August 11 - August 16/17 2018

Liberation Day Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join the celebrations for Liberation Day! This tour will see the highlights of Pyongyang,
Kaesong, the DMZ, and travel to Nampo on the West coast. Round-trip by train or
upgrade to flight.

From 1,149 EUR per person

Please apply by 23rd July, 2018.

Liberation Day Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join the celebrations for Liberation Day! This tour will
see the highlights of Pyongyang, Kaesong, the DMZ, and
travel to Nampo on the West coast. Round-trip by train
or upgrade to flight.

From 1,149 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Liberation Day 2018 marks the 73rd anniversary of the end of Japanese occupation. It is a major public holiday in North Korea and we'll give you the chance to spend the day joining in any possible celebrations held in Pyongyang that day. Expect some dancing with the locals in Moranbong Park, and possibly joining in a Mass Dance with university students!

    On the tour you'll also visit the historic city of Kaesong, capital of the medieval Koryo dynasty, located along the modern Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and the industrial port city of Nampo at the mouth of the Taedong River.

    Please read the following for important information about your transport options for this tour, and how each one related to the visa requirements for China. The default option is round-trip train travel from Beijing to Pyongyang and back again, however train entry will not be possible during August. Flight upgrades are available. See below for more details.

    Transport Options

    TRAIN ENTRY IS NOT AVAILABLE ON THIS TOUR

    Option 1 // Round-trip train (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing): A 23-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 two 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] THIS OPTION IS NOT AVAILABLE ON THIS TOUR

    Option 2 // Flight departure (Beijing-Pyongyang // 90 minutes) + train return (Pyongyang-Beijing // 23 hours): 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. In our view, this is the most comprehensive way to visit the DPRK. [+199 EUR]

    Option 3 // 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 arrange a Chinese visa for your trip obtained at a Chinese diplomatic mission 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.

    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

    • Liberation Day celebrations on August 15th
    • Pyongyang Highlights (Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, Pyongyang Metro, and more)
    • Historic Kaesong and the Demilitarised Zone
    • Industrial Nampo and the West Sea Barrage
    • Soak in the healing waters of Dragon River Hot Spa
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. August 10 // 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.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

      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 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. August 11 // Saturday

      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 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.
      • 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. August 12 // 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 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.
      PM
      • 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.
      • 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.

      • 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 drive.

      Overnight //  Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong. A basic hotel similar to those found in the DPRK’s smaller cities. Limited hot water, but very friendly staff.
    4. August 13 // Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM
      • 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
      • 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 cross temporarily into the south.

      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.
      • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo (45 minutes to 1 hour drive), the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.

      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!
    5. August 14 // Tuesday

      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.
      • Chongsan-Ri Cooperative Farm // A farm located between Nampo and Pyongyang. Learn about rural life in Korea and see the green houses and the farm's kindergarten.
      • Mt. Ryonggak BBQ // A BBQ lunch in a woodland setting just outside of Pyongyang.

      PM
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo // We’ll 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 spy ship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • 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.
      • Kaeson Funfair // We’ll take on the rides of Pyongyang’s newest funfair with the locals: pirate ship, vominator, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Tickets purchased on the spot (1 EUR entry, 2-7 EUR for rides).


      Overnight //  Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. August 15 // Wednesday

      Liberation Day! A national holiday in the DPRK - expect to see some celebrations for the 73rd anniversary of the end of Japanese occupation.

      AM
      • 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.
      • 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 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      PM
      • Moranbong Park // We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports (especially on holidays such as the one today!). 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.
      • Mass Dance // As it's a national holiday, we expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person) // A one hour circus show including clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, and much more. The shows here are especially popular with locals on national holidays.
      • 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.

    7. August 16 // Thursday

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

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 251 at 10:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35. Please note there is a 50 EUR surcharge for flight return.

      OR

      • Train departure by international sleeper train to Beijing at 10:25 with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Friday August 17 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Entry and Exit Method

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang 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
    • 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.

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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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    • 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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  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong (train entry not possible on this tour)
      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: 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. 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 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 23rd July, 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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