Young Pioneer Tours are extremely pleased to announce our participation in the 11th annual Rason Trade Fair and Exhibition, the premier trade exhibition for domestic and foreign companies in the main Special Economic Zone of North Korea.
The Rason International Trade Fair delegation is far from restricted to people interested in doing business in North Korea, and is very much open to academics, or simply tourists that wish to see a part of North Korea that gets less than 100 annual foreign visitors.
Rason is located in the far North East of North Korea, which borders Russia and China. Definitely the less visited area of the DPRK and perhaps it’s status as an SEZ tends to make people question how “real” the DPRK it is. Whatever the reason may be, it’s become a true hidden gem of the DPRK.
In Rason it is not only possible to change Korean Won at the unofficial rates, but also the only place in North Korea where can visit the private markets. You may also apply for your very own DPRK debit card, mingle with students at the Foreign Language School, visit local factories, drop by joint ventures restaurants and more. A great trip for returners or for people who want to see the DPRK that most people never do.
Group A members start and finish the tour in Beijing, Group B members can start and finish the tour in Yanji.
Please note: Young Pioneer Tours are the only company taking a delegation to the 2021 Rason Trade Fair and exhibition, and this will be our 7th year of taking part. This trip will be strictly capped at 9 participants, so early booking is recommended. Dates are tentative and subject to change according to the trade fair.
Group A members will meet your YPT guide at 10:00am 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 travelers and to discuss any other questions you may have about the DPRK.
Walk to Beijing Railway Station and board the overnight sleeper train at 1:16pm for the journey to Yanji city.
Dinner, drinks, and overnight on the train.
Arrive in Yanji at 2:06pm and transfer to the Liujing Hotel – coincidentally this hotel’s name in Korean is Ryugyong Hotel, the very same name of the giant pyramid hotel in Pyongyang. This hotel is owned and operated by the DPRK state.
Group B members will meet with Group A members at the hotel
Walk down the main street of Yanji where South Korean businesses have opened restaurants and cafes nearby the Yanbian University
Dinner and drinks at Korean BBQ restaurant nearby – (optional costs 50RMB per person)
Overnight at Liujing Hotel
8:00am departure to the border between the DPRK and China – 2 and half hour drive
Arrive at the Chinese Immigration Border to go through border formalities
Cross the friendship bridge linking China and the DPRK
Meet our two local Korean guides and head to the Rason International Travel Agency restaurant for lunch
Visit the mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il.
Visit the Rason Foreign Languages School – here we can have an impromptu class and speak/teach English with the students.
Visit Golden Triangle Bank – it is permitted to exchange foreign currencies into Korean Won at an unpublished rate and to open a local DPRK bank account. Here you can use and keep your local DPRK debit card as a souvenir
Visit the Rajin Clothing & Shoe Factory – one of the more interesting factories in town with a lot of outsourced production finding its way here.
Dinner at the Local Noodle House – here we can sample some very famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles
Overnight at Rason Hotel
A short hike up Mt Sahyang – the highest peak in the region to visit a revolutionary site
Visit Rason Art Gallery – Most of the works here are also for sale with some of the DPRK’s top artists having paintings featured
Rason Bookshop and Souvenir Shop – books and a wide range of souvenirs are available here.
Rason Kindergarten – watch a fabulous performance which is particularly famous in the region. We encourage tourists to bring some sweets, snacks and stationery to gift to the children.
Take part in the opening of the 9th annual Rason Trade Fair – here we will have the chance to rub shoulders with local Korean businesspeople, Government officials and people currently involved in business in Rason SEZ.
Specially organized welcome dinner for everyone participating in the Rason International Trade Fair
Dinner at Kumyong Restaurant
Overnight at Rason Hotel.
Visit the only private market where foreign visitors are able to visit in North Korea. Here it is possible to see what’s available for normal citizens to buy and sell. We will have access to local DPRKorean Won as well as other hard currencies. This is one of the best and cheapest places on the planet to buy some great seafood, soviet clothing, cigarettes, alcohol and other locally made goods.
Head to the Rason Trade Fair where everything is now underway and in full swing. Seminars will be held and possible to attend as well as exploring booths and exhibitions.
Outside of the Rason Trade Fair there are a number of street food vendors, both local and international, so for lunch we embrace the North Korean street food scene with lunch at a nearby local restaurant.
Visit the Rason Port and hear about how it’s developing within the Second Economic Zone.
Visit the Imperial Hotel – this astonishing 5 Star hotel and casino built by Hong Kong investors. Here we can take a look around and relax over a coffee.
For dinner head to the Ukrainian restaurant, one of the only foreign private restaurants in Rason
Seeing as this is our last full night we head to the famous Czech brewery for farewell with our local guides
Overnight at Rason Hotel
Thursday 19th August
Up early and check out of the hotel.
Visit Pipha Island for scenic ocean shots of the East Sea of Korea – optional boat ride to see local seals on the reef
Visit a Joint Venture Seafood Factory
Drive to Sonbong to visit the Sonbong Revolutionary site.
Drive to the three-point pass where the borders of the DPRK, China and Russia meet. Incredibly unique photo opportunity.
Picnic lunch at the three-point pass overlooking China and Russia
Visit the monument of Admiral Ri Sun Xin – most famous within the country for designing the Turtle Ship
Visit the DPRK-Russia Friendship Pavilion
Drive to DPRK customs and cross back to China through immigration
Met by our private bus for the journey back to Yanji
On the way back we stop at the Tumen border crossing where it is possible to buy a number of items not available in North Korea, with YPT able to get the best prices in town
On arrival in Yanji Group B members tour concludes, Group A members check into the LiuJing Hotel
We finish our last night of the tour by heading out for dinner in Yanji, with the cuisine famous in the northeast region of China
Overnight at LiuJing Hotel
Friday 20th August
Free morning to explore Yanji by foot
We finish our journey by heading to Yanji East Railway Station to board the 1:26pm fast train to Beijing.
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• Train from Beijing to Yanji and Yanji to Beijing.
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides.
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).