This year North Korea will be celebrating one of DPRK’s biggest holiday of the year for their Independence Day! We’re expecting this celebration to be quite huge with thousands of locals partaking in the mass dance performance and with fireworks planned later in the evening.
During our tour in Pyongyang we’ll be visiting the Kim Il Sung Square, stopping by a local funfair, exploring the deep Pyongyang Metro, visiting the Mausoleum where Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state, visiting the Korean War Museum, and much more!
No trip to the DPRK is every complete without visiting the DMZ. To make this trip extra special we’ve arranged to visit the Concrete Wall – this is 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 watchtowers along the hill from the DPRK post.
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 7th September
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.
Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 12:00pm (meet group at Air Koryo check in counter).
Flight group arrive in Pyongyang at 3:00pm 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.
Tuesday 8th September
Up nice and early for the drive to Kaesong city (2 and a half hours)
Panmunjon DMZ Village – see the DMZ and the treaty and conferences rooms where the armistice was signed all in the company of a friendly KPA officer guide (you can also take pictures of soldiers here!).
Koryo Museum – the oldest university in Korea and now a converted museum of local history. Also the site of the best propaganda and stamp/postcard shop in the DPRK!
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
Drop by Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda. Also if you like you can try Makkoli in a local Makkoli Bar.
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Reunification Highway.
Dinner at the Lamb BBQ Restaurant.
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Wednesday 9th September – National Day!
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). We expect it to be very busy at this time with locals paying their respect.
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.
Pyongyang Metro! Ride from Stop 1 to Stop 2 then on to stop 6! Exiting to:
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.
Lunch at the Chongryu Korean Hot Pot restaurant.
Walk along Moran Hill where Korean families gather for outdoor BBQ, singing and dancing. Fantastic for photos.
Special celebratory events (optional: approx 20 euros) – Yet to be confirmed but we will take part in any events that are possible for tourists to attend. These may include a circus performance, red orchestra, or possibly some other surprises.
Juche Tower- The tallest stone tower in the world it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology.
Monument to the Party Foundation- Built-in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the worker’s party.
Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic DPRK monument – fantastic for rare photo opportunities!
Dinner at a local restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang cold noodles or Korean Bibimbap with a special performance from the waitresses
To be confirmed: We’ll gather in Kim Il Sung Square to watch the fireworks amongst the locals to celebrate today’s event.
Overnight at Sosan Hotel
Thursday 10th September
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
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.
Lunch at the Moran Hill Chicken Restaurant
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.
Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace – the DPRK’s largest schoolchildren’s palace. We’ll have a chance to visit classrooms to see students studying their elective subjects including dancing, sports, musical instruments, calligraphy, computer science, embroidery and more. The students of the palace will put on a spectacular performance.
Visit Kwangbok department store – here we can buy locally made items and exchange our foreign currency into local DPRK Won!
Drinks at the Taedongang #3 brewery with seven different beers on tap! (Beers 1.5 euro each).
Dinner at the Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant.
Overnight in Sosan Hotel.
Friday 11th September
Flight members depart at 8:50am for Beijing arriving 9:50am in Beijing local time
Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing.
Saturday 12th September
Train members arrive at 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.
• Korean and western guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).