October 8 - October 17/18 2019

Party Foundation Day Tour | A North Korean Autumn in Mount Kumgang & Pujon + MASS GAMES

9 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Visit the DPRK for Party Foundation Day, see Pyongyang and take a DMZ tour, then enjoy a North Korea
autumn at Mount Kumgang the rarely-visited Pujon County in the highlands north of Hamhung. Round-trip
by train or upgrade to flight.

From 1,499 EUR per person

Please apply by 20th September, 2019.

Party Foundation Day Tour | A North Korean Autumn in Mount Kumgang & Pujon + MASS GAMES

9 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Visit the DPRK for Party Foundation Day, see Pyongyang and take a
DMZ tour, then enjoy a North Korea autumn at Mount Kumgang the rarely-visited
Pujon County in the highlands north of Hamhung. Round-trip by train
or upgrade to flight.

From 1,499 EUR per person

  • Overall

    A North Korea autumn is a sight to see! Take in the autumn reds, oranges, and yellows at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang and highland Pujon County, plus see Pyongyang for Party Foundation Day and tour the DMZ. This 9-night adventure offers a unique mix of local culture, must-see attractions, and the great outdoors in some of the most remote parts of North Korea.

    We’ll be in Pyongyang for Party Foundation Day (October 10), a North Korean holiday which marks the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party, for the celebrations, including student-organised mass dances, and to see other highlights such as the Pyongyang Metro, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, and the Mansudae Grand Monument, followed by an overnight trip to historic Kaesong, medieval capital of the Koryo Dynasty.

    In Kaesong, we’ll take a DMZ tour to the Panmunjom Armistice Village between North and South Korea, as well as visit the Tomb of King Kongmin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    It’s then across the width of the peninsula to Korea’s east coast where we will first visit Mount Kumgang, known as the ‘Diamond Mountain’; the port city of Wonsan; industrial Hamhung, the second largest city in the country; and the Pujon Highlands.

    Pujon is one of the most out of the way areas of North Korea open to tourists and home to the Stone River, a river of boulders deposited glacier. For history buffs, this area was also the site of some of the fiercest fighting during the Korean War as part of the Changjin Reservoir Campaign and the Hungnam Evacuation.

    [ MASS GAMES 2019 ]

    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 page.

    Short on time? Check out the shorter 4-night and 7-night options for this tour.

    Scroll down for an overview of Party Foundation Day Tour | A North Korea Autumn in Mount Kumgang & Pujon tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Image credit: Christian Petersen-Clausen

    Highlights

    • Celebrations for Party Foundation Day, anniversary of the formation of the Korean Workers' Party
    • MASS GAMES
    • Pyongyang highlights, including the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the Mansudae Grand Monument, and the Pyongyang Metro
    • Visit Panmunjom Armistice Village on a DMZ tour
    • Hiking at scenic Mount Kumgang on Korea's east coast
    • The Pujon County, a remote and rarely-vised highlands beautiful in autumn
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. October 7 | Monday

      *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.  
      • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. 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. October 8 | Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. 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).
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05 time. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • 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.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

      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. October 9 | Wednesday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM
      • 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.
      • 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 commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Opportunity to use 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.

      PM

      • 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.
      • Party Foundation Museum | Museum dedicated to the foundation of the Korean Workers' Party.
      • Grand People’s Study House | Huge national library and public university housed in a large neo-traditional Korean building overlooking Kim Il Sung Square and the downtown Pyongyang.
      • 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! Tickets start from 100 EUR.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    4. October 10 | Thursday

      Party Foundation Day with a visit to Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, mausoleum of the DPRK leaders

      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.
      • 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).
      • 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.

      • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll 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’.
      • 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.
      • 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!
      • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. A 2.5-hour drive
      • Kayagum Performance | Traditional Korean stringed instrument performance at the Minsok Folk Hotel. Tip recommended (1-3 EUR per person on group tours) for this beautiful demonstration of Korean music.

      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. October 11 | Friday

      Historic Kaesong City and DMZ Tour

      AM
      • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
      • Panmunjom Truce Village and DMZ | Located in the middle of the 4 km wide Demilitarised Zone, Panmunjom is the site of the signing of the 1953 armistice at the end of the Korean War. This is the only location where visitors can directly view soldiers from both sides and the demarcation line dividing Korea. On some days it is possible to enter the hut straddling both Koreas and there cross temporarily into the south.
      • Tomb of King Kongmin | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      PM
      • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming.

      • Gwanum Temple and Taehungsan Fortress | located behind Pakyon Waterfalls this complex of mostly ruined buildings dates from more than a thousand years ago. Most of the temple remains intact since its last renovation in the 17th century

      • Return to Pyongyang via the Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument, the iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. This monument is also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. October 12 | Saturday

      Drive to Mount Kumgang, 'the Diamond Mountain', stopping at sights along the way.

      AM
      • Drive east across the width of the peninsula before heading north to Mount KumgangA 6 to 7-hour drive with stops along the way.
      • Tomb of King Tongmyong | Largest of the UNESCO listed Koguryo Tombs spread through the area, this is the beautiful tomb complex of the founder of the Koguryo Dynasty two thousand years ago. Statues, a Buddhist Monastery, and lovely wall paintings make this a fascinating visit for history buffs
      PM
      • Sijung Guesthouse Beach | Sandy beach on the East Sea of Korea for swimming and relaxing (2 EUR entrance fee to swim and stays over 30 minutes).
      • Samil Lagoon | A charming green-water coastal lagoon lined by pine forests. Named for the ‘three-day’ stay (sam-il) of a king in days-gone-by to take in the full beauty of the area.

      Overnight | Mt. Kumgang Hotel, Mt. Kumgang. A comfortable hotel with good hot water supply and clean rooms. Top floor bar and karaoke, outdoor balcony barbeque, billiards, gift shops, and small sauna facilities.
    7. October 13 | Sunday

      Mount Kumgang to Wonsan

      AM
      • Spend the morning hiking in the Mt Kumgang area | ‘The Diamond Mountain’ – a series of peaks and canyons rising above Korea’s eastern seaboard and regarded since time immemorial as one of the most scenic regions in East Asia. A 8 km (round-trip) hike to a scenic ‘Nine-Dragons’ waterfall will take us through forests, along mountain streams and by emerald pools.
      PM

      • Drive north to Wonsan.
      • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse | Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbour (1 EUR/USD entry fee). Local fishermen flock to this area, chat with them along the way. Also good for romantic evening walks.

      Overnight | Songdowon Hotel, Wonsan. One of the funkiest hotels around. Seaside and green. Basic but clean and with an excellent bookshop often stocking titles long sold-out in Pyongyang.

    8. October 14 | Monday

      Wonsan to Hamhung, the DPRK's 2nd largest city

      AM
      • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which one shuttled Koreans living in Japan back and forth across the East Sea of Korea is moored here

      • Kangwon Province Art Gallery | Small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists.
      • Wonsan Agricultural University | The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by Germans living in the area in the early 20th century.

      PM
      • Tongbong Co-operative Farm | Local farm in the outskirts of Hamhung. View the machinery barn, a local home, and the farm shop to buy some locally made products.
      • Home of Ri Song Gye | Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. A traditional hall and pavilion and associated naughty stories of the former king’s retirement years – some not appropriate for the youth!

      Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Majon. A beachside holiday compound with basic but comfortable chalets. Rooms have heated floors but no running water. Bring a torch! There is a main building with restaurant, bar, billiards, table-tennis, bookshop, and Korean karaoke.
    9. October 15 | Tuesday

      The Pujon Highlands

      All Day
      • Pujon Highlands | A scenic drive through the highlands above Hamhung, traditionally considered as one of the ‘Eight Great Sights of Korea’. Home to the Pujon Stone River, a multi-kilometre river of boulders running down the side a mountain and the Okryonsan Revolutionary Site – a base for anti-Japanese guerillas during the colonial period. This region was the sight of some of the most brutal fighting of the Korean War in the middle of the unusually cold winter of 1950. Notice how the local architecture differs from the lowlands beneath.
      • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square | Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square.
      • Tonghung Revolutionary Site | Hillside park with statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking Hamhung city centre and the Songchon River. A presentation of flowers is customary.
      Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Majon.
    10. October 16 | Wednesday

      AM
      • Hungnam Fertiliser Factory | Massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilisers. Tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant - just don’t light up next to the Ammonium Nitrate! A bust of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai stands at this complex to note the contributions China made to the development of the plant. A museum is also on site, this is where Kim Il Sung uttered his famous phrase “Fertiliser is rice. And rice, itself, is Communism”
      • Drive back to Wonsan with lunch in Wonsan
      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at Masik Pass Ski resort for a break and to check out the facilities of the DPRK's premier ski resort.
      • Munsu Water Park | Take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR). Time permitting.
      • Farewell dinner
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    11. October 17 | Thursday

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

      AM
      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:30. 

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, October 18 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
  • 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 265 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 435 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.

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    • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

      This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

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    • 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.

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    • Insurance (7 to 9 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 apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      Koryo Tours leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement (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
      Mass Games tickets (prices vary)
  • 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 20th September, 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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