July 3 - July 10/11 2021

The Summer Holiday Tour in North Korea

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Discover North Korea’s rarely visited East coast from the industrial centre of Hamhung to
the hiking trails of Mt. Kumgang. A summer adventure in North Korea! This tour will also include
Pyongyang, Kaesong & DMZ.

From 1,395 EUR per person

Please apply by 18th June, 2021.

The Summer Holiday Tour in North Korea

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Discover North Korea’s rarely visited East coast from the industrial
centre of Hamhung to the hiking trails of Mt. Kumgang. A summer
adventure in North Korea! This tour will also include Pyongyang,
Kaesong & DMZ.

From 1,395 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Sun, sea, and sand… Yes, that’s right!

    North Korea may not be known as a summer get-away, or indeed known for its beaches, but we think a summer package holiday in North Korea is far too underrated, and one of the best holiday destinations to give you one of the most unforgettable trips of a lifetime. Plus, you won’t have to worry about tourists crowding the beaches!

    Our Summer Holiday Tour is an annual favourite which gives you the highlights of North Korea - and more. This includes exploring the capital Pyongyang and historic Kaesong on the Korean Demilitarised Zone on the North-South Korea border, while also taking time to see the country's rarely visited east coast.

    On the east coast, you will see the port city of Wonsan and the industrial centre of Hamhung, while having the chance to explore the hiking trails in Mt Kumgang. The weather is beautiful at this time of year – warm during the day but not too hot, making it one of the best holiday destinations this summer!

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

    ⬇⬇⬇


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    Highlights

    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum: World-class museum of the Korean War and site of the captured USS Pueblo
    • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: Signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides
    • Hamhung Fertiliser Plant: Giant chemical-industrial complex vital to DPRK agriculture
    • Mt. Kumgang: The 'Diamond Mountain'. Breathtaking views and the best hiking in the DPRK.
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. 2 July | Friday

      *Pre-Tour BriefingWe 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. 3 July | 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.
      • 09:30 | 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 JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
         
      • Koryo Hotel Microbrewery | Microbrewery at one of Pyongyang's main hotels near the train station making two different beers.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Station at 18:45.
         
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      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. 4 July | Sunday

      Sunday in Pyongyang and drive to Kaesong

      AM

      • 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.
         
      • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
         
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
         
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
         
      • 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.
         
      • 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’.

      PM

      • 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.
         
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • 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 5 EUR for great views of the city.

      • Drive south on the Reunification Highway to Kaesong, 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.
         
      • Dinner with a live Kayagum performance - a traditional Korean instrument in a unique setting!

      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.

    4. 5 July | Monday

      Historic Kaesong and the Joint Security Area

      AM

      • Old City Walk and South Gate | A stroll from the hotel through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the Ri Dynasty from the city’s historic South Gate.
         
      • 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

      • Sonjuk Bridge | Small stone bridge built in 1290, which in 1392 was the site of the assassination of the last loyal Koryo Dynasty minister Jong Mong Ju by a son of Ri Song Gye (founder of the next, and final, dynasty). This bloody act extinguished the Koryo which had ruled over Korea for 474 years and is said to have left a permanent mark on the bridge that can be seen to this day.
         
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 3-hour drive.
         
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo | We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guides. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
         
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A beer bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
      • Evening walk on Ryomyong Street Pyongyang's newest futuristic neighbourhood after a farewell dinner at Pyongsol Restaurant.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    5. 6 July | Tuesday

      Drive to Hamhung

      AM

      • Drive east across the width of the peninsula before heading north to Hamhung, the second largest city of the DPRK and major centre of industry. A 7 to 8-hour drive.
      • Stop by Sinpyong Lake Guesthouse to stretch your legs at this lakeside teahouse beneath rocky crags.

      • Ulim Waterfall for a picnic lunch | Hidden amongst the mountains on the road to Wonsan, ‘Echo’ Waterfall is a scenic stopover to enjoy lunch, stretch your legs, or go for a dip in the pool beneath.

      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, Hamhung. 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.

    6. 7 July | Wednesday

      Hamhung and Wonsan

      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!
      • 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 Songchon River. A presentation of flowers is customary.

      PM

      • Drive south to Wonsan, a major port city on the East Sea of Korea. A 2.5 - 3-hour drive.
         
      • 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.
      • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp | A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork. Tour the recently renovated dormitories, aquarium, birdhouse, gymnasium, and more!
         
      • 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.
         
      • Mangyongbong-92 | A ferry/cruise ship built in 1992 to ferry Japanese Koreans and goods between Japan and North Korea till 2006. In 2018, the ship carried North Korean performers for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

      Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan. Waterfront hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna, and indoor seawater swimming pool. 

    7. 8 July | Thursday

      Mt. Kumgang, the 'Diamond Mountain'. Please note that 8 July marks the anniversary of the passing of President Kim Il Sung in 1994. Additionally, restaurants may not serve alcohol at meals on this day.

      AM

      • Kangwon Province Art Gallery | Small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists, where you can purchase paintings.
         
      • Drive south along the East Sea coast to the scenic Mt. Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legends. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking. A 2.5 - 3-hour drive.
         
      • Sokwang Temple | Remains of a Buddhist temple established dating back to the late-14th century and associated with the dream that predicted the fall of the Koryo Dynasty. A historic and haunting place set in a serene mountain valley with stream. 

      PM

      • 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 | Kumgangsan Hotel, Mt. Kumgang. A very comfortable, clean and well equipped. Bar, billiards, massage and a great terrace with barbecue options.

    8. 9 July | Friday

      Mt. Kumgang hiking and drive back to Pyongyang with stops along the way.

      AM

      • 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. An 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 back up the coast to Wonsan with a rest stop at Lake Sinjung.
         
      • Continue driving to Pyongyang (approx 4 hours drive) with a stop at Masik Pass Ski Resort, the DPRK’s largest ski resort. Opened in 2013, Masik Pass features nine main runs, two beginner slopes, and a lodge with full amenities.
         
      • 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.
         
      • 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 | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.

    9. 10 July | Saturday

      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 JS 151 at 08:30 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

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

    • Return train Beijing – Pyongyang – Beijing with transfers at Dandong
    • All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
    • Hotel accommodation
    • Koryo Tours tour leader
    • Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
    • All transportation in North Korea

    NOT INCLUDED

    • North Korean visa fee 60 EUR
    • Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
    • 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
  • 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 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 18th June, 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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