April 13 - April 16/17 2019

Kim Il Sung Birthday Long Weekend Tour

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

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

From 799 EUR per person

Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

Kim Il Sung Birthday Long Weekend Tour

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

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

From 799 EUR per person

  • Overall

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Highlights

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

    Briefing Day
    1. April 12 | Friday

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

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

      AM

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

      PM

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

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

    2. April 13 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang


      AM

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

      PM

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

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

    3. April 14 | Sunday

      Kaesong City and DMZ Tour


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

      PM

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

      Overnight | Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang

    4. April 15 | Monday

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

      AM

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

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

      PM

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

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

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

      AM

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

      OR

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

      End of Tour

  • Extras

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

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

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

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

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

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

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

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

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

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

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

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

  • What is / is not included?

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

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

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

Please apply by 23rd March, 2019.

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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