February 12 - February 17/18 2022

Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop in North Korea over
one of the biggest North Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s birthday
on February 16th

From 949 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th January, 2022.

Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop
in North Korea over one of the biggest North
Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s birthday
on February 16th

From 949 EUR per person

  • Overall

    General Kim Jong Il, President Kim Il Sung’s son and father of current North Korean leader Marshal Kim Jong Un, was born on 16th February. This date is known as the Day of the Shining Star. It is saved in the DPRK calendar as a day of celebrations, and one of the most important North Korean holidays. Locals have time off work, and there are many special events that go on in the city, that foreigners are also welcome to attend.

    During this North Korea holiday time, we expect mass dances and a chance to visit the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition. where we will see the begonia named after the late General Kim Jong Il, the Kimjongilia. Plus, there may be a chance to view the epic North Korea fireworks from the infamous Kim Il Sung Square filled with locals also gathering to watch the fireworks after a day of celebrations with the family. Aside from all of the special events, this action-packed itinerary also includes a city tour of all of the not-to-miss sites of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kwangbok Department Store.

    This 5-night tour takes you out of Pyongyang and to the beautiful Mt. Myohyang, offering a great opportunity to head out of the hustle and bustle of Pyongyang and enjoy some of North Korea’s rarely explored countryside. Mt. Myohyang is home to the famous International Friendship Exhibition where Dennis Rodman infamously gifted a basketball. You will also visit Sariwon, Kaesong, and DMZ.

    It is also possible to add a 2-night skiing extension to this tour. Try out the slopes of North Korea’s only ski resort open to foreigners: Masik Pass.

    If you’d like a more in-depth insight into Pyongyang and North Korea, join us on our longer Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour.

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

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    Highlights

    • Day of the Shining Star - Celebrations on General Kim Jong Il's Birthday
    • Pyongyang city highlights
    • International Friendship Exhibition
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 11 | 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, and pay any outstanding tour fees. 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 Chinese 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. February 12 | 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.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:55. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (vegetarian option is subject to availability). Check-in starts 3 hours prior to departure.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Victory (Sungni) Street | Walk from Kim Il Sung Square to the Pyongyang Grand Theatre along one of post-war Pyongyang's oldest streets.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. February 13 | Sunday

      Pyongyang, Sariwon and Kaesong

      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 in the country. 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.
      • 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
      • Sariwon | The provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive.
      • Migok Co-Operative Farm | An example of a North Korean co-operative farm. Visit the farm museum, a farmhouse and a viewpoint overlooking the Chaeryong Plains.
      • 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.
      • Continue south to Kaesong, the historic capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD). Once located in South Korea, the city changed hands during the Korean War. It is now located just north of the DMZ.
      Overnight | Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong. One of our favourite hotels in the DPRK. Friendly staff, great food, and 1970's socialist design. A cosy place to stay in winter!
    4. February 14 | Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      • 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

      • Pyongyang | Drive back north up the Reunification Highway to the capital.
      • 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 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.
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A standing bar serving seven type of beer (50 cents a pint, 4.5 EUR for a flight). Popular with locals after work and on weekends!

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    5. February 15 | Tuesday

      Mt. Myohyang

      AM

      • Mt. Myohyang | Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to  the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.
      • 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.

      PM

      • 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.
      • Manpok Valley Hike | Various options for hikes of a range of distances/difficulties. Passing waterfalls, hermitages, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas, and viewing points.
      • Pyongyang | Return to the capital city (2.5 hours).

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    6. February 16 | Wednesday

      DPRK Holiday - Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

      AM

      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
      • 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 dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders).
      • 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.
      • 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

      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      • 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.
      • 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).
      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we also expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    7. February 17 | Thursday

      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 JS251 at 10:15 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday February 18 at 08:40. 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.

    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      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
    • 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 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 Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
    • All meals on the tour except for 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

    • North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 60 EUR
    • Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
    • Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
    • Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
    • Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
    • Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
    • Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
    • Spending money for souvenirs
    • Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides 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 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 28th January, 2022.

[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
Room A409, Jucai Building. No. 76 Caoyuan Hutong.
Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

中国北京市东城区草园胡同76号聚才大厦A 座409 室,
邮编:100027
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