Without a doubt one of the top tours of the DPRK tourist season, the birthday of President Kim Il Sung is the biggest celebration of the year. We expect this to be a huge celebration with fireworks, mass dancing, possibly parades and a number of other events that will most likely be announced much nearer the time to mark the 108th anniversary of the President’s birthday. During the tour we’ll explore the must see sights of Pyongyang such as the Korean War Museum, ride the Pyongyang Metro, a 360 degree panoramic view of the city from the Juche Tower, explore Kim Il Sung Square and much more.
Aside from the special events linked to the birthday of President Kim Il Sung and the highlights of Pyongyang, our short tour takes you south to the infamous DMZ where you’ll see the famous blue huts with a military officer guide. We’ll even take you further off the beaten path to visit the concrete wall of the DMZ where we can catch a further glimpse of South Korean and US watch towers along the hill from the DPRK military post.
For those who want to see more of North Korea, this is the perfect opportunity to extend your tour onto Group B & C. From here we’ll head south west of Pyongyang visiting the beautiful port city of Nampo and a therapeutic hot spa resort located on the west coast, as well as factories , a farm, and a tour of one of the lesser visited cities. Our super long spectacular tour for Group C takes us to Mt Myohyang where the astonishing Friendship Exhibition is built into the mountain and holds gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from other nations. We’ll also be visiting Kumsusan Palace of the Sun where President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il lay in state.
To further spice up the tour, Group C will be taking a visit to Sinuiju, the border town of the DPRK located next to Dandong in China across the Yalu River. We’ll be taking the domestic train from Pyongyang up to Sinuiju stay at the Dongrim Hotel in a small town just outside of Sinuiju. We’ll then be visiting the Pomhayanggi Cosmetics Factory, a local Folklore Park where you can engage in traditional Korean activities with the locals, and to watch the famous performance at the Bonbu Kindergarten.
We’ve been given special access to a Russian Mil Mi-17 helicopter to take for a whirl around Pyongyang city for a unique aerial tour of the capital.
We’ll swoop around the iconic, 105-story Ryugyong Hotel, do a low flyby of the Taedong River passing the Juche Tower, have a great glimpse of May Day Stadium – the world’s largest stadium, and explore the many districts sprawling across the city for fantastic and unique photography opportunities. This joyride is completely optional and is €250 per person on top of the tour costs. If you are interested please let us know while booking.
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 the DPRK.
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 13th 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. (Group will meet at Air Koryo check in counter). Flight departure times will be announced closer to the departure date. To avoid any inconvenience we recommend for you to arrive in Beijing the day before to better prepare yourself.
Flight group arrive in Pyongyang 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 14th 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: 5 euros).
Juche Tower – The tallest stone tower in the world this monument represents the eternally burning flame of the Juche ideal (Optional extra 5 euro to go to the top of the tower).
Helicopter Joyride option– head to Pyongyang Airport for a VIP lunch (included) and board a Russian helicopter for a 40 minute aerial tour over Pyongyang city (250 euro extra)
Lunch at the Hot Pot Restaurant
The recently renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum – with captured American weapons and vehicles, displays and 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 – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party.
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 at the Haeyang Restaurant
Visit the Kaeson Funfair (2 euro entry, rides vary in price)
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Wednesday 15th April – The Day of the Sun – Birthday of President Kim Il Sung
Grand People’s Study House- the country’s largest library and adult education center with spectacular views over Kim Il Sung Square
Pyongyang Metro – ride 6 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.
Lunch at the Moran Hill Chicken Restaurant.
Walk to Moranbong park to drink, dance and celebrate the holiday with the locals.
Kimilsungia Flower Festival Exhibition.
Mangyongdae Native Home – Birthplace of the President Kim Il Sung and where he spent the early years of his childhood.
Special celebratory events (optional: approx 20 euros) – Yet to be confirmed but we will take part in any birthday events that are possible for tourists to attend. These may include a circus performance, an orchestra and possibly some other surprises.
Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic DPRK monument – incredible photo opportunities
Dinner at the KITC No.1 Restaurant to sample Pyongyang Cold Noodles or a traditional Korean dish, Bibimbap.
To be confirmed: we’ll join the locals on Kim Il Sung Square and watch the fireworks light up over the Taedong River.
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Thursday 16th April
Up nice and early for the 2.5 hour drive to Kaesong City.
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.
Friday 17th 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 18th.
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 Taedonggang river which divides Pyongyang into west and east districts.
Mansudae Art Studio – a chance for us to meet local artists where monuments, portraits, sculptures are produced for the country
Film Studio – over a thousand North Korean films were produced here with backdrops of fake locations such as Seoul, China, Japan and even Europe. We’ll also have a chance to dress up and reinact a scene from the Koryo dynasty
A gentle hike and BBQ picnic on top of Mt Ryangak – a mountain located just on the outskirts of Pyongyang to enjoy the magnificent views of the capital
Drive to Nampo City – a major port city located two hours south west from Pyongyang
Tae’an Friendship Glass Factory – A very retro factory in cooperation with the Chinese which produces most of the glass used in the DPRK
Kangso Mineral water factory – Home to the DPRK’s most famous sparkling water – with samples!
Dinner, drinks and overnight at the Ryonggang spa resort with a private mineral spa bath in each room. Here we have an option to have DPRK’s famous BBQ clams for 5 euros extra per person.
Saturday 18th April
West Sea Barrage – An astounding example of socialist construction, the barrage was built to keep the salty water of the West Sea from rendering parts of the Taedonggang River and surrounding farmland useless, as well as to tame the local sea.
Chongsan Co-operative farm – here we’ll have a chance to explore a North Korean co-op farm, visit a local nursery and farmer’s houses.
Drive back to Pyongyang.
Lunch at the Pottongang Restaurant.
Visit the newly renovated Pyongyang Metro Museum – showcases the difficulties and challenges that were faced with making the world’s deepest metro
Head to the Meari Shooting Range which been recently renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery, virtual games and automatic rifles. $0.50USD cents 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 softdrink also available
Dinner at the National Restaurant with performance
Overnight in Yanggakdo Hotel
Sunday 19th April
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun- The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
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 the Moran Chicken restaurant.
Munsu Water Park – With Indoor and outdoor pools and amazing waterslides, the park also features plenty for those who don’t want to swim, including a Haemaji coffee shop, a beer bar, table tennis, billiards, massage or a beauty salon (various services extra charge, swimming and access to the gym, table tennis and billiards is 10 euro). 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
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.
Dinner at Ji Ha restaurant
Overnight at Yanggakdo Hotel.
Monday 20th April
Group B Depart:
Group B flight members depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 9:55am 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 21st.
Group C continue:
Drive out to Mt Myohyang – 2 and a half hours north of Pyongyang.
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 Yanggakdo Hotel.
Tuesday 21st 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 and prepare for afternoon hiking
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 22nd 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).