August 13 - August 17 2020

Liberation Day Short Tour

4 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join us for the DPRK's Liberation
Day celebrations in Pyongyang!

From 849 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th July, 2021.

Liberation Day Short Tour

4 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join us for the DPRK's
Liberation Day celebrations
in Pyongyang!

From 849 EUR per person

  • Overall

    MASS GAMES are expected to take place during this tour. Unconfirmed at this time, we will update when there is more news.

    Head into the DPRK during Liberation Day for what promises to be one of the best travel experiences you’ll have ever had!

    During this short but action-packed tour, we have a city tour of Pyongyang, visiting all of the must-see attractions, including the Juche Tower and Mansudae Grand Monument Liberation Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of Japanese occupation.

    It is a major public holiday in North Korea and we give you the chance to spend the day joining in the celebrations by hanging out and dancing with the locals in Moranbong Park. As well as the Liberation Day festivities and a city tour of Pyongyang, this tour also includes a day-trip to Kaesong where we visit the DMZ! This is the North-South Korean border, labelled as one of the "most dangerous" borders in the world. See for yourself!

    Got more time to spare? Stay a couple of days longer for our Liberation Day Tour and see the International Friendship Exhibition.

    Scroll down for an overview of our Liberation Day Short Tour package highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

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    Highlights

    • Liberation Day celebrations on August 15th!
    • Pyongyang public transport: ride the deepest metro system in the world and a tram on Kwangbok Street.
    • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides. 
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. August 12 | Thursday

      *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. August 13 | Friday

      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 12:00. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • 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 at 18:45.

      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. August 14 | Saturday

      Nampo and Pyongyang City Tour

      AM
      • Drive west along the Taedong River 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.
         
      • Pi Island | A local beach next to West Sea Barrage. Go for a swim or join the locals for a karaoke.

      PM

      • Return to Pyongyang on the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ (45 minutes to 1-hour drive).
         
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
         
      • Kwangbok Department Store | 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.
         
      • A ride through Pyongyang from Kwangbok Street to Pyongyang Station on one of the city’s municipal trams.
         
      • Kaeson Funfair | We’ll take on the rides of Pyongyang’s newest funfair with the locals: pirate ship, vominator, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Tickets purchased on the spot (1 EUR entry, 2-7 EUR for rides).

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    4. August 15 | Sunday

      Liberation Day – the 76th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule

      On August 15th there will be holiday celebrations in Pyongyang. We expect student-organised mass dances at prominent locations throughout the city, people heading to parks for a leisurley picnic, and performances in the afternoon. 

      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. Please note 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 afterschool 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 miles) horse’ - a symbol of speed - commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
         
      • Moranbong Park and picnic lunch | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports (especially on holidays such as the one today!). 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

      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. 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.
      • Pyongyang Circus (or other available performance) | We will leave time this afternoon to try and catch a local performance — either of the Pyongyang Circus, theatre, or a revolutionary opera. Schedules are typically announced only a few weeks before the trip. If no performances are available, we will find an alternative activity in the city. Tickets to be paid on the spot (from 5-25 EUR) depending on the available performance.
         
      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we expect to see large student-organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
         
      • Mass Games! | The Mass Games are an art form in North Korea, developed over decades, which can involve up to 100,000 performers in massive synchronised displays of gymnastics and dance. Not to be missed!

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    5. August 16 | Monday

      Historic Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM

      • Drive 3 hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarized Zone with a stop at the Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification an iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between the Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
      • 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.
         
      • 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

      • Drive to Sariwon the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 2-hour drive.
         
      • Migok Co-Operative Farm | Learn about rural life in the DPRK at this farming community on the bucolic plains of Sariwon. Visit the farm's museum, viewpoint, and local home.
         
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 1 hour drive.
         
      • 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 made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.

      • 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.

      Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

    6. August 17 | 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 08:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:55.

      OR

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

    • 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 the meals on the train
    • Hotel accommodation
    • Koryo Tours tour leader
    • Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
    • 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 July, 2021.

[email protected] | + 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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