyang and the 144 hour transfer visa doesn’t permit rail use.
Arrival at your own leisure and check into the Zhong Gu Hotel located near Beijing Railway Station
Meet your YPT guide at 6:00pm inside the Zhong Gu Hotel lobby before heading out for our legendary street food of Beijing tour, and evening drinks nearby as your guide will go over the DPRK procedure – food and drinks extra cost
Overnight in Zhong Gu Hotel
Thursday 20th August
Up early to transfer to Beijing South Railway Station for the 9:05am fast train to Dandong – usually we opt for the overnight sleeper but we’ve decided to miss it and have a evening in Dandong on the border of North Korea
Lunch on train – we can bring snacks or arrange hot meals on the train for 50RMB
Arrive into Dandong at 3:45pm and check into Dandong Hotel to freshen up
Regroup and begin walking tour of the Yalu River that divides North Korea and China and walk on the broken bridge for a closer view of Sinuiju – the border town city on the North Korea side
BBQ Dinner on Dandong’s biggest night street – extra cost (roughly 100RMB per person)
Overnight in Dandong
Friday 21st August
Regroup at 8:00am inside the entrance of the Dandong Railway Station to collect train ticket, DPRK visa
Board the 10:10am train from Dandong.
11:15am (DPRK time) arrival in Sinuiju to go through DPRK entry procedure.
Ride on into Pyongyang and enjoy the beautiful countryside along the way.
Optional lunch on the train (50 RMB)
6:45pm arrival in Pyongyang to be met by your guides
Evening city tour of Pyongyang, including us stopping at Kim Il Sung Square for a walk and pictures
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Ryomyong Street
Check in and overnight at Chongnyon hotel
Saturday 22nd August
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 a bouquet of flowers for 5 euro)
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 the central square.
Foreign Language Bookshop – shopping central for books, pins, DVD’s, CD’s and periodicals in English and other foreign Languages, followed by a brisk walk to:
Kim Il Sung Square – the central square of Pyongyang City.
Lunch in the KITC restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles or Korean Bibimap.
Pyongyang Metro – ride 5 stops on the famous Pyongyang Underground!
Exiting at the Arch of Triumph – the largest Victory Arch in the world, built to celebrate the triumphant return of Kim Il Sung after the anti-Japanese war.
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!
USS Pueblo – the only US Naval Ship still held captive by another nation.
Juche Tower – monument to the everlasting Juche Ideology (optional 5 euros to go to the top).
Party Foundation Monument – large hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush
Visit Kwangbok department store – here is your best chance to browse through locally made goods in the DPRK and to have access to local Korean Won currency
Dinner and drinks at the National restaurant with a performance!
Overnight at the Chongnyon Hotel
Sunday 23rd August
Group A train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing on train K28 (Arriving Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am on Monday the 24th).
Group B Continue on:
Drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
Koryo Museum – Korea’s first university and now a museum of history and culture and 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 Pasangi – 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.)
Drop by Sariwon City (capital of North Hwanghae Province) to walk in the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain pagoda.
Try locally brewed Makkoli from a nearby local brew house
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
Dinner and drinks at the Duck BBQ restaurant
Drinks and overnight at the Chongnyon Hotel
Monday 24th August
Wake up and check out of the hotel
Board the 10:25 am train to Beijing
Optional lunch on train (50RMB extra)
Tuesday 25th August
Train members arrive at Beijing Railway Station at 9:00 am.
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements available for an extra 40 EUR per night in Dandong and 65 euros in Beijing).
• Fast Train Ticket from Beijing to Dandong
• Overnight sleeper train from Dandong to Beijing
• Subway tickets in Beijing
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• All meals in the DPRK unless otherwise stated.
• Korean and western guides.
• Air-conditioned bus.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).