July 8 - July 12/13 2019

Summer Break Budget Tour + MAYBE MASS GAMES!

4 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

This tour is the best way to see North Korea’s highlights and the Mass Games on a shoestring,
and includes a city tour of Pyongyang, as well as visit to historic Kaesong, the DMZ,
and Nampo on the West coast.

From 949 EUR per person

Please apply by 26th June, 2019.

Summer Break Budget Tour + MAYBE MASS GAMES!

4 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

This tour is the best way to see North Korea’s highlights
and the Mass Games on a shoestring, and includes a city tour
of Pyongyang, as well as visit to historic Kaesong, the DMZ,
and Nampo on the West coast.

From 949 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Koryo Budget Tours are basic introductory tours for the frugal traveller in search of adventure. This no-frills alternative to our more advanced tours offers a great way to see a tightly edited package of the country’s most interesting sights, including a city tour of Pyongyang and a visit to the DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their decades-old face-off.

    See the DPRK Mass Games, the largest and most spectacular performance in the world. The Mass Games are the gigantic propaganda event that North Korea is famous for. Featuring up to 100,000 performers in a display of gymnastics, dance, political-symbolism, bombastic music and images, hundreds of drones, and all manner of other choreographed madness, the performance is simply like nothing else on show anywhere in the world — see the 2019 Mass Games for yourself with Koryo Tours!

    You’ll also visit Nampo a major port on the west coast of Korea and gateway to the Taedong River and Pyongyang. Transformed from a sleepy fishing village to a centre of industry and shipping during the 20th century due to its strategic location.

    Whilst in Pyongyang, you will be staying at the Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, a retro-futurist hotel on Sports Street with an outdoor pool and a burger restaurant which means that you can enjoy a burger, fries, or even a Belgian waffle with your swim.

    Scroll down for highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

    [ MASS GAMES 2019 ] JUNE 5th UPDATE: Mass Games May happen on this tour, or not. They are presently suspended while being updated

    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

    Highlights

    • See the Mass Games – one of the greatest shows on earth
    • Ride on the Pyongyang Metro, visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Panmunjom and the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) – the demarcation line between North and South Korea
    • See the industrial city of Nampo
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. July 7 | Sunday

      *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.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Pre-tour briefing at our Beijing Office.  
      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!
    2. July 8 | Monday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • 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 12:20. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:20. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • 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 | 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.
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A standing bar serving seven type of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work.

      Overnight | Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, Pyongyang. A very green retro-futurist giant, located on modernist Kwangbok Street. Outdoor AND indoor swimming pools, and home to the best foreign karaoke in Pyongyang. One of very few of our tours to stay at this unique hotel.


    3. July 9 | Tuesday

      Pyongyang City Tour and Nampo

      AM

      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Meet our Summer Language Program study group and Korean students at Pyongyang College of Tourism.
      • Kwangbok Supermarket and a la carte lunch at the food court | Local supermarket selling all kinds of domestically and foreign produced household goods, clothes, foods. Exchange for local currency here! Please note that local currency, the Korean Won, can only be exchanged for and spent at this location.
      PM
      • 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.
      • Chongsam-ri Co-operative Farm | DPRK’s most famous and iconic model farm. Visited hundreds of times by Kim Il Sung (there is a bronze statue of him and various farm workers here), the lace where the ‘Chongsam-ri Method’ was developed (they will explain on-site). See how the farming system works, visit a farmhouse and the local shop & kindergarten, see the fields and greenhouses.
      • 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 locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
      • Dinner in Nampo.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, Pyongyang.
    4. July 10 | Wednesday

      Pyongyang city tour and drive to Kaesong

      AM
      • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
      • 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.
      • Walk to 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.
      • 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 to East Pyongyang to the 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 great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • 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.
      • Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.
      • 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 Demilitarised Zone.
      • 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.
      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.

    5. July 11 | Thursday

      Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

      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.
      • 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
      • 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.
      • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in a relaxing wooded area. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes swimming in the series of pools above the falls.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 3-hour drive.
      • Farewell dinner at Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. Southcentral does it like nobody does!
      Overnight | Chongnyon (Youth) Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. July 12 | Friday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your transport preference upong booking.

      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 sleeper train to Beijing at 10:25 (via transfer in Dandong) with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Saturday July 13 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour.
  • Extras

    • Return by plane not train

      This tour enters the DPRK by plane. But the default setting upon your return is the 24-hour international train from Pyongyang to Beijing. For an extra 50 EUR you can opt for the plane back instead. The flight takes around 90 minutes.

    • 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
    • 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
      Flight Beijing – Pyongyang
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      All transportation in North Korea
      The experience of a lifetime
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee (+50 EUR)
      Optional flight back to Beijing at end of the tour (50 EUR)
      Mass Games ticket (from 100 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 an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    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 26th June, 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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