The Real Deal Tour: 75th Anniversary Party Foundation Day
The name of the
tour says it all. This is the real deal. This entire tour includes the rural
northeast of the DPRK which is way off the usual tourist trail, and combining
the must-see sights of Pyongyang and the DMZ with a connecting domestic flight,
something that is certainly unique for an experience in North Korea. We’ve
timed this tour perfectly to catch the 75th Anniversary Party
Foundation Day celebrations taking place in Pyongyang which a military parade
has been confirmed for this day.
Our journey first
starts in Beijing where we’ll board our overnight sleeper train to Tumen, a
border town of China that lays directly across the Tumen River from the
DPRK, only a stone’s throw away. Once arriving, we’ll have time to explore this
strange town and spend the evening at a local hotel.
morning we’ll go through Chinese immigration and become one of the very few
western tourists to walk across a bridge into North Korea. Here we’ll be met by
our friendly local Korean guides and head directly to Wangjaesan grand
monument, one of the most impressive in the country and a must-see for any
fan of grand socialist monuments.
We’ll then make
our way to Hoeryong city, a beautiful town famous for pretty girls, apricots
and the hometown of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Jong Il’s Mother). Other highlights
include Kim Ki Song middle school where we’ll involve ourselves in an English
class; most of these students have most likely never seen a
Next on our
agenda will be the infamous Chongjin industrial city, where we’ll be able to
visit a local kindergarten where the workers of the Kim Chaek steelworks
factory send their children to study. We’ll also explore the recently renovated
square centred in the DPRK’s third largest city and the revolutionary museum
that holds history on the battle for liberation against the Japanese during
destination is Mt Chilbo, famous for its incredible nature of both land and
sea. Here we’ll indulge in the only homestay available in the country for
two nights. This is a one of a kind experience will lead us to spend our
time eating, drinking, playing sports and exchanging photos with
our Korean homestay family. We’ll also take advantage of the mountains
here and go for gentle hikes along the peaks for spectacular views. After
saying goodbye to our Korean families, we’ll make our way to Orang Airport to
board one of the very few domestic flights to Pyongyang city!
This concludes our adventure of the rural northeast of Korea.
Once arriving in
Pyongyang, we’ll dig deep into the must-see sights of the capital. We’ll be
visiting the Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the Korean War
Museum, riding the deep and mystifying Pyongyang Metro, drinking
at the local microbreweries, Kim Il Sung Square and much much more. And of
course, no trip to North Korea is ever complete without a day visit to the DMZ
to see where both North and South Korea separate their land.
During the 75th Anniversary Party Foundation Day celebrations we’ll catch the mass dance performance, fireworks and the military parade!
And there you
have it! All the must-see sights of the DPRK in one very convenient and not to
be missed package.
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 travellers and to discuss any other questions you may have about the DPRK.
Take the overnight sleeper train at 1:00pm for Tumen City.
During the journey, your YPT guide will be happy to answer any DPRK based questions you might have and use his Chinese ability to keep you stocked up with drinks and food for the journey.
Sunday 4th October
Arrival in Tumen at 3:06pm
Check into a hotel situated within walking distance of the border
A chance to hang out by the river to have dinner and look over the border in the DPRK, this is also a great place to buy local souvenirs
Overnight in Tumen
Monday 5th October
Up early to drive to the border to go through some very relaxed but also extremely curious Chinese customs.
Walk the bridge into the DPRK to meet your local guides and some friendly but amazingly thorough DPRK customs officials.
Get your first taste of North Korean Cuisine with Lunch at a local restaurant in Namyang city square complete with a performance!
Drive to Wangjaesan Grand Monument – one of the most spectacular monuments in the DPRK.
Drive to Hoeryong city (2 hours)- Population 140,000, This city is famous for white apricots, ceramics and beautiful girls! It’s also the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung’s revolutionary hero wife- Kim Jong Suk.
We’ll pay a very special visit to Kim Ki Song Middle School – they have an English class here full of students learning basic English. We use this time to join the students, ask them questions and let them ask us questions. This is one of our favourite stops on the tour!
Check into the Hoeryong Hotel
Dinner, drinks and overnight at the hotel
Tuesday 6th October – Homestay!
Visit the statue of Mother Kim Jong Suk (Mother of General Kim Jong Il) and her revolutionary Museum.
Visit the native home of Mother Kim Jong Suk
Drive to Chongjin City (2 hours) – Chongjin in DPRK’s third-largest city and is most famous for its steelworks industry.
Check-in at Chongjin Hotel and have lunch
Visit the newly renovated city square to see the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il
We’ll walk around the square to visit the newly built E-Library – here the locals have a chance to use their local intranet for research, practice their typing skills and to play locally made computer games
Visit the Revolutionary Museum of Chongjin
Visit the local Kim Chaek Steel Complex Kindergarten for a Children’s Performance – we can also bring some goodies for the kids here!
Chongjin Art Gallery – The best place to pick up unique Korean artwork
Visit the Soviet Martyrs Cemetery – this cemetery was built to commemorate the Russians who landed in Chongjin to battle the Japanese Aggressors during WW2. The Cemetery has a fantastic view of Chongjin’s east port.
Dinner and drinks at Namgang Restaurant – during dinner we’ll have the option to dance and sing with the Korean waitresses.
We will have the option to visit the new Namgang hot spot for a hot bath and swimming. (60 RMB Extra)
Overnight and drinks at Chongjin Hotel
Wednesday 7th October – Homestay!
Drive to Mt. Chilbo (3 hours) stopping along the coastal road for some gorgeous scenic views
Arrive at the entrance to Mt. Chilbo for an explanation of the area using the world’s largest mineral painting map as a guide.
Lunch at Outer Chilbo Hotel
We’ll begin our easy hike through the mountains of Chilbo – this region is the most famous part of North Hamgyong province and has lots of colourful stories to explain the various rock structures.
We’ll stop by Kaesim Buddhist Temple and meet the local monk
Trip Highlight – We’ll drive to the homestay village where we’ll be greeted by our families and then taken to our homes.
Dinner and homestay overnight at the village – two guests per family
Thursday 8th October
We’ll begin another hike, this time up to Tokgol and Gangsonmun areas – these are the highest peaks of the Mt. Chilbo area and we’ll have stunning views of both the land and the sea.
Picnic lunch once we reach the top!
Spectate or play volleyball with the locals, play with the children, help with some light chores or walk around to meet the neighbours!
Jump on a local fisherman’s boat and drive out to see to see the magnificent Mt. Chilbo from afar (30 RMB extra)
Optional Korean wrestling and volleyball tournament with the villagers.
Dinner at the homestay village
Bonfire party on the beach with the villagers, singing songs and dancing.
Overnight with our Korean Homestay families.
Friday 9th October
Morning chores with homestay family – not a must but a very polite gesture
Yombun revolutionary site- On the way, we’ll stop at this beautiful scenic site named for being one of the first places on the East Coast where villagers discovered a new way to get sea salt despite the East sea being almost tideless.
Gyongsong Revolutionary Museum
Jipsam Revolutionary Site with picnic lunch
Drive to Orang Airport and board a local domestic Air Koryo flight at 3:00pm flying to Pyongyang city – here we’ll say goodbye to our local North Hamgyong Korean guides!
Arriving in Pyongyang at 3:50pm and be greeted by our new local Pyongyang guides
Visit the Three Revolutions Exhibition center – the exhibition primarily showcases the three primary fields of revolution – ideological, technical, and cultural.
Stroll along the new Mirae Scientist Street to see one of the newest residential areas in Pyongyang
Dinner at Dongsong restaurant
Overnight in Sosan Hotel
Saturday 10th October – 75th Anniversary Party Foundation Day
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). We expect it to be very busy at this time with locals paying their respect.
Foreign Language Bookshop- Shopping central for books, pins, DVD’s, CD’s and periodicals in English and other foreign Languages, followed by a brisk walk to:
Kim Il Sung Square- The central square of Pyongyang City.
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.
Lunch at the Chongryu Korean Hot Pot restaurant.
Walk along Moran Hill where Korean families gather for outdoor BBQ, singing and dancing. Fantastic for photos.
Special celebratory events (optional: approx 20 euros) – 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.
Juche Tower- The tallest stone tower in the world it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology.
Monument to the Party Foundation- Built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the worker’s party.
Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic DPRK monument – fantastic for rare photo opportunities!
Watch the military parade
Dinner at a local restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang cold noodles or Korean Bibimbap with a special performance from the waitresses
We’ll gather in Kim Il Sung Square to watch the fireworks amongst the locals to celebrate today’s event.
Overnight at Sosan Hotel
Sunday 11th October
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
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 the Moran Hill Chicken Restaurant
Visit the recently renovated 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.
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.
Visit Kwangbok department store – here we can buy locally made items and exchange our foreign currency into local DPRK Won!
Drinks at the Taedongang #3 brewery with seven different beers on tap! (Beers 1.5 euro each).
Dinner at the Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant.
Overnight in Sosan Hotel.
Monday 12th October
Up nice and early for the drive to Kaesong city (2 and a half hours)
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.
Tuesday 13th October
Flight members depart at 8:50am for Beijing arriving 9:50am in Beijing local time
Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing.
Wednesday 14th October
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-Tumen and then 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)