To mark the 110th birthday celebrations of Kim Il Sung we are offering this exclusive VIP tour to make your experience in North Korea with us truly unique.
This tour is all inclusive of first-class soft sleeper bed on the overnight train from Beijing to Pyongyang, deluxe accommodation, and an Air Koryo flight out from Pyongyang back to Beijing to give you the ultimate experience. Your YPT guide will be Rowan Beard who has been leading tours for YPT into North Korea for over 9 years and has visited the country more than 100 times.
During the tour you’ll be taking in all the must see and do sights of Pyongyang such as the deep Pyongyang Metro, exploring Kim Il Sung Square, visiting the Korean War Museum, shopping at a local department store, taking part of all the massive celebrations planned for Kim Il Sung’s birthday including a Mass Games performance, military parade, mass dance involving over 10,000 university students, all whilst staying at the capital’s deluxe Koryo Hotel located downtown in Pyongyang.
You will also have the opportunity to visit Kaesong city, located only 8km from the DMZ border. Here you’ll dine at a traditional Korean Folklore House where you’ll have a Korean cooking class. We’ve also included some of Pyongyang’s most famous and delicious restaurants for you to taste and sample some of the best dishes the country has to offer including a seafood restaurant which hosted DPRK Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in 2018 and visit Kenji Fujimoto’s Sushi Bar who was Kim Jong Il’s personal sushi chef.
You’ll then head north of Pyongyang to Mt. Myohyang which is most famous for the International Friendship Exhibition. This incredible exhibition is buried deep into the sacred mountain and holds the gifts presented to all three leaders by other governments, corporations, and individuals such as Dennis Rodman and the Globetrotters! Something definitely worth checking out. We’ve arranged to stay at one of the very few 5 star hotels outside of Pyongyang within the mountain ranges of Mt. Myohyang. A perfect spot for hiking.
Due to the nature of some of the locals-only restaurants, we will cap this tour at 10 group members to give you more of a personal experience when visiting North Korea so be sure to secure your spot early.
Meet Rowan, your YPT guide at 1:30pm inside the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel near Beijing Railway Station found here. During this meeting, he’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, you’ll receive your 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.
Board the overnight first-class sleeper departing Beijing Railway Station at 5:25pm to Pyongyang.
Tuesday 12th April
Arrive in Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:00am for the extensive border control from the DPRK side
Arrive into Pyongyang Railway Station at 6:45pm to be greeted by our local Korean guides
Check in to Pyongyang’s deluxe Koryo Hotel with a tour of the twin towers
Dinner at Koryo Hotel Revolving Restaurant
Overnight at Koryo Hotel
Wednesday 13th April
Breakfast at hotel and drive 2 and a half hours south to Kaesong city – located only 8km from South Korea
Arrive at 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 Kaesong Folkore Hotel – here you’ll learn how to make tteok rice cake, a Korean bean pancake using the traditional method of smashing it with a large wooden hammer. This will be served as a side dish to your traditional Korean Pansangi set meal – a series of dishes served in bronze bowls.
Unique visit – 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 watchtowers along the hill from the DPRK post
Return to Pyongyang stopping on the way to pose for a photo at the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Reunification Highway.
Stop by Sariwon city – explore the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda. A great spot to try Makkoli, a local specialty beverage consisting of rice and alcohol.
Dinner at an upscale Korean BBQ restaurant in Pyongyang.
Overnight at Koryo Hotel
Thursday 14th April
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 Martyry’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.
Lunch at Okryu Restaurant – without question the most famous restaurant in the DPRK, known for its Pyongyang Cold Noodles, with the chef here responsible for cooking for Marshal Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in at their first Inter-Korean summit in 2018.
Ride the Pyongyang Metro – ride 6 stops in total 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.
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.
Dinner at Taedonggang Seafood Restaurant. Recently opened in 2018, this massive river-side establishment houses multiple restaurants and surreal, giant tanks with live fish and hosted Marshal Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in for dinner in 2018.
After dinner indulge in a special North Korean liquor tasting night with a resident expert in all things locally-made North Korean liquor. With tasting notes we’ll try soju, makgeolli, red wine, brandy and sake all made locally in the DPRK.
Overnight at Koryo Hotel
Friday 15th April – The Day of the Sun – Birthday of President Kim Il Sung
Morning walk from the Koryo Hotel along the Taedong river which divides Pyongyang into west and east districts – catch locals on their way to work and school.
Board the bus and cross the river to visit Kimilsungia Flower Festival Exhibition – former Indonesian President Surkarno gifted an orchid to Kim Il Sung and named it the Kimilsungia as a sign of great friendship. This exhibition is held in a giant greenhouse and is open to visitors as locals set up numerous exhibits.
Mangyongdae Native Home – Birthplace of the President Kim Il Sung and where he spent the early years of his childhood.
Mass Dance – a special Mass Dance event involving over 3,000 university students will take place at the Party Foundation Day monument for the 110th birthday of Kim Il Sung – the iconic stone monument with the giant hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party of Korea
Lunch at Victory Restaurant – located near the Arch of Triumph with incredible views
Walk to Moran Hill – this park is particular famous on Kim Il Sung’s Birthday as locals crowd to the park with their families and friends to partake in picnics, dancing and singing. Fantastic opportunity for photos.
Special celebratory events (optional: 150RMB or 20 euros) – a military circus performance or red orchestra performance – to be confirmed on the day
Trip highlight – watch the North Korean military parade take place by Kim Il Sung Square
Dinner at a small yet cosy restaurant located perfectly downtown for Pyongyang’s famous cold noodles dish served alongside other Korean traditional meals
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 join the locals on Kim Il Sung Square and watch the fireworks light up over the Taedong River.
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
Saturday 16th April
Morning walk from the Koryo Hotel along Pyongyang’s main avenue visiting Pyongyang Grand Theatre along the way and finishing at Kim Il Sung Square – located in the heart of the city
Explore Kim Il Sung Square and stop by 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).
Visit the Grand People’s Study House – the country’s largest library and adult education centre with spectacular views over Kim Il Sung Square
Visit the recently renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (Korean War Museum) for an extensive tour – with captured American weapons, tanks, jets and unique dioramas from famous battles and much more!
USS Pueblo – the only US Naval Vessel held captive by another nation and the centre of a major incident in 1968.
Juche Tower – The tallest stone tower in the world this monument represents the eternally burning flame of the Juche ideal (Optional extra 40RMB or 5 euro to go to the top of the tower).
Visit the Kwangbok Department Store – Pyongyang’s busiest department store. Here is your best chance to browse through locally made North Korean goods and to have access to local DPRK Won currency.
Mansugyo Beer Bar – usually a very busy and happening bar in Pyongyang, cheap beers with over seven different local brews on tap! Coffee and softdrink also available
Dinner at National Restaurant
Overnight at Koryo Hotel
Sunday 17th April
Visit the Three Revolution Exhibition – The exhibition primarily showcases the three revolutions of Kim Il-sung, the ideological, technical, and cultural with North Korean satellites on display.
Drive 2 and a half hours north of Pyongyang to the mountain ranges of Mt. Myohyang on the way stopping for refreshments
Visit Pohyon Temple – One of the 5 famous temples of Korea and one of the largest Buddhist temples in the DPRK.
Check into Hyangsan Hotel – One of the very few 5 star hotels
Lunch at Hyangsan Hotel and change into comfortable hiking gear
Hike the mountain ranges of Mt. Myohyang
Sangwon Valley is the most famous for the Sangwon Hermitage site at the end of the trail.
See breathtaking views of Manpok Valley which holds many scenic waterfalls.
Return to hotel, dinner drinks and overnight at Hyangsan Hotel
Monday 18th April
Visit the International Friendship Exhibition – Two large gift houses holding the gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from people, governments and institutions all over the world. One of the major highlights of the tour.
Lunch at Hyangsan Hotel
Head back to Pyongyang and on the way stopping at Ryongmun cavern – one of the most famous cave structures in Korea, it’s well known for its size and the uniqueness of its rock formations.
Stop by the Mansudae Art Studio where all the art works, portraits and monuments from the government are produced.
Munsu Water Park – with indoor and outdoor pools and waterslides available, the park also features plenty for those who don’t want to swim, including a café, beer bar, table tennis, billiards, gym, massage or get a North Korean haircut – swimming 80RMB other services around 50RMB. A great place to mingle with local people and a relaxing way to finish up the tour.
Rakwon Beer Bar, a small micro-brewery and bar for some pints with the optional extra visit to pay a visit to the famous Kenji Fujimoto Sushi Bar. This little sushi bar is owned by the once private chef of General Kim Jong Il. (Sushi at extra cost depending on your appetite).
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Liberation Street to eat a traditional Korean dish of Bibimbap meaning mixed rice, vegetable and meat dish.
Overnight at Koryo Hotel
Tuesday 19th April
Depart at 8:50am to Beijing on Air Koryo flight arriving 9:50am Beijing time
Farewell hugs at Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 – tour concludes
• Twin share deluxe accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 45 EUR per night).
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides.
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).
• First Class overnight sleeper train from Beijing – Pyongyang
• Air Koryo Flight Pyongyang – Beijing