We are proud to introduce a our new tour concept for the DPRK – A VIP photo tour run by photographers for photographers. This tour will be capped at 6 people in order to present you with the best and rarest opportunity to photograph daily life in the DPRK.
This is not a conventional DPRK tour that you may have heard of. Besides the usual stops at Mansudae Grand Monument and Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, we have designed an itinerary that allows you time in key places to get that perfect shot. We get up super early to catch sunrise along scenic spots like the Taedong River and the Juche Tower. As well as setting up our gear over looking the most iconic 105 storey Ryugyong Hotel and other various street scenes/famous landmarks at sunset. One of our expert YPT guides will be on hand to make sure we push the boundaries and get to the sites you want to – something only made possible with a small group.
During our stay we’ll obtain some of the highest rooms available in the 47 storey Yanggakdo Hotel which overlooks the Taendong River and Pyongyang skyline for a perfect vantage point to do some time lapse and long-exposure night shots. Our visit to the Chollima Steelworks Factory is an absolute photographer’s paradise with a retro soviet themed factory built during the 50’s of workers wearing old-school uniforms. We’ll also be photographing the many of Pyongyang’s futuristic and retro buildings for great architectural photos.
Our incredible relationship we have built with the Korean guides over the last 10 years will allow us to move as a small group with great flexibility for any photo opportunity.
The group is maxed at 6 people to ensure smooth running, flexibility and plenty of time at each location. The tour will be led by YPT’s very own semi professional photographer and prominent Instagrammer; Shane Horan (@shaneohodhrain) who has visited the DPRK over 40 times and has designed this itinerary.
Join us in the DPRK this July for the trip of a lifetime. Book fast as it’s first come first serve!
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.
Friday 24th July
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, along the way photography of rural DPRK is permitted
Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 13:25pm (Meet 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.
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Ryomyong Street
Check in and overnight at the Yanggakdo 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
Saturday 25th July
Explore the mysterious Pyongyang Metro. We’ll start from Puhung station, then ride one stop to Yonggwan station and 5 more stations onward to Kaeson Station. That’s three stations in total.
The Arch of Triumph- The largest Victory Arch on the planet – it celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of General Kim Il Sung to his home city. Kim Il Sung Stadium is nearby with opportunities to capture Pyongyang’s traffic
Lunch at the Koryo Hotel
Workers Party Foundation Monument – built in 1995 to signify the 50th anniversary of the Workers Party of Korea.
Juche Tower – The tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology.
Visit the Jangchon co-operative vegetable farm
We will set up alongside the Ryugyong Hotel (The tallest and most famous building in Pyongyang) for afternoon shots
Dinner at Pottongang Hotel
Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel
Sunday 26th July
Drive towards Nampo city (1-hour drive) – a port city located on the west coast of the Korean peninsula. A fantastic opportunity to see country life as we pass many rural villages on the way. Along the way, we’ll stop to take some compelling/eerie shots of a ten lane motorway with no traffic on it.
West Sea Barrage- An astounding example of socialist construction, the barrage was built to keep the salty water of the West sea from rendering parts of the Taedonggan river and surrounding farmland useless as well as to tame the local sea.
Unique trip highlight – Swim at Nampo beach and hang out with the locals!
Picnic lunch on the beach
Stop at Chollima Steel Complex – One of the DPRK’s most famous industrial sites- named after the Chollima movement it helped lead.
Chongsan Co-operative farm – One of the top co-op farms in the DPRK and a model of the co-op method. Here we’ll visit inside a farmers house, stop by the local nursery and snap any farmers working nearby.
Drive back to Pyongyang
Dinner and overnight in the Yanggakdo Hotel
Monday 27th July – Victory Day!
Kumsusan Palace of the sun- Where President Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong Il lie in state.
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 the Moranbong Chicken Restaurant
Lunch at the Moranbong Hill to dance, party and mingle with the locals as they celebrate the biggest holiday of the year
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.
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.
Mangyondae School Children’s Palace – The largest of the school children’s palace in the DPRK, we will first observe some lessons then watch a amazing performance
Expected Mass Dance for Victory Day, Join in or just watch for fantastic photo opportunities
Dinner at Duck BBQ Restaurant
Join the Locals in Kim Il Sung Square to watch the fireworks
Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Tuesday 28th July
We’ll start the morning by setting up at Kim Il Sung Square to catch the early commuters as they make their way to work. Kim Il Sung Square is the grand central square of Pyongyang where the military parades are televised
We’ll then continue our way to Mansudae water fountain park with mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il in the background
We’ll set up at the Mansudae Grand Monument where the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il stand overlooking the capital.
Lunch at the KITC restaurant in Mangyongdae District – here you can have the chance to sample Pyongyang’s famous Cold Noodle dish or the Korean traditional Bibimbap amongst other dishes.
Visit the Kim Jong Suk Textile Factory in the city center
Drive south to the DMZ city of Kaesong
Check-in and overnight at the Kaesong Folk-Lore Hotel
Wednesday 29th July
The DMZ- See one of the tensest places on earth complete with a friendly KPA officer who will not only give you a guided tour but also keep you safe. Also the only place you can take photographs of and even with a soldier!
Koryo Museum- Korea’s first university and now a museum of history and culture. Also home of the best stamp and propaganda poster shop in the DPRK, so don’t forget your wallet!
Lunch at the Thongil Restaurant in Kaesong – 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).
Walk up to Jannam Hill for a spectacular view over old Kaesong town
Drive back to Pyongyang
stopping at Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda.
Try locally brewed Makkoli in the local tea house
Stop by the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification
Dinner in Pyongyang
Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 Euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra depending on how awesome they are.
Overnight and at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Thursday 30th July
Breakfast in Pyongyang and drive to Wonsan city (4 hours) stopping at Sinpyong Lagoon along the way for a quick rest and refreshments
Picnic lunch at Ulim Waterfall – one of the most famous and beautiful waterfalls in the DPRK
Arrive in Wonsan, check into Tongmyong hotel overlooking Wonsan Bay
Trip highlight – Visit Wonsan Beach for a swim, sunbathe, or to play beach games with the locals (the entry for the beach is 2 euros per person)
Walk along the pier to Chok Islet where the locals will be fishing, drinking and enjoying their own BBQs with friends and family. Here you have the option of trying the fresh catch of the day for 5 euros; this will give you a good mix of everything
Dinner at a nearby famous seafood restaurant along the waterfront
Overnight at Tongmyong Hotel
Friday 31st July
Take a walk around Wonsan Central Square and the nearby port to see DPRK’s very own cruise ship named the Mangyongbong-92
Visit the former Railway Station which has now been converted into a Revolutionary site with an old Japanese stream engine left over by the Japanese during the Korean occupation
Visit Songdowon International Children’s Union Camp – This recently renovated summer camp was designed for children in both the DPRK and for international guests. Its facilities include a waterpark, dormitories, aquatic centre, aviary, track & field and a beach
Lunch at a local Wonsan restaurant to sample famous local dishes
Drive back to Pyongyang
Dinner in Pyongyang
Take a walk down new and bright Future Scientist’s street, perfect for long exposure shots
Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Saturday 1st August
Flight members depart at 9:00am and arrive in Beijing 9:55am local time.
Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing
Sunday 2nd August
Train arrives in 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. 4. Korean and western guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated)