Christmas in North Korea Group Tour
7 Day Tour, from £1520 per person
Discover the main sights in North Korea's capital Pyongyang on this festive short break in one of the world's most secretive societies. Visit Kumsusan Sun’s Palace, ride on the impressive Soviet-inspired metro system and travel through Kaesong to the DMZ.
This morning make your own way to Bei-jing Capital Airport, Terminal 2, to depart at approximately 1300 on the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang (schedules TBC). The short flight will bring the group into Pyongyang at approximately 1530 local time, and here meet with your Korean guides and driver. After passing through immigration and cus-toms transfer to the Taedonggang Microbrewery for a drink or two (at your own expense), giving the opportunity to chat with your guides and get a quick insight into plans for the next few days. After a welcome dinner in a nearby restaurant transfer to the Yanggakdo Hotel, the 47-storey hotel where you will be based whilst in Korea. (Snack On Flight,D)
Start the day with a visit to the awesome Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the former residence of Kim Il Sung, and now the Mausoleum for both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. You will here see the bodies of both leaders lying in state. The Mausoleum itself is followed by exhibits showcasing medals of honour bestowed upon the leaders. (Please note for this site you will be expected to dress reasonably smartly). Moving on, visit the nearby Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery, home to the graves of more than 200 of Korea’s leading resistance figures over the years of Japanese rule and the Korean War. If the weather is clear you will be afforded good views over Pyongyang. Return to the hotel for lunch and the chance to change back into more casual clothes. This afternoon head into the city centre and enjoy a walk from the exterior of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre to Kim Il Sung Square and then onto the Foreign Language Bookshop, a good spot to pick up a wide range of publications, postcards and the like. From here head to the Mansudae Fountain Park and ascend to the Mansudae Grand Monument, the centre piece of which are the spectacular 20-metre tall bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Here, millions of Koreans visit annually to pay their respects to the leaders, and the group will be expected to lay a wreath of flowers at the foot of the monument before bowing in unison before it (flowers purchased locally for a small fee). Enjoy dinner in a city restaurant before returning to the Yanggakdo Hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning check out of the Yanggakdo Hotel before starting the day with a visit to the impressive Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo, an 850 ton US spy boat captured in 1968 by the Koreans off the coast of Wonsan. The very large museum dedicated to this devastating war has some truly fascinating displays and exhibits and you will visit just some of the highlights be-fore it is time to move on. Heading underground enjoy a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, travelling one stop from Puhung to Yonggwang (arguably the two most impressive stations) before pressing on four stops to Kaeson. At Kaeson station surface beside the Arch of Triumph. From the Arch of Triumph head to a nearby restaurant to enjoy lunch before enjoying a couple of hours of leisure activities in Pyongyang. These will depend on the majority inclination of the group, but could include a visit to the indoor shooting range, or to a enjoy a frame or two of bowling (fees payable locally). Departing the capital head south along the reunification highway to Kaesong, here checking in for an overnight stay in the Folkcustoms Hotel. (B,L,D)
Checking out of the Folkcustoms Hotel drive to Panmunjom - the DMZ and border with South Korea. Upon arrival at Panmunjom, which is often the highlight of any visit to North Korea, meet with an army escort who will explain the background of the history of the DMZ, before moving on to the Armistice Talks Hall and the building (and attached small museum) where the armistice was signed. From here, head right down to the border itself, where the group will be (local conditions permitting) escorted, possibly under the watchful eye of South Korean soldiers, into one of the huts which straddle the North-South Korean border. After lunch back in Kaesong visit the pleasant Koryo History Museum. Also visit the nearby Stamp Shop – a great spot for picking up a wide range of postcards and stamps. From Kaesong return to Pyongyang, enjoying a quick photo stop at the Monument To The Three Point Charter For National Reunification before arriving back in the city. Return to the Yanggakdo Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a further full day of sightseeing in Pyongyang, starting with a visit to the Juche Tower and the monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The Juche Tower is a symbol of the Juche Idea (national self reliance, literally “Master of one’s self”) penned by Kim Il Sung. Those who wish can pay a small fee (5 Euros at current) and be whisked via a lift to the top of the tower for spectacular views over the city. Heading to the suburbs of the city visit Mangyondae—the birthplace of Kim Il Sung, before enjoying lunch nearby. Next stop will be to visit the Kwangbok Supermarket. Kwangbok is the only “normal” Pyongyang supermarket that can be visited by tourists (and one of the only places in the country where one can obtain Korean currency at the “normal” exchange rate) - you can here pick up Korean products that will likely not be seen anywhere else in Korea. Moving on visit the Grand Peo-ple’s Study House— the national library and a major centre of learning. From here enjoy a walk in the newly constructed Mirae Science Street, before enjoying a little flexible time to take in any missed sites from earlier in the tour or enjoy some leisure activities. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner in a top city restaurant. (B,L,D)
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to depart Pyongyang at 1000 on the JS251 flight to Beijing. On arriving in Beijing at 1135 your arrangements will end (Times TBC). (B)
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEPART BY RAIL
This morning transfer to the train station and depart Pyongyang on the 1040 train to Beijing, which takes approximately 24 hours to make the 1349km journey. The train will head north and reach the border in the late afternoon, and after border formalities on the Korean and Chinese side change carriages onto a domestic Chinese train. For the overnight section of the journey you will normally be accommodated sharing in four-berth compartments. Meals are not provided on the train, but a restaurant car serves reasonably priced meals if required. Toilets are locked at the border. (B)
You will this morning arrive into the Chinese capital at 0833. All arrangements will end with your arrival into Beijing.
7 day tour, from £1520 per person
(Single person supplement + £200)
- Air Koryo flight Beijing–Pyongyang—Beijing
- Accommodation throughout
- Meals in North Korea as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- All transfers, transport and sightseeing, with two local guides, including main entrance fees to sites
- North Korean Visa Fee and North Korean Visa* (*If issued for you in the UK via Regent Holidays)
- Return international flights from your country of residence to Beijing
- Meals / services / accommodation in China and any other items other than those clearly specified
- Supplement (if required) to depart Pyongyang by train to Beijing
- Chinese Visa (if required)
- Entrance fees to certain sites in Korea, as specified
- Gratuities / porterage
23 Dec 2017
28 Dec 2017
Tour Route Map
- China, Beijing
- North Korea, Pyongyang
- China, Beijing
Click on images to enlarge
Our guides were excellent with a good sense of humour. The size of our group was just right (10 persons) we met up with some huge groups in DPRK.
Mr H Monckton
Hotels in DPRK were as expected. Our escorted tour leader (Carl Meadows) was excellent. Carl has the calm manner and professional approach required. His presence and knowledge made our North Korea holiday much more worthwhile.
If you wonder what life was like back in your grandparent's days.....North Korea is the trip for you. Except of course the mobile phones which seem to be everywhere. Guides are quite wonderful people who try very hard to help you see as much as you can in the time. The DMZ was totally different to what I expected. Where are all the troops waiting to invade the South? Food is superb. May not be representative of what's available to the locals, but far more than I could ever eat. Any finally, yes, leave the country by train. A real experience, if you don't mind sharing the carriage with Chinese smuggling currency!!!
Mr D Hunter