Nick Bonner founded Koryo Tours in 1993. This is your chance to travel with him to Pyongyang,
and beyond, on a special anniversary tour celebrating Koryo’s 25 years of groundbreaking work
in North Korean tourism
From 1,199 EUR per person
Please apply by 7th October, 2018.
Nick Bonner founded Koryo Tours in 1993. This is your chance
to travel with him to Pyongyang, and beyond, on a special anniversary
tour celebrating Koryo’s 25 years of groundbreaking work in
North Korean tourism
From 1,199 EUR per person
Western tourism to North Korea didn’t really exist before Nick Bonner founded Koryo Tours back in 1993. Of course, we would say that, but do your own research online and the truth is you’ll struggle to find anyone who has been doing this as long as us, or as well as us…
Our staff have made hundreds of trips, and looked after tens of thousands of tourists over the last 25 years. We believe it’s important that if you travel to a country as complicated as the DPRK, you do so with people that have proven experience leading safe and successful tours.
But, more than that, this tour is a celebration of 25 years of responsible tourism and cultural engagement — of 25 years working to make a positive difference in a difficult place to work in, but most in need of the human connection Koryo and Nick Bonner have been committed to for so long.
Nick very rarely leads tours himself these days — as he’s usually too busy with one of his many North Korea-related projects. For example: he’s made three documentaries there; co-directed a feature film (the first North Korean film to be shown to a public audience in South Korea); not to mention breaking new ground by helping to unite creatives from both North and South on the award-winning Korea pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.
So this is your chance to join Koryo’s founder on tour. Sign up for a five-night experience like no other as Nick takes you to the top sights in the DPRK, as well as some of his personal favourites. Spending time with him will also allow you to gain a unique insight in to what it’s like to have worked in North Korea for 25 years — in tourism, engagement and the arts.
There’s no other tour in the world like this. Happy silver jubilee!
Please read the following for important information about your transport options for this tour, and how each one relates to the visa requirements for China. The default option is round-trip train travel from Beijing to Pyongyang, and back again. Flight upgrades are available. See below for more details.
Option 1 // Round-trip train (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing): A 24-hour train journey each way in hard-sleeper class (six bunks per berth) with a transfer in Dandong, China. The train arrives in Pyongyang approximately three hours after the flight so train arrivals will miss one or two activities in the city. This option is for those travelling on a budget with time to spare (and train enthusiasts, of course). [+0 EUR]
Option 2 // Flight departure (Beijing-Pyongyang // 90 minutes) + train return (Pyongyang-Beijing // 24 hours): In our view, this is the most comprehensive way to visit the DPRK. We highly recommend this option: it maximizes your time and sightseeing opportunities; lets you experience both Air Koryo and the international train; plus allows you to start the trip rested, while taking the leisurely route home. [+199 EUR]
Option 3 // Train departure (Beijing-Pyongyang // 24 hours) + flight return (Pyongyang-Beijing // 90 minutes): An alternative to Option 2. This option is ideal for those wishing to take the train one-way of the journey, but need to transit through Beijing by flight on their return. Please note the train arrives in Pyongyang approximately three hours after the flight so train arrivals will miss one or two activities in the city. [+199 EUR]
Option 4 // Round-trip flight (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing):Choosing the round-trip flight option gets you between Beijing and Pyongyang in 1.5 hours (each way), and lets you experience the infamous Air Koryo ‘burger’ twice! For many nationalities, this also allows for the possibility of transiting in Beijing, rather than having to get a Chinese visa (please see below). This option is for those with little time to spare, travellers wanting simply to transit through China, or aviation enthusiasts. [+299 EUR]
We arrange your North Korean visa as part of your tour package [+50 EUR]. However, given the tour starts and finishes in China you may also need to consider entry and exit procedures in China for your trip. This can be obtained at a Chinese embassy abroad. We recommend obtaining at least a double-entry Chinese visa for your trip.
Over 50 nationalities can obtain a visa-waiver for up to 144 hours when in transit through Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) using direct international flights. Most other nationalities can transit for up to 24 hours. If you don't want to visit China as part of your trip, this could be the easiest option for you. It is not possible to obtain a transit-waiver when using a train for entry or exit from China.
Please be sure to check your visa status for travel through China while planning your trip. We are unable to arrange Chinese visas, but can provide documentation in support of visa applications upon payment of a tour deposit.
See below for an overview of all tour options and extras.
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 that same afternoon, and another briefing in the afternoon for those departing by FLIGHT the next day.
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. Would you like us to say train again? Train.
Arrival day in Pyongyang — the adventure begins!
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 location.
Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights
Pyongyang Highlights, including a special interpretive tour of the Pyongyang Metro | overnight in Kaesong
Overnight // Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in the Korean style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electricity supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the center and Ri dynasty furniture.
Kaesong, the DMZ, and Sariwon
Sariwon and Pyongyang
Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
Departure Day from Pyongyang // Return to Beijing by FLIGHT or TRAIN. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*
This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.
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
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
For this special Silver Jubilee Tour, Koryo's founder Nick Bonner will accompany the trip. Nick's group will be capped at 25 people — one person for each of Koryo's 25 years! As well as being accompanied by Koryo's founder, this group will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides.
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 7th October, 2018.