Kim Il Sung’s
Birthday tour is without a doubt the largest celebration in North Korea to take
place in 2021 with a mass dance event planned involving over 3000 university
students, possible parades, fireworks and numerous other celebrations taking place
throughout the day – this is one birthday party you don’t want to miss.
During your tour with us you’ll have the opportunity to explore all the must-see sights of Pyongyang such as the Korean War Museum, take a ride on the deep Pyongyang metro, explore around Kim Il Sung Square, visit the iconic two large bronze statues of the former leaders, head to the top of the Juche Tower for panoramic views of the capital and a whole lot more.
No tour to North Korea is complete without a visit down to the DMZ where we’ll take you further off the tourist path to visit the concrete wall – here you’ll catch a further glimpse of South Korean and US military bunkers as we stand at an active North Korean guard post – not all travel companies offer this.
Extend your stay with us onto Group B as we’ll take you southwest of Pyongyang to the busy port city of Nampo where we’ll stay overnight at a therapeutic hot spa resort with your very own hot mineral spa bath located in your room. You’ll also have the chance to see North Korean factories and farms up close as we explore the lesser-visited industrial and agriculture regions of North Korea.
During the Group C tour, you’ll head north to Mt. Myohyang where the unique International Friendship Exhibition is built into the mountain and holds gifts presented to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from other nations, organisations and individuals. Whilst we’re up in the mountains we’ll explore one of the very few remaining Buddhist temples in the country as well as a cave that’ll take us deep into the mountain.
Our signature way
to end this particular tour will be taking a local domestic train to the small
rural town of Dongrim, a place that sees very little foreign tourists. Here
you’ll be taken on a hike to the waterfalls and staying overnight in a very
comfortable hotel. You’ll then head to Sinuiju, the largest border town city of
North Korea to China, to explore Sinuiju’s grand central square, visit
a local kindergarten, inspect a cosmetics factory, and more.
This is what we believe to be one of the most exciting tours of the year. So don’t risk losing your spot and enquire now to secure your holiday to North Korea with us. And, if you have time in China before the tour, why not explore the Chinese ghost city of Ordos with us?
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 Railway Station at 5:25pm for the 24 hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang.
Monday 12th April
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 (Group will meet 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 Sosan hotel.
Tuesday 13th April
Morning walk along Pyongyang’s main avenue from Pyongyang Grand Theatre down towards Kim Il Sung Square
Explore Kim Il Sung Square
The Foreign Language Bookshop- A great place to buy books, pins, posters and Korean DVD’s
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: 40RMB or 5 euros).
Juche Tower – The tallest stone tower in the world this monument represents the eternally burning flame of the Juche ideal (Optional extra 40RMB or 5 euros to go to the top of the tower).
Lunch at a Korean Hot Pot Restaurant
Visit the recently renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (Korean War Museum)– with captured American weapons, tanks, air planes and unique dioramas from famous battles and much more!
USS Pueblo – the only US Naval Vessel held captive by another nation and the centre of a major incident in 1968.
Monument to the Party Foundation – the iconic stone monument with the giant hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea
Stop by Kwangbok Department Store – Pyongyang’s busiest department store. Here is your best chance to browse through locally made North Korean goods and to have access to local DPRK Won currency.
Dinner at the Haeyang Restaurant
Visit the Kaeson Funfair (20RMB entry, each ride varies in price from 30RMB – 40RMB)
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Wednesday 14th April
Up nice and early for the 2.5 hour drive to Kaesong city located only 8km from South Korea.
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 40RMB)
Unique visit – 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
Head back to Pyongyang on the way stopping at Sariwon city – explore the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda. A great spot to try Makkoli, a local specialty beverage consisting of rice and alcohol.
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.
Thursday 15th April – The Day of the Sun – Birthday of President Kim Il Sung
Visit the Grand People’s Study House – the country’s largest library and adult education centre with spectacular views over Kim Il Sung Square
Ride the Pyongyang Metro – ride 6 stops in total 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.
Lunch at the Moran Hill Restaurant – located across the road from Pyongyang’s famous central park
Walk to Moran Hill – this park is particular famous on Kim Il Sung’s Birthday as locals crowd to the park with their families and friends to partake in picnics, dancing and singing. Fantastic opportunity for photos.
Stop by Kimilsungia Flower Festival Exhibition – former Indonesian President Surkarno gifted an orchid to Kim Il Sung and named it the Kimilsungia as a sign of great friendship. This exhibition is held in a giant greenhouse and is open to visitors as locals set up numerous exhibits.
Mangyongdae Native Home – The birthplace of the Kim Il Sung and where he spent the early years of his childhood.
Special celebratory events (optional: 150RMB) – a military circus performance or red orchestra performance – to be confirmed on the day
Mass Dance – over 3000 Pyongyang university students synchronise dance for an hour – incredible photo opportunities and a great opportunity to jump in and join the locals.
Dinner at a local restaurant to try Pyongyang’s very famous cold noodles dish or a traditional Korean mixed rice Bibimbap dish along with other shared Korean dishes.
To be confirmed: join the locals on Kim Il Sung Square and watch the fireworks light up over the Taedong River.
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Friday 16th April
Group A Depart:
Group A train members depart at 10:25 am for the overnight train to Beijing and enjoy the peaceful countryside of both the DPRK and China. Train arrives in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am on Saturday the 17th.
Group A flight members depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 9:55am Beijing time).
Group B and C Continue:
Morning walk along the Taedong River which divides Pyongyang into west and east districts – catch locals on their way to work and school
Visit Mansudae Art Studio – a chance for us to meet local artists where the state’s monuments, portraits, vases are produced for the country
Drop by the Korean Film Studio – over a thousand North Korean films were produced here with backdrops of fake locations such as Seoul, China, Japan and even Europe. Koryo dynasty costumes are available as an option to complete the scene of old Korea
Head to the outskirts of Pyongyang and enjoy a gentle hike to the top of Mt Ryangak (Dragon Mountain) – here you’ll have a picnic lunch with the most spectacular views of the capital city below you
Drive to Nampo City (2 hour) – a major port city located south west of Pyongyang
Visit Tae’an Friendship Glass Factory – a very retro factory in cooperation with a Chinese company which produces most of the glass used in the DPRK
Drop by Kangso mineral water factory – Home to the DPRK’s most famous sparkling water –you learn how it’s pumped from the ground, bottled and delivered. No visit is complete without samples!
Arrive and check into Ryonggang Spa Resort – this unique resort was first built for the diplomats and elites of North Korea back in the 80s. Now our guests have full access to the resort and it’s facilities including saunas, swimming pool, ping pong and a North Korean arcade room. Each room has your very own private mineral spa.
Dinner, drinks and overnight at resort – your YPT guide will prepare an optional petrol BBQ clams for 40RMB per person – great for photos!
Saturday 17th April
Drive to the West Sea Barrage – an astounding example of socialist construction, the 8km long barrage was built to separate salty water of the Yellow Sea from the fresh water of the Taedong River to promote better farmland as well as controlling the tide of the river. We visit the top of this massive Soviet project.
Explore Chongsan Co-Operative Farm – here you’ll have the chance to explore a North Korean farm, visit a local nursery a farmer’s house and learn the difference between a state and co-op farm in the DPRK.
Drive back to Pyongyang.
Lunch at the Pottongang Restaurant.
Head to the Meari Shooting Range which been recently renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery, virtual games and automatic rifles. 3RMB per bullet.
Mansugyo Beer Bar – usually a very busy and happening bar in Pyongyang, cheap beers with over seven different local brews on tap! Coffee and soda also available
Dinner at the National Restaurant with performance
Take an evening walk on Future Scientist Street opened in 2015 for the scientists, teachers and lecturers of the country.
Overnight in Sosan Hotel
Sunday 18th April
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. A truly unique experience.
Revolutionary Martyry’s Cemetery – The resting place of the greatest of the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters each grave features a bronze bust of the hero laid to rest within.
Lunch at local Korean restaurant
Visit the Three Revolution Exhibition – The exhibition primarily showcases the three revolutions of Kim Il-sung, the ideological, technical, and cultural with North Korean satellites on display.
Munsu Water Park – with Indoor and outdoor pools and waterslides available, the park also features plenty for those who don’t want to swim, including a café, beer bar, table tennis, billiards, gym, massage or get a North Korean haircut – swimming 80RMB other services around 50RMB. A great place to mingle with local people!
Afternoon stroll from the east side of Pyongyang to the west crossing over the Taedong River for a perfect photo opportunity of May Day Stadium – the world’s largest seated capacity stadium.
Dinner at Ji Ha restaurant
Overnight at Sosan Hotel.
Monday 19th April
Group B Depart:
Group B flight members depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 10:00am Beijing time).
Group B train members depart at 10:25 am for the overnight train to Beijing arriving at Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am on Tuesday 20th.
Group C continue:
Drive out to Mt Myohyang – 2 and a half hours north of Pyongyang.
Visit the International Friendship Exhibition – two large gift houses holding the gifts presented to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from people, governments and institutions all over the world. One of the most unique visits we’ll be making this tour.
Pohyon Temple – One of the five famous temples of Korea and one of the largest Buddhist temples in the DPRK.
Lunch at the Hyangsan Hotel – a five-star deluxe hotel situated between the mountain ranges of Mt. Myohyang
Drive back to Pyongyang and on the way stopping at Ryongmun Cavern – one of the most famous cave complexes in the DPRK and is famous for its stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Evening walk along Ryomyong street – a new residential street constructed in 2017 with a metro station, local shops and lines of new tall apartment buildings
Dinner at the New Hope Restaurant
Overnight at Sosan Hotel.
Tuesday 20th April
Depart Pyongyang by train at 10:25am and arrive in the remote village of Dongrim at 2:30pm – Dongrim is the nearest town outside of Sinuiju, located south amongst the valleys of the east coast of the peninsula.
Drive to Dongrim Hotel to check-in
Hike to Dongrim Waterfall and explore surrounding valley of the mountain range, during warmer weather you can take a dip beneath the waterfall
Dinner and overnight at the Dongrim Hotel – a brand new swanky hotel with a swimming pool. sauna, table tennis, massage, bars, karaoke, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.
Wednesday 21st April
1 hour drive to Sinuiju city on the way stopping at:
Tour the Pomhayanggi Cosmetics Factory and meet some of the local workers that produce some of DPRKorea’s most famous cosmetics
Visit the mosaic images of the “Three Tigers of Mt. Paektu” Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Suk.
Explore the large central square of Sinuiju and see the statue of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il
Visit the North Phyongan Province Revolutionary History Museum – This will go into detail about the history of the local province.
Lunch at a local restaurant which also features a great souvenir shop.
Head to the local Folklore Park where there may be chances to engage in traditional Korean activities and some more modern activities too (extra charges apply for partaking in the local games, these will vary from game to game) or you can simply walk around and enjoy the scenery and watch the locals
Visit the Art Studio which holds over 250 pieces of DPRK fine arts in six large halls – some very cool and eye opening art pieces here. Many pieces are also for sale!
Bonbu Kindergarten and performance – Famous for training the Children who perform in the skipping scene of the Arirang Mass games as well as its long history of training artistic performers. The performance here is the best of any Kindergarten in the country.
Explore Amnok Park and walk down to the Amnok River (Yalu River) and see the original Korean/Chinese Friendship Bridge bombed by the Americans during the Korean War. Very few tourist are able to view the bridge from the DPRK side!
Board the 4:30pm bus and go through Korean customs to finish tour in Dandong, China.
Board the 6:30pm overnight sleeper train from Dandong to Beijing
• 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).