North Korea

Specialist Tours
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Koryo Tours specialise in taking you out of the usual and into rather unusual travel destinations, and we’ve been experts in it for over 25 years.

If you’re after something extra special, though, Koryo Tours also offer specialist North Korea tours. These tours are designed to be more in-depth, more informative, and unique. All whilst upholding a high level of professionalism and expertise that sets Koryo Tours aside from the rest, and ensures the highest level of security (and fun!) during your time in North Korea!

Specialist North Korea tours we offer include;

Expert Tour Leader Tours:

• Tours run by resident expert tour leaders, including founder Nick Bonner. These Specialist North Korea tour gives you a unique insight into North Korea, hearing it directly how it is from the people who know it best.

Specialist Activities Tours:

• From studying in North Korea for a month, to taking the railway across the North Korean countryside - we have experience in planning a wide range of specialist activities all over the country.

Special Interest Tours:

• Koryo Tours can also create tour packages to adapt to those with special interests, including film tours, architecture tours, or our Photography Tours. (link to photography when its up).


Have a special interest or want to plan something different in North Korea? With over 25 years experience working in North Korea, Koryo Tours are the right people to come to if you have something different in mind. As one of the first tour companies to begin leading tours to North Korea, we have

Whether you’re a foodie who wants to eat their way through Pyongyang, or a football fanatic after seeing a game (or joining in on one!), if you have an idea for something you’d like to do, let us know!

Contact us for private tours or check out our selection of specialist group tours below.

May 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 12th May, 2019.

Tour Full Tour Details

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 North Korean 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 North Korean 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.

    Discounts available for those working in the brewing industry and for big groups

    Please 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!

    Scroll down for an overview of the Pyongyang Brewery Industry Tour highlights, the itinerary, transport choices, DPRK tourist visa information, and tour add-ons.

    ***Train entry option is now sold out for this tour***

    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.

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    • 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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    • 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 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 entry sold out)
      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 12th May, 2019.

July 2019

July 6 - July 29/30 2019

Pyongyang Summer Language Program + MASS GAMES

23 nights in North Korea + Beijing
Orientation + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Learn Korean
in North Korea

From 2,499 EUR per person

Please apply by 20th June, 2019.

Pyongyang Summer Language Program + MASS GAMES

23 nights in North Korea + Beijing
Orientation + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Learn Korean
in North
Korea

From 2,499 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Join Koryo Tours for our most extensive tour to North Korea in the year. We’ll spend almost a month based in the capital of Pyongyang taking part in Korean language lessons at the university, evenings taking part in extra-curricular activities, and spend our weekends on trips throughout the country.

    The Korean language course will take place at the Tourism College in Pyongyang. Lead by highly-educated Korean teachers, you’ll get a high-class level of teaching. Korean lessons will be tailored to your ability, with a variety of levels available from absolute beginner upwards. Outside of lesson time, use your Korean around the city as you chat with Koreans on the Pyongyang metro or at the local bar to make sure you get the most out of your learning Korean experience.

    All work no play? We think not!

    During our free time on evenings and weekends, we’ll make the most of our time (after we’ve finished our homework!) exploring the rest that the DPRK (North Korea) has to offer and taking part in extracurricular activities and cultural exchanges, such as Taekwondo.

    PLUS, we have some Koryo Tours exclusives including a tram ride and cycle tour of Pyongyang centre.

    Must-Sees: As well as visiting the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum , Kumsusan Palace of the Sun , the Juche Tower , various famous monuments and sites throughout Pyongyang, and the DMZ South Korea - North Korea border, this exclusive tour takes you to places in North Korea rarely visited by tourists.

    Off The Beaten Path: This includes Wonsan, Nampo, and Mt. Myohyang, Jangdok Island and the Diamond Mountains. Chill out on the beach at Wonsan, go for hikes in the mountains, and enjoy the impressive rock formations in the Ryongmun Caves.

    -----------------------------------------------

    [ MASS GAMES 2019 & VICTORY DAY ]

    All of this, plus… Victory Day celebrations AND Mass Games!

    CONFIRMED: This tour will include the Mass Games 2019. The Mass Games are the largest human performance in the world, held in the world’s largest stadium. Truly a unique performance not to miss!

    For more information on the Mass Games 2019, performance, and ticket cost, head to our Mass Games 2019 page.

    We’re in North Korea during Victory Day celebrations. This is a national holiday in North Korea, and locals take advantage of the time off by enjoying it to the full - and we will be joining them! On Victory Day , we’ll be joining the locals in Moranbong Park for celebrations, dancing, and maybe the odd drink. Weather dependent, we may also be lucky enough to catch a Mass Dance !

    Book now to avoid disappointment.

    Highlights

    • Learn Korean at a North Korean university
    • Experience life in Pyongyang
    • Tour the highlights of Pyongyang, Kaesong, Wonsan, Mt. Kumgang, Nampo, and Mt. Myohyang
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. July 4 | Thursday

      Pre-Tour

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing on the afternoon or evening of Wednesday July 3.

      AM

      • Orientation Meeting I | The group will gather at the Koryo Tours office in Beijing for introductions and overview of the programme.Time TBC. Please be punctual.
      • Group lunch at a North Korean restaurant in Beijing.

      PM

      • Orientation Meeting II | This briefing will last approximately one hour and designed so that you will get the most of your time in the country. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK.

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

    2. July 5 | Friday

      AM

      • Orientation Meeting III | An Introduction to Language in North Korea and Cultural Matters.
      PM
      • Those entering the country by train depart Beijing Railway Station by overnight sleeper-train to Dandong.
      • Those taking the flight the next morning have a free day afternoon in Beijing.
      • Optional North Korean film screening at Koryo Tours: Time TBD

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

    3. July 6 | Saturday

      AM

      • Those departing by train arrive in Dandong and transfer to Dandong-Pyongyang train at Dandong Railway Station.
      • Those departing by flight check-in at Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2.
      PM
      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 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, 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 the hotel.
      • Train arrival at Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.
      • Walk from the train station to the hotel.
      • Walk to Arirang Restaurant for a group BBQ dinner.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang. An old classic hotel located in downtown Pyongyang. Popular with Pyongyang’s long-term foreign residents. Excellent restaurant.
    4. July 7 | Sunday

      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.
      • Walk from the Mansudae Grand Monument to the restaurant.
      • 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
      • Walk from the resaturant to Pyongyang Hotel along the Taedong River via the Foreign Languages Bookshop | Sells a range of publications in foreign languages, mostly in Chinese. It also sells souvenirs, including some interesting alcohol.
      • Mangyongdae Native House and Pavilion | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding. Mangyongdae Pavilion is overlooking Taedong River and Pyongyang from a hill just 5 minutes from the Native House.
      • Mangyongdae Funfair | Pyongyang’s largest funfair originally opened on April 15th 1982 (the 70th birthday of President Kim Il Sung) and refurbished in 2012. 1 EUR entry fee, rides cots between 1-3 EUR.
      • Kwangbok Department Store and dinner at the food court | 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 | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    5. July 8 | Monday

      AM

      • Introduction language class // This morning the language classes at the Pyongyang University of Tourism commence. A local teacher will give 2 lectures à 90 minutes, adapting to the participants' skills and needs. This session will also decide a possible split-up in different levels, depending on the number of participants and the variation of existing knowledge.
      • Lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language class (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Grand People’s Study House | National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean style and great views of the city.
      • Walk back to the hotel.
      • Dinner and self-study at hotel.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    6. July 9 | Tuesday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language practice with Korean students (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Taekwondo Class | A 60 minute class at the Sacred Hall of Taekwondo on Sports Street. Taekwondo is the national martial art which all children learn to a certain degree in school.
      • Pool at Chongnyon Hotel | Outdoor and indoor swimming pools to relax after practicing taekwondo or just to cool down after a hot day.
      • Dinner at Pyongyang Hamburger Restaurant.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    7. July 10 | Wednesday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Pyongyang Metro Two-Line Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride both lines and stop off at smaller stations, rarely visited by tourists.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Dinner at Moranbong Ragon Chicken Restaurant | Fried chicken, beer, cold noodles – Pyongyang's answer to KFC!
      • Walk back to the hotel.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    8. July 11 | Thursday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language practice with Korean students (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Taekwondo Class at the Sacred Hall of Taekwondo on Sports Street.
      • 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.
      • Dinner and self-study at hotel.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    9. July 12 | Friday

      AM

      • Language class (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      • Language practice and activities with Korean students (90 minutes).
      • Lunch at a local restaurant in East Pyongyang.
      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.
      • Songbol Temple | Early Koryo Dynasty style temple located on Jongbang Mountain near Sariwon. The temple houses one thousand buddha statues, each with its own distinctive look.
      • 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.
      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 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.
    10. July 13 | Saturday

      AM
      • Migok Cooperative Farm | We will spend some time here helping the local farmers with their work on the fields. Bring some sun protection!
      • Drive to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
      PM
      • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking with a picnic lunch in a relaxing wooded area. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes swimming in the series of pools above the falls.
      • 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.
      • Cooking class and dinner with kayagum performance at Minsok Folk Hotel | Learn how to cook traditional Korean dishes and eat the food of your own making. Kayagum is a traditional Korean stringed instrument, one of the most beautiful sounds you will ever hear.
      Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. 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.
    11. July 14 | Sunday

      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.
      • Panmunjom and DMZ | Perhaps the most famous place in the entire country. The iconic manifestation of the tragic division between North and South Korea. The ‘truce’ village where several huts straddle the Central Military Demarcation Line (de facto border) with soldiers from each side standing guard. A tour here starts with a briefing at the edge of the DMZ, a visit to the Armistice Negotiation Hall and Armistice Signing Hall, seen as symbols of victory over foreign aggression on this side of the line. Then to Panmunjom itself – cross the border inside one of the blue huts, experience the uncanny feeling of crossing the front line of a sad and needless division of one society, and then take a higher view from the Panmun Pavilion looking over the line from above. A Korean People’s Army officer will be there to explain their side of things and will willingly pose for some photos too. A completely and utterly unmissable place.
      • Sonjuk Bridge | Small stone bridge built in 1290, which in 1392 was the site of of the assassination of the last loyal Koryo Dynasty minister Jong Mong Ju by a son of Ri Song Gye (founder of the next, and final, dynasty). 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 that can be seen to this day.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum (Songgyungwan Academy) | A former Confucian school and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from the time. One of Kaesong’s many UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings are in Koryo Dynasty style but date back to the early 17th century following their destruction in the Imjin War.
      • Stamp Shop | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more. One of the best postcard collections in the country.
      • Traditional Korean Royal Lunch | Also known as pansanggi, the meal is made up of different dishes served in small brass bowls. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest!
      PM
      • Janam Hill and Old City View | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • 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 the countryside.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 3-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’.
      • Walk to the restaurant.
      • Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. Southcentral does it like nobody does!
      Overnight: Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    12. July 15 | Monday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language class (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Self-study at Grand People’s Study House.
      • Walk back to the hotel.
      • Dinner and self-study at hotel.
      Overnight: Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    13. July 16 | Tuesday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language practice with Korean students (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Youth Movement Museum |
      • Taekwondo Class | A 60 minute class at the Sacred Hall of Taekwondo on Sports Street. Taekwondo is the national martial art which all children learn to a certain degree in school.
      • Dinner at one of Pyongyang's Pizza Restaurant (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    14. July 17 | Wednesday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Walk to the War Museum.
      • 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.
      • 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. A presentation of flowers is customary here (€).
      • Dinner and walk on Ryomyong Street.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    15. July 18 | Thursday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language practice with Korean students (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Drive east across the width of the peninsula to Wonsan, a major port city on Korea’s East Sea. A friendly and relaxing stop and gateway to Mt. Kumgang. One of the DPRK’s two ‘Hero Cities’ for the strategic role the city and its populace played on the frontlines in the Korean War. Now the focus of investment projects in the DPRK. A 4 hour drive with rest stops.
      • 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 | Songdowon Hotel, Wonsan. Large seaside building. Basic but clean and with an excellent bookshop often stocking titles long sold-out in Pyongyang. Great interior decorating.
    16. July 19 | Friday

      AM
      • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which once 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.
      • Former Wonsan Railway Station Revolutionary Site | Preserved Japanese colonial era train station, waiting room, guesthouse, and the train which future President Kim Il Sung rode to Pyongyang during the liberation of the country in 1945.
      • 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!
      • 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.
      • Lunch at Wonsan Seafood Restaurant.
      PM
      • Drive south along the East Sea coast to the scenic 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 2.5-3 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.
      • Relax and dinner at hotel.
      Overnight | Kumgangsan Family Beach Hotel. A hotel built by the South Koreans during the Sunshine Policy but it hasn’t been used so still looks brand new. Good standard rooms and bathrooms (24-hr hot water). There is ping pong and karaoke all in Korean. There is a lovely outdoor area overlooking the beach where you can take drinks.
    17. July 20 | Saturday

      • All-day hiking in the Diamond Mountains | A place so beautiful that celestial fairies once descended from heaven to play in its woodlands and bathe in its crystal streams beneath towering pinnacles. Beyond celestial beings, the mountain has attracted generations of travelers from across Korea and China, artists and poets, domestic and foreign tourists. Located not far from the DMZ, the region has been a centre of inter-Korean co-operation (and controversy).
      • Drive back to Wonsan.
      Overnight | Songdowon Hotel, Wonsan
    18. July 21 | Sunday

      AM

      • Time to relax and swim on the beautiful beaches of Wonsan!
      PM
      • Drive back to Pyongyang via 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.
      • 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 restaurant.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    19. July 22 | Monday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language class (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Self-study at Grand People’s Study House.
      • Walk back to the hotel.
      • Dinner and self-study at hotel.
      Overnight: Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    20. July 23 | Tuesday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language practice with Korean students (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • 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.
      • Taekwondo Class | A 60 minute class at the Sacred Hall of Taekwondo on Sports Street. Taekwondo is the national martial art which all children learn to a certain degree in school.
      • Dinner at Sanghung Restaurant | A local restaurant in West Pyongyang.
      Overnight: Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    21. July 24 | Wednesday

      AM

      • Drive to Mt. Myohyang | The Mt. Myohyang Tourist Highway passes Anju on the way to Mt. Myohyang, a drive of 2.5-3 hours. The drive starts in agricultural plains before ascending into the mountains. One can see examples of the DPRK’s heavy industry, a grand monument, and mining industry along the way.
      • 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 with picnic lunch | Various options for hikes of a range of distances/difficulties. Passing waterfalls, hermitages, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas, and viewing points.
      • 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.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang (2.5-3 hours).
      • Dinner at hotel.

      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang

    22. July 25 | Thursday

      AM

      • Language classes (2x90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism, followed by lunch at hotel.
      PM
      • Language practice with Korean students (90 minutes) at the Pyongyang University of Tourism.
      • Taekwondo Class at the Sacred Hall of Taekwondo on Sports Street.
      • 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.
      • Dinner and self-study at hotel.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    23. July 26 | Friday

      AM

      • Exam time! | Take your final Korean language exam.
      • Party Foundation Museum | Museum dedicated to the foundation of the Korean Workers' Party.
      • Graduation Ceremony | Get your certificate and final grade from the past weeks of language classes.
      • Farewell lunch with your teachers at Haeyang Restaurant.

      PM

      • 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).
      • 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.
      • Dinner at hotel.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    24. July 27 | Saturday

      AM
      • Tram Ride | A ride through Pyongyang from Pyongyang Station to Kwangbok Street on one of city’s municipal trams made in former Czechoslovakia.
      • 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.
      PM
      • 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’.
      • Mass Dance | Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • 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 | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    25. July 28 | Friday

      AM
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      PM
      • Wau Islet | Scenic spot perfect for relaxation with swimming/diving areas and pavilions overlooking the Taedong River.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang.
      • Farewell dinner at Yanggakdo Hotel Revolving Restaurant overlooking Pyongyang City.
      Overnight | Haebangsan Hotel, Pyongyang
    26. July 29 | Monday

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 09:00 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:20.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Tuesday, July 30 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.

    • 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 (17 to 21 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 in Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer in Dandong
      All meals in the DPRK + one group meal in Beijing
      Hotel accommodation (shared room) in DPRK
      Language instructions
      Part-time accompaniment by professional tour guides
      All transportation in the DPRK
      Entry fees for locations listed on the itinerary (please not that some locations may have optional activities at additional costs, please see below)
      Certificate of programme completion from Pyongyang Tourism College
    • Not included
      DPRK visa
      Flight upgrade (+199 EUR one-way; +299 EUR round-trip)
      Accommodation in Beijing (2 nights required for orientation)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Textbooks (5 EUR per book // contact us for more details)
      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
      Tips for tour guides
  • Notes

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Typically the order will change based on local opening times, but the overall content will remain the same unless. If an items is not possible on tour, it is typically replaced by a similar or related location. Thank you for your understanding.

Please apply by 20th June, 2019.

July 30 - August 7/8 2019

North Korea Today | What's happening in North Korea? + MASS GAMES

8 nights in North
Korea from Dandong

A special tour with DPRK-expert Andray Abrahamian focused on the
society, economy, and culture of North Korea today. Roundtrip from
Dandong by train.

From 1,399 EUR per person

Please apply by 10th July, 2019.

North Korea Today | What's happening in North Korea? + MASS GAMES

8 nights in North
Korea from Dandong

A special tour with DPRK-expert Andray Abrahamian
focused on the society, economy, and culture
of North Korea today. Roundtrip from Dandong
by train.

From 1,399 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Interested in what’s happening in North Korea today? This 8-night special tour with DPRK-expert Andray Abrahamian explores the realities of North Korea as it is in 2019, focusing on recent developments under the leadership of Kim Jong Un since 2012. Learn about how the country works behind the headlines.

    Starting in the Chinese city of Dandong, the ‘gateway to North Korea’ and main trade entrepot, you’ll by train through the country’s northwest by train to the capital Pyongyang.

    In Pyongyang, we’ll visit some of the most prominent sites associated with current leader Kim Jong Un, including the remodeled Mansudae Grand Monument and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and discuss what they mean in context, as well as some of the traditional highlights such as the Pyongyang Metro and the Juche Tower.

    We’ll also take a look at the modern economy from developments in consumerism to leisure at the Kwangbok Supermarket and Munsu Waterpark to more traditional hallmarks such as factories and farms across the country.

    Outside of Pyongyang, we’ll visit the DPRK industrial heartland in the Taedong River Valley and cross the country to the east coast to see the DPRK’s second largest city, Hamhung, and the port city of Wonsan. Wonsan is the centre of major state-led development projects and planned investment.

    We’ll also make time for some rest and relaxation at the beaches along Korea’s east coast.

    Come along for what will be an insightful trip inside North Korea today and perfect for students, academics, and anyone interested in the modern trajectory of this fascinating country. Spots are limited to 20 participants.

    Andray Abrahamian is the 2018-2019 Koret Fellow at APARC, Stanford University. He is an Affiliate Researcher at Korea University and an Adjunct Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. Working for a non-profit organisation (Choson Exchange) has taken him to the DPRK 30 times. He has also lived in Myanmar and has published extensively on the two countries.

    -----------------------------------------------

    [ MASS GAMES 2019 ]

    CONFIRMED: This tour will include the Mass Games 2019. The Mass Games are the largest human performance in the world, held in the world’s largest stadium. Truly a unique performance not to miss!

    For more information on the Mass Games 2019, performance, and ticket cost, head to our Mass Games 2019 page.

    Scroll down for the the highlights and full itinerary of the North Korea Today Tour, optional add-ons, and tour notes.

    Highlights

    • A guided look at major Pyongyang developments and consumer culture since 2012
    • Tours of North Korean industry and agriculture
    • North Korea's east coast and the cities of Hamhung, a major industrial centre, and Wonsan, port city and planned foreign investment zone
    • DMZ tour at Panmunjom near historic Kaesong
    • Summer fun and leisure at beaches and parks
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. July 29 | 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. Please be punctual for the briefing. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      The pre-tour briefing for this tour will be held in Dandong, the Chinese border city on the Yalu River across from North Korea.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Dandong, China.

      PM

      • TBC | Pre-tour briefing and dinner at a restaurant in Dandong.

      Overnight | Hotel in Dandong not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations.
    2. July 30 | Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea


      AM

      • Train departure at Dandong Station. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.

      PM

      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientist Street, one of Pyongyang's newest streets with housing for scientists and academics valued in the new economy.
      • Snow White Coffee Shop | hidden away on Mirae Street, a large Starbucks-style place. Great coffee, very good food too, a hidden gem!
      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. July 31 | Wednesday

      Farms and Factories in the Taedong River Valley near Pyongyang

      AM

      • Drive west along the Youth Hero Highway, an 8-lane highway made by student shock brigades, to Kangso.
      • Kangso Water Bottling Plant | Bottling plant for North Korea's largest brand of sparkling water.
      • 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 along the old Taedong Riverside road past shipping, industry, and construction sites.
      • 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
      • Taedonggang Beer Brewery | A special visit to a factory producing the country's number one beer.
      • Jangchon Vegetable Farm | A taste of modern rural life just outside Pyongyang city. Visit the farm’s cultural centre, kindergarten, home, and research laboratory.
      • Yanggakdo International Cinema | An exclusive showing of a Korean film at one of Pyongyang’s major cinemas. Subtitles in English. Optional activity - 10 EUR paid on the spot. There is also a bar here. 
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    4. August 01 | Thursday

      Tour of the new Pyongyang

      AM

      • Mansudae Fountain Park | Centrally-located pleasant park popular with local citizens afterschool, on weekends. Flanked by examples of representative 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.
      • 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. train carriages formerly used in West Berlin are used on this line, along with a new domestically made train too.
      • Arch of Triumph | 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris. Viewing platform has a fee (€)
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      PM

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | A 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. Unmissable.
      • Pyongyang Catfish Factory | A full-scale facility where you can learn about the fascinating science of catfish production.
      • 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.
    5. August 02 | Friday

      Panmunjom and DMZ Tour in Kaesong, historic capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty

      AM
      • 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 Ginseng Factory | see how this famous panacea is harvested and processed into various forms (tea, candy, powder, etc). Also, learn the history of the root – it was first cultivated in Kaesong, the ‘home of ginseng’

      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.

      • Gwanum Temple and Taehungsan Fortress | located behind Pakyon Waterfalls this complex of mostly ruined buildings dates from more than a thousand years ago. Most of the temple remains intact since its last renovation in the 17th 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.
      • 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).
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. August 03 | Saturday

      Drive to Hamhung, the DPRK's second largest city and centre of heavy industry, stopping at sights along the way.

      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 with rest stops at Sinpyong Lake and 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.
      • 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

      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.
      • 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!
      Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Majon. 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.
    7. August 04 | Sunday

      Hamhung and Wonsan, the DPRK's major port city on the east coast of Korea

      AM
      • Late departure from Majon to enjoy the seaside.
      • 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 to Wonsan, a major port city on the east coast of Korea.
      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 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 or 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.
    8. August 05 | Monday

      Wonsan

      AM

      • 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!
      • 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.
      PM
      • Chonsam-ri Co-operative Farm | Learn about rural life at this farm specialising in rice and persimmons. Visit the cultural centre, farmhouse, and fish pond.
      • Songdowon Beach | Time to rest and relax at one of Wonsan's major beaches
      Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan.
    9. August 06 | Tuesday

      Wonsan and return to Pyongyang

      AM

      • Drive back west to Pyongyang with a rest stop at Masik Ski Resort, North Korea's largest ski resort. Take a break for coffee and look around the modern facility.

      PM

      • 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).
      • Party Foundation Monument | Iconic Monument made up of stone depictions of hands gripping the hammer, sickle, and writing brush – symbols of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Built in 1995 for the 40th anniversary of this Party.
      • 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.

    10. August 07 | Wednesday

      Departure day to Dandong by train. Flights are also available to Shenyang by Air Koryo or Beijing by Air China. Enquire for details. 

      AM

      • Train departure by train to Dandong at 10:25 crossing to China at approximately 17:00. From Dandong onward travel is possible to Beijing or Shenyang. 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
    • 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 Dandong – Beijing
      Train Pyongyang – Dandong
      All meals on the tour except the final pizza dinner
      Hotel accommodation
      Koryo Tours Tour Leader
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      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 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 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 10th July, 2019.

May 2020

May 23 - May 30/31 2020

Leica North Korea Photography Tour

A special on-tour Leica
photographic workshop

Visit North Korea with Jeroen Hanselaer, a Leica-approved
instructor, on this special 7-night tour

From 3,449 EUR per person

Please apply by 6th May, 2020.

Leica North Korea Photography Tour

A special on-tour Leica
photographic workshop

Visit North Korea with Jeroen
Hanselaer, a Leica-approved instructor,
on this special 7-night tour

From 3,449 EUR per person

  • Overall

    This North Korea photography tour is designed to give photographers the best chance to snap the best North Korea photos to show off.

    With special permissions from North Korea, Koryo Tours brings you this exclusive, one-of-a-kind tour of the DPRK. This photography tour gives us special access to certain sites, extra time at monuments, and a specifically designed itinerary to capture the best North Korea photos, making sure we’re catching the sunset from high up whilst it’s hitting Pyongyang, and visiting rural locations whilst the Koreans are hard at work. All this, whilst being accompanied by a professional Leica approved photography instructor.

    As well as allowing you to get the best pictures of North Korea, we will also spend our days visiting all of the main sites and learning about this unique country whilst accompanied by our North Korean and Western guides.

    During the day, you will have Jeroen Hanselaer, our Leica approved instructor, to guide you and help you to get the best shots. Unlike many other tours, a lot of the time on this tour will be spent walking and not in a bus, ensuring you get the best photographs whilst exploring Pyongyang on foot. Evenings will be spent with relaxed photography consultations run by Jeroen with special access to slide-show equipment. Each participant of the tour is invited to show the best snaps of the day, and our professional photography instructor Jeroen will give tailored advice on how you can improve your photography skills throughout the tour.

    We will also have access to Leica cameras during our time on the tour, so it is a great opportunity for you to have a go yourself on the Leica equipment.

    Whether your interest lies in industrial, landscapes, architecture, everyday life, or portraits, this tour caters for all. The dystopian-style architecture in Pyongyang is surreal and unique and our centrally located hotel will allow you to capture the best that the city has to offer. Trips outside of the city to co-operative farms, factories, and the North Korean countryside offer a completely different insight into this mysterious country.

    This tour is capped at 13 people maximum, in a group tour with other budding photographers. This allows more freedom when taking pictures and a better chance to get the perfect photos of North Korea.

    Dates don't suit? Get in touch with us to arrange a private tour to fit your budget and schedule.

    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

    • Joined on tour by a Leica Photographic instructor as well as one of our experienced western tour leaders
    • Extended visits to allow time for photography
    • Full metro tour
    • Walking tours of Pyongyang
    • Extended visits to cooperative farms
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. May 22 | Friday

      Briefing Day

      AM

      • The recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

      PM

      • Our group assembles for a mandatory pre-tour group briefing in Beijing in the afternoon - 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 travelers and photography enthusiasts! Please be punctual - you can come early, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art.
      • The photographic workshop begins - We will have a workshop from Jeroen Hansler, our Leica approved instructor and brand ambassador, followed by a review of a selection of your photographs so you can make sure to get the best North Korean photos from the very beginning of the tour! 

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

    2. May 23 | 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 at 1:05 pm.  A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) expected at 4:05 pm. DPRK immigration and customs meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.

      • Arch of Triumph  | Our first stop as we head into the photogenic city of Pyongyang, this 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. From here we gain views over the surrounding park, Kim Il Sung Stadium and other areas of the city. From atop this great vantage point, we can set up cameras as we wait for the changing light offered at sunset.
      • 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 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. Comrade Kim Goes Flying

      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, perfect for those North Korean photos! Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, and beer brewed on-site. This hotel offers great vantage points overlooking the city. From most rooms, you will be able to capture pictures from the morning sunrise transition and the old and new apartment blocks that surround us.

    3. May 24  | Sunday

      Pyongyang city tour

      AM

      • Early morning walking to Kim Il Sung Square via Pyongyang railway station | This morning we depart our hotel early before breakfast walking via Pyongyang railway station to Kim Il Sung Square. This early morning walk offers us views through downtown Pyongyang and capture the lives of the locals on their day off, whilst also giving us an opportunity to photograph some of the older building synonymous with any visit. We will stop for breakfast at the Viennese coffee shop, where we will have time to set up cameras for more pictures of the center of the city.
      • 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, Spanish, and Arabic. No visit to Pyongyang is complete without a visit to this famous bookshop. Situated at a road crossing patrolled by the infamous Pyongyang traffic police, it is also great to capture the perfect picture of these iconic workers. We continue our walk crossing to the Mansudae Fountain Park from where we can continue to picture everyday life as well as some examples of Korean sculpture.
      • 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.
      • As we approach lunchtime, we further our expedition through the streets of Pyongyang past some of the cities newer apartments, to our destination, the Okryugwan cold noodle restaurant. This restaurant located on the banks of the Taedong river not only offers visitors great views but delivers us the best cold noodles in the city. Often busy with locals, we may have a little wait before trying Pyongyang’s signature dish.

      PM

      • After our hearty lunch, we board our bus and drive to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo. Here we have an extended visit taking time to photograph the military hardware, large statues, and the famous USS Pueblo. For our visit, we will be accompanied by a local Museum guide dressed in military clothing. She will be happy to allow time for some portraiture.
      •  Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012, 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 for many a highlight of the trip.When we leave the Museum we drive to Pyongyang central tram terminus from where we take a ride on one of the cities older Trams which will offer great photographic options as we pick our way through the streets at a local level. 

      • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, the ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.

      Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style accommodation 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.

    4. May 25 | Monday

      Visit DMZ and Kaesong

      AM

      • After a morning photographing the beautiful hotel area we drive to visit the Panmunjom Truce Village and DMZ. In this area, photography is limited. Although, if the rules are followed there is still a great opportunity to get some great shots. Traveling in a small group also means a better chance of getting a photograph with a Korean military officer - the only place in North Korea this is possible.
      • 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. After our visit to this strange and unusual area, we continue with a visit to Kaesong Koryo Museum. This interesting area is great for photographing ancient architecture. If we're lucky, we may get the chance to catch some local couples having their wedding photos taken.
      • 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 perfect for North Korea photos.
      • Before lunch, we take another walk to build an appetite taking a look at some of Kaesong's older buildings.
      • 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.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | An incredibly photogenic meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. Perfect for avid instagrammers, and tastes great too! The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest!

      PM

      • Once lunch has finished, we start our drive returning to Pyongyang. On the way, we of course have some more photographic opportunities.
      • 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.

      • Gwanum Temple and Taehungsan Fortress | Located behind Pakyon Waterfalls this complex of mostly ruined buildings dates from more than a thousand years ago. Most of the temple remains intact since its last renovation in the 17th century
      • Return to Pyongyang via the Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument, the iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to a joint meeting between Koreas, north, and south. This monument is also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
      • Workshop after dinner. We gather together to view our photos from the days excitement and listen to instruction for the coming days.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    5. May 26 | Tuesday

      Industry and Iconic Culture

      AM

      • Pyongyang Textile Factory and Dormitory. 

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour (two-line ride) | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station, you’ll find it hard to put your cameras down. Ride both lines and stop off at smaller stations rarely visited by tourists. We visit all we can, making the most of our time here and getting some rare North Korea pictures.

      PM
      • May Day Stadium this afternoon we tour the grounds and facilities of the world’s largest stadiums. With a capacity of 150,000 and renovated in September 2014, it is used for all of the DPRK’s major sporting events and in 2018 hosted the return of the Mass Games. Its grand architectural style lends itself to great photography.
      • Pyongyang International Football Academy only a short leap from the Mayday stadium, this is a Premier football school for young and promising athletes. We tour the facilities and learn about the history of football in the DPRK. It has multiple training pitches where you can see yourself against some students here.
      • This evening it's off to a different setting for dinner as we enjoy an exclusive meal on the Rainbow boat on the Taedong River. From here, we can also get some great night time city-scape shots.  

      • Workshop after dinner - We gather together to view our photos from the days excitement and listen to instruction for the coming days.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. May 27 | Wednesday

      Hamhung

      AM

      • Today it's off early as we start our drive to Hamhung. Hamhung together with its southern neighbor Hungnam make up the DPRK’s second largest urban area by population. They are a major center of chemical industry, producing fertilizers and Vinalon, or ‘Juche Fiber’.The twin cities were rebuilt after the Korean War with the assistance of East German architects and planners. This 6-hour drive will be broken with visits along the beautiful mountain road, perfect for photos of North Korea countryside.

      • Upon reaching Hamhung we make our visit to Hungnam Fertiliser Factory. This is a massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilizers. We will have a tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant, where you will also be able to take photos. A perfect location for some industrial photography and if we're lucky some welcome portraiture photographs.
      • 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. This traditional style building is a peaceful place to brush up on history and catch some of those photos of traditional style buildings.
      • After dinner, electricity permitting, it’s time to review those photos again!

      Overnight | Majon 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!

    7. May 28 | Thursday

      Wonsan

      AM

      • Today we head off for our adventure onwards to the coastal city of Wonsan which is home to the famous hot spring spa where we will spend the night to relax and recharge.
      • Wonsan is a crucial city on the east coast of the country. The least heavily industrial, but a key port and a city where the national government focuses efforts on leisure facilities and promoting the favorable location of the city between sea and mountains. On our journey, there are some stops to be made.
      • Tongbong Co-operative Farm is located on the outskirts of Hamhung offering visitors the chance to view some of the farm machinery, a local home, and even a local farm shop where visitors can buy some homemade products. From here, we can take photos of daily life and work on some portrait photos.
      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 Catholic monks living in the area in the early 20th century. Great not only for the architectural style, but it can offer some candid shots of its students.
      • Next stop, 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.
      • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbor. Local fishermen flock to this area, feel free to chat with them along the way, and get some shots of the locals. We time our visit so as to stroll out at sunset, to catch our best chance of pictures as the sun lights this attractive sea resort.

      Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel Waterfront, Wonsan. Hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna.

    8. May 29 | Friday

      Wonsan and Pyongyang

      AM

      • Chonsam-ri Co-operative Farm Learn about rural life at this farm specialising in rice and persimmons. Visit the cultural centre, farm house, and fish pond giving us another chance to photograph farming in North Korea.
      • The pace of the tour slows a little as we visit Sokwang Temple to view the remains of a Buddhist temple established dating back to the late-14th century and associated with the dream that predicted the fall of the Koryo Dynasty. A historic and haunting place set in a serene mountain valley with stream.
      • Return to Wonsan for lunch

      PM

      • Afternoon drive back to Pyongyang via Masikrong
      • Visit Masik Pass Ski Resort in the winter its DPRK’s largest ski resort. Opened in 2013, Masik Pass is also good for hiking in spring, summer, and autumn. We stop here for coffee on the way back to Pyongyang from Wonsan. 

      • Tower of Juche Idea | Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city. Lift ticket paid on the spot (€).
      • Farewell dinner at Duck BBQ restaurant 

      Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang. 

    9. May 30 | Saturday

      Train Return to Beijing

      It’s a relaxed start for us as we depart the captivating capital of Pyongyang for our return journey to Beijing. We travel via the train using soft-sleeper carriages (4 bunks per compartment with their own doors). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong.

      As we travel you will still have time for a little more scenic countryside photography.

      Overnight | On-train

    10. May 31 | Sunday

      Arrival into Beijing.

      • We should arrive into Beijing station at 08.34 AM and from there you are free to head to your accommodation or begin your journey home.

      For those who wish to, there will be a final tour debrief and photo session at the Koryo office, we will have the opportunity to review a final selection of photos and ask any last minute questions.

  • 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 (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
  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Flight to Beijing – Pyongyang
      Train Return Pyongyang – Beijing (soft Sleeper)
      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
      Leica Photographic instructor
      All transportation in the DPRK
      The shared use of three Leica cameras
      Evening instruction and talks
    • 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 6th May, 2020.

Next tour departure dates

Brewery Industry Tour

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Pyongyang Summer Language Program + MASS GAMES

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North Korea Today | What's happening in North Korea? + MASS GAMES

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Leica North Korea Photography Tour

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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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