We’ve taken our classic Pyongyang tour and formulated it to include North Korea’s most common mode of transport, the bicycle!
Ever since Pyongyang installed its first bike lanes throughout the districts back in 2015, it struck us as a great idea to hold Pyongyang’s first-ever leisurely city cycle tour. With plenty of bicycle city tours already under our belt, we’d like to keep sharing this experience with you as it marks one of our favourite tours of the year.
For two of our five day tour, we will keep our tour bus stationary as we hit the pavement with our locally made DPRK bicycles! This will give us the greatest advantage to not only commute amongst the locals of Pyongyang but for fantastic photo opportunities as well as enjoying the perfect weather and climate during this season.
The tour will start off with a day visit down to the DMZ (by bus!) to meet the local KPA officers to have a rundown on the Panmunjom situation. The following day we’ll visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun where Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state. We’ll do a quick tour of the Pyongyang Metro and then we’ll collect our bicycles and say goodbye to our bus!
From here on we’ll do the remaining city tour pedalling ourselves through the capital as a group. We’ll visit locations such as the Korean War Museum, Kim Il Sung Square, Mangyondae district, Juche Tower, a shooting range, winding through many streets and districts of the city, and much more. We’ll finally conclude our cycling tour by having a dip at the new Munsu Water Park and riding the slides with the locals to cool off.
We’ve carefully planned this tour to give us time to take breaks and to enjoy the scenery around us during the cycling. It’s not a serious cycling tour that requires you to wear a helmet or spandex- it’s a casual city cycle as we make our way around Pyongyang city!
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 22nd September
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 (Group will meet at the Air Koryo check in counter at 10:00am).
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.
Visit Mansudae Grand Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking the city.
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Ryomyong Street.
Check-in and overnight at Sosan Hotel.
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.
Wednesday 23rd September
Early wake up for a drive down to Kaesong city
Panmunjon DMZ Village- see the DMZ and the treaty and conferences rooms where the armstice 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).
Tomb of King Kongmin- the only original tomb of its kind still standing in the DPRK.
Drop by Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountaintop pagoda, as well as grab a beer or Makkoli in a local bar.
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
Drive back to Pyongyang
Dinner at the KITC Restaurant in Mangyongdae
Kaeson Youth Park (entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
Overnight in Sosan Hotel.
Thursday 24th September – Cycling Day 1
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun- The resting place for the President Kim Il Sung and the General Kim Jong Il.
Ride the famous Pyongyang Metro – Stop 1 to Stop 2, then on to Stop 6, exiting at:
The Arch of Triumph: this monument celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of the general Kim Il Sung to his home city.
Stop by the Sosan Hotel to change clothes
Visit a local department store to shop for some locally-made goods and also our chance to get some local DPRK Won to spend!
Lunch at Ji Ha Restaurant, located in the basement of the Kwangbok department store.
Collect our bicycles and cycle down Liberation Street – constructed in 1989, it’s a huge street where over 50,000 Korean famlies live
Cycle to Mangyongdae Funfair – the most classic theme park in the DPRK with 1980 soviet retro rides and even a double loop rollercoaster!
Visit the Birth House of President Kim Il Sung
Cycle to Meari Shooting Range located in the sports district of Pyongyang – this shooting range has recently been renovated to include indoor shooting with pistols, rifles, or archery! .50 US cents per bullet
Cycle to Mangyongdae School Children’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.
Cycle to KITC restaurant to sample Pyongyang’s famous Cold Noodle dish or the Korean traditional Bibimbap mixed rice dish – amongst other classic Korean dishes
Cycle back to the Sosan Hotel for some well-deserved drinks
Overnight in Sosan Hotel.
Friday 25th September – Cycling Day 2
Collect our bikes from the hotel and cycle our way to Mirae Scientist Street with tall apartment blocks and a unique design that shows off the new-age socialist construction.
Continue cycling along the Taedong River – this river divides Pyongyang to east and west. It’s a beautiful ride where we’ll be able to see locals fishing along the bank and walking to work or school.
Cycle to Pyongyang Grand Theatre, and then onward to the iconic Kim Il Sung Square
We’ll visit the Foreign Language Bookstore near Kim Il Sung Square which has a large selection of books in English and other European languages, as well as other souvenirs.
Cycle along Changjon Street, another street scattered with high rises, while we make our way to:
Grand People’s Study House – a library and academic centre for adult learners, this grand building is constructed in the traditional Korean style and affords a great view over the central Square.
We’ll head back by the Arch of Triumph for a few more photos on our way to:
The 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.
Lunch at Moran Hill Chicken restaurant
Cycle over to east Pyongyang to the Juche Tower – a monument to the everlasting Juche Ideology (optional 5 euro to go to the top for some amazing panoramic views of Pyongyang city).
Continue cycling through East Pyongyang – lined with apartment buildings and shops
Cycle to the Party Foundation monument – a monument built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the party featuring a giant hammer, sickle, and writing brush, the symbol of the Worker’s Party of Korea
Cycle to 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).
Cycle down to Taedonggang Micro Brewery #3 – fantastic range of beers. Juices and soft drinks are also available.
Farewell dinner and drinks at the National Restaurant with a live performance from the waitresses!
Overnight in Sosan Hotel.
Saturday 26th September
Flight members depart at 8:50am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 9:50am Beijing time).
Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing on train K28
Sunday 27th 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).