February 15 - February 22/23 2018

Kim Jong Il Birthday Long Tour

7 nights in the
DPRK + 1 on the
train

Escape the Beijing holiday chaos and join in celebrations for
one of the DPRK's biggest holidays – the 76th birthday of Kim
Jong Il on February 16th

From 1,750 EUR per person

Please apply by 3rd February, 2018.

Kim Jong Il Birthday Long Tour

7 nights in the
DPRK + 1 on the
train

Escape the Beijing holiday chaos and join
in celebrations for one of the DPRK's biggest
holidays – the 76th birthday of Kim Jong Il
on February 16th

From 1,750 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Here’s your chance to escape the chaos of Beijing over the Chinese New Year holiday and join in for the celebrations for one of the DPRK's biggest holidays - the 76th birthday of Kim Jong Il on February 16th.

    Many special events are expected to take place in Pyongyang over this time such as the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition, a performance of the Pyongyang Circus and a Mass Dance - come along and join in!

    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; Masik Pass. Note that this is only possible if exiting the DPRK by train. Please let your tour manager know should you be interested in adding the ski extension.

    Highlights

    • 76th Birthday Celebrations on February 16th
    • Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum of the leaders), captured spy ship USS Pueblo and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Panmunjom/DMZ - the border with South Korea
    • The beautiful Mt Myohyang and International Friendship Exhibition
    • Explore the satellite city of Pyongsong
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 14 - Wednesday

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

      PM

      • 16:00: Our group assembles for a pre-tour group briefing at the Koryo Tours office in Beijing. 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, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travelers. 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. February 15 - Thursday

      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 JS 252 at 14:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:35. 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 spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
       

      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 16 - Friday

      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.
      • 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.
      • 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 on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • 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.
      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.

      • This afternoon we will have the chance to attend one or more special performances held specially to commemorate the birthday of Kim Jong Il, ranging from the Paekdusan International Figure Skating Competition to a Synchronised Swimming Display, the Symphony Orchestra or the State Circus - 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!
      • 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.
      • Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.

      Overnight: Chongchon Hotel - Basic but clean hotel at Mt. Myohyang. Book and souvenir shop, billiards, ping-pong, and karaoke.
    4. February 17 - Saturday

      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.
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar - A new standing bar serving seven type of beer (50 cents a pint). Popular with locals after work and on weekends!

      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    5. February 18 - Sunday

      Pyongyang and Sariwon

      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. Please note 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.
      • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery - Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. It is customary to present flowers here.
      PM
      • We'll drive around one hour 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.
      • Drive onward to Kaesong, around 90 minutes drive
       
      Overnight: Janamsan Hotel - A basic hotel similar to those found in the DPRK’s smaller cities. Friendly staff, cool decorations, great local dessert and within walking distance of Sonjuk Bridge.
    6. February 19 - Monday

      Kaesong and DMZ Tour

      AM

      • Panmunjom Truce Village - Located in the middle of the 4 km wide Demilitarised Zone, Panmunjom is the site of the signing of the 1953 armistice at the end of the Korean War. This is the only location where visitors can directly view soldiers from both sides and the demarcation line dividing Korea. On some days it is possible to enter the hut straddling both Koreas and there cross temporarily into the south.
      • 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.
      • Return to Pyongyang. A 2.5 hour drive
      • Future Street - Walk in the newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.
      • Pizza Restaurant - Dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.


      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    7. February 20 - Tuesday

      Pyongyang and Pyongsong

      AM

      • Jonsung Revolutionary Site – A system of underground tunnels and bunkers used by Korean government’s cabinet during the 1950’s. Learn about life underground during the years of American bombing.
      • 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
      • 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.

      • Mangyondae Native House – Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.

      • Science and Technology Centre – 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.
      • Moran Beer Bar – A recently renovated local bar with cheap brews (0.50-1 EUR beers).

      • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research.  A 45 minute to 1 hour drive.


      Overnight: Jangjusan Hotel - 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.

    8. February 21 - Wednesday

      Pyongsong and back to 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.

      • 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!

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 45 minute - 1 hour drive.
      • 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.
      • 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

    9. February 22 - Thursday

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

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 251 at 10:00 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:30. Please note there is a 50 EUR surcharge for flight return.

      OR

      • Train departure by international train at 10:10 with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Friday February 23rd at 08:30. We typically book soft sleeper (four beds per cabin) for the return journey. Please note that in some rare instances, soft sleeper tickets may sell out and we will book hard sleeper (six beds per cabin) instead.
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Return by plane not train

      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 50 EUR you can opt for the plane back instead. The flight takes around 90 minutes.

      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
    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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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    • Insurance (8 to 12 days)

      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
      Flight Beijing – Pyongyang
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing
      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
      For groups of 10 or more, a Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional flight back to Beijing at end of the tour (50 EUR)
      Skiing extension (430 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. Furthermore, for groups of 10 or more, a member of the Koryo Tours team will accompany the trip.

    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 3rd February, 2018.

info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
邮编:100027
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