This year make your month of October truly red by combining our China Revolutionary Red Base tour and our North Korea Party Foundation Day 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 lay 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.
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.
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.
Tuesday 8th October
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 12:55pm (meet the 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.
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
Dinner and overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Wednesday 9th October
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).
Foreign Language Bookshop- with a large selection of books in English and other European Languages as well as other souvenirs followed by a short walk to:
Kim Il Sung Square the central square of Pyongyang city and the place where all the action happens.
Lunch at the Gold Cup restaurant
Pyongyang Metro- ride 5 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.
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.
Juche Tower- Monument to the everlasting Juche Ideology (optional 5 euro to go to the top).
Visit Kwangbok department store – here is where most of the middle class in Pyongyang shop for local goods. It’s also our chance to obtain local DPRKorean Won!
Stop by the Taedonggang Micro Brewery for some refreshments (Pints are 2 euros each, coffee and soda also available)
Dinner at the National restaurant with performance!
Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Thursday 10th October – Party Foundation Day
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun- The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
Revolutionary Martyr’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.
Helicopter Joyride option – we’ll drive to Pyongyang Airport for a VIP lunch (included) and board a Mil Mi-17 to take on a joyride for a 40-minute aerial tour of Pyongyang city. (250 euros)
Lunch at the Moran Hill Restaurant
Walk up along Morangbong Hill located in the heart of Pyongyang. Here the locals visit the park to celebrate today with their families and friends with BBQ, dancing, singing and drinking. Fantastic opportunity to soak up the atmosphere.
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 parade, a circus performance, and possibly some other surprises.
Party Foundation Monument – this monument marks the 50th anniversary of the Worker’s Party of Korea built in 1995
Participate at Mass Dance ceremony held at the monument. A fantastic unique photo opportunity! Also don’t be shy to jump in and dance with the locals!
Dinner at Ji Ha Restaurant
Drinks and overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Friday 11th October
Drive to Kaesong City (2 hours) – this ancient city is only a stone throw away from the DMZ
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).
Visit the Concrete Wall observatory – here we’ll see the wall built by the South Koreans to prevent any possibility of an attack.
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. You can also try locally brewed Makkoli in a local bar.
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang cold noodles or Korean Bibimbap
Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Saturday 12th October
Today, we will train K28 from Pyongyang back to Beijing at 10:25, arriving the next day at 9:00 am! Beers, instant noodles and the dining car all being part of our party!
Sunday 13th October
Arrival in Beijing at 9:00! We’ll then head to our hotel to unpack our bags, rest and take a well-earned shower!
Lunch of Peking Duck
Meet the group members joining us from this point at 2pm in the foyer of the Beijing Zhong Gu hotel for pre-tour orientation.
Visit the revolutionary writer Lu Xun’s house in a typical Beijing ‘hutong’ lane.
Climb Jingshan for sunset views over the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
Dinner of local Beijing specialties and overnight in Beijing.
Monday 14th October
Up nice and early to visit the Mao Zedong Mausoleum in the middle of Tian’anmen Square where the Chairman’s body lies 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.
Take the 4 hour high-speed rail to Xi’an (14:00-18:23).
Check in to the hotel.
Wander around 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.
Tuesday 15th October
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.
Wednesday 16th October
High-speed Rail to the city of Yan’an (08:28-10:48).
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.
Tours of 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.
Thursday 17th October
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.
Dinner in Zichang.
Friday 18th October
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.
Evening in a rural guesthouse where we might have the chance to chat with local Red Army veterans of the civil war.
Saturday 19th October
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!
• 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).