September 18 - September 22/23 2018

Pyongyang International Film Festival Tour - Introduction to North Korean Film and Korea Highlights

4 nights in North
Korea + 1 on the

Join us for the biennial Pyongyang International Film Festival! Be there to see the glitz and
glamour on Pyongyang's red carpet at the opening ceremony, visit shooting locations, and watch
films with a local audience!

From 1,149 EUR per person

Please apply by 30th August, 2018.

Pyongyang International Film Festival Tour - Introduction to North Korean Film and Korea Highlights

4 nights in North
Korea + 1 on the

Join us for the biennial Pyongyang International Film Festival!
Be there to see the glitz and glamour on Pyongyang's red carpet
at the opening ceremony, visit shooting locations, and watch films
with a local audience!

From 1,149 EUR per person

  • Overall

    A special tour focused on ‘Chollywood’, the North Korean domestic film industry, and the biennial Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF). PIFF is one of the major international events held in the DPRK and hosts both international and domestic films.

    We will attend the festive PIFF Opening Ceremony, meet people involved in the DPRK film industry, visit shooting locations for classic North Korean films in Pyongyang and Kaesong, and learn the subtle (or often not so subtle) message and cultural significance of DRPK cinema. Specifically we will look in-depth at the classic film 'Flower Girl' (1972), romantic comedy 'O Youth!' (1994), and the first joint DPRK-foreign production 'Moranbong' (1957).

    Included in the tour are a special film screening of the Koryo Tours' co-production 'Comrade Kim Goes Flying' (2012) in Pyongyang, as well a Q&A with those involved in the film’s production and promotion.

    The tour also covers the main highlights of Pyongyang and Kaesong, such as the Pyongyang Metro, Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo, the Juche Tower, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone. We'll stop by the concurrent Pyongyang International Autumn Trade Fair for a look around too!

    After a five-year hiatus the Mass Games are now confirmed to take place from September 9 to September 30, 2018. This is an event not to be missed! Witness the largest event of its kind in the world as up to 100,000 people coordinate dance, gymnastics and more.
    This is an exciting time to be in the DPRK!

    * * *

    Koryo Tours has been a partner of the Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF) since 2002 and has produced three full-length documentaries and one feature film in the DPRK, three of which have shown at PIFF:

    'The Game of Their Lives' (2002)

    'A State of Mind' (2004)

    'Crossing the Line' (2006)

    'Comrade Kim Goes Flying' (2006)

    You can find more information about our films here


    • Pyongyang International Film Festival Opening Ceremony
    • Exclusive DPRK film screening and talk with North Korean filmmakers
    • Tour of Pyongyang cinemas and filming locations
    • Interpretive tour of the Korean Feature Film Studio
    • See the Mass Games — one of the greatest shows on earth
    • Pyongyang highlights: the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo, the Pyongyang Metro, and the Juche Tower
    • Optional participation in film festival events.
    • Gift set of North Korean films! (*Please note these DVDs cannot be taken into the DPRK.)
    • Pyongyang International Autumn Trade Fair
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. September 17 - Monday


      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.


      • 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.
      • An optional film screening of Koryo Tours' documentary 'Crossing the Line' will follow the briefing to get in the spirit of the Pyongyang International Film Festival. Crossing the Line (2006) is the story of US army defector Joe Dresnok, who crossed into North Korea in 1962 where he raised a family and lived out the rest of his days. Wine included.

      Overnight: Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour. Contact us for recommendations near our office!

    2. September 18 - Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang


      • 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.


      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Arrival to 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, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all! Filming location for numerous North Korean films and parades!

      • Foreign Languages Bookshop - Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up film DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Walk in the city centre and riverside  - Walk from Pyongyang's central square to the Pyongyang Grand Theatre and then On the way we'll pass government ministries, 1950's socialist apartments, and theatres. We'll also take a walk along the riverbank for a distant view of the Yanggakdo International Cinema, the main venue for the Pyongyang International Film Festival.
      • Exclusive Film Screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying with the film actors -  Comrade Kim Goes Flying is the first joint DPRK-UK and is a romantic comedy about a rural women pursuing her dreams of becoming a trapeze artists at the Pyongyang Circus. The film was co-produced by Koryo Tours' founder Nicholas Bonner. Free popcorn! 

      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. September 19 - Wednesday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      • 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. This location appears in numerous North Korean films.
      • Grand People’s Study House -National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city. Filming location for O Youth! (1994).
      • 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. Filming location of for numerous Korean films, including the joint DPRK-Italian co-production Ten Zan - The Ultimate Mission (1988).
      • Arch of Triumph - Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982. This location appears in numerous DPRK films.
      • Pyongyang International Film Festival Opening Ceremony - Attend the opening ceremony to PIFF 2018 and mingle with the movers and the shakers of Cholliwood. Opening ceremony tickets included in the tour.
      • Post-opening ceremony drinks at Paradise Micro-Brewery (0.5 EUR per glass) and noodle dinner at the Pyongyang Ramen House operated by famous Japanese chef Kenji Fujimoto. Ramen noodles included in the tour fee; sushi can be ordered on the spot; dishes starting from 50 EUR). 
      Overnight: The Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
    4. September 20 - Thursday

      Kaesong Day Trip and DMZ

      • 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.
      • Panmunjom Truce Village and DMZ - 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.
      • 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. Filming location of Moranbong (1957).
      • Home of Jong Mong Ju - The former home of the last loyal Koryo Dynasty minister Jong Mong Ju. Fimling location for many North Korean historic movies.
      • Sonjuk Bridge - Small stone bridge built in 1290 which was the site of the assassination of Jong Mong Ju by a son of Ri Song Gye, founder of the next 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. Filming location of Moranbong (1957).

      • Tomb of King Kongmin - Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife set at the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Filming location of Moranbong (1957).

      • Pakyon Waterfall and Gwanum Temple - Light hike in relaxing wooded valley past a scenic waterfall and to a beautiful Ri Dynasty era temple and a cave with a marble Bodhisattva dating back to the 10th century.  
      • 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
      • Mass Games! // The Mass Games are an art form in North Korea, developed over decades, which can involve up to 100,000 performers in massive synchronised displays of gymnastics and dance. Not to be missed! Tickets from 80 EUR. 
      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    5. September 21 - Friday

      Pyongyang Film Locations Tour

      • Korea Film Studio - A special interpretive tour through the studio which has produced many of Korea's films. We'll tours the sets and learn about the North Korean classic Flower Girl (1974) as well as other movies made here.
      • Pyongyang International Autumn Trade Fair at the Three Revolutions Exhibition - While the trade fair has almost nothing to do with film, it is a good chance to learn about commerce in the DPRK, see some interesting products, and mingle with the locals.

      • 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 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.
      • 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). This location appears in numerous DPRK films.
      • 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 of Korean barbecue at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre, where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games.
      Overnight: The Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. September 22 – Saturday


      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50 am. Please note there is a 50 EUR surcharge for flight return.

      • Train departure by international train to Beijing at 10:25 AM with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Sunday September 23 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.

      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
    • Air Koryo Price Rise — notice effective from 29 June 2018

      Please note that Air Koryo, the national carrier of the DPRK, has unexpectedly informed us that it will be temporarily raising the prices on its Beijing-Pyongyang route, and that this increase will apply to any new bookings for tickets during the period 1 Sep to 10 Oct, 2018. We sincerely apologise for this unexpected price rise. Of course, this surcharge does not apply to train travel between Beijing-Pyongyang, as this is entirely an Air Koryo-levied fee, and not an additional charge from Koryo Tours.

  • 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
      Film festival opening ceremony
      DPRK film screening in Pyongyang
      DPRK film screening in Beijing
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional flight back to Beijing at end of the tour (50 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Mass Games ticket (from 80 EUR per ticket)
      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 additional film screenings (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Entry tickets 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.

    Unfortunately we cannot offer discounts on this particular tour. Our regular discounts will apply for the 7-night Pyongyang International Film Festival: North Korean Film in Focus option.

    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 30th August, 2018. | + 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),
Download contact card