This year make your month of October truly red by combining our North Korea Party Foundation Day Tour with our China Revolutionary Red Base tour into one neat proletarian smorgasbord!
First, come join us as we take part in all sorts of celebrations happening in Pyongyang for Party Foundation Day holiday including a mass dance, fireworks and any other surprises that are announced during the festivities!
During our tour in Pyongyang we’ll be seeing all the must see sights of the capital such as the Mausoleum where both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state, we’ll make our way up to the top of the Juche tower, ride the deep and mysterious Pyongyang Metro, visit the Korean War Museum and much much more.
We’ll also head down to Kaesong city. This city is 8km away from the DMZ that separates North and South Korea. We’ll then make our way to Panmumjom (the DMZ site) where we’ll meet our own local Korean People’s Army officer for a detailed tour and history of the site.
On our way back after exploring the DMZ we’ll head to the port city of Nampo and its therapeutic hot spa resort on the west coast. We’ll stop on our way to explore Mt. Kuwol, a scenic mountain range close to the border of South Korea, as well as a co-op farm, a glass factory and the famous West Sea Barrage.
We’ll then head to Beijing to start our incursion in China’s revolutionary history. After paying a visit to the Chairman in his mausoleum in the current capital we’ll head to the ancient capital Xi’an, then north through Yan’an, the revolutionary Red Base of Chairman Mao, the CCP and the Red Army, combining the cities of Beijing and Xi’an with a tour through the Chinese countryside in northern Shaanxi, a part of China nearly no tourists ever see.
With our YPT China Tour leader, fluent in Chinese and an expert on Maoist history, we see the museums and historical buildings of Chairman Mao’s time in Yan’an, and travel through the countryside of the old base area, spending a night in Zichang county in a rural ‘cave house’ where we can chat with veterans of the Red Army.
We hike through the valleys of the ‘yellow earth plateau’ where the communists took shelter from Japanese air raids and fought the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek. We also check out the village where President Xi Jinping spent his years when ‘sent down’ to the countryside in the Cultural Revolution.
The tour ends back in Beijing for your convenience to either continue travelling through China or to depart the country from the capital.
Group A members 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.
Saturday 8th October – Dandong – Pyongyang
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 1:00pm (Meet group at Air Koryo check in counter).
Flight group arrive in Pyongyang at 4:00pm 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.
Sunday 9th October – Pyongyang
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 Martyr’s Cemetery – the resting place of the greatest anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters, each grave features a bronze bust of the hero laid to rest within.
Lunch at KITC Restaurant in Mangyongdae District to try Pyongyang’s famous cold noodle dish or the traditional Korean Bibimbap dish, as well as many shared Korean dishes with a Korean performance
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.
Korean War Museum – We will be guided around this enormous museum by a local military officer featuring dioramas, Korean used weapons, vehicles, tanks etc, and captured American equipment!
USS Pueblo – The only US Naval Ship still held captive by another nation.
Visit Kwangbok Department Store – here you can buy locally made items and exchange your foreign currency into local DPRK Won!
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 New Hope Restaurant
Overnight in Sosan Hotel.
Monday 10th October – Pyongyang – Party Foundation Day!
Morning walk along Pyongyang’s main avenue from Pyongyang Grand Theatre down towards Kim Il Sung Square
Explore Kim Il Sung Square – the central square of the capital and where previously military parades have taken place
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).
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 Moran Hill Restaurant
Walk on Moran Hill where Korean families gather for outdoor BBQ, singing and dancing.
Visit the Workers Party Foundation Monument – built in 1995 to signify the 50th anniversary of the Workers Party of Korea.
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.
Juche Tower – The tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology. To visit the top is 40RMB or 5 euros.
Special celebratory events (optional: approx. 20 euros or 150RMB) – 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.
Dinner at the National Restaurant located in downtown Pyongyang
Spectate the Mass Games – The world’s largest performance. Tickets can be purchased with cash only and reserved whilst on tour in North Korea.
We’ll gather in Kim Il Sung Square with the locals to watch the fireworks amongst the locals to celebrate today’s event – to be confirmed.
Begin the drive down to Kaesong city (2 and a half hours) stopping for a quick rest and refreshments on the way at a local tea house
Stopping at the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Reunification Highway for a special photo opportunity.
Visit 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!
Koryo Museum- the oldest university in Korea and now a converted museum of local history. Located next door is the best propaganda and stamp/postcard shop in the DPRK
Lunch at the Reunification restaurant in Kaesong – try your hand at traditional Korean Pansangi – a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Option extra – dog meat soup or as the locals call it sweet soup for 40RMB or 5 euros per person)
Explore the Tomb of King Kongmin – a 14th century mausoleum and one of the Royal Tombs of the Koryo Dynasty.
Drive north stopping at Sariwon city (1 hour) – the capital of North Hwanghae province, explore the local local folklore park and view the city from the mountain pagoda. Here you’ll also be able to try locally brewed Makkoli from a nearby local brewhouse.
Drive west to stop at Mt. Kuwol (1 hour) – a scenic mountain range located on the west coast of the DPRK in South Hwanghae province. Here we’ll visit the lookout for spectacular views of the rolling mountain range.
Continue driving to Nampo city (1 hour) – a major port city located on the west coast of Korea.
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!
Wednesday 12th October – Nampo – Pyongyang
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.
Visit the Tae’an Friendship Glass Factory – opened in 2006, this joint venture factory with China and the DPRK produces large sheets of glass used for windows in North Korean construction projects.
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.
Before arriving in Pyongyang we 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.
Head to the Meari Shooting Range which been recently renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery, virtual games and automatic rifles. 3RMB per bullet.
Visit the Mansudae Art Studio where all the art works, portraits and monuments from the government are produced
Farewell dinner at National Restaurant with performance
Overnight at Sosan Hotel
Thursday 13th August – Pyongyang – Dandong – Beijing
Depart at 10:25am for Beijing on train K28 passing through the countryside of both the DPRK and China
Overnight on train
Friday 14th October – Beijing
Arrival in Beijing at 9:00am
We’ll then head to our hotel to unpack our bags, rest and take a well-earned shower!
Early lunch at a classic Peking Duck restaurant
Group B members meet at the Zhong Gu hotel lobby at midday to meet your YPT guide and fellow travel members to go over the tour itinerary.
Visit the revolutionary writer Lu Xun’s house in a typical Beijing ‘hutong’ lane.
Climb Mt. Jingshan for sunset views over the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Fantastic for photo opportunities
Dinner of local Beijing specialties and overnight in Beijing.
Saturday 15th October – Beijing – Xi’an
Up nice and early to visit the Mao Zedong Mausoleum in the middle of Tian’anmen Square where the Chairman’s body lays in state.
Visit the Chinese History Museum adjacent to Tiananmen Square to see the CCP’s current view of ‘the great restoration’ of the Chinese people.
Lunch of Beijing Zhajiang noodles.
Board the 4 hour high speed rail to Xi’an departing at 2:00pm and arriving at 6:23pm
Check into our Xi’an hotel located centrally.
Explore the centre of the city taking in the Bell Tower, the Muslim Quarter and the South Gate of the city walls. Grab a bowl of mutton broth and Xi’anease bread or any of the various street food on show in the Muslim quarter market.
Overnight in Xi’an
Sunday 16th October – Xi’an
Head out of town to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses – the UNESCO heritage site where the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, prepared for his journey into the afterlife, a must-see for any visitor to China.
Check out the Banpo Neolithic Archaeological site, an underrated museum well worth a visit, especially for Engels’ geeks! The museum displays the Banpo Neolithic matriarchal culture, and its overthrow by patriarchy explained using communist materialist history with special reference to Engels’ work ‘The Origin of Property, the Family and the State.’
Climb up Mt Lishan, the site of the arrest of Chiang Kai-shek by his own generals in the Xi’an Incident, including the cave where the Generalissimo fled to in his underpants in the middle of the night.
Dinner and overnight in Xi’an.
Monday 17th October – Yan’an
High speed rail to the revolutionary city of Yan’an departing at 8:28am arriving at 10:48am
Tour of the site of the Nanniwan agricultural cooperative where Mao’s communists first started practicing large-scale communal rural work.
Lunch of Yan’an noodles.
Visit the excellent Yan’an Revolutionary Museum recently renovated and complete with huge Yan’an era Chairman Mao statue.
Explore the Zaoyuan and Wangjiaping revolutionary sites where Mao made his base for ten years. Visit the various rooms the Chairman stayed in and sit at the table he made his infamous “nuclear weapons are paper tigers” comment.
Stop in at Yan’an 1938, a recreated Yan’an town of the 1930s complete with revolutionary memorabilia, local snacks and the possibility of seeing a revolutionary opera.
Overnight in Yan’an.
Tuesday 18th October – Yichang
Our local driver will take us out of Yan’an city to Liangjiahe (1.5 hours). This is the village where current President Xi Jinping spent a few years of his youth when he was ‘sent down’ to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, including the cave house where he lived.
Drive on to Zichang County (1 hour), renamed after one of the early communist martyrs Xie Zichang, whose early communist work made it possible for Mao’s Red Army to establish a base in northern Shaanxi.
Check in to the hotel and lunch in Zichang county town.
Visit the Xie Zichang memorial gardens and museum.
Visit the site of the important Wayaobao conference where Mao formulated the strategy of making alliance with the Nationalists against the Japanese.
Visit the Revolutionary University founded in Zichang by the communists.
Rural Shaanxi style dinner
Overnight in Zichang.
Wednesday 19th October – Anding
Drive out to Anding old town (30 mins).
Visit Shigong Temple, an unrestored near 1000 year old Song dynasty temple dug out from the hillside complete with statues beheaded during the Cultural Revolution.
Continue to Anding, a small, historical town right in the northern Shaanxi countryside where we can see the old Qing dynasty ‘yamen’ or imperial hall and what remains of the old town walls.
Check in to the rural guesthouse, built in the style of the ‘yaodong’ cave houses, which many locals still live in, and have a lunch of rural local foods.
Walk up the hillside around Anding town, where the Guomindang and CCP fought battles in the valley, and we can still see the CCP sniper nests.
Overnight in a rural guesthouse where we might have the chance to chat with local Red Army veterans of the civil war.
Thursday 20th October – Anding
Look around the local countryside and see if any of the locals invite us in for tea!
Visit the birthplace and cemetery of revolutionary martyr Xie Zichang. His old cave house is still built into the hillside, even though Chiang Kaishek tried to destroy it.
Drive back to the county town for lunch. Free afternoon to wander around the town square or grab a coffee, and buy provisions for the train. We’ll have an evening meal and goodbye drinks!
Overnight sleeper train back to Beijing departing at midnight and arriving at 9:29am the following morning
Friday 21st October – Beijing
Arrive into Beijing where the tour concludes. YPT can arrange transportation, accommodation and tours to your next destination in China.
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• Train in and out Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing as well as trains from and back to Beijing on the chinese part. Flights are extra.
• All meals in the DPRK and China unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides.
• Air-conditioned bus and driver in the DPRK.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).