Central Asia and Beyond

We have carefully selected these destinations as they are places we love to travel to ourselves. Many are so remote that the cost and travel arrangements would just not make it practical to arrange yourself so we make sure we arrange all of this for you- you just need to sit back and enjoy the journey. A thread of common history and culture connects them but above all all else we love to take people to meet our friends, family and just share our enthusiasm for these amazing places. Have a look below and explore where your next journey will be. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at all.

February 2 - February 5/6 2019

Chinese New Year in North Korea Long Weekend Tour

3 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

The perfect way to escape the madness that is the Chinese New Year by heading from China to North
Korea and give yourself a long weekend off. Round-trip by train or upgrade to flight. Limited
train tickets.


From 999 EUR per person

Please apply by 22nd January, 2019.

Chinese New Year in North Korea Long Weekend Tour

3 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

The perfect way to escape the madness that is the Chinese New Year
by heading from China to North Korea and give yourself a long weekend
off. Round-trip by train or upgrade to flight. Limited train
tickets.


From 999 EUR per person

  • Overall

    For anyone who has spent time in China during the Chinese New Year period, it most likely will be your last. Visit North Korea and escape the cold, eerie, deserted cities that even big cities like the capital Beijing become to… head to another one!

    Visit North Korea during the winter period and go during a time when few other tourists visit. Pyongyang in winter has a great mysterious, deserted vibe - often topped off by a beautiful blanket of snow.

    Spend your Chinese New Year long weekend here with a city tour of the capital city of Pyongyang, and a visit to the de facto North-South Korean border at the DMZ, during which you’ll stop by the historic town of Kaesong.

    Visit North Korea on our Chinese New Year in North Korea Long Weekend Tour, perfect for those going from China to North Korea, looking for adventure travel on a budget. Or, those wanting to escape the Chinese New Year and head out of the country.

    Cross North Korea off your travel bucket list and get a key insight into this rarely-visited country. Prepare yourself for a truly fascinating trip!

    Visit North Korea and have a more in-depth look? Check out our longer Chinese New Year in North Korea Tour.

    Scroll down for an overview Chinese New Year in North Korea Long Weekend Tour highlights, the itinerary, transport choices, DPRK tourist visa information, and tour add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Dine on cold noodles, Pyongyang's speciality, at Pyongyang's most famous restaurant
    • Shop with locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
    • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone up close
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 1 | Friday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
    2. February 2 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo | We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spy ship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.  
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | The Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang. Great views of the city and creature comforts on an island in the middle of the Taedong River. Home away from home for the majority of tour groups visiting Pyongyang. Shops, bookstore, cafes, revolving restaurant, beer brewed on-site.

    3. February 3 | Sunday

      Pyongyang City Tour and drive to Kaesong

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here.Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here. Here we will also see the Chollima, or ‘thousand ri [400 mile] horse’ – a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Lunch at Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okgyuwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
      PM
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Mangyondae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.  
      • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.
      Overnight | Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong. A basic hotel with distinct Soviet-style architecture and friendly staff. Ideal for those wanting a western bed, hot water, and reliable electricity.
    4. February 4 | Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM

      • Old City walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
      • Ginseng Products Factory | Factory producing a variety of quality ginseng products, Koryo Insam. Kaesong has been famous for its ginseng products and trade since the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD).
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum  | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 2.5 hour drive.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

      • Farwell dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
    5. February 5 | Tuesday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday February 6 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for the lunch at Kwangbok Department Store Food Court and meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 22nd January, 2019.

February 2 - February 7/8 2019

Chinese New Year in North Korea Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Escape the chaos in China over the Chinese New Year Holiday and enjoy North Korea tourism at its best, getting
a comprehensive look into all of the main sites of the DPRK. Round-trip by train or upgrade to flight. Limited
train tickets.


From 1,199 EUR per person

Please apply by 22nd January, 2019.

Chinese New Year in North Korea Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Escape the chaos in China over the Chinese New Year Holiday and enjoy North
Korea tourism at its best, getting a comprehensive look into all of the
main sites of the DPRK. Round-trip by train or upgrade to flight. Limited
train tickets.


From 1,199 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Head to Pyongyang by train or plane and enjoy an extensive Pyongyang city tour, visiting all of the must-see sites - as well as some not-so-frequently-visited ones.

    Making the most of North Korea tourism, this tour also includes a trip to the DMZ, the border to North and South Korea and often referred to as ‘the world’s most dangerous border’ - but is today the the centre of North-South reconciliation.

    As well as this, we also pack in a trip to Sariwon and Sinchon for a look back at some of the most divisive history of the Korean War.

    Our Chinese New Year in North Korea Tour is perfect for those going from China to North Korea, seeking adventure travel on a budget. Or, those wanting to escape China during Chinese New Year holidays.

    Mark North Korea off your bucket list and get a key insight into this little-explored country. Prepare yourself for a truly fascinating experience with Koryo Tours.

    If your wallet hasn’t quite recovered post-Christmas, our Chinese New Year in North Korea Long Weekend may be the right answer!

    Scroll down for an overview Chinese New Year in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Dine on cold noodles, Pyongyang's specialty, at Pyongyang's most famous restaurant
    • Shop with locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
    • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
    • Leave 10 years younger from Ryungyong Health Coplex
    • Rural Sariwon, Sinchon, and Museum of US War Crimes
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 1 | Friday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
    2. February 2 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo | We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012. Visit its exhibits of the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the spy ship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.  
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | The Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang. Great views of the city and creature comforts on an island in the middle of the Taedong River. Home away from home for the majority of tour groups visiting Pyongyang. Shops, bookstore, cafes, revolving restaurant, beer brewed on-site.

    3. February 3 | Sunday

      Pyongyang City Tour and drive to Kaesong

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here. Here we will also see the Chollima, or ‘thousand ri [400 mile] horse’ – a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Lunch at Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okgyuwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
      PM
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Mangyondae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.  
      • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarized Zone.
      Overnight | Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong. A basic hotel with distinct Soviet-style architecture and friendly staff. Ideal for those wanting a western bed, hot water, and reliable electricity.
    4. February 4 | Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM

      • Old City walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
      • Ginseng Products Factory | Factory producing a variety of quality ginseng products, Koryo Insam. Kaesong has been famous for its ginseng products and trade since the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD).
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi)  | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 2.5 hour drive.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

      • Farwell dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
    5. February 5 | Tuesday

      Pyongyang City Tour and Drive to Sariwon

      AM

      • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
      • Party Founding Museum | The building built by the Japanese in 1923 where President Kim Il Sung founded the Korean Worker's Party on October 10 1945. The building was turned into a museum in 1970. Next to the museum is the building where President Kim Il Sung lived in the early days of his presidency.

      • Grand People’s Study House // National library and public university in traditional Korean style with great views of Kim Il Sung Square. Learn about education in the DPRK.

      PM

      • Ryugyong Health Complex | Opened in 2012, a huge health and leisure facility in East Pyongyang with barber shops, beauty salons, massage, and saunas. It is also the home for the Open-air Ice Rink and Pyongyang Skatepark.
      • Pyongyang Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
      • Drive 1 hour south to Sariwon the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agro-industrial production and home to one of the country’s top agricultural universities.  

      Overnight | March 8th Hotel, Sariwon. March 8th is Women’s Day, a noted holiday in the socialist world. This hotel is a quirky one as it is quite gaudily furnished by donated beds, chairs, etc. from a South Korean furniture magnate during friendlier times. Good restaurant and some basic leisure facilities, rarely used by foreign guests due to its proximity to Pyongyang. This is certainly a ‘different’ option.   
    6. February 6 | Wednesday

      Sariwon and Sinchon

      AM

      • Sariwon Central Square | Statues of the DPRK leadership where locals go to pay their respects. Recently opened to tourists. A presentation of flowers is recommended.
      • Sinchon Town and Museum of US War Crimes | Recently renovated museum dedicated to ‘crimes committed by the US imperialists’. Located on the site of a civilian massacre, the museum has an array of harrowing exhibits, displays, and panoramas on the haunting events that took place in this region during the war. Not for the faint at heart and sensitivity is called for here.
      • Migok Co-Operative Farm | Learn about rural life in the DPRK at this farming community on the bucolic plains of Sariwon. Visit the farm's museum, viewpoint, and local home.
      PM
      • Sariwon City and Folk Village | recently built mock-up of a traditional Korean walled city which includes a history museum, food street and pavilions. Make sure to try the homemade makkolli here!
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. A 1-hour drive.
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of beer (50 cents a pint). Popular with locals after work and on weekends!
      • Farewell BBQ dinner at Potonggang Restaurant.
      Overnight  | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
    7. February 7 | Thursday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS251 at 10:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday February 8 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for the lunch at Kwangbok Department Store Food Court and meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 22nd January, 2019.

February 14 - February 19/20 2019

Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop in the DPRK over one
of the biggest North Korea holidays – leader Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 1,199 EUR per person

Please apply by 2nd February, 2019.

Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop
in the DPRK over one of the biggest North
Korea holidays – leader Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 1,199 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Leader Kim Jong Il, President Kim Il Sung’s son and father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was born on 16th February. This date is saved in the DPRK calendar as a day of celebrations, and one of the most important North Korea holidays.

    Locals have time off work, and there are many special events that go on in the city, that foreigners are also welcome to attend.

    During this North Korea holiday time, we expect mass dances, a special performance at the Pyongyang Circus, and a chance to visit the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition. Plus, there may be a chance to view the epic North Korea fireworks from a Kim Il Sung Square filled with locals also gathering to watch the fireworks after a day of celebrations with the family.

    Aside from all of the special events, we this action-packed itinerary also includes a city tour of all of the not-to-miss sites of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kwangbok Supermarket.

    It is also possible to add a 2-night skiing extension to this tour. Try out the slopes of North Korea’s only ski resort open to foreigners: Masik Pass.

    If you’d like a more in-depth insight into Pyongyang and North Korea, join us on our longer Kim Jong Birthday Tour.

    Scroll down for an overview of Leader Kim Jong Il’s Birthday in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Day of the Shining Star - Celebrations on General Kim Jong Il's Birthday
    • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured US spy ship USS Pueblo
    • Shop with locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
    • Ride one of Pyongyang's oldest trolleybuses
    • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 13 | Wednesday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near out office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. February 14 | Thursday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 14:00. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 17:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. February 15 | Friday

      Kaesong and the DMZ
      • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone, with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall - Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Ginseng Products Factory | Factory producing a variety of quality ginseng products, Koryo Insam. Kaesong has been famous for its ginseng products and trade since the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD).
      • We'll drive around two hours to Sariwon City and Folk village - recently built mock-up of a traditional Korean walled city which includes a history museum, food street and pavilions. Make sure to try the homemade makkolli here!
      • Migok Co-Operative Farm | Learn about rural life in the DPRK at this farming community on the bucolic plains of Sariwon. Visit the farm's museum, viewpoint, and a local home.
      • Continue driving to Pyongyang. A 1 hour drive.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    4. February 16 | Saturday

      DPRK Holiday - Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

      AM
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.

      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo |  We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      PM
      • This afternoon we will have the chance to attend one or more special performances held specially to commemorate the birthday of Kim Jong Il. All of these performances are stunning and usually involve an entrance fee of approx. 20 EUR each.
      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we also expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A bar serving seven types of beer. Popular after work and on weekends, it's the best place to drink pints with the locals!

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    5. February 17 | Sunday

      Pyongyang City Tour and drive to Mt. Myohyang

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      PM
      • Trolleybus Ride | A ride through Pyongyang on one of the city’s famous trolleybuses.
      • Munsu Water Park | Take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2EUR; swimming fee with suit rental 10 EUR).
      • Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.
      Overnight | Huichon Hotel, Huichon City. Basic but clean hotel located 30 minutes north of Mt. Myohyang. Very good local food much different from the lowlands, on-site sauna, and limited electricity. A must for those wishing to visit every province in the DPRK as it is situated just across the border into the otherwise tourist-devoid Jagang Province.
    6. February 18 | Monday

      Mt Myohyang

      AM
      • International Friendship Exhibition | An exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning.
      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple | A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with stone pagoda and repository of a print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasion during the Koryo Dynasty.

      PM
      • Manpok Valley Walk | A gentle stroll passing waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 - 3 hour drive.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      • Farewell group dinner at the Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    7. February 19 | Tuesday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday February 20 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 2nd February, 2019.

February 14 - February 21/22 2019

Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations over one of the biggest holidays in the DPRK’s
calendar – the birthday of Kim Jong Il on February 16th. Plus Nampo
and Mt. Myohyang!

From 1,399 EUR per person

Please apply by 2nd February, 2019.

Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations over one of the biggest
holidays in the DPRK’s calendar – the birthday
of Kim Jong Il on February 16th. Plus Nampo
and Mt. Myohyang!

From 1,399 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Join in the celebrations over one of the biggest holidays in the DPRK’s calendar, and one of the best for North Korea tourism. Visiting during Kim Jong Il's birthday you can expect many special events in Pyongyang over this time, such as the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition, a performance of the Pyongyang Circus and a mass dance performance.

    North Koreans have this special day off so they’ll be spending their day joining in the celebrations throughout Pyongyang city. Come and join in the celebrations with the locals!

    North Korea tourism doesn’t get much better than this as apart from the birthday celebrations, our comprehensive Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour includes a full city tour of Pyongyang and a day trip to the North-South Korea DMZ border. Be one of the first tourists to be able to cross the demarcation line and visit the tree planted by Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In.

    This tour also includes going to the port city of Pyongyang, Nampo, where you can enjoy the exclusive hot spring hotel and the famous BBQ petrol clams, as well as a drive out to see the Friendship Exhibition House in the beautiful Mt. Myohyang region.

    It is also possible to add a 2-night skiing extension to this tour at Masik Pass. Try skiing at North Korea’s only ski resort open to foreigners.

    Having a busy February? Join in the celebrations on our short Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour, whilst packing in the must-see sights of Pyongyang!

    Scroll down for an overview of leader Kim Jong Il’s Birthday tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Day of the Shining Star - Celebrations on General Kim Jong Il's Birthday
    • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured US spy ship USS Pueblo
    • Shop with locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
    • Ride one of Pyongyang's oldest trolleybuses
    • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone up close
    • West Sea Barrage in Nampo
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 13 | Wednesday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
    2. February 14 | Thursday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 14:00. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 17:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. February 15 | Friday

      Kaesong and the DMZ
      • Drive 2.5 hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, the ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarized Zone, with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) - A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Ginseng Products Factory | Factory producing a variety of quality ginseng products, Koryo Insam. Kaesong has been famous for its ginseng products and trade since the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD).
      • We'll drive around two hours to Sariwon City and Folk village - recently built mock-up of a traditional Korean walled city which includes a history museum, food street and pavilions. Make sure to try the homemade makkolli here!
      • Migok Co-Operative Farm | Learn about rural life in the DPRK at this farming community on the bucolic plains of Sariwon. Visit the farm's museum, viewpoint, and local home.
      • Continue driving to Pyongyang. A 1-hour drive.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    4. February 16 | Saturday

      DPRK Holiday - Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

      AM
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.

      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo | We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the spy ship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      PM
      • This afternoon we will have the chance to attend one or more special performances held specially to commemorate the birthday of Kim Jong Il. All of these performances are stunning and usually involve an entrance fee of approx. 20 EUR each.
      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we also expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A bar serving seven types of beer. Popular after work and on weekends, it's the best place to drink pints with the locals!

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    5. February 17 | Sunday

      Pyongyang City Tour and drive to Mt. Myohyang

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      PM
      • Trolleybus Ride | A ride through Pyongyang on one of the city’s famous trolleybuses.
      • Munsu Water Park | Take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2EUR; swimming fee with suit rental 10 EUR).
      • Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3-hour drive.
      Overnight | Huichon Hotel, Huichon City. Basic but clean hotel located 30 minutes north of Mt. Myohyang. Very good local food much different from the lowlands, on-site sauna, and limited electricity. A must for those wishing to visit every province in the DPRK as it is situated just across the border into the otherwise tourist-devoid Jagang Province.
    6. February 18 | Monday

      Mt Myohyang

      AM
      • International Friendship Exhibition | An exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning.
      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple | A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with stone pagoda and repository of print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasion during the Koryo Dynasty.

      PM
      • Manpok Valley Walk | A gentle stroll passing waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 - 3-hour drive.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. 
    7. February 19 | Tuesday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM
      • War Heroes’ Cemetery | Cemetery dedicated to heroes of the Korean War. Opened in 2013 and centred around a monument of a rifle and red flag.
      • Three Revolutions Exhibition | Exhibitions halls showing the nation’s achievements of the Technological, Cultural, and Ideological revolutions. Somewhat akin to an expo centre – large exhibition halls also used for the biannual Pyongyang International Trade Fair.
      • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
      PM
      • Paekdu Architectural Academy | Major studio responsible for designing many of Pyongyang’s iconic buildings. Meet architects, see urban plans and building blueprints here.
      • Grand People’s Study House | National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city.
      • Pyongyang Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour of one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
      • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.
      Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong. Bring a torch!
    8. February 20 | Wednesday

      Nampo and Pyongyang City Tour

      AM
      • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship lock and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
      • Tae’an Glass Factory | Factory producing glass and glass products for the domestic market. Watch the glass-making process from smelting to sheet-cutting and even try to break a sheet of strengthened glass.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang along the Taedong River.
      PM
      • Jonsung Revolutionary Site | A system of underground tunnels and bunkers used by the DPRK government’s cabinet during the 1950s exhibiting life underground during the Korean War.
      • Kang Pan Sok Middle School | One of Pyongyang's prestigious schools with a high admittance rate to the DPRK's best universities and with one of the best basketball teams in the country. Tour the school and watch the students' performance.
      • Moran Beer Bar | A recently renovated local bar with cheap brews (0.50-1 EUR beers). Also serves food.
      • Duck Barbeque Restaurant | South Pyongyang’s famous grilled duck restaurant that has seen many a teary-eyed farewell.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    9. February 21 | Thursday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS251 at 10:35 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday February 22 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      For groups of 10 or more, a Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 2nd February, 2019.

March 11 - March 18 2019

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

Beautiful, remote, stunning.
New for 2019!

Run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and experience
life among Mongolian reindeer herders in northern
Mongolia!

From 1,799 USD per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

Beautiful, remote, stunning.
New for 2019!

Run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon
and experience life among Mongolian
reindeer herders in northern Mongolia!

From 1,799 USD per person

  • Overall

    A unique 8-day winter adventure to run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and experience life among Mongolian reindeer herders.

    We’ll travel from Ulaanbaatar across the snow-covered Mongolian Steppe, stopping in Soviet-era industrial towns and beautiful Buddhist monasteries, until we reach Khuvsgul National Park in the Taiga close, to the Russian border.

    In the far north, we’ll stay with Dukha (Tsaatan) herdsmen and their families to learn about the role of Mongolian reindeer in their traditional way of life, and take part in one of the world’s coldest marathons.

    Ice Marathon runners can join 10km, half marathon, or full marathon races across the frozen Khuvsgul Lake, then warm up in a cozy Mongolian ger.

    Tour leader Rich Beal has 15 years of experience leading tours to Mongolia, including remote areas of Mongolia’s far west and Gobi Desert.

    Want to add to your collection of bizarre and unique marathon runs? Join Koryo for the Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea on April 7 or the Dushanbe Half Marathon in Tajikistan on April 20.

    See below for the Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour highlights, itinerary, and notes.

    Highlights

    • Run in Mongolia's first Ice Marathon on frozen Khuvsgul Lake
    • Visit the north of Mongolia
    • Experience the culture of Mongolian reindeer herders and Ger living
    • Stop at Amarbayasgalant Monastery
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 8
    1. Monday 11th March

      Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

      When arriving into Ulaanbaatar (UB), all passengers will be met and taken to the group hotel.

      We meet early evening for a Pre-Tour Briefing followed by a group meal; those not feeling too jet-lagged can join us in one of UB’s famous bars.

      Meals | Dinner

      Overnight | Standard hotel; single room available
    2. Tuesday 12th March

      Drive Erdenet city and visit to Amarbayasgalant Monastery

      After an early start, we begin our adventure driving north out of Ulaanbaatar into the frozen Steppe of Mongolia. We will stop along the way to take photos of the magnificent scenery which appears to run endlessly into the distance. This 4-5 hr drive will take us into the stunning Mongolian countryside where rolling hills blanketed in snow offer vistas of unparalleled natural beauty.

      On our journey, we stop in Darkhan for lunch and a brief visit; once known as the Pittsburgh of Mongolia for its industrialization, Darkhan was also the embodiment of socialist town planning. Here we visit Kharaagiin Khiid. This small monastery takes on the unusual form of a rustic log cabin, a popular spot for locals to visit.


      We then continue our drive onwards this afternoon stopping to visit the picturesque Amarbayasgalant Monastery one of the three largest monastic centers in Mongolia, being one of the very few monasteries to have partly escaped destruction during the Stalinist purges in 1937. Located at the foot of Mount Büren-Khaan this beautiful yet remote temple offers us a great opportunity for photography before our drive onto Erdenet city.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Standard 3*hotel; single room available



    3. Wednesday 13th March

      Drive to Moron and Khatgul

      Erdenet was once known as 'Little Russia'. This relatively prosperous city has grown around Mongolia's largest copper mines (and the 4th largest mine in the world), which were once home to a large Russian population, although its numbers have declined in recent years since the mines have now become nationalised. Before saying goodbye to Mongolia’s largest city, we of course stop at the Communist Monument and the Karl Marx Mural along with a picture of Lenin.

      Driving west, we pass over the small Burengiin Nuruu Mountain Range taking photos as we go, from here all roads lead to Moron. This small town is our gateway into the Khuvsgul National Park area and in particular the small lakeside hamlet of Khatgul, our base for the next few days.

      Upon arrival, we will sort into our ger before driving onto the frozen lake. Here we will travel our Ice Marathon Route as well as utilizing the local horse sledges. The traditional horse sled has been taxiing locals across the frozen lake long before mechanisation reached this part of the world. Khuvsgul Lake starts to freeze in late September/ early October and remains frozen until May.

      Meals
      | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp: Ger, or traditional Mongolian tent – the way most locals still do. This tourist ger camp is purpose built with restaurant area. Although there is no running water in this region we have eco-toilets and a purpose built sauna. For those whom wish there are shower facilities only 5 minutes away in town. The ger may be a little chilly but our local hosts keep the fires regularly burning throughout the night.
    4. Thursday 14th March

      Travel to the Reindeer Herders.

      Today we leave the comfort of our ger as we drive into the Mongolian Taiga. The aim is to locate the local reindeer herders and spend some time learning about their fascinating existence. There are no roads and the drive will be long as we drive across the frozen lake and into heavily forested hills to the north of Khuvsgul. Be prepared for a bumpy yet amazing journey with cameras at the ready.

      Upon arrival, we will meet with Dukha herdsmen and their families. The Dukha way of life revolves entirely around the reindeer herd: their herd provides them with milk, cheese, meat, and even transportation. The clothes they traditionally wear are made from reindeer hair. Reindeer dung fuels their stoves for heat and cooking whilst antlers are fashioned to make tools and other ceremonial items.

      After spending time with them we will bed down for the night in the traditional tepee. It is maybe not the most comfortable sleep, so there will be a ger available for those who need it.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp/ Tepee

    5. Friday 15th March

      Return to Khatgul

      This morning after spending a little more time with our hosts we board our 4X4s and journey back towards our temporary home Khatgul.

      Along the way we will certainly stop for more photos of the Taiga and frozen lake areas. We will see the different areas of the lake and our local guide will explain how the lake takes on its surprisingly diverse frozen forms. In places, we will see where the waves of the lake have been frozen holding their rippled form until the season's end.

      As we near our tented home, you will have one final chance to see the Marathon route ready for tomorrow’s chilly adventure.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp

    6. Saturday 16th March

      Marathon Day

      Today is the day of the Mongolian Ice Marathon. You have the chance to run a 10km option, half marathon, or full marathon.

      The event will begin at 9am near to the small harbour whose ships remain held within the icy clutches of the lake.

      For the 10km event and half marathon, there will be a heated ger at each finish line. Those who wish to complete the full event will run the return course.

      There will be Russian 4X4s on hand to help out as well as horse sledges to aid runners returning to the start point. For those who are not running, you can cheer at the start line along with the locals or even help at one of the drink stations supplying heated beverages to our runners.

      Upon completion of the run, all who wish will be taken back to our ger camp immediately for a hot sauna and well-deserved rest.

      This afternoon is free for relaxing or one final look at the lake before this evening’s dinner and celebration.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight  | Ger camp
    7. Sunday 17th March

      Return to Ulaanbaatar

      Today we bid farewell to our amazing hosts as we drive to Moron airport for a flight back to Ulaanbaatar, the world’s coldest capital. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel.

      For those who want to see more, we can visit Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulaanbaatar’s largest Buddhist monastery, where we can see practising monks and learn about the role of Mongolia’s largest religion.

      Then it’s back to the city centre, where we’ll stop off for any last minute souvenir shopping at the State Department Store. Today privately owned, this is a throwback to the old Soviet sales system, where everything is under one roof, and you pay with multiple receipts before returning for your purchases. As we journey back to the hotel we will also be sure to stop at Sükhbaatar Square, the central square of UB.

      Tonight's farewell dinner will be a Mongolian BBQ.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | 3* hotel

    8. Monday 18th March

      Departure day

      We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

      Meals | Breakfast

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      English-speaking local guide
      Western tour leader
      All meals outside Ulaanbaatar
      Internal flights
      Horse riding
      All included sightseeing
      All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
    • Not included
      Optional extra 1: + $550 Flight from Beijing to Ulan Bator, and return by train
      Optional extra 2: + $650 Return flights Beijing–Ulan Bator and Ulan Bator–Beijing
      Sleeping bags
      International flights
      Any alcoholic beverages
      Meals where specified
      Medical insurance.
      Visas if needed
      Items of personal nature
  • Notes

    We meet and say goodbye in Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar. You will need to make your own way to and from Ulaanbaatar.

    Please note!

    This tour has been specifically arranged to visit these areas and it may have elements of an expedition about it due to the nature and ruggedness of the terrain. As such any change in itinerary at the time cannot be helped. We will keep to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible, although please be aware that things are subject to change, especially if we encounter any extreme weather conditions. Along the way, all tour decisions will rest with Rich (tour manager) and an expedition leader. We will also be taking advice from local people on the ground whose expertise will far exceed our own.

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

March 12 - March 16/17 2019

Koryo Budget Tour (March)

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

See Korea as it awakens from
the cold of winter and welcomes
spring.

From 775 EUR per person

Please apply by 20th February, 2019.

Koryo Budget Tour (March)

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

See Korea as it awakens
from the cold of winter
and welcomes spring.

From 775 EUR per person

  • Overall

    March is an important time of year in Korea as the country emerges from the cold winter North Korea climate and into a much warmer, welcoming one. Although still a quiet time for tourism, North Koreans are getting busy in the countryside agricultural work begins in anticipation for the coming spring harvest.

    On this tour, we take you to see the main sites of the capital city Pyongyang, including; a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and a walk down one of Pyongyang’s newest streets.

    We will also head out of Pyongyang to go to Pyongysong, the centre of scientific research. and the North-South Korea border DMZ. Here you can be one of the first foreigners to enjoy the recent freedom of being able to step over the demarcation line into the South.

    This North Korea budget tour helps you get the most for your money on your trip to North Korea. Great for first-timers, or those with little time (or money!), we take you to see the main sites in and outside of Pyongyang.

    Be warned, there will be little time to for rest on this action-packed itinerary - not that you’ll want to, though!

    For an idea of the itinerary of our longer tours take a look here.

    Scroll down for an overview of the Koryo North Korea Budget Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun: grand mausoleum of the DPRK leadership
    • Pyongyang Metro: deepest metro system in the world
    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum: world-class museum of the Korean War and site of the captured USS Pueblo
    • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides
    • Pyongsong: Provincial seat of South Pyong'an province and centre of specialist education
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. March 11 // Monday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 // Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 // Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.


      Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.


    2. March 12 // Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang


      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street // An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      Overnight // The Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang. A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sports shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.

    3. March 13 // Wednesday

      Kaesong City and DMZ Tour


      AM
      • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 2.5-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Janam Hill // Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 hours.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kwangbok Department Store // Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.


      Overnight // Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    4. March 14 // Thursday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun // Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

      • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.

      PM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph // A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace // Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students
      • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research.  A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

      Overnight //
      Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists, an excellent bar with one of the best bartenders in the DPRK makes this hotel one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. Billiards, karaoke, haircut, and outdoor eateries in summer.
    5. March 15 // Friday

      Pyongsong and Pyongyang City Tours


      AM

      • Pyongsong City Square // Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.

      • Kim Jong Suk Higher Middle School // One of the DPRK’s top middle schools for gifted students, tourists are encouraged to help teach an English class!

      • Paeksong Provisions Factory // A factory producing a range of foods and drinks: biscuits, cakes, soju, candy, and snacks. Here you can have a taste of the products and tour the production facilities.

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 45 minute - 1-hour drive.
      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an air gun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      • Farewell group dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.

      Overnight // Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. March 16 // Saturday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday March 17 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

      This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Our Koryo Budget Tours are capped at 25 people per group.

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 20th February, 2019.

March 21 - March 30 2019

Tajikistan Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour

Dushanbe to Ancient Sogdia
and the Fergana Valley

See the Buzkashi, Central Asia’s 'most dangerous sport',
and travel to Tajikistan over the Nowruz Persian New
Year.

From 2,200 USD per person

Please apply by 9th March, 2019.

Tajikistan Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour

Dushanbe to Ancient Sogdia
and the Fergana Valley

See the Buzkashi, Central Asia’s 'most
dangerous sport', and travel to Tajikistan
over the Nowruz Persian New Year.

From 2,200 USD per person

  • Overall

    Travel to Tajikistan over the Nowruz Persian New Year and see the Buzkashi (goat-pulling on horseback), ancient history, and breathtaking scenery.

    As a crossroads of Central Asia and the Silk Road, Tajikistan has a rich and vibrant culture bringing together Persian, Greek, Turkic, Mongol, Russian, and Soviet culture throughout the ages.

    Beginning from the capital Dushanbe, centre of modern Tajik culture, we’ll explore southern Tajikistan and set out across the countryside to find the Buzkashi. Watch as hundreds of horsemen work in teams and as individuals to pull a goat carcass though a goal. Dubbed the ‘world’s most dangerous sport’, Buzkashi is a sight to behold!

    We’ll then head north over the beautiful and rugged Fann Mountains in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Babur, the first Mughal emperor, on the way stopping at the colossal Khoja Obi Garm Soviet sanatorium - a gigantic Bond villain-like hideout - and the crystal clear waters of Lake Alexander, and pass through the 5 km long Anzob tunnel before reaching the Sughd region, once ancient Sogdia at the mouth of the Fergana Valley.

    This tour will be led by expert tour leader Rich Beal, who has extensive experience planning and leading tours throughout Tajikistan and Central Asia. Because of Rich's close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

    Looking to travel the Pamir Highway? See Koryo Tours’ Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour in August from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Dushanbe, Tajikistan on the M41 Highway through the Pamir Mountains.

    Please see below for the Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour highlights, itinerary, and additional information.

    Highlights

    • Travel north across the stunning landscape of the Fann Mountains.
    • Drive through the infamous 5-km Anzob Tunnel.
    • Experience Buzkashi (goat-pulling), Central Asia's most dangerous sport
    • Explore the ancient Sogdian culture and the history of the Fergana Valley, crossroads of the world and once the farthest outpost in Alexander the Great’s empire.
    • Get a taste of Czarist Russia at the Arbob Palace, a recreation of St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace in the heart of Central Asia.
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 10
    1. Thursday 21 March

      Arrival day in Dushanbe

      AM
      • This morning is a free morning for settling in, exploring and acclimatizing whilst we wait for the whole tour group to arrive on different flights.
      PM
      • After our initial pre-tour meeting and briefing, we drive to the Hissar fortress. This large fort is said to date back to Cyrus the Great (600BC) and to have been captured 21 times by invading forces. Much of this area has been restored, but it has a lovely museum that offers a nice introduction to this fascinating country - a great chance to learn about the country's history and catch up with local people.
      • Upon our return to Dushanbe we will stop by a local school to photograph an interesting statue of Lenin

      Meals | Lunch and Welcome Dinner in Dushanbe.

      Overnight | Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. A new hotel located within 5 minutes walk of the main city. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.
    2. Friday 22 March

      Dushanbe City Tour

      AM

      • We begin our day with a morning walking tour of Dushanbe both by car and by foot, visiting the following locations: 

      • Victory Park | Built in 1975 commemorating the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, this Soviet built monument offers great views of Dushanbe. 
      • Rudaki & Somoni Avenues | The two main streets in Dushanbe formally known as Lenin street and Putovskiy street. These grand avenues were renamed in the early 1990s after the poet Rudaki and the ancient king Ismail Somoni. Lined with a mixture of past Soviet architecture and modern Tajik grand buildings.
      • Rudaki Park | A beautifully laid out park with a grand statue of the poet Rudaki, located opposite the brilliant national library building. 
      • Ismaili Somoni Monument | This amazing statue of the the ancient king stands on the former site of Lenin. it is said that Somoni's crown contains 10 kilograms of Tajik gold. 
      • Mehrgon market building | With many of the cities old market places now closed in Dushanbe's drive for modernization we visit one of the new areas where local people travel to buy fruit and vegetables as well as other necessities. 
      PM
      • National Museum of Antiquities | this museum gives us a more in-depth look at the complicated history of Tajikistan and the surrounding countries.
      • Botanical Gardens | Popular for wedding groups as well as housing a vast range of Central Asian flora.
      • National Tea house | For end-of-day relaxation this was once the largest tea house in the world, but it has now been remodeled as an entertainment facility for local people. now holding a cinema, bowling alleys and various shops. we can still visit to view the amazingly intricate work carried out in its construction.  

      Meals | Breakfast and Lunch.

      Overnight |  Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. 
    3. Saturday 23 March

      Anzob Village and the Varzob Valley

      AM

      • After breakfast we drive out of Dushanbe following the Varzob River north to the stunning Varzob Valley along the way we pass scenic lakes, stunning geological formations, and bizarre palatial residences of the Tajik elite. 
      • Our destination for the morning is the the small village of Anzob, where we join our friends for some traditional Tajik hospitality at their home. For those whom wish to we can hike into the mountains for amazing views of the surrounding valley.
      PM
      • Upon our return to Dushanbe, if there are any local events such as holiday wrestling, dancing or singing we will stop making the most of our time.
      • Late afternoon is left to free time for your own explorations and adventures in Dushanbe - holiday decorations would be up by now and a lively atmosphere on the weekend can be expected.

      Meals | Breakfast and Lunch.

      Overnight | 
      Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. 
    4. Sunday March 24

      The Buzkashi, Tajikistan and Central Asia's most exciting and dangerous sport

      AM

      • Today we go to see the most remarkable sporting event imaginable – Buzkashi! This is a flamboyantly violent and aggressive game played by hundreds of men on horseback, wrestling over a goat carcass to try to score ‘goals’ with it. It simply has to be seen to be believed, the photos you will get will blow the mind of anyone you show them to! Please note that we may have a long drive as the location of this spectacular event does change from year to year. The aim is to arrive when the event is in the throes of setting up watching the competitors arrive. We will stay until the end so as to make the best use of our time for photography and enjoyment.

      PM

      • The day will be spent at the sports fields, in addition to Buzkashi there may be wrestling and dancing giving us the opportunity for mingling and people-watching considered to be the friendliest people in all of Central Asia. Snacks and drinks are often available for sale. As well as an incredible day is assured.
      Meals | Breakfast and Lunch.

      Overnight |
      Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe.
    5. Monday 25 March

      The Fann Mountains and the surreal Khoja Obi Garm Spa

      AM

      • After a later start today we will drive through the mountains until we reach our destination; the Khoja Obi Garm Spa, a vast sanatorium built into the side of a mountain above natural hot springs – like a James Bond villain’s lair meets the hotel from The Shining! A true relic of the USSR days.

      PM

      • Once settled in a full range of ‘treatments’ can be enjoyed here, from radon baths to massages, leeches to swimming, or simply explore and relax. This is one of those great Soviet-era buildings that are hard to find these days, you will love this experience!

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      Overnight | Khoja Obi Garm Spa, Fann Mountains. The rooms in this Soviet monster are a little more basic and older, although warm and comfortable. Use of many of the health facilities is included whilst also giving us to opportunity to explore this surreal complex late into the evening (if you’re brave enough.)

    6. Tuesday 26  March 

      Drive to Khujand, farthest extent of Alexander the Great's empire

      AM

      • This morning we bid farewell to our villains lair and drive onwards to the northern city of Khujand, passing over and through the Hissar Mountains the route itself is part of the adventure including a drive into the 5km long Iranian-built Anzob Tunnel. On the way we will stop at Iskander Kul – Alexander Lake –where Alexander the Great himself stopped for lunch during his advance through Central Asia.

      PM

      • We continue on and cross into the Fergana Valley – the ancient crossroads of cross-continental trade and home to some of the great cities of the Silk Road, Arriving in Khujand (previously known as Leninabad) we’ll stop at a giant Lenin statue at a hydro-electric dam. Communism personified!
      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  

      Overnight | Bahoriston Hotel, Qayraqqum. A hotel resort located around 15 mins drive from Khujand. Nestled on the banks of the Kayrakum reservoir the hotel is a comfortable yet bizarre option, combining pseudo-Romanesque architecture whilst reliving the cult seventies.

    7. Wednesday 27 March

      Explore Khujand

      AM

      • A day of exploration today as we first stop by the traditional Panjshanbe Market one of the largest in Central Asia. We immerse ourselves in local life whilst trying to pick up a bargain or two buying everything from local snacks to Soviet memorabilia.
      • Opposite the market sits the beautiful Sheikh Muslihiddin Mausoleum and Mosque. This complex was erected on the Tomb of Muslihiddin Khudjandi the sixteenth century building allows us to learn a little more about Islam in central Asia whilst also marveling at the ancient carpentry from inside the main prayer hall.  
      • Before lunch, we have one more stop to visit the Khujand fortress, this Silk Road fortification has been in situ for over 2500 years in its many forms. Its current build includes a fascinating museum looking at the history of not only the area but the whole region.

      PM

      • After a local lunch we continue the tour of the city by visiting the giant statue of Lenin (the biggest in Central Asia,) and on to the bizarre Arbob Cultural Palace originally housing the former headquarters of a Soviet collective farm. It was designed as a recreation of the St. Petersburg Winter Palace and built during the Soviet 1950's. This is a fantastic local curiosity.
      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. 

      Overnight |
      Bahoriston Hotel, Qayraqqum.
    8. Thursday 28 March

      Drive to ancient Panjikent

      AM

      • Departing Khujand, we retrace some of our route back over the Fann Mountains before following a stunning river valley on to the ancient city of Panjikent. The drive is a real treat as apricot blossoms dot the countryside our only other distraction as we’re dwarfed by the huge geological features evident in this part of the world. 
      • We will make a detour en route to visit the tomb and Museum of Rudaki – (Panjikent is the birthplace of Abu Abdullah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian poetry)

      PM

      • This afternoon we have a historical tour of ancient Panjikent, viewing ruins of the Sogdian town founded in the 5th century and finally abandoned in the 8th century by the Arabs after their conquest of the region. Foundations of houses, a citadel city bazaar, and Zoroastrian fire temples are all visible as we walk around this UNESCO listed site. Dinner tonight will be a traditional style in a beautiful local home.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      Overnight | Sugd Hotel, Panjikent. This locally owned and run hotel is a small guest house with comfortable rooms, beds and warm showers. The owner is always happy to engage guests in conversation, often sharing his travel stories of his visits to Europe. 

    9. Friday 29 March

      Return to Dushanbe

      AM

      • This morning we bid farewell to Panjikent but not before a stop as its interesting and colourful local market. Driving out back to the Fann Mountains we will visit an old Soviet Cognac factory we have the opportunity to sample its produce and photograph this large partially abandoned site.

      PM

      • By mid afternoon, we arrive back into Dushanbe where you can make the use of your free afternoon for some last minute sightseeing into one of the history museums, local shopping or browsing one of the unique Soviet-era antique shops
      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      Overnight | Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. 

    10. Saturday 30 April

      Departure day 
      • All group members will be taken to the airport for their individual flights as we bid each other a fond goodbye after this eventful epic journey!

      Extensions are possible to other regions of Tajikistan and beyond– please speak to your Tour Manager to discuss options.

      End of Tour

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Airport pick up and drop off to and from Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe.
      Hotel accommodation
      Tajiki tour guides
      A driver per group
      A member or Koryo Tours
      All transportation in the country
      All entry fees for attractions and sights
    • Not included
      Flights to Tajikistan
      Single room supplement unless otherwise specified (US $50 per night)
      Early check-in US $50 per night.
      Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
      Tajikistan visa fees at other embassies vary
      Tip for the guides (approx. US $15 per day)
      Not all meals are covered but we will make recommendations if needed
      We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance which is extra
  • Notes

    VISA APPLICATION TO TAJIKISTAN

    It is now possible to purchase your visa online, which makes our visit to Tajikistan a lot easier.

    Please see the following link for more information: https://www.evisa.tj
    Upon booking we will help should any further information be required.

    IMPORTANT NOTE TO TOURISTS

    This tour is a group trip but designed to have a good amount of free-time. We will give you ideas if you want to go out exploring or just take it easy at a café. Please be on time and return to that the hotel in the evening.

    Please note we will be driving relatively long distances and seats can be hard so we suggest bringing a travel pillow/neck support – the view and experience more than make up for a little discomfort though.

    Khoja Obi Gharm Spa - please note this is a Radon spa which has radioactive properties. There are various thoughts on whether this is good for you or not! - please read up beforehand and make your own decision. The various types of treatment with steam sauna and water jets, massage etc. It is in a beautiful mountain area and worthwhile even for those not taking the spa treatments. The spa was built by the Russians over a religious shrine – for those of you not taking a sauna go pop out and try and find it in this beautiful mountain scape. Massage is 60 somoni head body arms, just need to wear pants or towel provided (radon shower included if you want! )

    Carry a colour photocopy of your passport with you at all times.

    USEFUL TIPS

    Taxis – In 2017 most journeys cost around 20-30 somoni, but make sure you agree a price beforehand.

    Segafroid Café in Dushanbe is a good place for internet and Western food- open for billiards and ten pin bowling cost 120 somoni per hour. The Segafroid Café is about a 20 somoni taxi ride from the Hotel Lotus.

    Dushanbe has the the world’s largest tea house is open for billiards and ten-pin bowling cost 120 per hour.

    Bring sun protection cream.

    Bring hand sanitiser and toilet paper.

    WEATHER

    Early Spring weather so bring a light jumper and jacket, however, we will be heading into the mountains so have some warm clothing also as there will be snow.

Please apply by 9th March, 2019.

April 4 - April 7 2019

2.5 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Shanghai

Includes round-trip flights
Shanghai - Pyongyang

A quick weekender from Shanghai
to run in the Pyongyang Marathon!

From 1,350 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

2.5 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Shanghai

Includes round-trip flights
Shanghai - Pyongyang

A quick weekender from
Shanghai to run in the
Pyongyang Marathon!

From 1,350 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Visit North Korea from Shanghai for the Pyongyang Marathon, one of the most unique marathon races around!

    Run the Pyongyang Marathon through the streets of the North Korean capital starting and ending with 50,000 people cheering you on in Kim Il Sung Stadium. Plus, tour the city's highlights including; the Pyongyang Metro, one of the deepest subway systems in the world, the Mansudae Grand Monument, the massive bronze statues of the DPRK leadership in downtown, and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the country's museum to the Korean War and where the captured USS Pueblo is kept.

    The tour will also get your down to historic Kaesong, capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty, for a DMZ tour at the Panmunjom Joint Security Area.

    This long weekend adventure packs in the main North Korea attractions with one of the most lively events of the year. Even if you aren't a runner, the marathon is a great time to visit Pyongyang for the festive atmosphere.

    And for all the serious runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

    Scroll down for the Shanghai Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

    Highlights

    • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
    • DMZ tour of the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom in historic Kaesong
    • Pyongyang city highlights, including the Pyongyang Metro, Mansudae Grand Monument, and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. April 4 | Thursday

      Briefing Day

      PM

      Meet your Koryo Tours tour guide and fellow travellers at Shanghai Pudong Airport for a pre-tour briefing and check-in (Air Koryo check-in desk in Terminal 1 @ 21:00) for your late night flight to Pyongyang. This briefing will last approximately one hour and is designed so that you will get the most out of your tour. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travellers.
    2. April 5 | Friday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang - Kaesong and DMZ Tour

      AM

      Early morning arrival at Sunan Airport, Pyongyang, and transfer to hotel for sleep and breakfast

      • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. A 3-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 3-hour drive
      • Relaxing time before dinner in the hotel
      Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang. Pyongyang’s premier hotel, built in 1985, and located in the heart of downtown, near Pyongyang Station. The go-to for visiting delegations, both foreign and domestic. Shops, bookstore, cafes, a revolving restaurant, beer brewed on-site.
    3. April 6 | Saturday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Party Foundation Monument | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

      PM
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview | Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
      • Taedonggang Bar No. 3 | Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
      • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying, a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema (100 RMB entry fee paid on the spot). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!

      Overnight |  Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.
    4. April 7 | Sunday

      The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

      AM

      • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon | this is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
        Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50,000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans.

        The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course. Prizes are available for the winners of each race.

      PM
      • Shower, resting time and lunch | After the ending ceremony of the marathon, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest.

      • City Walk and beer bar | We'll be taking it easy this afternoon, going for a leisurely walk through Pyongyang City to take in some more of the capital's sights and visiting a local beer bar for a well-deserved locally brewed beer.
      Departure

      After our farewell dinner, we'll head to Pyongyang airport for our flight back to Shanghai Pudong Airport with a scheduled departure at 10:10 pm and arrival in Shanghai at 11:30 pm (subject to change).

      End of Tour.
  • Extras

    • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

      The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

    • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

      Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

    • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Return flight >> Shanghai (Pudong) -- Pyongyang -- Shanghai (Pudong)
      All meals on the tour
      Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
      A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides and a driver (per group)
      All transportation in DPRK
      Official running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificate
    • Not included
      Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx. 30 EUR total)
      The lift up the Juche Tower (optional activity at EUR 5)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example, a visit to the funfair
      Meals will have a complimentary beer (and water), but you will have to pay for extra drinks above those provided. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements then please inform us beforehand
      Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

    After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

April 4 - April 9/10 2019

5 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Beijing

5 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Run alongside marathon runners in the Pyongyang
Marathon, visit the DMZ, and see more of the
country!

From 1,299 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

5 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Beijing

5 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Run alongside marathon runners
in the Pyongyang Marathon, visit
the DMZ, and see more of the country!

From 1,299 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Visit North Korea from Beijing for the Pyongyang Marathon, one of the most unique marathon races around!

    Run alongside local Korean marathon runners as you power through the streets of Pyongyang (or walk the 5k) that are lined with Koreans cheering you on as you go.

    Running through the city is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful and unique capital, Pyongyang.

    Aside from the Pyongyang Marathon, we will also take you on a comprehensive city tour throughout Pyongyang, including its famous metro system and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum featuring the captured spy ship – the USS Pueblo.

    This tour will also get you down to historic Kaesong including Panmunjom & the DMZ, and the city of Pyongsong where you will stop in at a local school to meet the talented students and see them put on artistic & musical performances.

    And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

    Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, transport options , add-ons, and notes on the tour.

    Highlights

    • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
    • Panmunjom & the DMZ
    • Historic Kaesong
    • Comprehensive Pyongyang
    • Pyongsong
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. April 3 — Wednesday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings - in the morning for those departing by train in the afternoon, and in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • Briefings for those departing by train, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

      PM

      • Briefings for those departing by flight, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
      • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train. 

    2. April 4 — Thursday

      Arrival Day in Pyongyang

      AM
      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 2:00 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station expected at 6:45 pm.
      • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

      Overnight:

      Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang // Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.

    3. April 5 — Friday

      Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

      AM

      • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. A 3-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang via Sariwon Folk Village and City View // Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
      • Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    4. April 6 — Saturday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic stone hammer, sickle, writing brush representing the workers, farmers, and intellectuals which make up the Worker's Party of Korea.

      PM

      • Grand People’s Study House // Huge national library and public university housed in a large neo-traditional Korean building overlooking Kim Il Sung Square and the downtown Pyongyang.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
      • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema, a short distance from our hotel. (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!
      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    5. April 7 - Sunday

      The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

      AM

      • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // this is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
        Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50-000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans.

        The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course. Prizes are available for the winners of each race.

      PM

      • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest
      • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Munsu Water Park // We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR).
      • Local Beer Bar // Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.
      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. April 8 - Monday

      Pyongsong

      • Drive to Pyongsong. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
      • Pyongsong City Square // Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
      • Tok Song Primary School // The area's top primary school for gifted students. Tour the school's classrooms & facilities, watch music & dance performances by the students, and test your ping pong skills against them in the gymnasium.
      • Konji-ri Revolutionary Site // Location of the headquarters of the Korean People's Army & home of Kim Il Sung during the Korean War. Tour the renovated buildings and learn about life there during the war

      • Return to Pyongyang. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

      PM

      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in what is today a quiet suburban park.
      • Kwangbok Department Store // Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Maeri Shooting Range // Shoot at targets with low calibre sports pistols and rifles in the facility that trained Olympic medalists. Pay by the bullet (0.50 -1 EUR) depending on the type of gun and target.
      • Farewell group dinner at South Pyongyang’s famous Duck Barbecue Restaurant, where you can grill your own meats. The site of many teary-eyed farewells.

      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    7. April 9 – Tuesday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train.

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 9:50 am.

      OR

      • Train departure by local train to the Korean-Chinese border at 10:25 am, transfer in Dandong and onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Wednesday, April 10th at 08:30 am. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

      End of Tour.

  • Extras

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

      The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

    • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

      Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Marathon)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 239 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 439 EUR.

    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train between Beijing-Pyongyang
      Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
      A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver
      All transportation in the DPRK
      Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
    • Not included
      Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 239 EUR; return: 439 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
      Tips for the Korean guides and driver (approx 50 EUR total)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

    After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

April 4 - April 11/12 2019

7 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Beijing

7 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Take part in the Pyongyang Marathon events in North Korea,
and explore more of this fascinating country whilst you’re
at it!

From 1,549 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

7 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Beijing

7 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Take part in the Pyongyang Marathon
events in North Korea, and explore more
of this fascinating country whilst you’re
at it!

From 1,549 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Visit North Korea from Beijing for the Pyongyang Marathon, one of the most unique marathon races around.

    Taking part in Marathon events, you’ll be competing alongside local Korean marathon runners, and celebrating with them as you cross the finish line together.
    Running through the city is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful and unique capital, Pyongyang.

    For the more adventurous traveller, this 7-night tour not only takes you around Pyongyang city but also gets you to the lively city of Pyongsong and then deeper into the country to Mt Myohyang where you can go hiking to experience the beautiful scenery. You will then tour the infamous International Friendship Exhibition where you can see the gifts given to each leader all housed in a massive mountain cave vault.

    We complete this tour with a trip down south as we head to Kaesong and the DMZ area.

    And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

    Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, transport options, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

    Highlights

    • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
    • Panmunjom & the DMZ
    • Historic Kaesong
    • Pyongyang City
    • Beautiful Mt Myohyang
    • Pyongsong
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. April 3 — Wednesday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings - in the morning for those departing by train in the afternoon, and in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • Briefings for those departing by train, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

      PM

      • Briefings for those departing by flight, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
      • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. April 4 — Thursday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 2:00 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station expected at 6:45 pm.
      • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

      Overnight:

      Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang // Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.

    3. April 5 — Friday

      Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

      AM

      • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 3-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang via Sariwon Folk Village and City View // Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
      • Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to a joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. 

    4. April 6 - Saturday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic stone hammer, sickle, writing brush representing the workers, farmers, and intellectuals which make up the Worker's Party of Korea.

      PM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
      • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema, a short distance from our hotel. (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!

      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. 

    5. April 7 - Sunday

      The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

      AM

      • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // this is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
        Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50-000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans. The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course. Prizes are available for the winners of each race.

      PM

      • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest
      • Munsu Water Park // We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR).
      • Local Beer Bar // Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.
      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. April 8 - Monday

      Pyongyang

      AM

      • Grand People’s Study House // Huge national library and public university housed in a large neo-traditional Korean building overlooking Kim Il Sung Square and the downtown Pyongyang.
      • Mansudae Art Studio // The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.

      PM

      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
      • Kwangbok Department Store // Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Maeri Shooting Range // Shoot at targets with low calibre sports pistols and rifles in the facility that trained Olympic medalists. Pay by the bullet (0.50 -1 EUR) depending on the type of gun and target.
      • Drive to Pyongsong. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

      Overnight:

      Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong // The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.

    7. April 9 – Tuesday

      Pyongsong

      AM

      • Pyongsong City Square // Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
      • Tok Song Primary School // The area's top primary school for gifted students. Tour the school's classrooms & facilities, watch music & dance performances by the students, and test your ping pong skills against them in the gymnasium.
      • Konji-ri Revolutionary Site // Location of the headquarters of the Korean People's Army & home of Kim Il Sung during the Korean War. Tour the renovated buildings and learn about life there during the war.
      PM
      • Drive to Mt Myohyang (approx. 2 hours drive north of Pyongsong)
      • Manpok Valley Walk // A gentle stroll passing waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.
      Overnight: 

      Chongchon Hotel, Mt Myohyang // Basic but clean hotel at Mt. Myohyang. Book and souvenir shop, billiards, ping-pong, and karaoke. 
    8. April 10 – Wednesday

      Mt Myohyang

      AM

      • International Friendship Exhibition // A subterranean exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning.
      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple // A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with stone pagoda and repository of print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasion during the Koryo Dynasty.

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang via Ryongmun Caves // A subterranean complex of limestone caves and grottoes. Led by an experienced local guide, you will see weirdly (and suggestively) shaped rocks and stalactites/stalagmites and hear a wealth of stories and legends about each - some not appropriate for young audiences.
      • Taedonggang Bar No. 3 // Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
      • Duck Barbecue Restaurant // South Pyongyang’s famous grilled duck restaurant that has seen many teary-eyed farewells. 

      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    9. April 11 – Thursday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please indicate your preferred exit method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS251 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at approximately 11:35 am.

      OR

      • Train departure by local train to the Korean-Chinese border at 10:25, transfer in Dandong and onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Friday, April 12th at 08:30 am. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour.
  • Extras

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

      Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

    • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

      The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Marathon)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 239 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 439 EUR.

    • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train between Beijing-Pyongyang
      Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
      A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      All transportation in the DPRK
      Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
    • Not included
      Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 239 EUR; return: 439 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides + driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

    After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

April 5 - April 8 2019

3 Night Budget Pyongyang Marathon Tour

3 nights in the DPRK
- tour selling fast!

Our budget Pyongyang Marathon tour allows you to take part
in the Pyongyang Marathon for less! Start and end the tour
in Dandong or Beijing!

From 599 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

3 Night Budget Pyongyang Marathon Tour

3 nights in the DPRK
- tour selling fast!

Our budget Pyongyang Marathon tour allows
you to take part in the Pyongyang Marathon
for less! Start and end the tour in Dandong
or Beijing!

From 599 EUR per person

  • Overall

    This tour, travelling in and out by train, from and to the Chinese border city of Dandong or the capital Beijing, is ideal for those on a budget who are looking to run the Pyongyang Marathon, as well as seeing the highlights of Pyongyang.

    Run through the streets of Pyongyang as you take part in either the full marathon, half marathon, 10k or 5k races.

    Get a brief, but comprehensive insight into this mysterious capital city. See sights including the Pyongyang Metro, the Korean War Museum, and the Arch of Triumph. You’ll only be left wanting to come back for more!

    And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

    This tour starts from Dandong, China. If you want to start in Beijing upgrade to our 3 night Pyongyang Marathon tour that includes return Beijing - Pyongyang flights!

    Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

    Highlights

    • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
    • Visit the War Museum in Pyongyang
    • Experience the metro, located deep underground
    • And see many other highlights of Pyongyang!
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. April 4 - Thursday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings to suit each of the transport entry & exit options. Please read below for further information.

      AM

      • For those departing from Beijing by train your briefing will be held in the morning on this day in Beijing, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

      PM

      • For those departing from Beijing by flight your briefing will be held in the afternoon on this day in Beijing, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
      • 17:00 // Train travellers departing from Beijing will depart by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.
      • For those departing from Dandong by train your briefing will be held in the evening on this day in Dandong, expected around 6pm-7pm (exact location & time subject to final confirmation)

      Overnight // Hotel in Beijing/Dandong not included in the tour.

    2. April 5 - Friday

      Arrival into Pyongyang

      AM

      • Meet your Koryo Tours tour guide and fellow travellers at Dandong Railway Station (exact time and place TBC) before getting on the train to Pyongyang. 
      • After crossing the border from Dandong to Sinuiju by train, customs officials board the train for immigration and customs checks before the train continues its journey to Pyongyang.
      • Flight takers, there will be a free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.
      PM
      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 12:00 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • An approx. 5-hour long train journey will take you through the Korean countryside to Pyongyang Railway Station with expected arrival at 6:45 pm, where you will meet your guides and then transfer to your hotel for check-in & dinner.
      Overnight:

      Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang // A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sports shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.
    3. April 6 - Saturday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in what is today a quiet suburban park.
      • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic stone hammer, sickle, writing brush representing the workers, farmers, and intellectuals which make up the Worker's Party of Korea.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      PM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
      • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!

        Overnight: Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang
      • April 7 - Sunday

        The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

        AM

        • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // This is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event! Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50-000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans. The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course.

        PM

        • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest before heading out for a relaxing afternoon in Pyongyang
        • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House. 
        • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
        • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
        • Local Beer Bar // Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.

        Overnight: Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

      • April 8 - Monday

        Departure day

        AM

        • For those opting to fly out, flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 9:50 am.
        • For those finishing the tour in Dandong you can go on to explore this fascinating border city, the surrounding areas, or make your own way to Beijing or elsewhere in China. Expected arrival into Dandong is approximately 5:00 pm local time.
        • For those finishing the tour in Beijing you will transfer in Dandong for onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Tuesday April 9th at 08:30 am. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
        End of Tour.
    4. Extras

      • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

        Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

      • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

        The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

      • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

        See more
      • Entry and Exit Method - Budget Marathon

        This tour travels between between Dandong-Pyongyang by train. Upgrade your train journey to a round trip from Beijing (+120 EUR), or make it a flight departure and train return to Beijing (+359 EUR), or a train departure and flight return to Beijing (+359 EUR), or even a round-trip flight from Beijing (+559 EUR). Please note that the above flight costs include a supplemental surcharge levied by Air Koryo, the national airline of the DPRK, during the Pyongyang Marathon. The surcharge is 40 EUR per one-way flight ticket and 140 EUR per round-trip ticket. The full Beijing-Pyongyang train journey around 23 hours and adds one extra night before, and one extra night after your trip into North Korea. If entering by train you are required to attend a mandatory pre tour briefing the morning departure in Beijing at a location near our office. The flight takes around 90 minutes each way. If entering by flight you are required to attend a mandatory pre tour briefing the day before departure in Beijing at a location near our office.

      • Insurance for up to six nights

        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

    5. What is / is not included?

      • Included
        Return train journey: Dandong – Pyongyang / Pyongyang – Dandong
        All meals on the tour (these will be at local restaurants or in the hotel) except for on the train journey in and out
        Hotel accommodation in DPRK
        A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
        All transportation in the DPRK
        Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
      • Not included
        Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
        North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
        Optional upgrade to Beijing-Pyongyang round-trip train ticket 120 EUR
        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 359 EUR; return: 559 EUR)
        Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
        Spending money for souvenirs
        SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
    6. Notes

      Our Budget Marathon Tours are capped at 30 people per group.

      Unless you hold a valid multi-entry visa for China at the time of travel, you are required to organise for a double entry visa for China for this tour.

      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

      After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

    Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

    April 5 - April 9 2019

    4 Night Budget Pyongyang Marathon Tour

    4 nights in the DPRK
    - tour selling fast!

    Run with Korean marathon runners on our budget tour, allowing
    you to enter the Pyongyang Marathon and see the DMZ - all
    on a budget!

    From 749 EUR per person

    Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

    4 Night Budget Pyongyang Marathon Tour

    4 nights in the DPRK
    - tour selling fast!

    Run with Korean marathon runners on our
    budget tour, allowing you to enter the
    Pyongyang Marathon and see the DMZ -
    all on a budget!

    From 749 EUR per person

    • Overall

      This tour offers you the perfect chance to enter the Pyongyang Marathon, run aside Korean marathon runners, and have a city tour of Pyongyang and the North-South DMZ border - all on a budget!

      Spend 4 nights in North Korea, giving you enough time to recover from the marathon and have a couple of days to explore Pyongyang city centre. This includes all of the must-sees, such as the Pyongyang Metro, the Korean War Museum, and the Mansudae Grand Monument statues of the Great Leaders.

      We will also take a day trip out of Pyongyang to go to the historic city of Kaesong, the border city to North-South Korea.

      And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

      This tour will give you an insight into 3 different areas of North Korea; Pyongyang, Kaesong, and the DMZ. There are plenty of other places waiting to be explored though, which we visit on our Pyongyang Marathon and Kim-Il Sung Birthday Celebration tour.

      Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

      Highlights

      • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
      • Panmunjom & the DMZ
      • Historic Kaesong
      • Pyongyang City Tour
    • Itinerary

      Briefing Day
      1. April 4 - Thursday

        *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

        For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings to suit each of the transport entry & exit options. Please read below for further information.

        AM

        • For those departing from Beijing by train your briefing will be held in the morning on this day in Beijing, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

        PM

        • For those departing from Beijing by flight your briefing will be held in the afternoon on this day in Beijing, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
          • 17:00 // Train travellers departing from Beijing will depart by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.
          • For those departing from Dandong by train your briefing will be held in the evening on this day in Dandong, expected around 6pm-7pm (exact location & time subject to final confirmation)

          Overnight // Hotel in Beijing/Dandong not included in the tour.

        • April 5 - Friday

          Arrival into Pyongyang

          AM

          • Meet your Koryo Tours tour guide and fellow travellers at Dandong Railway Station (exact time and place TBC) before getting on the train to Pyongyang. 
          • After crossing the border from Dandong to Sinuiju by train, customs officials board the train for immigration and customs checks before the train continues its journey to Pyongyang.
          • Flight takers, there will be a free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.
          PM
          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 12:00 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
          • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
          • An approx. 5-hour long train journey will take you through the Korean countryside to Pyongyang Railway Station with expected arrival at 6:45 pm, where you will meet your guides and then transfer to your hotel for check-in & dinner.
          Overnight:

          Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang // A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sports shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.

        • April 6 - Saturday

          Pyongyang City Tour

          AM

          • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in what is today a quiet suburban park.
          • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
          • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
          • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic stone hammer, sickle, writing brush representing the workers, farmers, and intellectuals which make up the Worker's Party of Korea.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

          PM

          • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
          • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
          • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!

            Overnight: Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

          • April 7 - Sunday

            The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

            AM

            • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // This is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event! Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50-000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans. The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course.

            PM

            • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest before heading out for a relaxing afternoon in Pyongyang
            • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
            • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
            • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
            • Local Beer Bar // Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.

            Overnight: Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

          • April 8 - Monday

            Historic Kaesong and the DMZ

            AM

            • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 3-hour drive.
            • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
            • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
            • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
            • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

            PM

            • Drive back to Pyongyang via Sariwon Folk Village and City View // Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
            • Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.

            Overnight: Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

          • April 9 - Tuesday

            Departure day

            AM

            • For those opting to fly out, flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 9:50 am.
            • For those finishing the tour in Dandong you can go on to explore this fascinating border city, the surrounding areas, or make your own way to Beijing or elsewhere in China. Expected arrival into Dandong is approximately 5:00 pm local time.
            • For those finishing the tour in Beijing you will transfer in Dandong for onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Wednesday, April 10th at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

            End of Tour.

        • Extras

          • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

            Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

          • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

            The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

          • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

            All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

          • Entry and Exit Method - Budget Marathon

            This tour travels between between Dandong-Pyongyang by train. Upgrade your train journey to a round trip from Beijing (+120 EUR), or make it a flight departure and train return to Beijing (+359 EUR), or a train departure and flight return to Beijing (+359 EUR), or even a round-trip flight from Beijing (+559 EUR). Please note that the above flight costs include a supplemental surcharge levied by Air Koryo, the national airline of the DPRK, during the Pyongyang Marathon. The surcharge is 40 EUR per one-way flight ticket and 140 EUR per round-trip ticket. The full Beijing-Pyongyang train journey around 23 hours and adds one extra night before, and one extra night after your trip into North Korea. If entering by train you are required to attend a mandatory pre tour briefing the morning departure in Beijing at a location near our office. The flight takes around 90 minutes each way. If entering by flight you are required to attend a mandatory pre tour briefing the day before departure in Beijing at a location near our office.

          • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

            If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

            See more
          • Insurance for up to six nights

            We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • What is / is not included?

          • Included
            Return train journey: Dandong – Pyongyang / Pyongyang – Dandong
            All meals on the tour (these will be at local restaurants or in the hotel) except for on the train journey in and out
            Hotel accommodation in DPRK
            A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
            All transportation in the DPRK
            Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
          • Not included
            Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
            North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
            Optional upgrade to Beijing-Pyongyang round-trip train ticket 120 EUR
            Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 359 EUR; return: 559 EUR)
            Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
            Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
            Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
            Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
            Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
            Spending money for souvenirs
            SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
        • Notes

          Our Budget Marathon Tours are capped at 30 people per group.

          Unless you hold a valid multi-entry visa for China at the time of travel, you are required to organise for a double entry visa for China for this tour.

          Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

          After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

        Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

        April 6 - April 8 2019

        2 Night Pyongyang Marathon Weekend Tour from Beijing

        2 nights in the DPRK includes
        return flights Beijing - Pyongyang

        The shortest marathon tour possible and perfect opportunity
        for those wanting to tick the Pyongyang Marathon off their
        list!

        From 1,199 EUR per person

        Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

        2 Night Pyongyang Marathon Weekend Tour from Beijing

        2 nights in the DPRK includes
        return flights Beijing - Pyongyang

        The shortest marathon tour possible and
        perfect opportunity for those wanting
        to tick the Pyongyang Marathon off their
        list!

        From 1,199 EUR per person

        • Overall

          Visit Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, and join the Pyongyang Marathon starting in Kim Il Sung Stadium with tens-of-thousands of spectators to run through the streets of Pyongyang.

          Also see some of Pyongyang's main sights, including the Mansudae Grand Monument, the giant bronze statues of the DPRK leadership; the Juche Tower, iconic monument to the country's ideology; and Kim Il Sung Square, the city's central square.

          The Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Join the race and get one of the most unique running shirts, finisher's medals, and race certificates around.

          This tour includes flights Beijing - Pyongyang return. For our cheapest Pyongyang marathon tour, head to our Pyongyang Marathon Budget tour page which starts and ends in Dandong, giving you the cheapest opportunity to take part in the Pyongyang marathon!

          Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

          Highlights

          • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
          • Experience some of Pyongyang's key attractions
          • Celebrate your run at a local beer bar
        • Itinerary

          Briefing Day
          1. April 5 — Friday

            Briefing Day

            AM

            • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

            PM

            • Our group assembles for a mandatory pre-tour group briefing in Beijing in the afternoon - expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed). This briefing will last approximately one hour and designed so that you will get the most out of your tour. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, the marathon, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travellers. Please be punctual - you can come early, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art.

            Overnight: Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour. Contact us for recommendations near our office
          2. April 6 — Saturday

            Arrival day in Pyongyang

            AM

            • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

            PM

            • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 1:05 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
            • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
            • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
            • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
            • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema, a short distance from our hotel. (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!
            Overnight:

            Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang // Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.
          3. April 7 - Sunday

            The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

            AM

            • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // this is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
              Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50,000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans.

              The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course.

            PM
            • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest before heading out for a relaxing afternoon in Pyongyang
            • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House
            • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.
            • Tower of the Juche Idea // The tallest stone monument in the world and dedicated to the DPRK's guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top (5 EUR ticket) for a panoramic view of Pyongyang.
            • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
            • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
            • Local Beer Bar // Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.

            Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

          4. April 8 – Monday

            Departure Day

            AM

            Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 9:00 am with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00 am.

            End of Tour.
        • Extras

          • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

            Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

          • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

            The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

          • Hotel booking in Beijing

            Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

            See more
          • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

            All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

          • Insurance for up to six nights

            We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • What is / is not included?

          • Included
            Return flight Beijing – Pyongyang / Pyongyang – Beijing
            All meals on the tour (these will be at local restaurants or in the hotel)
            Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
            A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
            All transportation in the DPRK
            Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
          • Not included
            Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
            DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
            Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
            Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 20-30 EUR total per tourist)
            Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
            Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
            Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
            Spending money for souvenirs
        • Notes

          Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

          Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

          After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

        Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

        April 6 - April 16/17 2019

        Pyongyang Marathon and Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebration Tour (from Beijing)

        10 nights in the DPRK + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
        time - limited spaces available!

        The Ultimate Spring tour of North Korea is here - take part in the unique Pyongyang
        Marathon, join the locals celebrating the Day of the Sun and get out to Korea's
        stunning east coast!

        From 1,749 EUR per person

        Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

        Pyongyang Marathon and Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebration Tour (from Beijing)

        10 nights in the DPRK + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
        time - limited spaces available!

        The Ultimate Spring tour of North Korea is here - take
        part in the unique Pyongyang Marathon, join the locals
        celebrating the Day of the Sun and get out to Korea's
        stunning east coast!

        From 1,749 EUR per person

        • Overall

          Spring is one of the best times to visit North Korea, as the cold winds have gone and flowers begin blooming and lining the beautiful and spotless Pyongyang streets.
          Taking part in the Pyongyang Marathon is sure to be an experience you won’t forget, and something few foreigners get to do.

          What’s more, you’ll have two celebrations to look forward to, since we’re in Pyongyang for the most important date in the Korean calendar - the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il-Sung. For this, we can expect a day of merriment for the locals as they enjoy their time off work, and spend their time mass dancing in the day and gathering together at Kim Il-Sung Square to watch the incredible firework display at night.

          For the truly adventurous traveller, this 10-night tour will get you across to the east coast where you’ll tour the seaside city Wonsan and then go hiking on Mt. Kumgang – also known as the diamond of Korea.
          You’ll also go south to Kaesong and the DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their face-off, as well as the lively city of Pyongsong, where you will meet the incredibly talented students at a local school and see a performance at the Pyongsong Conservatory of Performing Arts.

          And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

          Want to take part in the Pyongyang marathon but can't get the time off work? We have the biggest range of Pyongyang marathon tours to suit everybody!

          Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, transport options, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

          Highlights

          • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
          • Port City of Wonsan on the East Coast
          • The beautiful mountains of Kumgangsan
          • Historic Kaesong
          • Panmunjom & the DMZ
          • Pyongyang City
          • Pyongsong
        • Itinerary

          Briefing Day
          1. April 5 — Friday

            *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

            For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings - in the morning for those departing by train in the afternoon, and in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

            AM

            • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
            • Briefings for those departing by train, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

            PM

            • Briefings for those departing by flight, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
            • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

            Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

          2. April 6 — Saturday

            Arrival day in Pyongyang

            AM

            • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
            • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

            PM

            • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 1:05 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
            • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
            • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station expected at 6:45 pm.
            • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
            • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
            • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema, a short distance from our hotel. (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!

            Overnight:

            Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang // Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.

          3. April 7 - Sunday

            The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

            AM

            • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // this is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
              Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50-000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans.

              The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course. Prizes are available for the winners of each race.

            PM

            • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest
            • Munsu Water Park // We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR).
            • Local Beer Bar // Relax at a local bar to wrap up an exciting day.

            Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

          4. April 8 - Monday

            Pyongyang City Tour

            AM

            • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in what is today a quiet suburban park.
            • Tower of the Juche Idea // The tallest stone monument in the world and dedicated to the DPRK's guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top (5 EUR ticket) for a panoramic view of Pyongyang.
            • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House.
            • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.

            PM

            • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
            • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // World-class museum exhibiting the DPRK perspective of the Korean War with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to understanding the country today.
            • Drive to Pyongsong. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
            Overnight:

            Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong // The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.
          5. April 9 - Tuesday

            Pyongsong

            AM

            • Pyongsong City Square // Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
            • Tok Song Primary School // The area's top primary school for gifted students. Tour the school's classrooms & facilities, watch music & dance performances by the students, and test your ping pong skills against them in the gymnasium.
            • Konji-ri Revolutionary Site // Location of the headquarters of the Korean People's Army & home of Kim Il Sung during the Korean War. Tour the renovated buildings and learn about life & dangers there during the war.

            PM

            • Pyongsong Conservatory of Performing Arts // Local school focusing on talents in the performing and visual arts, see an excellent performance here.
            • Pyongsong Foodstuffs Factory // tour one of the area's local factories to learn about what they make, sample their products and purchase some unique souvenirs.
            • Drive to Pyongyang. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
            • Kwangbok Supermarket // Large department store selling Korean-made and foreign goods. Here it is possible to exchange foreign currency for Korean won to shop with the locals.

            Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

          6. April 10 – Wednesday

            Historic Kaesong and the DMZ

            AM

            • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. 3 hour drive.
            • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
            • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
            • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
            • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

            PM

            • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45-minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
            • Drive back to Pyongyang via Sariwon Folk Village and City View // Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
            • Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meetings between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.

            Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

          7. April 11 – Thursday

            Wonsan City and Korea’s East Coast

            AM

            • Drive east across the width of the peninsula to Wonsan, a major port city, stopping at scenic spots along the way. A 4-hour drive.
            • Sinpyong Lake Rest Stop // Known as ‘Little Kumgang’ this scenic lakeside rest stop is a preview of the scenery to come.
            • Ulim Waterfall // Hidden amongst the mountains on the road to Wonsan, ‘Echo’ Waterfall is a scenic stopover to enjoy lunch, stretch your legs, or go for a dip in the pool beneath.

            PM

            • Wonsan Agricultural University // The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by Germans living in the area in the early 20th century.
            • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp // A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork. Tour the recently renovated dormitories, aquarium, birdhouse, gymnasium, and more!
            • Kangwon Province Art Gallery // Small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists.
            • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse // Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbour (1 EUR/USD entry fee).

            Overnight:

            Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan // Waterfront hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna, and indoor seawater swimming pool.

          8. April 12 – Friday

            Mt. Kumgang

            AM

            • Drive along the East Sea to the Mt. Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legend. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking. A 2.5-hour drive.
            • Samil Lagoon // A charming green-water coastal lagoon lined by pine forests. Named for the ‘three-day’ stay (sam-il) of a king in days-gone-by to take in the full beauty of the area

            PM

            • Hiking at Kuryong Waterfall // An 8 km (round-trip) hike to a scenic waterfall through forests, along mountain streams and by emerald pools. A beautiful place to sit, relax and spend a few hours in nature.

            Overnight: 

            Kumgangsan Hotel, Mt. Kumgang // A comfortable hotel with good hot water supply and clean rooms. Top floor bar and karaoke, outdoor balcony barbeque, billiards, gift shops, and small sauna facilities.

          9. April 13 – Saturday

            Return to Pyongyang

            AM

            • Start back to Pyongyang (full day drive) making rest stops along the way.
            • Sijung Lake Beach // Take a break at this beachside facility on the East Sea. Take a stroll in the sand or go for a swim (2 EUR entry fee includes shower).

            PM

            • Continue drive back to Pyongyang
            • Golden Lane Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

            Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

          10. April 14 – Sunday

            Pyongyang

            AM

            • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun // Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.
            • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery // Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.

            PM

            • Grand People’s Study House // Huge national library and public university housed in a large neo-traditional Korean building overlooking Kim Il Sung Square and the downtown Pyongyang.
            • City Tram Ride // A ride through Pyongyang on one of the city’s trams from Kwangbok Street.
            • Future Street // Walk in the newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.
              • Kaeson Funfair // Take on the rides of Pyongyang’s small but excellently located central funfair with the locals: pirate ship, ‘vominator’, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Entry and ride tickets purchased on the spot. Ride tickets between 2-7 EUR.

              Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

            • April 15 – Monday

              The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2019, is the 107th anniversary of the birthday of President Kim Il Sung.

              AM

              • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
              • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
              • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition // Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.

              PM

              • Moranbong Park // We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
              • The Pyongyang Circus // A circus show including clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, and much more. The shows here are especially popular with locals on national holidays and will leave you amazed at the skill of the performers (approx. 20 EUR per person).
              • Mass Dance // Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
              • Party Foundation Monument // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
              • Fireworks over the Taedong River // watch with thousands of locals in Kim Il Sung Square as this holiday comes to an end. Wonderful mingling opportunities in a festive atmosphere

              Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

            • April 16 – Tuesday

              Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train.

              AM

              • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00 am.

              OR

              • Train departure by local train to the Korean-Chinese border at 10:10, transfer in Dandong and onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Wednesday, April 17th at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
              End of Tour
          11. Extras

            • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

              If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

              See more
            • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

              Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

              See more
            • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

              Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

              See more
            • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

              Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

            • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

              The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

            • Hotel booking in Beijing

              Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

              See more
            • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

              All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

            • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Marathon)

              This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 239 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 439 EUR.

            • Insurance (10 to 13 night)

              We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

          12. What is / is not included?

            • Included
              Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
              Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
              All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train between Beijing-Pyongyang
              Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
              A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
              All transportation in the DPRK
              Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
            • Not included
              Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
              North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
              Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 239 EUR; return: 439 EUR)
              Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
              Tips for the local Korean guides + driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
              Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
              Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
              Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
              Spending money for souvenirs
              SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
          13. Notes

            Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

            Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

            After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

          Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

          April 6 - April 9 2019

          3 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Beijing

          3 nights in the DPRK +
          Beijing-Pyongyang travel
          time

          Run the Pyongyang Marathon, and pay
          a visit to the sights you’ll run
          past too!

          From 899 EUR per person

          Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

          3 Night Pyongyang Marathon Tour from Beijing

          3 nights in the DPRK +
          Beijing-Pyongyang travel
          time

          Run the Pyongyang Marathon,
          and pay a visit to the
          sights you’ll run past
          too!

          From 899 EUR per person

          • Overall

            Join Koryo tours for 3 nights in North Korea as we run the Pyongyang Marathon and have a city tour of North Korea’s mysterious and unique capital.

            This race can be run either as a full marathon distance or as a half marathon, and there are also 10km and 5km races. Whether you can run the full marathon distance or not, this is an event not to be missed out on.

            In addition to the foreign amateur runners, hundreds of local runners and some elite foreign runners will be participating as well.

            In addition to the marathon, you’ll also get to see the highlights of Pyongyang city including its famous Pyongyang metro system, visit the Kwangbok supermarket to shop like a local and tour the famous Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum featuring the captured spy ship – the USS Pueblo.

            And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Come back with some of the most unique running shirt, finisher's medal, and race certificates around.

            Want to get a bigger and more unique insight into the unexplored DPRK?
            Head to the rarely visited East-Coast of North Korea on our Pyongyang Marathon and Kim-Il Sung Birthday Celebration Tour.

            Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, transport options, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

            Highlights

            • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
            • Tour the Fatherland Liberation War Museum featuring the USS Pueblo
            • Ride on Pyongyang's Metro System
            • Visit a local department store and shop like a local
          • Itinerary

            Briefing Day
            1. April 5 — Friday

              *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

              For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings - in the morning for those departing by train in the afternoon, and in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

              AM

              • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
              • Briefings for those departing by train, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

              PM

              • Briefings for those departing by flight, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
              • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

              Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train. 

            2. April 6 — Saturday

              Arrival day in Pyongyang

              AM

              • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

              PM

              • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 - flight times are TBC and subject to change. Currently expected to depart at 1:05 pm. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
              • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ). DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
              • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station expected at 6:45 pm.
                • Arch of Triumph // A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
                • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview // Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops.
                • Optional screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying // a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema, a short distance from our hotel. (100 RMB entry fee). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!

                Overnight:

                Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang // Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.

              • April 7 - Sunday

                The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

                AM

                • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon // This is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
                  Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50-000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans.

                  The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course. 

                PM

                • Shower, resting time and lunch // After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest before heading out for a relaxing afternoon in Pyongyang.
                • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
                • Local Beer Bar // Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.

                Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

              • April 8 - Monday

                Pyongyang City Tour

                AM

                • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in what is today a quiet suburban park.
                • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
                • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
                • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.

                PM

                • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                • Party Foundation Monument // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
                • Kwangbok Department Store // Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
                • Golden Lane Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

                Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

              • April 9 – Tuesday

                Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train.

                AM

                • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 9:50 am.

                OR

                • Train departure by local train to the Korean-Chinese border at 10:25, transfer in Dandong and onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Wednesday April 10th at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                End of Tour.

            3. Extras

              • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

                Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

              • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

                The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

              • Hotel booking in Beijing

                Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                See more
              • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

                All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

              • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Marathon)

                This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 239 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 439 EUR.

              • Insurance for up to six nights

                We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

            4. What is / is not included?

              • Included
                Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train between Beijing-Pyongyang
                Hotel accommodation
                A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                All transportation in the DPRK
                Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
              • Not included
                Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
                North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 239 EUR; return: 439 EUR)
                Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
                Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 30-45 EUR total)
                Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example, Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                Spending money for souvenirs
            5. Notes

              Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

              Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

              After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

            Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

            April 6 - April 8 2019

            2 Night Budget Pyongyang Marathon Tour

            2 nights
            in the DPRK

            This is the cheapest way to enter the Pyongyang Marathon
            starting and ending the tour in Dandong or Beijing
            by train!

            From 499 EUR per person

            Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

            2 Night Budget Pyongyang Marathon Tour

            2 nights
            in the DPRK

            This is the cheapest way to enter
            the Pyongyang Marathon starting and
            ending the tour in Dandong or Beijing
            by train!

            From 499 EUR per person

            • Overall

              The cheapest Pyongyang Marathon 2019 tour out there!

              Visit Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, and join the Pyongyang Marathon starting in Kim Il Sung Stadium with tens-of-thousands of spectators to run through the streets of Pyongyang.

              Also see some of Pyongyang's main sights, including the Mansudae Grand Monument, the giant bronze statues of the DPRK leadership; the Juche Tower, iconic monument to the country's ideology; and Kim Il Sung Square, the city's central square.

              The Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Join the race and get one of the most unique running shirts, finisher's medals, and race certificates around.

              This tour travels roundtrip by train from the Chinese border city of Dandong and is the cheapest tour to enter the Pyongyang Marathon. It is ideal for those on a budget who are already in China, can’t commit to a longer tour, or are simply looking to add this event to their list of completed marathons.

              If you want to upgrade to a Beijing departure by flight, take a look at our Marathon Weekend Tour which includes return flights Beijing - Pyongyang. For this, there are limited tickets available

              Scroll down for the Pyongyang Marathon tour highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

              Highlights

              • 2019 PYONGYANG MARATHON!
              • Experience some of Pyongyang's key attractions, including the Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and the Mansudae Grand Monument
              • Celebrate your run at a local beer bar
            • Itinerary

              Briefing Day
              1. April 5 | Friday

                *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings to suit each of the transport entry & exit options. Please read below for further information.

                AM

                • For those departing from Beijing by train your briefing will be held in the morning on this day in Beijing, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)

                PM

                • 17:00 | Train travellers departing from Beijing will depart by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.
                • For those departing from Dandong by train your briefing will be held in the late afternoon on this day in Dandong, expected around 6pm-7pm (exact location & time subject to final confirmation)

                Overnight | Hotel in Beijing/Dandong not included in the tour.

              2. April 6 | Saturday

                Arrival into Pyongyang

                AM

                • Dandong departure | Meet your Koryo Tours tour guide and fellow travellers at Dandong Railway Station (exact time and place TBC) before getting on the train to Pyongyang. 
                • After crossing the border from Dandong to Sinuiju by train, customs officials board the train for immigration and customs checks before the train continues its journey to Pyongyang.

                PM

                • An approx. 5-hour long train journey will take you through the Korean countryside to Pyongyang Railway Station, where you will meet your guides.
                • Kim Il Sung Stadium & Marathon Route Preview | Visit the stadium where you will start and finish your race, and then drive the marathon route to familiarise yourself with the roads, turning points and toilet stops. 
                • Optional Screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying | A DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s first “girl power” movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema (100 RMB entry fee paid on the spot). A Koryo Tours Exclusive!
              3. April 7 | Sunday

                The big event! The Pyongyang Marathon 2019!

                AM

                • The 2019 Pyongyang Marathon | This is your chance to run the streets of Pyongyang in the DPRK’s largest annual sports event!
                  Join the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km or 5km race — all of which follow a return course that starts and ends in Kim Il Sung Stadium in front of a 50,000-strong capacity crowd of local Koreans.

                  The full route, which has been certified by both the IAAF and AIMS, leads right through the city centre, past a number of iconic landmarks, and then out into Pyongyang's less urban districts. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see more of the capital and interact with people along the course.

                PM
                • Shower, resting time and lunch | After the marathon's closing ceremony, we'll be heading back to the hotel to recharge, shower and rest before heading out for a relaxing afternoon in Pyongyang
                • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House
                • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.
                • Tower of the Juche Idea | The tallest stone monument in the world and dedicated to the DPRK's guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top (5 EUR ticket) for a panoramic view of Pyongyang.
                • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic center of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
                • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
                • Local Beer Bar | Relax at one of Pyongyang’s local bars to wrap up an exciting day.

                Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

              4. April 8 | Monday

                Departure day

                AM

                • Train departure by local train to the Korean-Chinese border at 10:25 from Pyongyang Railway Station with arrival in Dandong (Liaoning Province, China) at approx. 5:30pm local time.
                • For those finishing the tour in Dandong you can go on to explore this fascinating border city, the surrounding areas, or make your own way to Beijing or elsewhere in China. Expected arrival into Dandong is approximately 5:00 pm local time.
                • For those finishing the tour in Beijing you will transfer in Dandong for onward travel to Beijing with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Tuesday April 9th at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
                End of Tour
            • Extras

              • Pyongyang Marathon - running shirt size

                Koryo Tours will provide free running shirts to everyone signed up for a Koryo Tours Pyongyang Marathon Trip. Male shirts are a regular fit, while female shirts are a slim fit. Please pay attention to the sizes as they are smaller than western shirt sizes.

              • Pyongyang Marathon — official race entry

                The Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is now open to foreign amateur runners. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon. All four take place on the same day in April, and follow the same course, which is fully recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. We are the EXCLUSIVE travel partner for foreign amateurs. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to become one of the few people in the world to have run the Pyongyang Marathon. We'll see you at the start line!

              • Upgrade to your own room — marathon tour

                All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself during the extremely busy Pyongyang Marathon period then you can upgrade for an extra 50 EUR per night.

              • Beijing Departure Upgrade - Budget Marathon Tour

                This tour travels between between Dandong-Pyongyang by train. Upgrade your train journey to a round trip from Beijing (+120 EUR).The full Beijing-Pyongyang train journey around 23 hours and adds one extra night before, and one extra night after your trip into North Korea. This also requires you to attend a mandatory pre tour briefing the morning before in Beijing at a location near our office.

              • Insurance for up to six nights

                We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

            • What is / is not included?

              • Included
                Return train journey: Dandong – Pyongyang / Pyongyang – Dandong
                All meals on the tour (these will be at local restaurants or in the hotel) except for on the train journey in and out
                Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
                A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                All transportation in the DPRK
                Official running shirt, finisher's medal and race certificate
              • Not included
                Marathon race fees - to be paid in cash (clean USD notes only) before the race in Pyongyang, amounts are 5 km: $50 USD / 10 km: $70 USD / Half Marathon: $100 USD / Full Marathon: $150 USD
                North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                Optional upgrade to Beijing-Pyongyang round-trip train ticket 120 EUR
                Optional single room supplement of 50 EUR per night
                Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 20-30 EUR total per tourist)
                Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                Spending money for souvenirs
            • Notes

              Our Budget Marathon Tours are capped at 30 people per group.

              Unless you hold a valid multi-entry visa for China at the time of travel, you are required to organise for a double entry visa for China for this tour.

              Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

              After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

            Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

            April 13 - April 16/17 2019

            Kim Il Sung Birthday Long Weekend Tour

            3 nights in North Korea + travel
            time between Beijing and Pyongyang

            This is a short weekend tour to join in the celebrations for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays!
            This no-frills alternative to our more advanced tours offers a great opportunity to see the main sights of
            Pyongyang and travel down to the DMZ.

            From 799 EUR per person

            Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

            Kim Il Sung Birthday Long Weekend Tour

            3 nights in North Korea + travel
            time between Beijing and Pyongyang

            This is a short weekend tour to join in the celebrations for one of North
            Korea’s biggest national holidays! This no-frills alternative to our more
            advanced tours offers a great opportunity to see the main sights of Pyongyang
            and travel down to the DMZ.

            From 799 EUR per person

            • Overall

              When talking North Korea holidays, April 15th is definitely one of the biggest in the DPRK calendar - also calling for some appropriately big celebrations. This year April 15th marks the 107th birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung.

              Spending this day in the capital city Pyongyang, we can soak up the positive and chilled out atmosphere from the locals enjoying their day off and partaking in celebrations throughout the city. In true DPRK style, nothing is confirmed, but we can expect celebrations such as mass dances and possibly fireworks.

              The rest of the time will be spent fitting in a Pyongyang city tour, hitting up all of the must-see sites as well as a trip down to the DMZ border to South Korea during this jam-packed weekend that is certainly busier than your average weekend.

              This quick long weekend tour is great for those with little time but a big interest in visiting the DPRK, and a good alternative to our more advanced tours.

              Think you can spare a couple more days? Come for longer Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour!

              Scroll down for an overview of our Kim Il Sung Birthday Long Weekend Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

              Highlights

              • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun: grand mausoleum of the DPRK leadership
              • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum: world-class museum of the Korean War and site of the captured USS Pueblo
              • Pyongyang Metro: deepest metro system in the world
              • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides
              • The Day of the Sun, the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung: join in the celebrations on the biggest national holiday of the year. Dance and sing with locals in Moranbong park after a picnic lunch, join in the Mass Dance organized by the students of Kim Il Sung University at the Arch of Triumph, watch the fireworks from one of Pyongyang's restaurant boat.
            • Itinerary

              Briefing Day
              1. April 12 | Friday

                *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                AM

                • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

                PM

                • 16:00 // Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

              2. April 13 | Saturday

                Arrival day in Pyongyang


                AM

                • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                PM

                • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.

                Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang. Pyongyang’s premier hotel, built in 1985, and located in the heart of downtown, near Pyongyang Station. The go-to for special visiting delegations, foreign and domestic. Shops, bookstore, cafes, revolving restaurant, beer brewed on-site.

              3. April 14 | Sunday

                Kaesong City and DMZ Tour


                AM
                • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. 2.5 hour drive.
                • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                PM

                • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
                • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5-hour drive.
                • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
                • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

                Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang

              4. April 15 | Monday

                The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2019, is the 107th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.

                AM

                • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

                • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
                • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
                • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll and have picnic lunch in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.

                PM

                • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
                • Mass Dance | Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
                • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
                • Party Foundation Monument | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
                • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
                • Fireworks over the Taedong River | watch with thousands of locals in Kim Il Sung Square as this holiday comes to an end. Wonderful mingling opportunities in a festive atmosphere

                Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.
              5. April 16 | Tuesday

                Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                AM

                • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

                OR

                • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday, April 17 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                End of Tour

            • Extras

              • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

                This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 219 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 394 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

              • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                See more
              • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                See more
              • Upgrade to your own room

                All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                See more
              • Hotel booking in Beijing

                Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                See more
              • Insurance for up to six nights

                We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

            • What is / is not included?

              • Included
                Train Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang
                All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
                Hotel accommodation
                Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                A Koryo Tours tour leader
                All transportation in the DPRK
              • Not included
                DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
                Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 219 EUR; return: 394EUR)
                Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                Spending money for souvenirs
                SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
            • Notes

              Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

              Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

            Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

            April 13 - April 18/19 2019

            Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour

            5 nights in North Korea + travel
            time between Beijing and Pyongyang

            Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays, that will see mass dances and other
            festivities. We will also travel to Kaesong, visit the DMZ, and soak in the hot spas near Nampo. Round-trip
            by train or upgrade to flight.

            From 999 EUR per person

            Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

            Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour

            5 nights in North Korea + travel
            time between Beijing and Pyongyang

            Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays,
            that will see mass dances and other festivities. We will also travel
            to Kaesong, visit the DMZ, and soak in the hot spas near Nampo. Round-trip
            by train or upgrade to flight.

            From 999 EUR per person

            • Overall

              Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays, President Kim Il Sung’s Birthday. Join in the celebrations in Pyongyang including mass dances and other festivities. Travel to Kaesong, the DMZ, and Nampo hot spring spa!

              Expect big celebrations on this trip to North Korea. April 15th, known as 'The Day of the Sun', is one of the biggest, if not the biggest holiday in North Korea and 2018 marks the 106th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1912.

              Festivities expected include mass dances, Kimilsungia flower exhibition and the possibility of viewing a North Korea firework display with locals in Kim Il Sung Square.

              This tour takes you to see the best of what Pyongyang has to offer, as well as a trip to the historic town of Kaesong, and North-South Korea DMZ border.

              Plus… Have that well-deserved break as we spend a night at the Dragon Hot Spa hotel in Nampo, a port city on the west coast, where you can visit the DPRK's economic heartland.

              The 'petrol' clam BBQ is a local speciality here not to be missed!

              Travel with Koryo Tours, professionals in North Korea travel for over 25 years, and rest assured you’re in safe hands during your trip to North Korea. Learn more about our team .

              Scroll down for an overview of the Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

              Highlights

              • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun: grand mausoleum of the DPRK leadership
              • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides
              • The Day of the Sun, the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung: join in the celebrations on the biggest national holiday of the year. Dance and sing with locals in Moranbong park after a picnic lunch, join in the Mass Dance organized by the students of Kim Il Sung University at the Arch of Triumph, watch the fireworks from one of Pyongyang's restaurant boat.
              • Tram ride along the 6-km long Kwangbok Street with 25,000 flats, finished in 1989 for the World Festival of Youth and Students.
              • The West Sea Barrage: An engineering megaproject at the mouth of the Taedong River
            • Itinerary

              Briefing Day
              1. April 12 | Friday

                *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                AM

                • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

                PM

                • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

              2. April 13 | Saturday

                Arrival day in Pyongyang


                AM

                • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                PM

                • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.


                Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang. Pyongyang’s premier hotel, built in 1985, and located in the heart of downtown, near Pyongyang Station. The go-to for special visiting delegations, foreign and domestic. Shops, bookstore, cafes, revolving restaurant, beer brewed on-site.

              3. April 14 | Sunday

                Kaesong City and DMZ Tour 

                AM
                • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 2.5-hour drive.
                • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                PM

                • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
                • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5-hour drive.
                • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
                • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

                Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.

              4. April 15 | Monday

                The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2019, is the 107th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.

                AM

                • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

                • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
                • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
                • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll and have picnic lunch in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.

                PM

                • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
                • Mass Dance | Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
                • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
                • Party Foundation Monument | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
                • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
                • Fireworks over the Taedong River | watch with thousands of locals in Kim Il Sung Square as this holiday comes to an end. Wonderful mingling opportunities in a festive atmosphere

                Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang
              5. April 16 | Tuesday

                Pyongyang City Tour and drive to Nampo

                AM

                • A ride through Pyongyang from Pyongyang Station to Kwangbok Street on one of the city’s municipal trams made in former Czechoslovakia.
                • Chilgol Revolutionary Site | The native home of Kang Pan Sok, mother of President Kim Il Sung. A Statue of ‘the Mother of Korea’ sits outside. You can also visit the school where her husband and father-in-law once taught.
                • Mt. Ryonggak picnic and hike | A popular local picnic spot in a scenic valley with an interesting and huge concrete dragon winding through the area. Also a 45-minute walk to the top for a view of Pyongyang City.

                PM

                • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.
                • Chongsam-ri Co-operative Farm | The DPRK’s most famous and iconic model farm. Visited hundreds of times by Kim Il Sung, the place where the ‘Chongsam-ri Method’ was developed (they will explain on-site). See how the farming system works, visit a farmhouse, the local shop, and kindergarten, see the fields and greenhouses.
                • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship lock and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.

                  Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring - the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong. Bring a torch!

                • April 17 | Wednesday

                  Nampo and drive back to Pyongyang

                  AM

                  • Nampo Square | Central square of Nampo City with statues of the DPRK leadership.
                  • Tae’an Glass Factory | Factory producing glass and glass products for the domestic market. Watch the glass-making process from smelting to sheet-cutting and even try to break a sheet of strengthened glass.
                  • Drive back to Pyongyang along the Taedong River.

                  PM

                  • Grand People’s Study House | National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean style and great views of the city.
                  • Jonsung Revolutionary Site // A system of underground tunnels and bunkers used by the DPRK government’s cabinet during the 1950s exhibiting life underground during the Korean War.
                  • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A beer bar serving seven types of beer.  Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
                  • Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang's Pizza Restaurant (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.

                  • Evening walk on Future Scientists Street a newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.
                  Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang
                • April 18 | Thursday

                  Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                  AM

                  • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS251 at 10:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35.

                  OR

                  • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, April 19 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                  End of Tour

              6. Extras

                • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

                  This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 219 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 394 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

                • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                  If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                  See more
                • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                  Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                  See more
                • Upgrade to your own room

                  All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                  See more
                • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

                  Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

                  See more
                • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

                  This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

                  See more
                • Hotel booking in Beijing

                  Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                  See more
                • Insurance for up to six nights

                  We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

              7. What is / is not included?

                • Included
                  Train Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang
                  All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train, and the farewell dinner at the Pizza Restaurant
                  Hotel accommodation
                  Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                  Koryo Tours tour leader
                  All transportation in the DPRK
                • Not included
                  DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
                  Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 219 EUR; return: 394 EUR)
                  Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                  Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                  Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                  Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                  Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                  Spending money for souvenirs
                  SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
              8. Notes

                Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

              Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

              April 13 - April 20/21 2019

              The Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour

              7 nights in North Korea + travel
              time between Beijing and Pyongyang

              Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays, that will see mass dances and other festivities.
              We will also travel to Kaesong, visit the DMZ, soak in the hot spas near Nampo, and inhale the mysterious
              fragrance of Mt. Myohyang.

              From 1,349 EUR per person

              Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

              The Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour

              7 nights in North Korea + travel
              time between Beijing and Pyongyang

              Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays, that
              will see mass dances and other festivities. We will also travel to Kaesong,
              visit the DMZ, soak in the hot spas near Nampo, and inhale the mysterious
              fragrance of Mt. Myohyang.

              From 1,349 EUR per person

              • Overall

                Just like every country, North Korea has much more to offer than just its capital. This week Korea tour package will take you to cities outside of Pyongyang that see even fewer visitors and get yourself even further off the beaten track, whilst you’re at it!

                Tick off must-see sites such as the Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and the Mansudae Grand Monument statue of the Great Leaders, as well as the lesser visited cities of Pyongsong, Kaesong, hot spring spa Nampo and Anju. Heading as South as we can go, we’ll take a trip to North-South Korea DMZ border and see for yourself if it is truly one most dangerous borders in the world.

                We’ll also visit the Northwestern region to Mt. Myohyang and head to the International Friendship Exhibition to check out where Dennis Rodman left his legacy. This area in spring is the perfect city escape as you’re surrounded by the blooming flowers that decorate the landscape.

                More importantly, joining us on this tour means you’ll get to join the North Koreans in celebrating one of the most important dates in the Korean calendar; Kim Il Sung’s Birthday, officials known as the ‘Day of the Sun’. Expect mass dances and even the possibility of a firework display over the Taedonggang river.

                Only got a weekend to spare? Strapped for cash? We have a range of tours celebrating Kim Il Sung’s Birthday accessible for everyone. See our Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour or Long Weekend Tour!

                Scroll down for an overview of the full Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                Highlights

                • The Day of the Sun, the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung: join in the celebrations on the biggest national holiday of the year. Dance and sing with locals in Moranbong park after a picnic lunch, join in the Mass Dance organized by the students of Kim Il Sung University at the Arch of Triumph, watch the fireworks from one of Pyongyang's restaurant boat.
                • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides
                • Tram ride along the 6-km long Kwangbok Street with 25,000 flats, finished in 1989 for the World Festival of Youth and Students.
                • The West Sea Barrage: An engineering megaproject at the mouth of the Taedong River
                • The International Friendship Exhibition: Cavernous halls displaying all manner of foreign gifts to the DPRK's leaders
              • Itinerary

                Briefing Day
                1. April 12 | Friday

                  *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                  For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                  AM

                  • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                  • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

                  PM

                  • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                  • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                  Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

                2. April 13 | Saturday

                  Arrival day in Pyongyang

                  AM

                  • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                  • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                  PM

                  • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                  • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                  • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                  • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.

                  Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang. Pyongyang’s premier hotel, built in 1985, and located in the heart of downtown, near Pyongyang Station. The go-to for special visiting delegations, foreign and domestic. Shops, bookstore, cafes, revolving restaurant, beer brewed on-site.

                3. April 14 | Sunday

                  Kaesong City and DMZ Tour 

                  AM
                  • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. 2.5 hour drive.
                  • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                  • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                  • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                  • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                  PM

                  • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
                  • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5-hour drive.
                  • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
                  • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                  • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                  • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

                  Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.

                4. April 15 | Monday

                  The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2019, is the 107th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.

                  AM

                  • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

                  • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
                  • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
                  • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll and have picnic lunch in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.

                  PM

                  • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                  • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
                  • Mass Dance | Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
                  • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
                  • Party Foundation Monument | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
                  • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
                  • Fireworks over the Taedong River | watch with thousands of locals in Kim Il Sung Square as this holiday comes to an end. Wonderful mingling opportunities in a festive atmosphere

                  Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.
                5. April 16 | Tuesday

                  Pyongyang City Tour and drive to Nampo

                  AM

                  • A ride through Pyongyang from Pyongyang Station to Kwangbok Street on one of city’s municipal trams made in former Czechoslovakia.
                  • Chilgol Revolutionary Site | The native home of Kang Pan Sok, mother of President Kim Il Sung. A Statue of ‘the Mother of Korea’ sits outside. You can also visit the school where her husband and father-in-law once taught.
                  • Mt. Ryonggak picnic and hike | A popular local picnic spot in a scenic valley with an interesting and huge concrete dragon winding through the area. Also a 45-minute walk to the top for a view of Pyongyang City.

                  PM

                  • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.
                  • Chongsam-ri Co-operative Farm | The DPRK’s most famous and iconic model farm. Visited hundreds of times by Kim Il Sung, the place where the ‘Chongsam-ri Method’ was developed (they will explain on-site). See how the farming system works, visit a farmhouse, the local shop, and kindergarten, see the fields and greenhouses.
                  • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship lock and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.

                    Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring - the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong. Bring a torch!

                  • April 17 | Wednesday

                    Nampo and drive back to Pyongyang

                    AM

                    • Nampo Square | Central square of Nampo City with statues of the DPRK leadership.
                    • Tae’an Glass Factory | Factory producing glass and glass products for the domestic market. Watch the glass-making process from smelting to sheet-cutting and even try to break a sheet of strengthened glass.
                    • Drive back to Pyongyang along the Taedong River.

                    PM

                    • Grand People’s Study House | National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean style and great views of the city.
                    • Jonsung Revolutionary Site // A system of underground tunnels and bunkers used by the DPRK government’s cabinet during the 1950s exhibiting life underground during the Korean War.
                    • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A beer bar serving seven types of beer.  Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
                    • Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang's Pizza Restaurant (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.

                    • Evening walk on Future Scientists Street a newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.
                    Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.
                  • April 18 | Thursday

                    Pyongsong and Anju

                    AM

                    • Drive 45 minute north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang, centre of science and technological research, and the provincial seat of South Pyong’an province.
                    • Doksung Primary School | A local primary school with tour of classrooms, demonstration rooms, dance and music halls, and gymnasium. See the school’s award-winning dance troupe and take on the schoolchildren in ping-pong, a sport this school specialises in teaching.
                    • Paeksong Revolutionary Site | Location of Kim Il Sung University during the Korean war. Tour the old classrooms and hear about how students lived during the war. There is a bronze statue of a contemporaneous Kim Il Sung visiting in 1952 to support the students here.
                    • Drive to Anju a mid-sized industrial city located on the road and rail line north of Pyongyang on the Chongchon River. During the Korean War, major battles were fought near here between North Korean-Chinese forces and UN-South Korean forces. Coal is mined nearby.

                    PM

                    • Paeksang Pavilion and Anju City Walls | The greatest pavilion in Kwanso (Pyong’an Province,) which overlooks the Chongchon River. Rebuilt after destruction in the Korean War.
                    • Continue driving to Mt. Myohyang.

                    Overnight | Huichon Hotel, Mt. Myohyang. Basic but clean hotel located 30 minutes north of Mt. Myohyang. Very good local food much different from the lowlands, on-site sauna, and limited electricity.

                  • April 19 | Friday

                    Mt. Myogyang

                    AM

                    • International Friendship Exhibition | A semi-subterranean exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning. Presentable dress required.
                    • Pohyon Buddhist Temple | A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 CE with stone pagoda and repository of print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasions during the Koryo Dynasty.

                    PM

                    • Manpok Valley Hike | Various options for hikes of a range of distances/difficulties. Passing waterfalls, hermitages, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas, and viewing points.
                    • Drive back to Pyongyang (2.5-3 hours).
                    • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
                    • Farewell dinner at the Bowling Centre's bulgogi restaurant.

                    Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang.

                  • April 20 | Saturday

                    Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                    AM

                    • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

                    OR

                    • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday, April 21 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                    End of Tour

                6. Extras

                  • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

                    This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 219 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 394 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

                  • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                    If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                    See more
                  • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                    Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                    See more
                  • Upgrade to your own room

                    All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                    See more
                  • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

                    Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

                    See more
                  • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

                    This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

                    See more
                  • Hotel booking in Beijing

                    Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                    See more
                  • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

                    We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                7. What is / is not included?

                  • Included
                    Train Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang
                    All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train, and the farewell dinner at the Pizza Restaurant
                    Hotel accommodation
                    Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                    A Koryo Tours tour leader
                    All transportation in the DPRK
                  • Not included
                    DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
                    Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 219 EUR; return: 394 EUR)
                    Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                    Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                    Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                    Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                    Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                    Spending money for souvenirs
                    SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                8. Notes

                  Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                  Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

                April 18 - April 25 2019

                Run Dushanbe Long tour

                Dushanbe International Half Marathon
                Tour - running again in 2019!

                7-night tour exploring unknown Tajikistan and run in the AIMS certified Dushanbe
                Half Marathon. Marvel at its scenery, discover its history and meet the friendliest
                people we know!

                From 1,500 USD per person

                Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

                Run Dushanbe Long tour

                Dushanbe International Half Marathon
                Tour - running again in 2019!

                7-night tour exploring unknown Tajikistan and run in
                the AIMS certified Dushanbe Half Marathon. Marvel at
                its scenery, discover its history and meet the friendliest
                people we know!

                From 1,500 USD per person

                • Overall

                  Incredible, yet relatively unknown, Tajikistan is one of the most unique countries in the world. Sitting in Central Asia, it not only has fascinating history as a former Soviet bloc country, but the friendliest people you will ever meet and the most incredible breathtaking scenery. This tour will not only get you there to experience all of this, but to also join in the local Tajik celebrations for their 'Day of the City' running in the 2019 Dushanbe International Half Marathon - an AIMS certified race.

                  Learn more about the marathon and Tajikistan at www.rundushanbe.com

                  This tour will be led by our one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004, and has personally designed and researched all our Tajikistan tours. Because of his close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

                  Highlights

                  • Participate in the little known Dushanbe half marathon, as the streets are lined with locals cheering you on
                  • Expect more as this is the 10th city day, horse racing, dancing and more
                  • Explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of ancient Panjikent
                  • Journey across the beautiful snow-capped Fan mountains
                  • Camp on the shores of stunning glacial Lake Alexander
                  • Get a massage at the surreal Soviet health spa of Khoja Obi Garm, which looks like something straight from a movie
                • Itinerary

                  Day 1 of 8
                  1. Thursday, April 18th

                    AM

                    • The tour group meets at 13.30 in the hotel reception for an orientation & introduction meeting.

                    PM

                    • Afternoon drive to Hissar Fortress. This large and impressive site is said to date back to the days of Cyrus the Great (around 600BC) and to have been captured 21 times by invading forces – making one question how effective a fortress it is!. Much of this area has been restored over the years and there is a lovely museum offering a nice introduction to the country and history- a great chance to learn about the country's history and catch up with local people who also visit the site.

                    • Upon our return to Dushanbe we will stop by a local school to photograph an interesting statue of Lenin, a soviet remnant, and learn a bit about the educational system too
                    Meals: Lunch, dinner

                    Overnight:

                    Hotel Vatan – newly built and with an excellent location. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area, and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.

                  2. Friday, April 19th

                    AM

                    • We begin with a half-day walking tour of the sleepy capital of Dushanbe, including Victory Park, Rudaki Street, Central Park, Monument of Ismaili Somoni. We will also follow the route of the Dushanbe Marathon. Along this route, we will learn about the development of the city over the years. From its ancient origins to the Soviet-era (when it was called Frunze), to modern-day Dushanbe

                    PM

                    • This afternoon is free for further exploration or for training for tomorrow’s big event, we have secured the use of Dushanbe’s premier gym should you wish to work out and get ready for the adventure ahead!
                    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

                    Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

                  3. Saturday, April 20th

                    AM

                    • Today is our main event! We make an early start for this unique opportunity; The Dushanbe International Half Marathon! Running with local athletes and amateurs, winding through the city, a life-changing experience – medals and prizes for finishers and winners!

                    PM

                    • After the morning’s exertions, you deserve some rest! Therefore the afternoon will be free for relaxation or for further exploration with your tour leader visiting the nearby local market for some local flavours and experiences.
                    • We also expect celebrations in some local parks to mark the City Day Holiday. So we will find them and join in, the most welcoming people in the world will definitely show you a good time on this occasion – be ready for some socializing and great photo opportunities too! 
                    • Tonight we have a special invite to the City day celebrations dress smartly as there may well be important guests. Dancing singing and awards will be the flavour of the night.
                    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

                    Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

                  4. Sunday, April 21st 

                    AM

                    • The tour continues as we depart Dushanbe and follow the Varzob river into the mountains, driving up through the Varzob Gorge where we will stop on the way for photos of this scenic area. Our goal for this morning is the small village of Takob. Upon arrival, we will hike for 30 minutes through this hamlet where we will be rewarded by a visit to a local family whose home has amazing views of the surrounding area

                    PM

                    • We will have lunch given to us in the local Tajik way; sitting on the floor. You will lose count of the number of courses!
                    • We continue our drive through the mountains until we reach our destination;  the Khoja Obi Garm Spa, a vast sanatorium built into the side of a mountain above natural hot springs – like a James Bond villain’s lair meets the hotel from The Shining! A true relic of the USSR days.
                    • A full range of ‘treatments’ can be enjoyed here, from radon baths to massages, leeches to swimming, or simply explore and relax. This is one of those great Soviet-era buildings that are hard to find these days, you will love this experience!
                    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                    Overnight:

                    Khoja Obi Garm Spa - the rooms in this Soviet monster are a little more basic and older, although warm and comfortable. Use of many of the health facilities is included whilst also giving us to opportunity to explore this surreal complex late into the evening (if you’re brave enough.)

                  5. Monday, April 22nd

                    AM

                    • We begin with a long drive from the health resort over mountain roads out across the Fan Mountains working our way up through the ‘Tunnel of Death’ – an Iranian-built long road tunnel burrowing under he mountains, the nickname overstates the danger but it can be nerve-wracking although it is very safe in reality. We stop along the way from breathtaking shots of this beautiful mountain range. Our destination is Panjikent. If time permits we will make a detour en route to visit the tomb and Museum of Rudaki – (Panjikent is the birthplace of Abu Abdullah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian poetry)

                    PM

                    • This afternoon we have a historical tour of ancient Panjikent, viewing ruins of the Sogdian town founded in the 5th century and finally abandoned in the 8th century by the Arabs after their conquest of the region. Foundations of houses, a citadel city bazaar, and Zoroastrian fire temples are all visible as we walk around this UNESCO listed site. Dinner tonight will be a traditional style in a beautiful local home.
                    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                    Overnight:

                    Local Hotel - Here we stay in one of the locally owned and run hotel with comfortable rooms, beds and warm showers.  
                  6. Tuesday, April 23rd

                    AM

                    • This morning we bid farewell to Panjikent but not before a stop as its interesting and colourful local market. Driving out back to the Fan Mountains we will stop at an old Soviet Cognac factory we have the opportunity to sample its produce and photograph this large partially abandoned site.

                     PM

                    • We drive along small mountain roads past local villages, abandoned factories, and scenic and stunning views. Eventually arriving at the remote and secluded Iskanderkul (Alexander Lake – named for Alexander the Great). We have the option of hiking or relaxing by its beautiful shores. The lake sits at an altitude of 2195 metres; a stunning alpine body of water.
                    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                    Overnight:

                    Alexander Lake Guesthouse - we stay in a small mountain village seemingly cut off from the outside world with the mountains as our backdrop. , for those who wish you may watch sunset and sunrise (recommended!) in this location there are is no single room availability. The facilities may be basic but the surrounding countryside needs to be seen. 

                  7. Wednesday, April 24th
                    • Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

                      • After a relaxing morning for photos, further hiking or sleeping, we return over the mountain pass to Dushanbe. We should arrive into the capital mid-afternoon. You can make the use of your free afternoon for some last minute sightseeing into one of the history museums, local shopping or browsing one of the unique Soviet-era antique shops

                  8. Thursday April 25th

                    End of tour. All group members will be taken to the airport for their individual flights as we bid each other a fond goodbye after this eventful epic journey!

                    Extensions are possible – please speak to your Tour Manager to discuss options.

                • What is / is not included?

                  • Included
                    Airport pick up and drop off to and from Vatan, Dushanbe.
                    Hotel accommodation
                    A Koryo Tours leader, Tajiki tour guides and a driver per group
                    Marathon Entry Fee
                    Warm up in Dushanbe's no 1 Gym pre-marathon
                    All transportation in the country
                    All entry fees for attractions and sights
                    Meal's where listed
                  • Not included
                    Flights to Tajikistan
                    Single room supplement (unless otherwise specified, US $50 per night)
                    Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
                    Tajikistan visa (visa fees vary at different embassies)
                    Tip for the guides, drivers, porters and local crew ( US $120 for the tour).
                    We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance - this is to be paid on the spot

                Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

                April 18 - April 22 2019

                Run Dushanbe Short tour

                New Tour for 2019 - Dushanbe International
                Half Marathon Short Tour!

                4 -night tour exploring Dushanbe and running in their AIMS certified Half
                Marathon. Plus join in the local celebrations for the 10th anniversary
                of the Day of the City!

                From 1,100 USD per person

                Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

                Run Dushanbe Short tour

                New Tour for 2019 - Dushanbe International
                Half Marathon Short Tour!

                4 -night tour exploring Dushanbe and running in
                their AIMS certified Half Marathon. Plus join in
                the local celebrations for the 10th anniversary
                of the Day of the City!

                From 1,100 USD per person

                • Overall

                  Incredible, yet relatively unknown, Tajikistan is one of the most unique countries in the world. Sitting in Central Asia, it not only has fascinating history as a former Soviet bloc country, but the friendliest people you will ever meet and the most incredible breath taking scenery. This tour will not only get you there to experience all of this, but to also join in the local Tajik celebrations for their 'Day of the City' running in the 2019 Dushanbe International Half Marathon - an AIMS certified race.

                  Learn more about the marathon and Tajikistan at www.rundushanbe.com

                  This tour will be led by our one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004, and has personally designed and researched all our Tajikistan tours. Because of his close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

                  Highlights

                  • Participate in the little known Dushanbe half marathon, as the streets are lined with locals cheering you on
                  • Get a massage at the surreal Soviet health spa of Khoja Obi Garm, which looks like something straight from a movie.
                  • A tour designed for those on a shorter time frame whom would still like to scratch the surface of this beautiful country.
                • Itinerary

                  Day 1 of 5
                  1. Thursday April 18th

                    AM

                    • The tour group meets at 13.30 in the hotel reception for an orientation & introduction meeting.

                    PM

                    • Afternoon drive to Hissar Fortress. This large and impressive site is said to date back to the days of Cyrus the Great (around 600BC) and to have been captured 21 times by invading forces – making one question how effective a fortress it is!. Much of this area has been restored over the years and there is a lovely museum offering a nice introduction to the country and history- a great chance to learn about the country's history and catch up with local people who also visit the site.

                    • Upon our return to Dushanbe we will stop by a local school to photograph an interesting statue of Lenin, a soviet remnant, and learn a bit about the educational system too
                    Meals: Lunch, dinner

                    Overnight: Hotel Vatan – newly built and with an excellent location. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area, and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.

                  2. Friday, April 19th

                    AM

                    • We begin with a half-day walking tour of the sleepy capital of Dushanbe, including Victory Park, Rudaki Street, Central Park, Monument of Ismaili Somoni. We will also follow the route of the Dushanbe Marathon. Along this route, we will learn about the development of the city over the years. From its ancient origins to the Soviet-era (when it was called Frunze), to modern-day Dushanbe

                    PM

                    • This afternoon is free for further exploration or for training for tomorrow’s big event, we have secured the use of Dushanbe’s premier gym should you wish to work out and get ready for the adventure ahead!
                    Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

                      Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

                    • Saturday, April 20th

                      AM

                      • Today is our main event! We make an early start for this unique opportunity; The Dushanbe International Half Marathon! Running with local athletes and amateurs, winding through the city, a life-changing experience – medals and prizes for finishers and winners!

                      PM

                      • After the morning’s exertions, you deserve some rest! Therefore the afternoon will be free for relaxation or for further exploration with your tour leader visiting the nearby local market for some local flavours and experiences.
                      • We also expect celebrations in some local parks to mark the City Day Holiday. So we will find them and join in, the most welcoming people in the world will definitely show you a good time on this occasion – be ready for some socializing and great photo opportunities too! Be prepared for Dancing and horse racing.  
                      • Tonight we have a special invite to the City day celebrations to enjoy a show, dress smartly as there will be important guests.
                      Meals: Breakfast and dinner

                        Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

                      • Sunday, April 21st

                        AM

                        • The tour continues as we depart Dushanbe and follow the Varzob river into the mountains, driving up through the Varzob Gorge where we will stop on the way for photos of this scenic area. Our goal for this morning is the small village of Takob. Upon arrival, we will hike for 30 minutes through this hamlet where we will be rewarded by a visit to a local family whose home has amazing views of the surrounding area

                        PM

                        • We will have lunch given to us in the local Tajik way; sitting on the floor. You will lose count of the number of courses!
                        • We continue our drive through the mountains until we reach our destination;  the Khoja Obi Garm Spa, a vast sanatorium built into the side of a mountain above natural hot springs – like a James Bond villain’s lair meets the hotel from The Shining! A true relic of the USSR days.
                        • A full range of ‘treatments’ can be enjoyed here, from radon baths to massages, leeches to swimming, or simply explore and relax. This is one of those great Soviet-era buildings that are hard to find these days, you will love this experience!
                        • After dinner, you will be taken back to Dushanbe ready for your final night.

                        Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

                      • Monday April 22nd

                        End of tour. All group members will be taken to the airport for their individual flights as we bid each other a fond goodbye after this eventful epic journey!

                        Extensions are possible – please speak to your Tour Manager to discuss options.


                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Airport pick up and drop off to and from Vatan, Dushanbe.
                        Hotel accommodation
                        A Koryo Tours leader, Tajiki tour guides and a driver per group
                        Marathon Entry Fee
                        Warm up in Dushanbe's no 1 Gym pre-marathon
                        All transportation in the country
                        All entry fees for attractions and sights
                        Meals where listed
                      • Not included
                        Flights to Tajikistan
                        Single room supplement (unless otherwise specified, US $50 per night)
                        Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
                        Tajikistan visa (visa fees vary at different embassies)
                        Tip for the guides, drivers, porters and local crew ( US $ 70 for the tour).
                        We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance - this is to be paid on the spot

                    Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

                    April 27 - May 7/8 2019

                    The May Day and East Coast Tour

                    10 nights in North Korea for May
                    Day + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Join in the May Day festivities in Pyongyang, see historic Kaesong and the DMZ, Nampo,
                    Pyongsong, and the port cities of Hamhung and Wonsan on the East Coast. Round-trip by
                    train or upgrade to flight.

                    From 1,599 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    The May Day and East Coast Tour

                    10 nights in North Korea for May
                    Day + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Join in the May Day festivities in Pyongyang, see historic
                    Kaesong and the DMZ, Nampo, Pyongsong, and the port cities
                    of Hamhung and Wonsan on the East Coast. Round-trip by train
                    or upgrade to flight.

                    From 1,599 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      May Day is one of the best times to visit North Korea during the calendar year for the fine weather and festivities. Also known as International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, May Day is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports.

                      On this tour, we’ll even get the exclusive chance to compete in a friendly volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team! A great chance to get involved in Korean culture with the locals.

                      The May Day and East Coast Tour is our ultimate May Day celebration tour. Not only will you be in Pyongyang for the May Day celebrations, but we’ll have an extensive tour throughout North Korea, visiting areas only few ever get to go to in this already off the beaten path country. This includes;

                      A day trip to the DMZ North-South Korean border and historic city of Kaesong.
                      A night at the exclusive hot springs spa hotel in Nampo where you can enjoy Korea’s petrol clam BBQ.
                      A day trip to the city of Pyongsong, a centre of scientific and commercial development, for a look at the country’s economic heartland.
                      A trip to the seaside to port city Wonsan and chemical-industrial centre of Hamhung.

                      Enjoy the beautiful seaside scenery as we drive through untouched, rural land to the East coast, whilst stopping on the way to visit the tombs of ancient Korean kings and the massive Hungnam Fertiliser Plant.

                      If a trip to the seaside isn’t your thing, join the May Day celebrations on our May Day full tour.

                      Scroll down for an overview of the May Day and East Coast tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
                      • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured spy ship USS Pueblo, and other Pyongyang highlights
                      • Dine on cold noodles, Pyongyang's speciality, at Okryugwan, Pyongyang's most famous restaurant
                      • Shop with the locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
                      • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
                      • Experience heavy industry in Nampo and the medicinal waters at the Dragon River hot spa
                      • Visit a local school and help out with English lessons in Pyongsong
                      • A volleyball game against a local company team
                      • Cross the country to visit seaside Wonsan and industrial Hamhung on the east coast
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. April 26 | Friday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                        • 10:00 |  Briefing for those departing by train.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                        • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                        Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

                      2. April 27 | Saturday

                        Arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
                        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
                        • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighborhoods.

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.  Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

                      3. April 28 | Sunday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

                        AM

                        • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.

                        • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

                        • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles
                        PM
                        • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument | Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
                        • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive. 
                        • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
                        • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
                        • Tomb of King Kongmin // Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

                        Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with a stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.
                      4. April 29 | Monday

                        Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

                        AM

                        • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                        PM

                        • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ  | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
                        • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
                        • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
                        • Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. Southcentral does it like nobody does!

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      5. April 30 | Tuesday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

                        AM

                        • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
                        • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

                        PM

                        • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
                        • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
                        • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work
                        • Golden Lane Bowling Centre Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).
                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      6. May 1 | Wednesday

                        May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off.
                        • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

                        PM

                        • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

                        • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

                        • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

                        Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.

                      7. May 2 | Thursday

                        Pyongsong and Pyonyang

                        AM
                        • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
                        • Doksung Primary School | Visit a local primary school. Drop by an English lesson, dance class, and small musical performance.
                        • Kon-ji Ri Revolutionary Site | Historic location of the Korean People's Army headquarters during the Korean War.

                        PM

                        • Pyongyang Feature Film Studio | See the home of 'Cholliwood', the DPRK's domestic film industry. Visits sets of traditional Korea, colonial Korea, China, Europe, and more!
                        • Kwangbok Supermarket | Local supermarket selling all kinds of domestically and foreign produced household goods, clothes, foods. Exchange for local currency here! Please note that local currency, the Korean Won, can only be exchanged for and spent at this location.
                        • Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
                        • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

                        Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Bring a torch! Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong!
                      8. May 3 | Friday

                        Nampo

                        AM

                        • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
                        • Chollima Steelworks | A major heavy industry site of the DPRK, known to Koreans as the birthplace of the Chollima Movement and famous for making ‘Juche Steel’. Please note that this location is key industrial site and visits may depend on on-site activities/conditions. If unavailable, an alternative location will be arranged.  

                        PM

                        • Return to Pyongyang along the old riverside road. 45 minute to 1 hour drive.
                        • Science and Technology Complex | Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike. 
                        • Monument to the Sinking of the General Sherman | Monument dedicated to the sinking of the SS General Sherman in 1866, which marked one of the first encounters between the United States and Korea.

                        • Pizza Restaurant  | Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each, to be paid on the spot.

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      9. May 4 | Saturday

                        Hamhung

                        AM

                        • Depart Pyongyang for Hamhung, the DPRK's second largest city and major industrial centre on the East Coast. The drive will take most of the day with stops along the way.
                        • Tomb of King Tongmyong | Largest of the UNESCO listed Koguryo Tombs spread through the area, this is the beautiful tomb complex of the founder of the Koguryo Dynasty two thousand years ago. Statues, a Buddhist Monastery, and lovely wall paintings make this a fascinating visit for history buffs.
                        • Ulim Waterfall | Hidden amongst the mountains on the road to Hamhung, ‘Echo’ Waterfall is a scenic stopover to enjoy lunch, stretch your legs, or go for a dip in the pool beneath. (re)Discovered by the Korean People’s Army in 1995 while building roads in the area.

                        PM

                        • Tongbong Co-operative Farm | Local farm in the outskirts of Hamhung. View the machinery barn, a local home, and the farm shop to buy some locally made products.

                        Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Hamhung. A beachside holiday compound with basic but comfortable chalets. Rooms have heated floors but no running water. There is a main building with restaurant, bar, billiards, table-tennis, bookshop, and Korean karaoke. Bring a torch!

                      10. May 5 | Sunday

                        Hamhung to Wonsan

                        AM

                        • Hungnam Fertiliser Factory | Massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilisers. Tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant - just don’t light up next to the Ammonium Nitrate! A bust of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai stands at this complex to note the contributions China made to the development of the plant. A museum is also on site, this is where Kim Il Sung uttered his famous phrase Fertiliser is rice. And rice, itself, is Communism’, therefore…
                        • Home of Ri Song Gye Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. A traditional hall and pavilion and associated naughty stories of the former king’s retirement years – some not appropriate for the youth!
                        • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square | Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square.
                        • Tonghung Revolutionary Site | Hillside park with statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking Hamhung city centre and the Songchon River.

                        PM

                        • Drive to Wonsan, a major port city on the East Sea. A 3-hour drive.
                        • Wonsan Agricultural University | The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by German monks living in the area in the early 20th century.
                        • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse | Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbour (1 EUR/USD entry fee). Local fishermen flock to this area, chat with them along the way. Also good for romantic evening walks.

                        Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan. Waterfront hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna, and indoor seawater swimming pool.

                      11. May 6 | Monday

                        Wonsan to Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which one shuttled Koreans living in Japan back and forth across the East Sea of Korea is moored here.
                        • Kangwon Province Art Gallery | Small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists, where you can purchase paintings.
                        • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp | A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork. Tour the recently renovated dormitories, aquarium, birdhouse, gymnasium, and more!

                        PM

                        • Drive back to Pyongyang with a rest stop at Masik Ski Resort. A 4-hour drive.
                        • Farewell dinner in Pyongyang.

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      12. May 7 | Tuesday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                        AM

                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:25 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:55.

                        OR

                        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday, May 8 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
                        End of Tour
                    • Extras

                      • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

                        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 219 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 394 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

                      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                        See more
                      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                        See more
                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Insurance (10 to 13 night)

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                      • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

                        Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

                        See more
                      • Hotel booking in Beijing

                        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

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                      • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

                        This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

                        See more
                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                        Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                        All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                        For groups of 10 or more, a Koryo Tours tour leader
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 219 EUR; round-trip: 394 EUR)
                        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                        Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                    • Notes

                      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    April 27 - May 4/5 2019

                    May Day Tour: International Workers Day in North Korea

                    7 nights in North Korea for May
                    Day + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    May Day, or International Workers Day in North Korea is a day for holiday celebrations.
                    Join in the festivities in Pyongyang, and travel further afield to the DMZ
                    and Pyongsong.

                    From 1,349 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    May Day Tour: International Workers Day in North Korea

                    7 nights in North Korea for May
                    Day + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    May Day, or International Workers Day in North Korea
                    is a day for holiday celebrations. Join in the festivities
                    in Pyongyang, and travel further afield to the DMZ
                    and Pyongsong.

                    From 1,349 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      May Day is one of the best times to visit North Korea during the calendar year for the fine weather and festivities. Also known as International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, May Day is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports. Join in the celebrations as you experience North Korean culture like a local.

                      In addition to the highlights of the North Korean capital Pyongyang and historic Kaesong on the Demilitarised Zone (the North/South border), we’ll have time for walks in the city, dining at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant, shopping at the Kwangbok supermarket, a picnic lunch, and a volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team!

                      On this May Day tour, we’ll also get the chance to chill out and spend the night at the exclusive hot springs hotel in Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang, and take a day trip to Pyongsong, a centre of scientific and commercial development. Here we’ll have a look at the country’s economic heartland. Despite their proximity to the capital, both cities have their own distinct atmosphere and offer insights into life, society, and economy of today’s North Korea.

                      Check out our May Day Short tour option if you can’t get those days off work.

                      Scroll down for an overview of the May Day: International Worker's Day in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
                      • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured spy ship USS Pueblo, and other Pyongyang highlights
                      • Dine on cold noodles, Pyongyang's speciality, at Okryugwan, Pyongyang's most famous restaurant
                      • Shop with the locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
                      • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
                      • Experience heavy industry in Nampo and the medicinal waters at the Dragon River hot spa
                      • Visit a local school and help out with English lessons in Pyongsong
                      • A volleyball game against a local company team
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. April 26 | Friday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                        • 10:00 |  Briefing for those departing by train.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                        • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                        Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

                      2. April 27 | Saturday

                        Arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
                        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
                        • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.  Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.


                      3. April 28 | Sunday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

                        AM

                        • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.

                        • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here.Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

                        • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles
                        PM
                        • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument | Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
                        • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1 hour drive. 
                        • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
                        • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
                        • Tomb of King Kongmin | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

                        Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.
                      4. April 29 | Monday

                        Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

                        AM

                        • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                        PM

                        • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
                        • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
                        • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
                        • Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. South central does it like nobody does!

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      5. April 30 | Tuesday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

                        AM

                        • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
                        • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

                        PM

                        • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
                        • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
                        • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work
                        • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).
                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      6. May 1 | Wednesday

                        May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off.
                        • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

                        PM

                        • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

                        • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

                        • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

                        Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.

                      7. May 2 | Thursday

                        Pyongsong and Pyongyang

                        AM
                        • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
                        • Doksung Primary School | Visit to a local primary school. Drop by an English lesson, dance class, and small musical performance.
                        • Kon-ji Ri Revolutionary Site | Historic location of the Korean People's Army headquarters during the Korean War.

                        PM

                        • Pyongyang Feature Film Studio | See the home of 'Cholliwood', the DPRK's domestic film industry. Visits sets of traditional Korea, colonial Korea, China, Europe, and more!
                        • Kwangbok Supermarket | Local supermarket selling all kinds of domestically and foreign produced household goods, clothes, foods. Exchange for local currency here! Please note that local currency, the Korean Won, can only be exchanged for and spent at this location.
                        • Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
                        • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

                        Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Bring a torch! Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong!
                      8. May 3 | Friday

                        Nampo

                        AM

                        • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship lock and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
                        • Chollima Steelworks | A major heavy industry site of the DPRK, known to Koreans as the birthplace of the Chollima Movement and famous for making ‘Juche Steel’. Please note that this location is key industrial site and visits may depend on on-site activities/conditions. If unavailable, an alternative location will be arranged.  

                        PM

                        • Return to Pyongyang along the old riverside road. 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
                        • Science and Technology Complex | Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike. 
                        • Monument to the Sinking of the General Sherman | Monument dedicated to the sinking of the SS General Sherman in 1866, which marked one of the first encounters between the United States and Korea.

                        • Pizza Restaurant  | Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each, to be paid on the spot.

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      9. May 4 | Saturday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                        AM

                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:25 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:55.

                        OR

                        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday May 5 at 08:39. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
                        End of Tour
                    • Extras

                      • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

                        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 219 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 394 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

                      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                        See more
                      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                        See more
                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

                        Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

                        See more
                      • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                      • Hotel booking in Beijing

                        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                        See more
                      • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

                        This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

                        See more
                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                        Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                        All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Koryo Tours tour leader
                        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 219 EUR; round-trip: 394 EUR)
                        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                        Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                    • Notes

                      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    April 27 - May 2/3 2019

                    The May Day Short Tour

                    5 nights in North Korea for May
                    Day + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Join in the May Day celebration with locals in Pyongyang and escape the city
                    on a trip to the historic Kaesong and the DMZ during one of our favourite
                    times of year to visit Korea.

                    From 1,049 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    The May Day Short Tour

                    5 nights in North Korea for May
                    Day + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Join in the May Day celebration with locals in Pyongyang
                    and escape the city on a trip to the historic Kaesong
                    and the DMZ during one of our favourite times of year
                    to visit Korea.

                    From 1,049 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      May Day is one of the best times to visit North Korea during the calendar year for the fine weather and festivities. Also known as International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, the May Day celebration is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports - and you can join in too! In Pyongyang, there is an annual festival held at Mt. Taesong with musical performances and traditional folk games.

                      Spring is in the air and May Day offers a good chance to meet the locals and learn about everyday leisure in North Korea.

                      In addition to the highlights of the North Korean capital Pyongyang and taking a day trip out to visit historic Kaesong and the DMZ, we’ll have time for walks in the city, dining at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant, shopping at the local Kwangbok supermarket, a picnic lunch. Plus, a volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team! See if you can beat them!

                      On a budget? We have tours to suit everyone!

                      Scroll down for an overview of the May Day Short Tour highlights, tour itinerary,transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
                      • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured spy ship USS Pueblo, and other Pyongyang highlights
                      • Dine on cold noodles, Pyongyang's speciality, at Okryugwan, Pyongyang's most famous restaurant
                      • Shop with the locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
                      • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
                      • A volleyball game against a local company team
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. April 26 // Friday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                        • 10:00 //  Briefing for those departing by train.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 // Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                        • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                        Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

                      2. April 27 // Saturday

                        Arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Arch of Triumph // Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
                        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
                        • Walk on Future Scientists' Street // An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

                        Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.  Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

                      3. April 28 // Sunday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

                        AM

                        • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun // Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.

                        • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

                        • Okryugwan // A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles
                        PM
                        • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
                        • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive. 
                        • Sariwon Folk Village and City View // Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
                        • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
                        • Tomb of King Kongmin // Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

                        Overnight // Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.
                      4. April 29 // Monday

                        Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

                        AM

                        • Old City Walk and South Gate  // A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                        PM

                        • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ  // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
                        • Janam Hill // Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
                        • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
                        • Duck BBQ Restaurant // Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. South central does it like nobody does!

                        Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      5. April 30 // Tuesday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

                        AM

                        • Manggyongdae Native House // Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
                        • Mansudae Art Studio // The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

                        PM

                        • May Day Stadium // Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
                        • Volleyball game against a local company team // Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
                        • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A new standing bar serving seven type of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work
                        • Golden Lane Bowling Centre //Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).
                        Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      6. May 1 // Wednesday

                        May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  // Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off.
                        • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery // Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

                        PM

                        • Moranbong Park // We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

                        • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

                        • Farewell dinner for the May Day Short Tour.

                        Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      7. May 2 // Thursday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                        AM

                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:55 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:30.

                        OR

                        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, May 3 at 08:39. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
                        End of Tour
                    • Extras

                      • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

                        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 219 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 394 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

                      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                        See more
                      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                        See more
                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

                        Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

                        See more
                      • Insurance for up to six nights

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                      • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

                        This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

                        See more
                      • Hotel booking in Beijing

                        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                        See more
                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                        Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                        All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Koryo Tours tour leader
                        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 219 EUR; round-trip: 394 EUR)
                        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                        Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                    • Notes

                      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    April 29 - May 2/3 2019

                    The May Day Budget Tour

                    3 nights in North Korea. Flight
                    departure with return by train or
                    flight.

                    A short trip trip to North Korea for May Day. See
                    Pyongyang and Kaesong on the DMZ. Flight departure
                    included.

                    From 899 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    The May Day Budget Tour

                    3 nights in North Korea. Flight
                    departure with return by train or
                    flight.

                    A short trip trip to North Korea
                    for May Day. See Pyongyang and Kaesong
                    on the DMZ. Flight departure included.

                    From 899 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      Looking for a short break to spend your holidays in May? Also known as International Workers’ Day or Labour Day, May Day is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports. In Pyongyang, there is an annual festival with musical performances and traditional folk games. Spring is in the air and May Day offers a good chance to meet the locals and learn about everyday leisure in North Korea.

                      We'll take a day trip to visit historic Kaesong and the DMZ, the North-South Korean border.

                      Plus, we’ll have an exclusive chance to have a friendly (but competitive!) volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team! Enjoy taking part in this important part of Korean culture with the locals by spending your holidays in May in North Korea!

                      Fancy heading out of town and exploring more of North Korea? Head to the seaside for our May Day and East Coast Tour.

                      Scroll down for an overview of the May Day Budget Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
                      • War Museum and captured spy ship USS Pueblo, and other Pyongyang highlights
                      • See the enormous May Day Stadium, home of North Korea's Mass Games
                      • A volleyball game against a local company team
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. April 28 | Sunday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 | Pre-tour briefing
                        Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
                      2. April 29 | Monday

                        Departure from Beijing and arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification
                        • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty and city along the DMZ. 2.5-hour drive. 

                        Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.
                      3. April 30 | Tuesday

                        Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

                        AM

                        • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Return to Pyongyang with packed lunch
                        • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
                        • Continue to Pyongyang

                        PM

                        • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
                        • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
                        • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work
                        • Golden Lane Bowling Centre //Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).
                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      4. May 1 | Wednesday

                        May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off.
                        • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

                        PM

                        • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

                        • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

                        • Farewell dinner

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      5. May 2 | Thursday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang by flight or train. Upgrade to flight for 50 EUR.

                        AM

                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 251 at 08:55 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:30.
                        or 
                        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, May 3 at 08:39. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                        End of Tour
                    • Extras

                      • Transport | Return by plane not train (High-season)

                        This tour enters the DPRK by plane. But the default setting upon your return is the 24-hour international train from Pyongyang to Beijing. For an extra 199 EUR you can opt for the plane back instead. The flight takes around 90 minutes.

                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                        See more
                      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                        See more
                      • Insurance for up to six nights

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        One-way flight Beijing-Pyongyang
                        Return by train
                        All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                        Koryo Tours tour leader
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                        Flight departure for 199 EUR
                        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                    • Notes

                      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 13th April, 2019.

                    May 1 - May 10 2019

                    Explore Kazakhstan | Astana to Almaty (May)

                    Enigmatic Central
                    Asian Giant

                    Kazakhstan is where a vibrant multi-cultural society meets the dark legacy
                    of deportations, gulags, and nuclear weapons. Come with us and see all of
                    the above and much more!

                    From 2,100 USD per person

                    Please apply by 1st April, 2019.

                    Explore Kazakhstan | Astana to Almaty (May)

                    Enigmatic Central
                    Asian Giant

                    Kazakhstan is where a vibrant multi-cultural society
                    meets the dark legacy of deportations, gulags, and
                    nuclear weapons. Come with us and see all of the above
                    and much more!

                    From 2,100 USD per person

                    • Overall

                      On this incredible 9-night adventure we will start in the new capital of Kazakhstan, Astana and finish in the old, Almaty.

                      In between these two fascinating cities, we will travel by road, rail, and air as we adventure and explore parts of Kazakhstan only few have seen before.

                      We will be heading to the industrial base of Karaganda, the infamous Semipalatinsk (in two words; Gulags and Nukes), and Kurchatov - the Los Alamos of the USSR, where the Red Bomb was developed and tested.

                      Plus, we will even get to ground zero in ‘The Polygon’; the vast nuclear testing range full of abandoned measuring platforms, bunkers, craters, buried machinery, and the scenic yet chilling ‘Atomic Lake’. We’ll get a history lesson on the darker side of this little-known land, as well as updates on what’s been going on in the cities and countryside as we pass between them seeing local life, industry, and so much more.

                      Combining our expertise working in the country, contacts, and in-depth research, we’ve put together a tour that is like no other to offer you the best in Kazakhstan tourism.

                      Dates don't suit? Check out our Explore Kazakhstan | Astana to Almaty September Tour , or contact us for more information on private tours.

                      Scroll down for an overview of our Explore Kazakhstan - Astana to Almaty May tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • Astana - once the centre of the Virgin Lands campaign, now national capital
                      • Semipalatinsk – fascinating small city and once home to an exiled Dostoyevsky
                      • Nuclear Polygon – USSR’s testing range for atmospheric and underground nukes
                      • Chagan – Abandoned long-range bomber base, and garrison town
                      • Kurchatov – Home of the bomb-boffins and Beria. Semi-abandoned these days
                      • Karaganda – in the heart of Kazakhstan, also the heart of the old Central Asian Gulag system
                      • Almaty – Serene and charming – the old capital nestled against the Tian Shan Mountains
                    • Itinerary

                      Day 1 of 10
                      1. Wed 1st May

                        Arrival Day

                        • Flights to Astana (airport code TSE) arrive from many international destinations – let us know which flight you will be on and we will arrange your pick-up and transfer to the hotel. Arriving even earlier is of course fine and can be accommodated
                        • Today we start the tour with a group dinner of some excellent local food, coordination and briefing session, before the adventure ahead!

                        Overnight:

                        Astana - Kazakhstan's shiny new Capital City!

                      2. Thurs 2nd May

                        Astana

                        Astana

                        • Astana is a new city rightly famed for its unique approach to architecture; in that it piles together a wide range of different styles and forms with the end result being either a glimpse at the future of post-modern cities, or a horrifying un-curated mish-mash of clashing buildings.
                        • Bayterek Tower – now the icon of the city, this ornate monument has a viewing platform 97 metres above the ground (1997 is when Astana become the capital city) and is designed to evoke a folk tale about a bird laying an egg in a tree. Amazing views over the city from here
                        • Palace of Peace and Reconciliation – glass Pyramid from the eminent architect Norman Foster with the vague but noble aim of reconciling the world’s faiths and ideologies and bringing an end to violence. Even if this goal remains elusive it is a stunning building and worth exploring!
                        • Hazret Sultan Mosque – the biggest in Kazakhstan (and second in the region only to the monstrous Gypjak Mosque in Turkmenistan). Classically Islamic in style and Kazakh in décor, this impressive building can house up to 5000 worshippers at once
                        • Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre – perhaps the building that architecturally sums up modern Astana more than any other. Another Carbuncle/work-of-genius (delete as you prefer) from Norman Foster, this ingenious structure looking somewhat like a lop-sided tent maintains an even temperature year round and provides leisure facilities, shopping, entertainment in general
                        • River Ishim – we’ll stroll the banks of this waterway in the centre of town, a good way to see a slice of local life and people enjoying their time. Remember that almost all of Astana’s population are recent arrivals so a big mix of people from around the country and beyond can be met with here

                        Overnight:

                        Astana - Kazakhstan's shiny new Capital City!


                      3. Fri 3rd May

                        Astana & Train Ride

                        • We take a drive out of the city to the nearby village of Akmol; home of the chilling Museum of the Camp for Wives of Traitors to the Motherland – A sensitively-done spot telling the story of the loyal (going to such a place could often be avoided with a divorce and public denunciation) women sent here when their husbands were persecuted.
                        • We see a little more of this settlement on a walk around; church, mosque, and apartment buildings now occupying this former gulag site before stopping for an excellent home-cooked lunch with a local family and a supermarket visit for train snacks/drinks in Astana
                        • All aboard! We jump onto a sleeper train making its way through the night and across the country to the city of Kurchatov - home of the soviet atomic weapons program. Comfy beds and a clean restaurant await us as well as rolling steppe outside the windows for this 800km journey. We will have dinner delivered to us on the platform at Ekibastusz Station that evening

                        Overnight:

                        On board the train – 4 beds in each room. Comfortable and clean
                      4. Sat 4th May

                        Kurchatov/Nuclear Test Epicentre

                        • We arrive very early in the morning in Kurchatov and head for an early check-in at a local hotel as well as breakfast and freshening up after the train ride. Then our atomic adventure begins! Kurchatov was founded in 1947 simply to make Soviet Nuclear weapons a reality. Under the control of the KGB Chief Lavrentiy Beria and scientist Igor Kurchatov this is where the arms race became a two-horse event.
                        • Museum of the Semipalatinsk Test Site – a detailed and deep explanation of what this place is, what happened here, and what affect their inventions can have. Some machines from that time are displayed here too
                        • We board our vehicle and take a drive, deep into a formerly off-limits (very off limits!) area; the Semipalatinsk Polygon – nuclear testing ground chosen due to its remoteness, lack of population, and because it seemed like a good spot to blow a few things up.
                        • Our target is the Nuclear Epicentre - where the first Soviet Atomic Bomb was tested: Ground Zero. We stop at markers, increasingly-destroyed bunkers and towers, as we make our way to ground zero; the epicentre of this bang heard around the world. Radiation is only higher than normal in one spot and we provide protective gear of course.
                        • We spend some time checking out more of the relics of this ground-breaking (literally) test before returning to the Kurchatov once more
                        • Next stop is Chagan – once a deeply secret long-range bomber base. Now a deeply abandoned former long-range bomber base. See the massive runways, the remaining ammunition hangars, and the collapsing main buildings of the base. Plus the garrison town nearby which housed the base staff from 1954 to 1994 and now stands completely stripped like a spooky post-apocalyptic warning. A bit of UrbEx here to finish the day

                        Overnight:

                        Mayak Hotel – not named for the site of another nuclear disaster - see here. Mayak means ‘Beacon’ and was a common name for places and institutions in the USSR. This 1980s beauty belongs to the Kazakh Institute of Atomic Energy. Fans of the Soviet Aesthetic will adore this place!


                      5. Sun 5th May

                        Atomic Lake/Kurchatov

                        • We again go deep into the Polygon, this time we head for the sinister-sounding Atomic Lake
                        • We’ll make a few stops on the way through but most significantly Atomic Lake – caused by a deep underground nuclear blast – this was in fact made deliberately and is known as the world’s first and only use of industrial nuclear weapons. Find out what on earth they were thinking and also meet some fishermen looking for three-eyed fish in the 180m deep lake
                        • We’ll have a Roadside Picnic (note to non-literature lovers, this is a joke – read this book and you will find some eerie similarities to this part of the trip) and continue to see some relics of the testing program. A local expert will also be with us to explain in detail, answer questions, etc
                        • We arrive back in Kurchatov where we’ll have a walking tour of this semi-abandoned settlement dotted with monuments, fascinating buildings, and of course locals going about their lives
                        • A free evening to explore the town – there are cafes and bars, the locals are friendly and curious. It’s walkable and hospitable (one shop even has town souvenirs). Get out there and enjoy it!

                        Overnight:

                        Mayak Hotel

                      6. Mon 6th May

                        Semipalatinsk/Semey
                        • Back to Kurchatov Railway Station for a 2 hour ride in comfort across the steppe to the nearby city of Semipalatinsk
                        • Semipalatinsk is actually the former name of this city, correctly it is now referred to as Semey, we explore with a city tour of this little-visited settlement.
                        • Once upon a time Semipalatinsk was a wealth trading city, situated between China and Russia, as well as acting as a gateway to the Central Asian territories added to the Russian Empire in the 19th Century. We will explore mainly on foot and see buildings from various eras, statues and monuments, mosaics and a little-known part of history. All explained to us as we make our way around this unexpectedly-charming place. Sites we visit include...
                        • Lenin Alley – a common sight in Kazakhstan’s smaller cities; a collection of Lenins in a nice park setting. The central piece is particularly impressive
                        • Victory Park – with statues, tank monument, and a hang-out place for locals
                        • Dostoyevsky Museum – the titan of Russian Literature was exiled out here in Semipalatinsk and this museum explains the importance of his works. Pro-tip: read Crime and Punishment before your visit.
                        • After lunch we liberate you for free time – a couple of recommendations include;
                        • Fine Arts Museum – not just the best collection in Kazakhstan but also a display of abnormal anatomy, something quirky and troubling (especially with our trip to the nuclear test site coming up)
                        • Stronger Than Death Monument – in the Tatar section of town (itself an attraction we will explore some more) – shows the resilience of those who live and have lived in this remote part of the world.
                        • We plan a special addition to the local experience on this tour too, see for yourself on the trip!

                        Overnight:

                        Semey Hotel – very Soviet-style place with an aesthetic unlike what you may be used to! All the charm of the late-USSR but with free wifi! You’ll love it!


                      7. Tues 7th May

                        To Karaganda

                        • We rise early and drive a mere 250km east to Ust-Kamenogorsk. Our destination is simply the airport where we board a local flight to take us over the test-sites, abandoned gulags, coal mines, fields, and miles of endless undulating grasses that make up eastern Kazakhstan. Our final destination today is the city of Karaganda.We will find time before the flight for a quick walk in a local park with an excellent collection of Lenin Statues and Soviet-era tanks
                        • An introductory walking tour of the city centre - focusing on the architecture, history, and local culture of this city (all of which is varied and fascinating), we’ll visit the central park as well and see and mix with locals spending leisure time here
                        • Karaganda is a large city but with a very walkable centre – the Russian/Soviet influence here is strong and our guide (a local to this place) will tell us all about the city, you’ll find it fascinating for sure! He can also recommend good spots for dinner/evening socialising/etc

                        Overnight:

                        Chaika Hotel – amazing brutalist Soviet monstrosity. Real time-warp stuff. One part of the hotel was built specifically for the visit of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. The rooms are comfy and modern, the building itself is timeless!


                      8. Wed 8th May

                        Karaganda

                        • We drive an hour out to the museum of KarLag, the local gulag system – a dark part of history indeed told through the rooms of this former NKVD HQ. State ‘enemies’, departed nationalities (a vast number of whom were dumped in central Asia due to Stalin’s paranoia about enemies within – the largest numbers being Germans from the west and Koreans from the east. Their stories are told here in this chilling memorial to the all-too-recent evils
                        • The village around this museum is made up largely of former Gulag barracks, admin buildings, and medical centres, we will take a look around and also visit the depressing cemetery for children who died in this cruel system
                        • The nearby town of Shahtinsk hosts us for lunch and some views of local industries; coal mining primarily, but also steel production and agriculture
                        • In the afternoon we offer the choice between free time to further explore Karaganda city or a trip to a former execution ground (what a choice, we know!) marked by tasteful and meaningful memorials to the various nationalities whose people were among the unfortunate souls to perish here
                        • In the evening we will board the modern Spanish-made overnight train for a trip to the south of Kazakhstan, and the largest of the nation’s cities - Almaty, 1000km away through the night

                        Overnight:

                        On the train. Comfy beds in small, but modern and spotless rooms


                      9. Thurs 9th May

                        Almaty

                        • We arrive in the morning in the cultural capital (and former actual capital) or Kazakhstan. The beautiful city of Almaty. Nestled against the precipitous Tian Shan Mountain range and dotted with parks, theatres, boulevards, and much more, this is a modern multi-cultural city wrongfully ignored too little-known
                        • Almaty Metro – one of only two subway systems in the whole of Central Asia (the other is the Moscow knock-off in Tashkent) this system opened in 2012 and strikes a balance between Moscow opulence and modern efficiency
                        • Green Bazaar & Rakhat Chocolate Factory – these neighbouring sites are local institutions. You can smell the sweetness from the latter all across this part of the city. Banter and barter with sellers in the market, pick up the apples that Almaty if known for as well as all manner of other delicious local delicacies. Get your sweet tooth into action with the terrific and very affordable selection at the chocolate factory (ideal for gifts too!)
                        • Panfilovets Park – Almaty's main place of leisure. Very pleasant and marked with stunning and evocative monuments to the Kazakh soldiers who fell while fighting to defend Moscow from the Nazi invasion. Zenkov Cathedral is also located in this park.
                        • Central Mosque – With its broad ethnic mixture and clear secularism it is easy to forget that Kazakhstan is a majority-Muslim country. We’ll have a look at the main mosque in Almaty to see how the locals worship and what their faith means to them
                        • Arbat Street – every good former USSR town has one; a pedestrian area ideal for promenading, window shopping, café culture, public art sales, and so on. This one is very modern and it lined with some great examples of brutalist apartment buildings
                        • Kok-Tebe – a cable car ride up to a mountain overlooking the city. Amazing views, a statue of the Beatles, A Ferris Wheel and toboggan ride, small zoo, bars, and entertainment in general. Simply put this is the city’s best spot and a very popular area for local families, youths, and everyone really. We’ll have a final lunch of the tour here. A fitting relaxing end to an intense, mind-blowing week!
                        • Today is also Victory Day – the anniversary of the German surrender to the victorious Red Army. Events happen across the former USSR on this occasion and whatever will be happening in Almaty we will go along for a look. In true soviet style there will likely be a drink or two involved, plus some flag waving and nostalgic nationalism to join in with or simply observe

                        Overnight:

                        Hotel Kazakhstan – a towering monstrosity offering great views over the city as well as faded-luxury. An iconic structure in an iconic city; ideal for finishing off our Kazakhstan adventure


                      10. Fri 10th May

                        Departure Day

                        Flights leave from Almaty airport to various destinations both international and domestic. Let us know where you are going and we will get you there in time!

                        You may also wish to spend more time in Almaty, a truly lovely city – walkable, friendly people, lots to see and do. We recommend continuing at least one more day to make the most of the trip – you won’t regret it!

                        Don’t forget that Almaty is also very close to the border with Kyrgyzstan – the capital city of Bishkek is just a few hours away and there are buses and shared taxis plying this route very frequently. We can help with this if you like and can recommend a visit to Bishkek too

                        TOP RECOMMENDATION – however this is the best choice – Join our tour to Turkmenistan! If you take this option not only do you join the ranks of Koryo Tours’ extra-special veterans but you also get an extra night in Ashgabat. We fly from Almaty to Turkmenistan this afternoon and when there we meet our local partners and have time to relax, explore, do whatever you like really, until the Turkmenistan Tour (more info on this here) begins on Saturday 11th May. Continue your Central Asia adventure with us – it’s the best way to see the most amazing parts of the region!


                    • Extras

                      • Upgrade to your own room in Kazakhstan

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours to Kazakhstan feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra $30 USD per night

                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        English-speaking local guide
                        Western tour leader
                        Meals other than those taken at leisure
                        Accommodation
                        Internal flight
                        Internal train
                        All included sight - seeing
                        All taxes & entrance fees to areas where special permits are required
                        Airport transfers
                        An amazing time in a fascinating country!
                      • Not included
                        Tips for local guides and drivers
                        Incidentals, extra drinks, etc
                        Optional single supplement: USD 30 per night
                        Visa fee - depending on nationality – most western nationalities do not need visas to Kazakhstan. Please do check first to be sure
                        International flights to/from Kazakhstan not included
                    • Notes

                      How to Apply:

                      To apply simply click on the application button listed with this tour and fill out the online form, upload a passport copy and photo (or send to us by email) and you can consider yourself to be booked on this adventure! For any questions, comments, etc about this trip get in touch with Simon Cockerell at simon@koryogroup.com
                      We ask for application to be complete a minimum of one month in advance of the tour, ideally six weeks or more if possible:

                      Please also indicate where you plan to join the tour from and finish the tour by going (we can offer advice on this, drop us a line to discuss it)
                      We also require a deposit to be paid at this time as we start taking on administrative costs as well as an obligation to pay for the visa invitation as soon as we send off an application. We ask for a deposit of 50% of the tour fee.

                      Cancellation & Refunds:

                      Please note that if you require a visa for Kazakhstan you will need to pay this fee yourself. Most visitors do not require visas though. Check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Kazakhstan
                      We practice the same cancellation policy with this tour as we do with our DPRK tours. This is listed on our website T&C. However we do not seek profit from people who cannot go on tours but we do make arrangements and commit to payments in good faith once a booking is received and payment is made. So we always try to refund more than the minimum. As with any trip it is best to be as sure as possible that you will be able to attend the trip when making the final booking. If the tour is cancelled by Koryo Tours for any reason then a full refund is of course made. In all cases we return as much as we can and we do not take a fee for client's cancellation. Please be sure that you will definitely be joining the tour when you send all application details.

                    Please apply by 1st April, 2019.

                    May 11 - May 18 2019

                    Turkmenistan Tour (May): Ashgabat, Darvaza Gas Crater & Beyond

                    7 nights exploring
                    Turkmenistan

                    Featuring the white marble fantasy-capital of Ashgabat, a night camping
                    at the bizarre Darvaza gas crater, the ancient Silk Road ruins of Konye-Urgench,
                    and more!

                    From 2,100 USD per person

                    Please apply by 5th April, 2019.

                    Turkmenistan Tour (May): Ashgabat, Darvaza Gas Crater & Beyond

                    7 nights exploring
                    Turkmenistan

                    Featuring the white marble fantasy-capital of Ashgabat,
                    a night camping at the bizarre Darvaza gas crater,
                    the ancient Silk Road ruins of Konye-Urgench, and
                    more!

                    From 2,100 USD per person

                    • Overall

                      Join experts in Turkmenistan travel, Koryo Tours, on this epic journey to Central Asia’s most enigmatic and least-visited country; Turkmenistan.

                      We will see history unfold as we travel from ruined ancient cities to gleaming modern marble-clad towers. From flaming pits deep in the desert to deep subterranean pools of health-infusing water.

                      We will make sure to visit the main sites during our time in Turkmenistan such as Ashgabat and the Darvaza Gas Crater (Gates of Hell), but also take you off the beaten path to really experience and understand Turkmenistan.
                      Meet local people, learn about their lives and history, their differences and commonalities.

                      We look forward to sharing it with you in Turkmenistan!

                      This tour will be led by our general manager and travel specialist Simon Cockerell, who first travelled to Turkmenistan in 2004 — on the very first flight from Beijing! He has been to the country over 25 times since. Over the years, he has made close friends there, explored widely, and maintained a deep fascination since first visiting 15 years ago. You can rest assured that you will be in safe hands during your Turkmenistan tour and that you will get the most out of your trip into this unexplored land!

                      Scroll down for an overview of the Turkmenistan Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, Turkmenistan visa information, and extra add-ons.
                      If dates don’t suit, check out our
                      Turkmenistan tour in October
                      , or contact us to organise a private tour.

                      Highlights

                      • Ashgabat - All the highlights and local colour
                      • Darvaza Gas Crater - The ‘Mouth of Hell’
                      • Kow Ata Underground Lake - Natural hot spring 80m under the ground
                      • Nisa Fortess – UNESCO listed archaeological site
                      • The Ancient ruins of Konye-Urgench
                    • Itinerary

                      Day 1 of 9
                      1. May 11 - Saturday

                        Arrival


                        • Assemble in Ashgabat - Airport pickups will be arranged wherever you fly in from and we will have a group dinner to get introduced and start the adventure! 
                        Meals: Dinner 


                        Overnight: Hotel Ak Altyn, Ashgabat - A comfortable hotel that has escaped the marble-isation of the main city center. Situated around 15 minutes walk from the main area it has easy access to the local regions of the city such as the Teke bazar and good restaurant options.
                      2. May 12 - Sunday

                        Ashgabat

                        • Tolkuchka Bazaar - The nation’s largest market, built outside the city and home to various sections selling household goods, clothes, the famous Turkmen carpets, camels & other animals, and much more!
                        • Ashgabat Hippodrome – Sunday is a day at the races, with the sacred Ahal-Teke horses in full display.
                        • Afternoon city tour including Independence Park and Monument, Arch of Neutrality topped by the gold statue of Turkmenbashi, Ahal-Teke Horse Monument, Earthquake Monument and Museum.
                        • Free evening for a night out in the city
                        Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

                        Overnight: Hotel Ak Altyn, Ashgabat
                      3. May 13 - Monday

                        Darvaza Gas Crater & Bokhurdag

                        • Desert adventure! We head off in a fleet of 4x4s into the deep desert today.
                        • Bokhurdag semi-nomadic village for a look at what desert life is like today and lunch at a local family home.
                        • Onwards to the bizarre mud and water craters, scenes of accidents that opened sinkholes in the desert.
                        • Finally we arrive at the stunning and unforgettable Darvaza Gas Crater, in the centre of the country and the scene of a 40 year old industrial accident that ended with a giant flaming pit burning to this day. A hypnotic sight and one of the strangest and most spectacular things you can possibly see!
                        • We camp tonight besides the crater, it is best seen at night, dinner cooked on the spot.
                        Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

                        Overnight: Camping at Darvaza Gas Crater - Tents, sleeping bags and roll mats provided. we will also provide tents based on your rooming options. This affords us the best opportunity to view the amazing gas crater from before sunset to sunrise.
                      4. May 14 - Tuesday

                        Ashgabat
                        • We return to Ashgabat, driving through the morning with a stop at a monument to the Soviet defeat (or suppression) of the Basmachi Rebellion, guerillas who resisted first Russian Imperial and then Soviet rule in Central Asia.
                        • Once back in the capital the rest of the day is yours to do with as you please; explore, relax, shop, take a side-trip (drivers are available for hire), we and our local guides can give advice on the spot.
                        Meals: Breakfast 

                        Overnight:
                        Hotel Ak Altyn, Ashgabat.
                      5. May 15 - Wednesday

                        Dashoguz & Konye-Urgench

                        • We take a morning 1 hour flight from Ashgabat to the northern city of Dashoguz, in the Uzbek-majority part of the country.
                        • We’ll see the local bazaar and a taste of life in this very different city.
                        • The ancient silk road ruined city of Konye-Urgench, ravaged by successive invaders over the centuries and now hope to minarets, impressive mausoleums, and all manner of historical tales and stories – one of the most important sites on the old silk-road.
                        Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                        Overnight: Hotel Uzboy, Dashoguz - This local hotel may be basic although there are not many options in this far flung town. It does offer us the chance to walk out into the local streets and experience life away from the marble city of Ashgabat.
                      6. May 16 - Thursday

                        Ashgabat & Kow Ata

                        • We’ll fly back to Ashgabat and get on with some more touring activities straight upon arrival.
                        • Ahal-Teke horses are considered as heavenly and sacred beasts in Turkmenistan, this stud farm visit will show you why. Have a ride on one of the horses if you like.
                        • We then drive on to the bizarre Kow-Ata underground lake. A Sulphur-heated lake 100m deep underground. Take a swim, explore the cave, and then have lunch at a shashlik restaurant on the spot.
                        • After lunch we will visit a couple of large mosques; first the Geok Deppe Mosque, built on the site of a late 19th Century massacre that marked the beginning of Russian dominance in the region.
                        • Then we see the even more massive Gypjak Mosque, built on the site of the 1949 Earthquake that devastated the city, this is also home to the Turkmenbashi Mausoleum which we will visit.
                        •  Back to the city for relaxing evening before beginning the final day of this adventure!
                        meals: Breakfast, lunch

                        Overnight: Hotel Ak Altyn, Ashgabat.
                      7. May 17 - Friday

                        Ashgabat & Kopet Dag Mountains

                        • A free morning in Ashgabat for any final shopping, wandering, relaxing that you want to do and then we meet for a packed final afternoon.
                        • Cable car ride into the Kopet Dag mountains to see a view of the city from above.
                        • The world’s largest indoor Ferris Wheel – yes indeed! A very weird and quite fun trip to this oddity at the edge of town.
                        • An evening drive around the marble city, stopping at some viewpoints for some great photos of the nighttime illuminations which are very impressive.
                        •  Final dinner of the tour, time for goodbyes and a last night out if you’ve got the energy!
                        Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

                        Overnight: Hotel Ak Altyn, Ashgabat.
                      8. May 18 - Saturday

                        Departure day
                        • Departure day – airport transfers provided for everyone regardless of the time of flight or where you are going
                        End of tour, OR;

                        OPTIONAL EXTENSION (+550 EUR)

                        Extension Day 1: Mary & Margush
                        • Flight from Ashgabat to Mary, in the centre of the country and the nearest city to the ancient silk road metropolis of Merv
                        • Visit Gonur-Deppe (Margush); another ancient city in this area, with some lovely extent architectural features
                        • Back to Mary City and explore this modern town, mix with the locals, go to parks, bars, etc as you like, a sleepy area with welcoming and friendly locals
                        Meals: Breakfast

                      9. May 19 - Sunday

                        Extension Day 2: Ancient Merv

                        •  Excursion to ancient Merv, probably the most important city in the world at certain times of its history and a place where you will learn a great deal about the history of Central Asia, the rise and fall of dynasties and cities, the silk road, and human civilization in this part of the world in general. This vast area is roamed by animals, explorers, extant buildings, ruins, etc. All contributing to a sense of the dynamism of the ancient silk road.
                        • In the afternoon you fly back to Ashgabat for a final rest/night out before departure. Hotel not included.
                        Please let us know if you wish to book an extra night in Ashgabat. the flight should return to the capital at around 8PM - 9PM.







                    • Extras

                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        English speaking guide
                        Western tour leader
                        Meals
                        Accommodation
                        Internal flights
                        All included sight seeing
                        All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
                      • Not included
                        Optional extension to Merv is USD 550
                        Optional single supplement: USD 50 per night
                        Visa issuing fee - USD 80 to USD 140 depending on nationality
                        Room extension - USD 120
                        International fights to/from Turkmenistan not included
                        Return flights from Beijing to Ashgabat cost approximately USD 780
                        Return flights from London to Ashgabat cost approximately USD 1040
                        (Estimates only, we can book these tickets for you or you can purchase separately)
                    • Notes

                      HOW TO APPLY

                      Please email Rich Beal at rich@koryogroup.com the following information a minimum of one month in advance of the tour, ideally six weeks or more if possible:

                      Full Name
                      Gender
                      Date of Birth
                      Passport Number
                      Address
                      Job Title
                      Company
                      Details of any previous visits to Turkmenistan
                      Please also indicate where you plan to join the tour from (London, Beijing, Istanbul etc).

                      We also require a deposit to be paid at this time as we start taking on administrative costs as well as an obligation to pay for the visa invitation as soon as we send off an application. We ask for a deposit of 50% of the tour fee.

                      You must apply at least 4 weeks before the tour departure date as the Letter of Invitation that we need to obtain in order to facilitate the visa can take several days to be issued by the Turkmenistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We can arrange to have the visas issued on arrival at Ashgabat airport or any other point of entry to the country, but if you would prefer to have it issued at the Turkmenistan Embassy in your home country or have any questions at all about the visa process (it is rather complicated!) please contact us early! the LOI's will be issued to coordinate as closely as possible with the tour dates if you need extra days at each end of your journey please do let us know in advance of your application.

                      If you are joining the tour from somewhere other than Beijing and buying a ticket via our offices we email the e-ticket voucher to you and also inform you if anyone else is joining the tour from your place of departure so that you can meet up on the way to join the tour. If you are purchasing your own flight ticket via alternate airlines or agents we need these flight details ASAP. We, unfortunately, can not accept any liability for delayed flights and any issue associated with times associated letters of invitations.

                      It is entirely possible to join the tour by flying in from other destinations also. We can also accommodate people joining the tour after entering by land or sea, and a range of exit methods are available to those joining this tour. Single supplement is available on this tour at 50 USD per night, if you are travelling alone and wish to share a room to avoid this fee we will attempt to match you up with another traveler. You will also have to pay the visa issuing fee, at Ashgabat airport this ranges from US$80 to $130 (depending on nationality) payable in cash only.

                      CANCELLATION & REFUNDS

                      Please note that for this tour you are required to pay the fee for the issuance of the visa yourself. Due to the extended amount of time that it takes to have a visa authorized and sent to an Embassy of Turkmenistan it is much simpler to collect the visa on arrival at Ashgabat Airport, the fee payable here varies according to your nationality, its usually around US$100. The visa is stamped in your passport and is the same as it would be if issued at a Turkmen Embassy. If you insist on having your visa issued at an Embassy then please be sure to apply for the tour as early as possible.

                      The deposit is non-refundable if the tourist cancels himself. If however we cannot arrange visas or for whatever reason, it is not possible to travel at the specified time (or you cannot make rescheduled dates) a full refund will be made. Should the client wish to cancel after visa application has been made, charges imposed on us will be paid out of the 50% deposit with the balance being returned to the client. If you have paid in full we will return 50% plus the balance of what is left after the cancellation fee we pay to our partners in Turkmenistan. If you book and cancel a plane ticket through us we charge only the airline’s cancellation fee.

                      In all cases we return as much as we can and we do not take a fee for client's cancellation. Please be sure that you will definitely be joining the tour when you send all application details.

                    Please apply by 5th April, 2019.

                    May 27 - June 1/2 2019

                    Brewery Industry Tour

                    5 nights in the DPRK +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    A very unique & rare opportunity to learn
                    about North Korea's beer brewing industry!

                    From 1,249 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 5th May, 2019.

                    Brewery Industry Tour

                    5 nights in the DPRK +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    A very unique & rare opportunity
                    to learn about North Korea's
                    beer brewing industry!

                    From 1,249 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      After successfully pioneering the first ever brewery industry tour in 2018, Koryo Tours is excited to confirm we’re going to run this tour again in 2019!

                      It's important to note that this is *not* a tour for those looking for a drinking holiday – this educational itinerary is designed for the connoisseurs out there who are genuinely interested in discovering and learning about the brewery industry in North Korea, its practices, and the beers the country produces.

                      We’ll be given access to places that are otherwise off limits to tourists, and be given the rare opportunity to meet the people brewing beer in the country to learn from them about their products and what they believe makes their beer stand out from the others.

                      Beer is just one small part of North Korea, so we’ll take the time to explore the rest of the country to gain a good understanding of its history, culture and people. The itinerary includes an extensive tour of Pyongyang including the Fatherland Liberation War Museum, Grand People’s Study House and Pyongyang Metro. We’ll then head to Kaesong in the south where we’ll visit the DMZ that divides the Korean peninsula, and the bustling city of Pyongsong that plays a vital role in industry, science and education for the country.

                      Do note that due to the specialization of this tour and limitations of space at places we’ll be visiting, spaces on this tour are limited so ensure to book early to secure your place!

                      Please read the following for important information about your transport options for this tour, and how each one relates to the visa requirements for China. The default option is round-trip train travel from Beijing to Pyongyang, and back again. Flight upgrades are available. See below for more details.

                      Transport Options

                      Option 1 | Round-trip train (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing): A 24-hour train journey each way in hard-sleeper class (six bunks per berth) with a transfer in Dandong, China. The train arrives in Pyongyang approximately three hours after the flight so train arrivals will miss one or two activities in the city. This option is for those travelling on a budget with time to spare (and train enthusiasts, of course). [+0 EUR]

                      Option 2 | Flight departure (Beijing-Pyongyang | 90 minutes) + train return (Pyongyang-Beijing | 24 hours): In our view, this is the most comprehensive way to visit the DPRK. We highly recommend this option: it maximizes your time and sightseeing opportunities; lets you experience both Air Koryo and the international train; plus allows you to start the trip rested, while taking the leisurely route home. [+199 EUR]

                      Option 3 | Train departure (Beijing-Pyongyang | 24 hours) + flight return (Pyongyang-Beijing | 90 minutes): An alternative to Option 2. This option is ideal for those wishing to take the train one-way of the journey, but need to transit through Beijing by flight on their return. Please note the train arrives in Pyongyang approximately three hours after the flight so train arrivals will miss one or two activities in the city. [+199 EUR]

                      Option 4 | Round-trip flight (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing):Choosing the round-trip flight option gets you between Beijing and Pyongyang in 1.5 hours (each way), and lets you experience the infamous Air Koryo ‘burger’ twice! For many nationalities, this also allows for the possibility of transiting in Beijing, rather than having to get a Chinese visa (please see below). This option is for those with little time to spare, travellers wanting simply to transit through China, or aviation enthusiasts. [+299 EUR]

                      Visa Information

                      We arrange your North Korean visa as part of your tour package [+50 EUR]. However, given the tour starts and finishes in China you may also need to consider entry and exit procedures in China for your trip. This can be obtained at a Chinese embassy abroad. We recommend obtaining at least a double-entry Chinese visa for your trip.

                      Over 50 nationalities can obtain a visa-waiver for up to 144 hours when in transit through Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) using direct international flights. Most other nationalities can transit for up to 24 hours. If you don't want to visit China as part of your trip, this could be the easiest option for you. It is not possible to obtain a transit-waiver when using a train for entry or exit from China.

                      Please be sure to check your visa status for travel through China while planning your trip. We are unable to arrange Chinese visas, but can provide documentation in support of visa applications upon payment of a tour deposit.

                      See below for an overview of all tour options and extras.

                      Highlights

                      • Visits to local beer breweries!
                      • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
                      • Visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum featuring the USS Pueblo, Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
                      • Pyongsong - provincial seat of South Pyong'an province and centre of specialist education
                      • Plus much more!
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. May 26 | Sunday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travelers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travelers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                        • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                        • 17:00 | Train travelers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK (North Korea). Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.
                        Overnight | Hotel in Beijing is not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
                      2. May 27 | Monday

                        Arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.
                        PM
                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight at 12:00pm. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch.
                        • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Arch of Triumph | A massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
                        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
                        • Moran Beer Bar | A small local bar in Pyongyang, we'll stop here on our way to our hotel for our first sample of locally produced beer and familiarise ourselves with how the locals like to enjoy their beer.
                        Overnight:

                        Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang | Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.
                      3. May 28 | Tuesday

                        Pyongyang

                        AM
                        • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
                        • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ — a symbol of speed — commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
                        • Grand People’s Study House | Huge national library and public university housed in a large neo-traditional Korean building overlooking Kim Il Sung Square and the downtown Pyongyang.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                        • Lunch at Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Raengmyeon or Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
                        PM
                        • Brewery #1 | Hidden away in deep Pyongyang is this new brewery producing both beer and the traditional Korean drink makkoli - a fermented rice drink. We'll tour the factory, meet the friendly staff and sample their product fresh from the production line.
                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
                        • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic stone hammer, sickle, writing brush representing the workers, farmers, and intellectuals which make up the Worker's Party of Korea.
                        • Brewery #2 | Tucked away in a small corner of Pyongyang is this brewery producing fresh draught beer for a certain clientele. We'll meet the brewer and learn about how they brew beer for their special customers.

                        Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      4. May 29 | Wednesday

                        Historic Kaesong and the DMZ

                        AM

                        • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. 3 Hour drive.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                        PM

                        • Ginseng Products Factory | Factory producing a variety of quality ginseng products, Koryo Insam. Kaesong has been famous for its ginseng products and trade since the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD).
                        • We'll drive around two hours to Sariwon City and Folk village - a recently built mock-up of a traditional Korean walled city which includes a history museum, food street and pavilions. Make sure to try the homemade makkolli here!
                        • Continue driving to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.. A 1 hour drive.
                        • Paradise Beer Bar | Located on the top floor of a department store, brews their own fresh beer.
                        Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      5. May 30 | Thursday

                        Pyongyang

                        AM
                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                        • Factory Visit | we'll visit a local factory producing soju - a traditional distilled beverage and the undoubted national drink of Korea. We'll learn about how it's made and it's history dating back to the 13th century.
                        PM
                        • Coffee Shop | Pyongyang has a burgeoning cafe scene, we'll stop at one for a post lunch coffee and to recharge ourselves for the afternoon.
                        • Kwangbok Department Store | Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
                        • Drive to Pyongsong. A 45 minute to 1 hour drive.
                        Overnight:

                        Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong | The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hair dresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.
                      6. May 31 | Friday

                        Pyongsong

                        AM
                        • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
                        • Local Elementary School | We'll visit one of the area's top schools to meet the students and learn about the education system in the country. The students may even put on an artistic & musical performance for us!
                        • Konji-ri Revolutionary Site | Location of the headquarters of the Korean People's Army & home of Kim Il Sung during the Korean war. Tour the renovated buildings and learn about life there during the war

                        • Return to Pyongyang. A 45 minute to 1 hour drive.
                        PM
                        • Brewery #3 | We will visit this brewery located just outside of Pyongyang to tour the factory and learn about what sets their beer apart from others in Korea and the world.
                        • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
                        • Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang's excellent BBQ restaurants, the perfect way to finish off our tour.
                        Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      7. June 1 | Saturday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train.

                        AM

                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 8:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.

                        OR

                        • Train departure by sleeper train to Beijing at 10:10 (via transfer in Dandong) with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Sunday 2nd June at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                        End of Tour.

                    • Extras

                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                        See more
                      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                        See more
                      • Hotel booking in Beijing

                        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                        See more
                      • Insurance for up to six nights

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                      • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

                        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                        Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                        All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Two local Korean guides and a driver per group
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
                        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299 EUR)
                        Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                        Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                    • Notes

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.

                      After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 5th May, 2019.

                    May 30 - June 4/5 2019

                    International Children's Day Budget Tour

                    5 nights in North Korea +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Travel to North Korea on International Children’s day and enjoy mingling
                    and having fun with the locals partaking in special Children’s Day events
                    on their day off.

                    From 970 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 9th May, 2019.

                    International Children's Day Budget Tour

                    5 nights in North Korea +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Travel to North Korea on International Children’s
                    day and enjoy mingling and having fun with the
                    locals partaking in special Children’s Day events
                    on their day off.

                    From 970 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      June 1 is International Children's Day. There is a famous saying in North Korea that 'Children are the Kings of the Country' and significant attention is devoted to children's upbringing and education.

                      This is a day which is usually marked by student-oriented activities, events, and celebrations. We'll spend the holiday in the capital Pyongyang out and about in the city visiting locations popular with schoolchildren and their families, letting out our inner children and joining in the fun!

                      During our time in Pyongyang, we will make sure to take you to the best that the country’s capital has to offer, including Kim Il Sung Square, the Juche Tower, and the Mansudae Grand Monument Statues.

                      Apart from Pyongyang, this tour will also visit historic Kaesong, the capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty, and the North-South Korean border DMZ zone. In Kaesong, we'll see the rarely visited Kaesong Schoolchildren's Palace.

                      Scroll down for an overview of the International Children's Day Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • Events and activities for International Children's Day
                      • Pyongyang highlights including, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Pyongyang Metro, Juche Tower, and more
                      • Munsu Waterpark
                      • Historic Kaesong, the DMZ and Panmunjom Truce Village, and the Kaesong Schoolchildren's Palace
                      • Provincial Sariwon and an co-operative farm in North Korea
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. May 29 //  Wednesday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                        • 10:00 // Briefing for those departing by train.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 // Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                        • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                        Overnight //  Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

                      2. May 30 // Thursday

                        Arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 252 at 14:00. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 17:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Arch of Triumph // Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop  // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                        • Walk to Pyongyang Grand Theatre // An evening stroll through Central Pyongyang.
                        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.

                        Overnight // Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel // A very green retro-futurist giant, located on modernist Kwangbok Street. Outdoor AND indoor swimming pools, and home to the best foreign karaoke in Pyongyang. One of very few of our tours to stay at this unique hotel!

                      3. May 31 // Friday

                        Pyongyang City Tour

                        AM
                        • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
                        • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ - a symbol of speed - commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
                        •  Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Mangyongdae Native House:  Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung.  A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.  
                        PM
                        • Kwangbok Department Store // Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Pick up local snacks on the first floor for our picnic at the funfair.
                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guides. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                        • Grand People’s Study House //  National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city.
                        Overnight // Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      4. June 1 // Saturday

                        International Children's Day

                        AM
                        • International Children's Day Activities //  We'll see what is going on in the city for the holiday or visit a local school if there are any events going on.
                        PM
                        • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR)

                        • Munsu Water Park // Take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR).
                        • Taedonggang Bar No. 3  // Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
                        Overnight // Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      5. June 2 // Sunday

                        Sariwon and Kaesong

                        AM
                        • Drive north to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. This is a 1-hour drive.
                        • Migok Co-Operative Farm // Learn about rural life in the DPRK at this farming community on the bucolic plains of Sariwon. Visit the farm's museum, viewpoint, and a local home.
                        • Sariwon Folk Village and City View // Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
                        • Continue drive to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty. A 1.5-hour drive.

                        PM
                        • Pakyon Waterfall // Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming
                        • Tomb of King Kongmin // Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Sonjuk Bridge // Small stone bridge built in 1290 which was the site of the assassination of loyal Koryo Dynasty minister Jong Mong Ju by a son of Ri Song Gye (founder of the next, and final, dynasty) in 1392. This bloody act extinguished the Koryo which had ruled over Korea for 474 years and is said to have left a permanent mark on the bridge to this day.
                        • Janam Hill // Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.

                        Overnight: Minsok Folk Hotel // Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean style. Housed in beautiful courtyards of Kaesong’s old city, structures date back to the Ri Dynasty. Basic bathroom facilities. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electricity supply – please bring a torch.
                      6. June 3 // Monday

                        Kaesong and the DMZ

                        AM
                        • Old City Walk and South Gate  // A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district — lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty — to the city’s historic South Gate.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // Visit the site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, plus a trip to the demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, which is where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty (exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era). A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country, and friendly staff.
                        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal consisting of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet-meat soup' is also an option here (+5 EUR).

                        PM
                        • Kaesong Schoolchildren’s Palace // The earliest schoolchildren’s palace in the DPRK and centre of extracurricular excellence where the youth of Kaesong come to hone their skills in music, dance, sports, mechanics, taxidermy, and more!
                        • Drive back to Pyongyang via the Dinosaur Footprint and the  Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument // Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to a joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’. A 2.5 hour drive.
                        • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

                        • Dinner at the Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.

                        Overnight // Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, Pyongyang.
                      7. June 4 // Tuesday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred entry and exit method upon booking

                        AM

                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 152 at 08:25 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.

                        OR

                        • Train departure at 10:25 to Dandong, on the Sino-Korean border, with train transfer and onward travel to Beijing by hard-sleeper (six bunks per berth; basic but comfortable). Scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Wednesday, June 5 at 08:30.  

                        End of Tour
                    • Extras

                      • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

                        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

                      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                        See more
                      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                        See more
                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Insurance for up to six nights

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                      • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

                        This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

                        See more
                      • Hotel booking in Beijing

                        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                        See more
                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                        Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                        All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        North Korean visa fee 50 EUR
                        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
                        Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                        Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                    • Notes

                      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 9th May, 2019.

                    June 6 - June 10 2019

                    North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Weekend Budget Tour

                    4 nights in the DPRK +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    This long weekend Dragon Boat Festival tour is packed with outdoor and indoor activities,
                    including an exclusive cycling tour of Pyongyang and a visit to the Munsu Water Park to
                    relax with the local Koreans.

                    From 1,099 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 19th May, 2019.

                    North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Weekend Budget Tour

                    4 nights in the DPRK +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    This long weekend Dragon Boat Festival tour is packed with
                    outdoor and indoor activities, including an exclusive cycling
                    tour of Pyongyang and a visit to the Munsu Water Park to relax
                    with the local Koreans.

                    From 1,099 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      This tour is designed for those who are looking for an active weekend in the DPRK during the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival long weekend.
                      Looking for a quick escape out of China? Put that mooncake down and look no further.

                      This action-packed long weekend getaway is an introduction to the DPRK through outdoor and indoor activities. Early risers can have a morning run on Pyongyang's Sports Street and be overtaken by DPR Korea athletes during their morning training. We'll hang out with the locals in Moranbong Park - a popular place for picnic, drinking sessions, and dancing - on their day off. Plus, get the rare chance to tour the highlights of Pyongyang by bike before finishing off at Munsu Water Park to relax with the locals.

                      The Dragon Boat Festival Tour will also get you to the DMZ, the most heavily fortified border on earth, and a viewpoint of the Concrete Wall, an anti-tank barrier built in the 1970s by the south across the entire the DMZ. The 45-minute scenic drive from Kaesong will also give you a rare insight into rural North Korea.

                      Why not escape China at one of its busiest times for Chinese National Day too?

                      Scroll down for an overview of the North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • Pyongyang City Cycling: explore the capital’s impressively wide streets and marvel at its Soviet-style architecture and iconic monuments from a completely different angle.
                      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum: world-class museum of the Korean War and site of the captured USS Pueblo
                      • Pyongyang Metro: deepest metro system in the world
                      • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides.
                      • The Concrete Wall: view of the DMZ and the fortifications on the southern side.
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. June 6 // Thursday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        AM

                        • 09:00 // Our group assembles for a pre-tour group briefing at the Koryo Tours office in Beijing.
                        • 11:00 // Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 14:00. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 17:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
                        • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

                        Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang. The two rivers hotel (so named as it sits on a hill overlooking the point where the Potong river and Taedong Rivers meet). The hotel offers great views over different parts of the city (depending which side of the building you stay on) from the open balconies, and also from the ‘swivelling’ restaurant. The underground karaoke room here is excellent and the bar in the lobby is also great.
                      2. June 7 // Friday

                        Kaesong and the MDZ

                        AM

                        • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
                        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

                        PM
                        • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
                        • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 2.5 hour drive.
                        • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
                        • Korean BBQ dinner in the Bowling Alley's bulgogi restaurant.

                        Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
                      3. June 8 // Saturday

                        Pyongyang City Tour

                        AM

                        • Optional morning run for the early risers on Sports Street past stadiums and halls whose architecture reflects the sports played within.
                        • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens afterschool and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.

                        • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri [400 mile] horse’ – a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                        • Korean Central Art Museum // National gallery of Korean art from ancient times on through the socialist realist works of today. The local guides an excellent introduction to Korean culture and history through art.
                        • Kwangbok Department Store // Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

                        PM

                        • Mangyondae Native House // Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
                        • Pyongyang International Football Academy // Premier football school for young and promising athletes. Tour the facilities and learn about the history of football in the DPRK. Has multiple training pitches where you can test yourself against some students here.
                        • Grand People’s Study House // National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city.
                        • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A beer bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
                        • Kaeson Funfair // Take on the rides of Pyongyang’s small but excellently located central funfair with the locals: pirate ship, ‘vominator’, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Entry and ride tickets purchased on the spot.

                        Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyan

                      4. June 9 // Sunday

                        Pyongyang City Tour and City Cycling

                        AM

                        • Optional morning run for the early risers on Sports Street past stadiums and halls whose architecture reflects the sports played within.
                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
                        • Arch of Triumph // Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
                        • Moranbong Park // Picnic lunch and a walk through Pyongyang’s central park through historic monuments, ancient and modern architecture.

                        PM

                        • City Cycling // Tour Pyongyang on a bike (please note that bicycles are limited to 20 spots) starting from Kwangbok Department Store through downtown Pyongyang to Munsu Water park stopping at:
                          • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!

                          • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.

                          • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush  which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
                        • Munsu Water Park // We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee 10 EUR with suit rental).
                        • Taedonggang Bar No. 3 // Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).

                        Overnight: Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang

                      5. June 10 // Monday

                        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight

                        AM
                        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 09:00 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.
                        End of Tour
                    • Extras

                      • Upgrade to your own room

                        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                        See more
                      • Insurance for up to six nights

                        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                      • Hotel booking in Beijing

                        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                        See more
                    • What is / is not included?

                      • Included
                        Flight Beijing – Pyongyang – Beijing
                        All meals on the tour
                        Hotel accommodation
                        Two local Korean guides, a driver, and a Koryo Tours tour leader
                        All transportation in the DPRK
                      • Not included
                        DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
                        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
                        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                        Spending money for souvenirs
                    • Notes

                      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

                      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                    Please apply by 19th May, 2019.

                    June 29 - July 6/7 2019

                    The Summer Holiday Tour in North Korea

                    7 nights in North Korea +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Discover North Korea’s rarely visited East coast from the industrial centre of Hamhung to the hiking trails
                    of Mt. Kumgang. A summer adventure in North Korea! This tour will also include Pyongyang, Kaesong & DMZ. Round-trip
                    by train or upgrade to flight.

                    From 1,249 EUR per person

                    Please apply by 12th June, 2019.

                    The Summer Holiday Tour in North Korea

                    7 nights in North Korea +
                    Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                    time

                    Discover North Korea’s rarely visited East coast from the industrial centre
                    of Hamhung to the hiking trails of Mt. Kumgang. A summer adventure in North
                    Korea! This tour will also include Pyongyang, Kaesong & DMZ. Round-trip
                    by train or upgrade to flight.

                    From 1,249 EUR per person

                    • Overall

                      Sun, sea, and sand… Yes, that’s right!

                      North Korea may not be known as a summer get-away, or indeed known for its beaches, but we think a summer package holiday in North Korea is far too underrated, and one of the best holiday destinations to give you one of the most unforgettable trips of a lifetime.

                      Plus, you won’t have to worry about tourists crowding the beaches!

                      Our Summer Holiday Tour is an annual favourite which gives you the highlights of North Korea - and more. This includes exploring the capital Pyongyang and historic Kaesong on the Korean Demilitarised Zone on the North-South Korea border, while also taking time to see the country's rarely visited east coast.

                      On the east coast, you will see the port city of Wonsan and the industrial centre of Hamhung, while having the chance to explore the hiking trails in Mt Kumgang. The weather is beautiful at this time of year – warm during the day but not too hot, making it one of the best holiday destinations this summer!

                      Don’t forget to pack your bikini/swimming trunks!

                      We also have a range of shorter tours available this summer for your summer getaway.

                      Scroll down for an overview of our Summer Holiday tour package highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                      Highlights

                      • The stunning mountain scenery of Mt Kumgang
                      • Beaches of Korea's eastern coast
                      • The port city of Wonsan and industrial city of Hamhung
                      • The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured spy ship USS Pueblo
                      • Panmunjom and the Korean Demilitarised Zone in historic Kaesong
                      • The Pyongyang Metro, one of the deepest in the world
                    • Itinerary

                      Briefing Day
                      1. June 28 | Friday

                        *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

                        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

                        AM

                        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
                        • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

                        PM

                        • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
                        • 17:00|  Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

                        Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near out office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

                      2. June 29 | Saturday

                        Arrival day in Pyongyang

                        AM

                        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
                        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

                        PM

                        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
                        • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
                        • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
                        • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
                        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
                        • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
                        • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighborhoods.

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

                      3. June 30 | Sunday

                        Pyongyang City Tour

                        AM

                        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
                        • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens afterschool and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
                        • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
                        • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower overlooking the Taedong River and dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
                        • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
                        PM
                        • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line
                        • Kwangbok Department Store | Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
                        • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 2.5 hour driv
                        • Tomb of King Kongmin | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kayagum Performance | Traditional Korean stringed instrument performance at the Minsok Folk Hotel. Tip recommended (1-3 EUR per person on group tours) for this beautiful demonstration of Korean music.

                        Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guest sleep on heated floors, Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply - please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the center and Ri dynasty furniture.

                      4. July 1 | Monday

                        Kaesong City and DMZ Tour

                        AM

                        • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
                        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
                        • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
                        • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in/ the country and friendly staff.
                        • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming.

                        PM

                        • Drive to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agro-industry on the Chaeryong Plains with a stop at the Dinosaur Footprint. A 1 hour drive.
                        • Sariwon Tradtional Folk Street | We'll take a break from the drive to stop by this traditionally themed street for a quick overview of Korean history and culture. Sometimes it is possible to drop by a small makkolli (Korean rice wine) shop on the street, where bowl of makkolli costs about 1 EUR.
                        • Continue back to Sariwon with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 1.5 hour drive.
                        • Ri In Mo Monument | Bronze statue of Ri In Mo, a long-term unconverted prisoner who spent decades in captivity in the south after being captured during the Korean War, located on modernist Tongil Street. Ri In Mo is known in the DPRK as ‘the incarnation of faith and will’

                        Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.

                      5. July 2 | Tuesday

                        Drive to Hamhung

                        AM
                        • Drive east across the width of the peninsula before heading north to Hamhung, the second largest city of the DPRK and major centre of industry. A 6 to 7 hour drive.
                        • Tomb of King Tongmyong | Largest of the UNESCO listed Koguryo Tombs spread through the area, this is the beautiful tomb complex of the founder of the Koguryo Dynasty two thousand years ago. Statues, a Buddhist Monastery, and lovely wall paintings make this a fascinating visit for history buffs
                        • Stop by Sinpyong Lake Beach Guesthouse to stretch your legs at this lakeside teahouse beneath rocky crags.

                        • Ulim Waterfall for a picnic lunch | Hidden amongst the mountains on the road to Wonsan, ‘Echo’ Waterfall is a scenic stopover to enjoy lunch, stretch your legs, or go for a dip in the pool beneath.
                        PM
                        • Tongbong Co-operative Farm | Local farm in the outskirts of Hamhung. View the machinery barn, a local home, and the farm shop to buy some locally made products.
                        • Home of Ri Song Gye | Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. A traditional hall and pavilion and associated naughty stories of the former king’s retirement years -some not appropriate for the youth!


                        Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Hamghung. A beachside holiday compound with basic but comfortable chalets. Rooms have heated floors but no running water. Bring a torch! There is a main building with restaurant, bar, billiards, table-tennis, bookshop, and Korean karaoke.


                      6. July 3 |  Wednesday

                        Hamhung and Wonsan

                        AM
                        • Hungnam Fertiliser Factory | Massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilisers. Tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant - just don’t light up next to the Ammonium Nitrate!
                        • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square | Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square.

                        • Drive south to Wonsan, a major port city on the East Sea of Korea. A 2.5 -3 hour drive.

                        PM
                          • Wonsan Agricultural University | The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by Germans living in the area in the early 20th century.
                          • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp | A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork. Tour the recently renovated dormitories, aquarium, bird house, gymnasium, and more!
                          • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse | Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbor (1 EUR/USD entry fee).
                          Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan. Waterfront hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna, and indoor seawater swimming pool.
                        • July 4 | Thursday

                          Mt. Kumgang, the 'Diamond Mountain'

                          AM
                          • Drive south along the East Sea coast to the scenic Mt. Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legends. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking. A 2.5 - 3 hour drive.
                          • Samil Lagoon | A charming green-water coastal lagoon lined by pine forests. Named for the ‘three-day’ stay (sam-il) of a king in days gone-by to take in the full beauty of the area. PM
                          • Hiking at Kuryong Waterfall | A 8 km (round-trip) hike to a scenic ‘Nine-Dragons’ waterfall through forests, along mountain streams and by emerald pools.
                          • Kumgangsan Hot Spa | Relax in the facilities of Kumgangsan's hot spa or treat yourself to a massage (approx 10-15 USD).
                          Overnight | Kumgangsan Hotel, Mt. Kumgang. A very comfortable, clean and well equipped. Bar, billiards, massage and a great terrace with barbecue options.
                        • July 5 | Friday

                          Drive back to Pyongyang with stops along the way.

                          AM
                          • Drive back up the coast to Wonsan with a rest stop at Lake Sinjung and lunch in Wonsan.
                          PM
                          • Drive back to Pyongyang (approx 4 hours drive) with a stop at Masik Pass Ski Resort, the DPRK’s largest ski resort. Opened in 2013, Masik Pass features nine main runs, two beginner slopes, and a lodge with full amenities.
                          • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven type of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work.

                          • Farewell group dinner at Golden Lanes' Bowling Alley and bulgogi restaurant.
                          Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.

                        • July 6 | Saturday

                          Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

                          AM

                          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

                          OR

                          • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday July 7 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

                          End of Tour

                      7. Extras

                        • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

                          This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

                        • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

                          If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

                          See more
                        • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

                          Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

                          See more
                        • Upgrade to your own room

                          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

                          See more
                        • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

                          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

                        • Hotel booking in Beijing

                          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

                          See more
                      8. What is / is not included?

                        • Included
                          Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
                          Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
                          All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
                          Hotel accommodation
                          Koryo Tours tour leader
                          Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
                          All transportation in North Korea
                        • Not included
                          North Korean visa fee 50 EUR
                          Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
                          Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
                          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
                          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
                          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
                          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
                          Spending money for souvenirs
                          Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
                      9. Notes

                        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

                        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

                      Please apply by 12th June, 2019.

                      July 1 - July 13 2019

                      Naadam Festival Mongolia Tour: Beyond the Steppe

                      Ulaanbaatar to Hovd and Bayan
                      Olgii in far western Mongolia

                      Explore Mongolia’s Wild West over the Naadam Festival. Meet Kazakh eagle hunters, hike
                      in the stunning Altai Mountains, and experience Mongolia’s largest holiday celebration.
                      Go beyond the Steppe!

                      From 2,900 USD per person

                      Please apply by 15th May, 2019.

                      Naadam Festival Mongolia Tour: Beyond the Steppe

                      Ulaanbaatar to Hovd and Bayan
                      Olgii in far western Mongolia

                      Explore Mongolia’s Wild West over the Naadam Festival. Meet
                      Kazakh eagle hunters, hike in the stunning Altai Mountains,
                      and experience Mongolia’s largest holiday celebration. Go
                      beyond the Steppe!

                      From 2,900 USD per person

                      • Overall

                        The summer Naadam Festival is one of the best times to travel to Mongolia for the annual games of horse racing, archery, and wrestling. It is also the busiest time to visit the country. We’ll get you to Mongolia’s far west to see how the Naadam Festival is celebrated away from the crowds.

                        Starting in Ulaanbaatar, we’ll fly west to Hovd and travel overland to Bayan Olgii. Along the way, we’ll experience not only traditional Mongolian life, but also the culture of the Kazakh and Tuvan people. Meet and chat with eagle hunters, shamans, and nomads who live in the region.

                        Traveling off road and sleeping in ger and tents, we'll also get our hands dirty in the great outdoors of the Altai mountains and have the chance to try out horseback riding.

                        Come along for 12 unforgettable Mongolian summer nights over the Nadaam festival.

                        Koryo Tours’ tour leader Rich Beal has been leading tours in Mongolia for 15 years and frequently travels beyond the capital Ulaanbatar to the country’s far west, far north, and south into the Gobi Desert.

                        Looking to see more of Mongolia? Come along for Koryo Tours’ Gobi Explorer right after Naadam.

                        See below for highlights, full itinerary, and additional information about the Naadam Festival Western Mongolia Tour - Beyond the Steppe.

                        Highlights

                        • Experience Nadaam -- the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians
                        • Visit Mongolian, Kazak and Tuva nomadic families
                        • Enjoy horseback riding
                        • Hike the great mountains (with views across to Russia and China)
                        • Swim in mountain lakes and rivers
                        • Explore the Altai and Bayan Ulgii region of Mongolia
                        • Construct and sleep in a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt)
                        • Marvel at the skill of local eagle hunters
                        • Stay with and learn from local Yak herders
                      • Itinerary

                        Day 1 of 13
                        1. Monday 1 July

                          Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

                          Upon landing in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, we make our way to our centrally located hotel to recharge before our adventure begins. If you’re feeling energetic, you can take our optional walking tour to get your first taste of this fascinating city, before returning for our 6 pm hotel briefing.

                          Here we’ll give you an overview of the country and culture, along with some etiquette tips for the trip, especially for visiting the homes of the shamans, Kazakhs, and Tuvan people we’ll meet along the way.

                          Then, join us for another city walk after the briefing. Get a glimpse of Sükhbaatar Square, named after the revolutionary hero Damdinii Sükhbaatar; whose statue marks the place where his horse was seen urinating whilst on parade in 1921. The statues of Genghis Khan and Mongolian generals are even more impressive when all lit up.

                          Meals | Dinner

                          Overnight |
                           Hotel 9, Ulaanbaatar. A local hotel situated in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, within 5 minutes walk from the main square. This hotel offers a great location from which to walk out and explore the city.
                        2. Tuesday 2 July

                          Tour of the city, and then fly to Bayan Olgii

                          We start our day at Gandantegchinlen, Ulaanbaatar’s largest Buddhist monastery, where we can see practising monks and learn about the role of Mongolia’s largest religion. 

                          Then it’s back to the city centre, where we’ll stop off for supplies at the State Department Store. Today privately owned, this is a throwback to the old Soviet sales system, where everything is under one roof, and you pay with multiple receipts before returning for your purchases. This is an ideal time to stock up on trip supplies, even outdoor gear, so if you’ve discovered your sleeping bag has a hole, now’s the time to upgrade. 

                          We’ll then see Sükhbaatar Square by day and then head to the National Historical Museum, which takes us through Mongolian history from the Stone Age to the collapse of Communism. We’ll also see the Natural History Museum, filled with those dinosaur fossils the country is known for.

                          After lunch, we’ll take a two-hour flight to Bayan Olgii and pile into Russian jeeps. We begin our drive as soon as we arrive out beyond Sagasi Village, near Khar Us Lake and the magnificent Altai Mountains. Bayan-Olgii (or Uglii) province, known locally as the ‘Roof of
                          Mongolia’, is a remote land of glaciers and mountain peaks. Travellers can go for days without seeing a soul. This area is home to the Kazakh people, practising Muslims and Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority; here we’ll learn about how nomadic life in the mountains differs from life on the steppe.

                          We’ll stop by mud brick winter houses that Kazakhs use when the temperature drops below minus-30, when even their felt-lined ger can’t keep out the cold. We can also ride horses and learn about eagle hunting – not what you think! Up here, food is scarce, and the locals need a little help. Most families keep their own golden eagles for hunting rabbit, hare, and even small deer; and they’re happy to show us how it’s done. 

                          Then we’ll pitch our tents next to the local families and share a traditional dinner.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight |  Camping / Tent. We will build tents as a group next to a local family on this night with the assistance of our local team. 

                        3. Wednesday 3 July

                          Khurgan and Khoton Lakes

                          Today’s journey takes us through the western Mongolian wild lands, over moraines (glacial debris) and ancient burial sites, with stone-age rock carvings of animals and hunting scenes covering the mountainside. The spectacular Khurgan and Khoton Lakes lie at an altitude of 2,073 metres and are surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

                          We set up camp on the shores of Khoton Lake, and spend the afternoon relaxing, exploring, or swimming in crystalline waters. After dinner, we meet the local Kazakh people and see the comparative affluence (by Mongolian standards) of lakeside Kazakhs, with their multiple gers and fertile land.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight |  Camping / Tent. We will build tents as a group next to a local family on this night with the assistance of our local team.

                        4. Thursday 4 July

                          Khoton Lake

                          Today is our day of leisure. Experience a little more of local life or relax after our long journey to the beautiful, yet secluded part of the world.

                          Wake up early if you wish and you may help our host family to round the herd and do the milking. After breakfast, you have a chance to enjoy independent hiking in the surrounding hills or go for a dip in one the streams of the invigorating mountain river.


                          This afternoon we will take horses, for those that wish, riding into the hills surrounding the lake. This 3 hr return trek will take us past some ger encampments through woodland up to Mongolia’s largest waterfall. The waterfall itself is beautifully framed against the mountains.

                          Meals |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight |  Camping / Tent. We will build tents as a group next to a local family on this night with the assistance of our local team.

                        5. Friday 5 July

                          Tsagaan Gol and Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain

                          After breakfast we work our way through the mountains to reach the mouth of Tsagaan Gol (White River), a mighty water source with enough limestone deposits to give the milky river its name. 

                          We’ll stop for pictures at the stunning Shiveet Khairkhan, with more rock carvings and an unforgettable view of Tavan Bogd (Five Saints), a mountain massif on the border of Mongolia, China and Russia. To the indigenous minority Tuvan, Shiveet is sacred – as are the 400 mountain ibex, which are never hunted. Each year the Tuvan climb Shiveet’s summit and perform shamanistic rituals, making offerings to the local ghosts and paying ancestral respects. The Tuvan are herders, and known for their archery skills. This evening, they’ll teach us to cook some of their favorite dishes. And after days of having the locals watch us pitch our tents – and comment on how long it takes us, how thin the material is, and how we’ll never survive the night – today we’ll build our own felt-lined ger (with a little help), to see how the nomads do it.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Camping / tent. Camping on this night will be based around a pre-booked ger, offering us the chance to prepare meals and equipment ready for tomorrow's hike. The scenery here is amazing surrounded by snow-capped mountains, whilst listening to the roar of the white river.

                        6. Saturday 6 July

                          Hike to base camp of Altai Tavan Bogd

                          Today we leave our vehicles and heaviest luggage behind, load everything else onto camels, and then trek up Tavan Bogd with a local Tuvan guide. It’s about 15 kilometres to our base camp (camels can also carry tired trekkers), which is located at the edge of Potanin Glacier, the longest in Mongolia – listen carefully, you might hear it cracking. Potanin is at the foot of Malchin Peak, one of Tavan Bogd’s five sacred mountains. This hike will take us through lush alpine tundra and herds of camels, providing fantastic views across the glacier to the peaks. Our camp is a great starting point to other area hikes in one of the world’s best trekking areas. We’ll also meet another Tuvan family, who can teach us more about raising and training golden eagles.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. 

                          Overnight | Camping / tent. Camping at the Tavan Bogd base camp. Toilet facilities are provided and we will build a restaurant tent for dinner and breakfast. This area is remote, yet beautiful being at the base of the main mountain range and only a stone’s throw from the main glacier.

                        7. Sunday 7 July

                          Return trek to Tsagaan Gol (White River) and on to Tsengle

                          Today we follow the camels back down to our camp in Tsagaan Gol. Passing through Tavan Bogd’s numerous valleys, we can see how the melting glacier transforms into the roaring White River. Upon arrival, we board our trucks once more as we drive on and continue the adventure. We will pass winter villages only cared for by a caretaker family, whom we will visit for tea.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. 

                          Overnight | Camping / Tent. Tonight we pitch tents with another local family located near to the town of Tsengle in a low river valley. We look at life here and experience yet another regional variation in hospitality.

                        8. Monday 8 July

                          Drive through Bayan Olgii

                          Today we bid farewell to our Nomadic friends and take a scenic drive back to Olgii, where we’ll spend the night in a Kazakh tourist camp, stopping for pictures and greeting nomad families along the way. If we’re lucky we may also catch a local festival nestled in this mountainous region. 

                          This afternoon we will have time to explore the regional capital Olgii from its central square you may wish to visit its ageing museum, local market or just rest in one of the locally owned coffee shops after snapping up a few souvenirs.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Tourist Ger (yurt) Camp. We'll stay in one of the tourist ger areas found on the outskirts of Ulgii city. This camp offers a shower block with warm running water and wash facilities as well as a restaurant area from where our chief can provide some more delicious food.
                        9. Tuesday 9 July

                          Drive to Tolbo Lake

                          After stopping for a few snacks we make our journey to Tolbo Lake. The drive today is a smooth run on the sealed road. Tolbo has an altitude of 2,080 meters, it is famous not only for its remote beauty but as the site of a crucial 1921 battle between the Bolshevik and White Russian forces – the locals still find belt buckles and buttons in the field. 

                          We will stop for photographs along the way, as nomads lead their herds across the vast lands, or make their way to the Naadam Festival, then we’ll spend the night in a lakeside tourist camp where you can swim or bathe in the clear waters, or just unwind and take in the mountain views.  There will be time for some optional hiking in the surrounding mountains which offer stunning views over the lake.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

                          Overnight | Tourist Ger (yurt) Camp. We'll stay in a tourist ger camp found on the shores of the lake where you may swim relax or enjoy a sauna. 

                        10. Wednesday 10 July

                          A morning swim, a Shaman visit and an afternoon around Hovd market

                          This morning, after the brave amongst the group have taken a chilly early morning dip in the lake, its back into our Russian trucks for our drive to Hovd town. When we arrive in Hovd we will visit the local Uriankhai shaman and his family. Here we can witness some of the ancient and mysterious rituals that the community still holds dear, such as mirrors that repel evil spirits, or sacred fire and water. After our visit to the local shaman, we drive back to Hovd.

                          This afternoon we drive back to Hovd town where we will settle into our gers in preparation for tomorrows Naadam festival. We will have time to pay a visit to the local market and catch the last rush as people to prepare their best clothes for the big day.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Tourist ger (yurt) Gamp. One of only two camps found around the city of Hovd. This camp has amazing views over the surrounding countryside whilst being situated on the outskirts of the main city. It has a separate shower block and facility for our chef to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner.

                        11. Thursday 11 July

                          Experience the local Mongolian Naadam Festival

                          We end our adventure with one of the world’s most fascinating festivals, an annual event that draws tribes from all over Mongolia to compete in traditional skills and feats of strength – especially wrestling, horse racing and archery. Here, families reconnect, share their news and favorite foods, have parties, and compete in games together. Naadam has become a world-famous tourist draw, but while Ulaanbaatar is filled with tour buses and day visitors, Hovd's event is still a local affair, virtually unchanged over generations. Hovd town is a rural town for many Mongolians gathering for this amazing event.

                          Here we’ll learn the secrets of Naadam, such as the unusual wrestling costume of undershorts and an open waistcoat. Legend has it that a woman in disguise once outwrestled all the men, and to prevent future humiliation, outfits were altered – these tops have no secrets. 

                          Also, if you see a sumo-sized wrestler defeated by a delicate youth, don’t be surprised; the loser is probably from another area, and it’s disrespectful to beat others at their own Naadam.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Ger (yurt) Tourist Camp.

                        12. Friday 12 July

                          Fly to Ulaanbaatar

                          Leaving our horses, camels, and Russian jeeps behind for good, we board a plane and return to Ulaanbaatar. This is a free day where you can shop ‘til you drop at the city market – you’ll never find cheaper cashmere, and you might pick up a shamanistic, Buddhist artefact or a relic from Soviet times. 

                          History lovers can stop by the winter palace of the Bogd Khan (1869-1922), who became Khagan (theocratic ruler) when the country split from China in 1911. Or you can simply relax with a coffee or cocktail at an outdoor café and watch this fascinating city unfold before you. Then we’ll meet up for dinner at a local family’s home, so we can see Mongolian home life away from the steppes.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Dinner with city family

                          Overnight | Hotel 9, Ulaanbaatar. 

                        13. Saturday 13 July

                          Departure day

                          We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

                          For those adventurous souls that can’t stop travelling, you can also add the option to join our Gobi Explorer Tour. If you wish to add this please contact your tour manager for more information. 

                      • What is / is not included?

                        • Included
                          English speaking guide
                          Western tour leader
                          All meals outside Ulaanbaatar
                          Camels for luggage
                          Internal flights
                          Horse riding
                          All included sight seeing
                          All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
                          All camping equipment (not sleeping bags) All tents are on a two persons bases but single options are available upon booking.
                        • Not included
                          Sleeping bags
                          Extra horse riding 30 - 60 USD
                          International flights
                          Any alcoholic beverages
                          Meals (specified)
                          Medical insurance (can be arranged.)
                          Visas (if needed)
                          Helmet rental 30 USD
                          Sleeping bag hire (incl cleaning 30 USD for tour)
                          Items of personal nature
                      • Notes

                        Please note!

                        This tour has been specifically arranged to visit remote areas. As such it may have elements of an expedition about it, due to the nature and ruggedness of the terrain. Due to this, any change in itinerary at the time cannot be helped. We will do our best to keep to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible. However, please be aware that things are subject to change, especially if we encounter any extreme weather conditions. Along the way all tour decisions will rest with Rich (tour manager) and an expedition leader. We will also be taking advice from local people on the ground whose expertise will far exceed our own.

                      Please apply by 15th May, 2019.

                      July 12 - July 18 2019

                      The Gobi Explorer

                      Mongolia Gobi
                      Desert Explorer

                      This short tour into the vast Gobi Desert offers
                      a great insight into local life, geology and
                      scenery.

                      From 1,600 USD per person

                      Please apply by 20th June, 2019.

                      The Gobi Explorer

                      Mongolia Gobi
                      Desert Explorer

                      This short tour into the vast
                      Gobi Desert offers a great insight
                      into local life, geology and scenery.

                      From 1,600 USD per person

                      • Overall

                        A short adventure for those who wish to see the great Gobi Desert in a short space of time.

                        During this short but intensive tour, we delve deep into the Gobi Desert and become true explorers. Our first stop is at Mandalagovi. This desert town was once home to factories during the Soviet Union period.

                        Heading further south, we will check out the Yol Am Valley. This is located in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range. Before setting off on our hike, we will pay a visit to the small local natural history museum which includes strange exhibits and 10 million-year-old dinosaur eggs.

                        During this Gobi Desert tour, we also visit the Khongor Sand Dunes, also known as the ‘Singing Dunes’ for the eerie noise they make when swept by the wind, as well as visiting Bayanzag. This is otherwise known as ‘Flaming Cliff’s due to the rich red colouration of the clays and rocks which have been pushed up to form this landscape.

                        All this, whilst checking out the herds of camels as we go, hiking through untouched and unexplored areas, enjoying breathtaking sunrises, and experiencing life in a Mongolian tent/Mongolia Ger.

                        Alternatively, it can be added to the 'Beyond the Steppes Tour' for an even bigger adventure.

                        Tour leader Rich Beal has 15 years of experience leading tours to Mongolia, including remote areas of Mongolia’s far west and Gobi Desert.

                        If you’re looking for an even more unique experience, head to Mongolia for the Naadam Festival which directly precedes this Gobi Desert Explorer Tour.

                        See below for the Gobi Explorer Tour highlights, itinerary, and notes.

                      • Itinerary

                        Briefing Day
                        1. July 12 Friday

                          Ulaanbaatar

                          PM

                          All the passengers joining this tour will be met at the airport and taken to the group hotel this evening, we will then join together as a group for a Pre-Tour Briefing followed by a Mongolian BBQ meal. Those not feeling too jet-lagged can join us in one of UB’s famous bars.
                        2. Saturday 13 July

                          Into the Gobi Desert 

                          We start our adventure early as we have a long drive south towards the Gobi Desert. On the journey, we will see the lush green rolling hills of UB open up to the semi-arid middle Gobi region.

                          For lunch, we will stop at a local restaurant in the regional capital Mandalagovi.  This desert town was once home to factories during the Soviet Union period and now survives mostly on farming and the local farming college. 

                          Continuing the drive southwards we see more signs of desertification, as well as herds of camels roaming the desolate desert plains.

                          Just as we cross from the Middle Gobi Region to the south, we turn to our destination for today - the White Stupa Cliffs, a rocky area of Tsagaan Suvarga National Park. The White Stupa Cliffs are so named as this massive feature is said from a distance to resemble a deserted city surrounded by crumbling white pagodas. In truth, its 60 meter high cliffs have been eroded by the winds and rain over 10 million years.  

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Tourist Ger Camp. We stay in tourist gers out in this desert region we have access to the restaurant area as well as bathroom facilities with hot showers and western style toilets.

                        3. Sunday 14 July

                          Those who wish to wake up early enough, you will be able to catch a glimpse of sunrise over the surrounding desert.

                          After breakfast, we depart the Ger camp and make our bumpy drive back to the main road continuing south to the city of Dalanzadgad. This is our next regional capital at the heart of the South Gobi Province. We will check into our Ger camp, one of the best in the area where we will also eat lunch. 

                          After finishing lunch, we will have a short drive to the deep and narrow Yol Am Valley, which is located in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range southern Mongolia. Before we set off on our hike, we will pay a visit to the small local natural history museum, this quirky museum has some strange exhibits along with some 10 million-year-old dinosaur eggs.

                          We will then hike for around 2 ½ hrs through the beautiful Yol Valley. If we’re lucky, we'll see some of the local wildlife as well as catching a glimpse of the famous ice field, which is slowly disappearing. 

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Tourist Ger Camp. We stay in tourist Gers this is one of the best camps in the area and its lovely location means its great for relaxing.

                        4. Sunday 14 July

                          After a big breakfast, we set out off on the road again as we head deeper into the clutches of the Gobi desert. After a brief stop for fuel, it's off-road as we make our way to the Khongor Sand Dunes. These dunes are also known as the Singing dunes, due to the eerie noise the sand makes when swept by the wind. The dunes stretch from the Gobi all the way to the Altai Mountain Range some 180 km away.

                          We arrive in time for our afternoon tea with a local nomadic family. When the heat of the afternoon has passed, we start our late afternoon camel riding to the base of the highest dunes. For those that can hike to the top of the largest dune, this affords us breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

                          After this, we return to our dessert ger camp for a nice meal and the chance to enjoy a drink looking out over a Gobi sunset.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Tourist Ger Camp  We stay in tourist gers. This camp is another of the best camps in the area.

                        5. Tuesday 16 July

                          Today we will drive to Bayanzag, which bizarrely translates as ‘rich in saxual scrubs', but its other name 'the Red Flaming Cliffs' is more preferable. This area was first claimed to have been found in 1922 by Roy Chapman. It is known now for the discovery of many dinosaur fossils and as well as its beauty. It is named 'Flaming Cliffs' due to the rich red colouration of the clays and rocks which have been pushed up to form this landscape.

                          We will spend some time enjoying this Mongolian grand canyon, taking photos whilst enjoying some short hiking. If you are lucky and do discover a fossil, don't forget these must now be declared.

                          After we have enjoyed our time, its back in the cars for our return to Dalanzadgad and our relaxing Ger camp.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Tourist Ger camp

                        6. Wednesday 17 July


                          This morning we fly back to Ulaanbaatar.

                          In the afternoon, we will have time for a visit to the largest statue of Chinggis Khan in Mongolia. At this silver giant, we can travel to the top of the horses head via an elevator for views over the surrounding countryside. This strange complex also houses souvenir shops and a small history museum.

                          We return to Ulaanbaatar for our last group meal and a farewell drink.

                          Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                          Overnight | Hotel 9. 

                        7. Thursday 18 July

                          Departure day

                          We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

                          Meals | Breakfast

                      Please apply by 20th June, 2019.

                      July 25 - August 1/2 2019

                      The Victory Day Tour

                      7 nights in North Korea +
                      Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                      time

                      Experience one of North Korea’s most important national holidays that will see mass dances and other
                      festivities! This tour will also travel to Kaesong, the DMZ, Nampo, and Pyongsong. Round-trip by
                      train or upgrade to flight

                      From 1,249 EUR per person

                      Please apply by 9th July, 2019.

                      The Victory Day Tour

                      7 nights in North Korea +
                      Beijing-Pyongyang travel
                      time

                      Experience one of North Korea’s most important national holidays
                      that will see mass dances and other festivities! This tour will
                      also travel to Kaesong, the DMZ, Nampo, and Pyongsong. Round-trip
                      by train or upgrade to flight

                      From 1,249 EUR per person

                      • Overall

                        July 27th 1953 was the day the Korean War armistice was signed. This occasion is celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’ and is a major annual holiday. This year will mark the 66th anniversary and we will make sure that you’re in Pyongyang on the day to join in the celebrations with the locals picnicking in Moran Park, and attending whatever dances or events are planned on this day.
                        Aside from joining in the celebrations with the locals, we won’t be missing out on seeing the main sites of the capital city, Pyongyang.

                        This comprehensive group tour to North Korea will also get you down to the DMZ (the North-South Korea border), and the little-explored town of Nampo on the West Coast. Here you will stay in the famous hot spa resort and enjoy BBQ petrol clams! (Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like - a must try!)

                        Think you can’t spare the time or the funds to travel to North Korea? Think again! We also provide short, budget group tours so you won’t miss out on the Victory Day festivities!

                        Scroll down for an overview of the Victory Day Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

                        Highlights

                        • Victory Day celebrations on July 27th, the 66th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice
                        • Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun, mausoleum of the DPRK leadership; the Pyongyang Metro; Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and other Pyongyang highlights
                        • Experience heavy industry of Nampo and the healing waters of Dragon River Hot Spa
                        • Panmunjom Truce Village and the DMZ in historic Kaesong, capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty
                      • Itinerary

                        Briefing Day