September 10 - September 24/25 2019

Unseen North Korea | Mount Paektu, Chongjin, Mount Kumgang, & More + MASS GAMES

14 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Tour Mount Paektu, Chongjin, Hamhung, Wonsan, Mount Kumgang (and that’s us just
getting started!) for a look at ‘Unseen North Korea’. Go off the beaten track in
the DPRK with Koryo Tours!

From 2,599 EUR per person

Please apply by 15th August, 2019.

Unseen North Korea | Mount Paektu, Chongjin, Mount Kumgang, & More + MASS GAMES

14 nights in the DPRK +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Tour Mount Paektu, Chongjin, Hamhung, Wonsan, Mount Kumgang
(and that’s us just getting started!) for a look at ‘Unseen
North Korea’. Go off the beaten track in the DPRK with
Koryo Tours!

From 2,599 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Head further off the tourist trail as we not only take you to North Korea, but we also head into little-explored areas on this two-week North Korea adventure. We will explore Mount Paektu, the most sacred place in North Korea, as well as the industrial cities of Chongjin and Hamhung - the country’s most scenic regions open to travellers. This is Unseen North Korea.

    After arriving in the capital of Pyongyang, we’ll first cross the width of the peninsula to the DPRK’s east coast and visit Hamhung, the country’s second largest city and one of the country’s most remote regions open to foreigners, we don’t waste any time in getting off the beaten track.

    We’ll then work our way down the coast to Wonsan, a major port and area for major state-led development projects, great for lovers of sea-food! We also check out the stunning ‘Diamond Mountain’, Mount Kumgang.

    It’s then off to the DPRK’s far north by special domestic charter flight!
    We firstly stop at the volcanic Mount Paektu and Lake Chon in the mountain’s crater, before flying to the rarely-visited North Hamgyong Province.

    In North Hamgyong, we’ll visit Chongjin, the DPRK’s ‘city of steel’ and the city of Hoeryong on the Chinese border.

    We then take a well-needed relax as we hit the beaches and take a hike in the Mount Chilbo area before heading back to Pyongyang.

    After returning to the DPRK heartland in Pyongyang, we’ll then take a day trip to the Hoechang, mountainous base of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army during the Korean War. One of the most recent areas openeded to foreign visitors.

    This tour is perfect for returners after seeing more of the country, or those wanting an adventure!

    [ 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.

    Want something more conventional but almost as equally comprehensive? Check out the 10-night National Day Long Tour.

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

    Image credit: Christian Petersen-Clausen

    Highlights

    • Mount Paektu, sacred mountain of the Korean people and 'birthplace of the Korean revolution'
    • Rarely-visited industrial Hamhung and Chongjin
    • Beautiful Mount Myohyang, Mount Chilbo, Mount Kumgang, and Mount Kuwol
    • Factories, farms, shops, school, and charming hotels all across the DPRK
    • Volleyball, hiking, picnics, and shopping to get you out among the locals
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. September 9 | 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. September 10 | Tuesday

      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 JS 152 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. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • 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!
      • 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.

      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. September 11 | Wednesday

      Drive to Hamhung, the DPRK's second largest city and centre of heavy industry, stopping at sights along the way.

      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 6 to 7-hour drive with rest stops at Sinpyong Lake and Ulim Waterfall. 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.
      • 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
      • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square | Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square.
        • 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.
      • September 12 | Thursday

        From Hamhung to the truly rarely visited Pujon Highlands (and back!)

        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!

        PM

        • 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.

        Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Majon. 

      • September 13 | Friday

        Drive to Wonsan, a major port city on North Korea's east coast.

        AM

        • 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.
        •  Drive south to Wonsan, a major port city on the East Sea, stopping at scenic spots along the way. A 2.5-3 hour drive.
        • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp | A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork.

        PM

        • 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.
        • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which once 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.
        • 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).

        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.

      • September 14 | Saturday

        Drive to Mt. Kumgang and hiking at Mt. Kumgang

        AM

        • Drive south along the East Sea coast to the scenic Mt. Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legend. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking. A 2.5 - 3-hour drive.
        • 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.

        PM

        • Spend the afternoon 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.
        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.
      • September 15 | Sunday

        Back to Pyongyang via Wonsan

        AM

        • Drive back north to Wonsan. A 2.5-3 hr drive.

        • Former Wonsan Railway Station Revolutionary Site | Preserved Japanese colonial era train station, waiting room, guesthouse, and the train which future President Kim Il Sung rode to Pyongyang during the liberation of the country in 1945.

        PM

        • Time to relax and swim on the beautiful beaches of Wonsan!

        • Drive back west to Pyongyang Approx. 4 hrs drive with a rest stop at Masik Ski Resort

        Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang. 

      • September 16 | Monday

        Charter flight to sacred Mt Paektu

        AM

        • In the morning, we will take a charter flight to Samjiyon Town, the gateway to Mount Paektu located in the far north of the country. A 1-hour flight.
        • Mount Paektu | ‘Birthplace of the Korean Nation’ and ‘The Sacred Mountain of the Revolution’, Mount Paektu is one of the most important locations in traditional Korean history and the modern revolutionary history of the DPRK. Atop the mountain sits volcanic Lake Chon in the massive caldera formed in a giant eruption in the 10th century, one of the largest in recorded history. This eruption left behind a decapitated 2,744-meter peak which remains the tallest in Korea. Rarely visited and absolutely unforgettable.
        • Lake Chon | The highest crater lake in the world. It is possible to hike the last few km of the overlooking summit or ride funicular railways to the top for spectacular views. From here one can either walk down or cable car (weather permitting) to the lake itself to sample the crystal-clear waters.

        PM

        • Mount Paektu Secret Camp | The guerilla headquarters of General Kim Il Sung during the anti-Japanese struggle set in a hidden alpine valley lined by towering peaks and said to be the birthplace of leader Kim Jong Il. See the reconstructed camp telling of how the guerillas lived year in and year out.
        • Rimyongsu Waterfall | A scenic waterfall which never freezes due despite chilling alpine winters. The waterfall also provides hydroelectric power to neighbouring villages.

        Overnight | Paegaebong Hotel, Samjiyon. Very basic hotel with limited hot water. Bring a torch!

      • September 17 | Tuesday

        Charter flight to North Hamgyong Province and Mount Chilbo

        AM

        • Samjiyon Grand Monument | Group of bronze statues, including one of President Kim Il Sung, and stone monuments next to a scenic alpine lake. One of three ‘grand monuments’ in the country.
        • We will catch our charter flight onwards to Orang Airport in North Hamkyong Province. A 1-hour flight.

        PM

        • Upon arrival at Mount Chilbo, we will start our tour of the mountain range. The ‘Seven Treasures’ mountain is one of the DPRK’s most remote and scenic areas with a vast array of strangely shaped peaks and unique geologic formations. This primordial landscape is home to many colourful (and suggestive) legends and offers a contrast to the densely populated cities and agricultural areas seen in much the rest of the country.

        Overnight Homestay Village, Mount Chilbo. The only place in the DPRK where foreigners can stay with local families in either a Korean-style or European-style home. Each home has a bedroom and washroom for guests.

      • September 18 | Wednesday

        Mount Chilbo

        AM

        • Hiking to Kangson Gate | A morning hike to Kangson Gate, a rock archway overlooking the sea.
        PM
        • Local games, boating, and picnic at homestay village | The only place in the DPRK where foreigners can stay with local families. Brush up on your Korean (or body-language) as for an evening spent with the family. It is also possible to play volleyball against or wrestle the village team. Fees for boating, swimming (shower or swimsuit rental), a la carte BBQ (mushroom and fish), and cooking class to be paid on the spot. Estimated 100-300 RMB depending on the activities you choose.

        Overnight | Homestay Village, Mount Chilbo. The only place in the DPRK where foreigners can stay with local families in either a Korean-style or European-style home. Each home has a bedroom and washroom for guests.

      • September 19 | Thursday

        Mount Chilbo to Chongjin

        AM

        • We’ll leave Mount Chilbo by way of the scenic coastal road (weather permitting) that leads to Kyongsong and Chongjin | The DPRK’s third largest city, provincial seat of North Hamgyong Province, and Korea’s ‘city of steel’ - home to the massive Kim Chaek Iron Works.
        • Chongjin Revolutionary Museum  | Museum depicting the revolutionary struggles of the region.
        • Chongjin Central Square  | Central Square of Chongjin city with statues of the DPRK leadership. A presentation of flowers is customary (2-3 EUR).

        PM

        • Steelworker’s Kindergarten and Performance  | Visit to a local kindergarten with a small student musical and theatrical performance.

        • Chongjin Fisherman’s Club  | Bar, billiards, restaurant, and sauna for merchant mariners visiting the Chongjin Port. A great place to relax after days on the road in the northeast.

        Overnight | Chongjin Foreigners’ Lodging, Chongjin. The former foreign expert apartments of Kim Chaek Steelworks, similar in design to local apartments. Basic rooms but great food and service.

      • September 20 | Friday

        Hoeryong, border city with China.

        AM

        • Drive north to Hoeryong, a rarely visited city on the border with China. A 3-3.5 hour drive.
        • Central Square and Statue of Mother Kim Jong Suk | Bronze statue of ‘The Mother of Korea’ in central Hoeryong. A presentation of flowers (2-4 EUR) is customary here.

        PM

        • Native House of Kim Jong Suk | Traditional Korean home of Kim Jong Suk set among a peaceful apricot orchard.
        • Hoeryong Revolutionary Museum  | Museum depicting the revolutionary struggles of the region. Particularly interesting for its giant mural depicting the ‘Three Generals of Mt. Paekdu’ during the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle. The painting was made by artists from the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang and smaller replicas of it can be found throughout the country.
        • Kim Ki Sung Middle School  | Local school named after the brother of Kim Jong Suk in Hoeryong City. Tour the facilities and drop in on classrooms to help practice English with the students.

        Overnight | Hoeryong Hotel, Hoeryong. A basic hotel featuring large rooms with air conditioning but no hot water, separate sauna/shower block, small shop and bar, and large banquet hall. The staff of the hotel can put on a dinner performance for groups at the cost of approximately 600 RMB.

      • September 21 |  Saturday

        Chongjin and flight back to Pyongyang

        AM

        • In the morning, we will drive back to Chongjin and visit the North Hamgyong Province E-Library |  A library, study, and computer centre for the province, located just off Chongjin Central Square.
        • Chongjin Trolley Bus |  We’ll take a ride down Chongjin’s main drag on one of the city’s trolleybuses.

        PM

        • In the afternoon, we will drive to Orang Airport to catch our charter flight back to Pyongyang. A 1-hour 20-minute flight.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

      • September 22 | Sunday

        Sundays in Pyongyang

        AM

        • Pyongyang Central Zoo | Newly renovated zoological gardens at the foot of Mt. Taesong featuring animals from Korea and abroad (many donated from friendly African leaders), as well as displays about natural scientists, dinosaurs, etc. Very popular with local families on Sundays
        • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. It is customary to present flowers here (€). At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man).

        PM

        • Science and Technology Centre | Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike.
        • United Front Monument | Located near the new Sci-Tech complex, this monument tells visitors about the short-lived 1940s movement that included Communist organisations in South Korea as well as their ideological partners in the North.
        • Pizza Restaurant | Dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.
        • Future Scientists Street | Walk in the newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

      • September 23 | Monday

        Hoechang, mountainous area and site of Chinese People's Volunteer Army operations during the Korean War.

        AM

        • Drive to Hoechang, a 3-4 hour drive.
        • Cemetery for the Martyrs of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army  | Built in the 1950s (renovated in 2010) and opened by Zhou Enlai. Scenic Chinese hillside cemetery with domed tombs of 134 Chinese soldiers. Including a bust and tomb of Mao Anying; the Chairman’s son.

        PM

        • Songhung Revolutionary Site | Drive past the giant zinc factory to the wartime base of the Volunteer Army. Caves and tunnels, buildings from the period used by the soldiers and by Kim Il Sung when he visited to thank them for assistance.
        • Return to Pyongyang.
        • Duck Barbecue Restaurant | South Pyongyang’s famous grilled duck restaurant that has seen many teary-eyed farewells.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

      • September 24 | Tuesday


        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please indicate 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 09:50. 

        OR

        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday, September 25 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
    4. 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.

        See more
      • Insurance (14 to 16 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.

      • 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
    5. 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 in the DPRK
        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
        A Koryo Tours tour leader
        All transportation in the DPRK (including three national charter flights)
      • Not included
        DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
        The lift up the Juche Tower (optional) 5 EUR and other optional activities
        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
    6. 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 15th August, 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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