Grab your football boots and head to Pyongyang! On this tour we’ll be playing a five-a-side game against Pyongyang locals, visiting the Pyongyang International Football School to chat with students who are hopeful of a career in football and observe a training session, and top it all off by taking in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifying match between the DPRK and Turkmenistan!
This will be the last group game in the second round, and between two of our favourite countries. With only the top team guaranteed to progress to the final round the big story is that the DPRK have been drawn in the same group as the ROK – South Korea. Lebanon and Turkmenistan will also provide stern tests for the DPRK team though, and Sri Lanka hope to be the surprise package.
We’ll be paying a special visit to the 100,000-seater Kim Il Sung stadium too, as well as taking in all the best sights Pyongyang has to offer and visiting the ancient city of Kaesong and the DMZ.
We’re also paying special attention to Pyongyang’s increasingly famous micro-breweries, buzzing new bar scene, and of course the wonderful restaurants of Pyongyang.
Sign up as a 5-a-side team and get a €50 discount each, you can play as your own team or we will be making mixed teams of YPT people and local Koreans.
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
Monday 8th June
Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:30am for the extensive border control from the DPRK side
Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 1pm (Meet the group at Air Koryo check in counter at 10am). Flight group arrive in Pyongyang at 4pm to a warm welcome from your Korean guides
Train group arrive at 6:45pm to an equally warm welcome
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Ryomyong Street
Check in and overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
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
Tuesday 9th June
Morning walk along the Taedong River passing landmarks such as the Pyongyang Culture House and the oldest street in Pyongyang
TRIP HIGHLIGHT – After breakfast we head out to the Pyongyang International Football School. This is a functioning school which specialises in sports and football in particular. If we’re lucky we’ll be able to observe a football class and chat with the students
Visit Kim Il Sung Square – the centre of the city and where all the parades and rallies occur. Followed by a short walk to the:
Foreign Language Bookshop – where you can buy English-language Korean books, posters, pins, flags, DVDs, and more!
Juche Tower – the tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology.
Lunch at the New Stamp Restaurant
TRIP HIGHLIGHT – get your football boots on and we head for a game of five-a-side with a local Pyongyang team
Visit Meari Shooting Range – this shooting range has recently been renovated to include indoor shooting with pistols, rifles or archery! .50 US cents per bullet
Stop by the local department store – here we can buy locally brewed beer and use the local DPRK Won currency!
Dinner at the National Restaurant
TRIP HIGHLIGHT – We head to the May Day Stadium to watch the World Cup Qualifier between the DPRK and Turkmenistan! This is the last and potentially vital match of the round to see who can reach the final qualifying round and also who can qualify for the next Asia Cup
Time permitting we’ll head to the Taedonggang Diplomatic Club – the quintessential Pyongyang expat bar where we will have drinks and football discussion!
Overnight at the Sosan hotel
Wednesday 10th June
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 flowers if you wish: small bunches are 2 euro, larger ones 4).
Pyongyang Metro! Ride from Stop 1 to Stop 2 then on to Stop 6. Exiting at:
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.
Visit the awe-inspiring 100,000-seater Kim Il Sung Stadium and kick a ball around on the pitch
Lunch at the Korean Hot Pot Restaurant
Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum – see captured American tanks, weapons, shot down planes, as well as the infamous USS Pueblo and the museum’s many amazing displays and dioramas.
Stop by Mansugyo Beer Bar – a local bar to join the locals for refreshments. This is a great little microbrewery in Pyongyang which has recently reopened after refurbishments
Stop by Koryo hotel beer bar to drink with locals and experience a favourite spot of many Pyongyangites
Dinner at the KITC No. 1 Restaurant to try the local famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles dish or the traditional Korean Bibimbap
Visit Kaeson Youth Park (entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
Overnight in the Sosan Hotel.
Thursday 11th June
Up nice and early to drive to Kaesong and the DMZ
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, 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 Pansangi- 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).
The concrete wall of the DMZ – this is a little off the beaten track and gives us a great glimpse at the wall which was erected by the South Koreans during the 70’s. We can even see South Korean watch towers along the hill from the DPRK post.
Drive back to Pyongyang stopping in Sariwon to see the folklore park and enjoy Makkoli in a local bar if you wish.
Drive back to Pyongyang
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
Head to Gold Lanes Bowling to play and mingle with some locals
Taste some more local brews at the Taedonggang Brewery #3 for micro brewed beers
Stop by the iconic Yanggakdo hotel to try the famous ale brewed in the hotel’s teahouse
Dinner at the Duck Barbecue Restaurant for our final dinner in the DPRK
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Friday 12th June
Flight members depart from Pyongyang to Beijing at 8:50am on Air Koryo arriving in Beijing at 9:50am local Beijing time
• 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.
• Korean and western guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).