North Korea never fails to provoke intrigue in pioneering travellers. There’s no better time to visit the world’s most secretive nation than during a national holiday and this tour coincides with the biggest; the 105th Anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung. Enjoy privileged front row seats to celebrations as locals pay respects to North Korea’s leaders. Later continue to the beautiful Mt Kumgang region, only recently re-opened to tourists.
The atmosphere in the capital, Pyongyang is likely to be more excited than at other times of year; with this your, you'll have the opportunity to see North Korea in its finest hour. After witnessing the celebratory events, visit the Mansudae Grand Monument and the Arch of Triumph, even ride the metro system before exploring the fascinating Friendship Exhibition at Mt Myohyangsan.
This tour is an extended version of the 7-day Kim Il Sung Anniversary tour.
This morning make your own way to Beijing Capital Airport, Terminal 2, to depart at approximately 1400 on the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang (schedules TBC). The short flight will bring the group into Pyongyang at approximately 1630 local time, and here meet with your Korean guides and driver. After passing through immigration and customs transfer to the Taedonggang Microbrewery for a drink or two (at your own expense), giving the opportunity to meet 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 Pyongyang. (D)
Departing the capital, head south along the Reunification Highway towards and through Kaesong to Panmunjom - the DMZ and border with South Korea. Upon arrival at Panmunjom, which is often the highlight of any visit to North Korea, you will meet with an army escort who will explain the background of the history of the DMZ, before you move 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 you 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. Enjoy lunch in the Panmunjomkwan Restaurant. This afternoon visit the Koryo History Museum & Stamp Shop before returning to Pyongyang, enjoying a quick photo stop at the Monument To The Three Point Charter For National Reunification before arriving back at your hotel for dinner. (B,L,D)
This morning, visit the awesome Kumsusan Sun’s Palace, near the foot of Mt. Taesong. The Palace is the Mausoleum of President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. For this site the group will be required to dress smartly. From here, visit the nearby Revolutionary Martyr’s Cemetery, home to the graves of over 200 of Korea’s leading resistance figures over the years of Japanese rule, including the grave of Kim Jong Suk, President Kim Il Sung’s wife. After lunch back at the hotel head underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, surfacing near the Arch Of Triumph. From here enter the main city park, Moranbong, a lovely site to take in pleasant views over the city and to enjoy a spot of people watching. Exit the park via the Liberation Tower.
PLEASE NOTE: Today is an important national holiday, likely the biggest in 2017, and as such we anticipate various special events and celebrations, and a general jovial atmosphere across the city. Celebrations / events in Korea are normally not known until the 11th hour, and we have thus today factored a flexible afternoon in Pyongyang – allowing the group the best chance of seeing any events and getting the most out of the day. All meals will of course be included, and your guides will do their upmost to ensure you will see as much as is permitted on this special day. Local fees will be payable to attend any special events. (B,L,D)
Head into the city centre and enjoy a walk from the exterior of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre - Kim Il Sung Square – Foreign Language Bookshop. Moving on visit the Mansudae Fountain Park and from here 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 statue before bowing in unison before it (flowers purchased locally for a small fee). Heading out to the suburbs of Pyongyang have lunch before visiting the Mangyondae Native Site, where President Kim Il Sung was born in 1912. After lunch nearby visit the Tram Depot at Mangyondae and head back into central Pyongyang on a private tram, disembarking near the central Train Station. Departing the capital spend the rest of the afternoon driving to Mt. Myohyang. Dinner and overnight at the Chongchon Hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning visit the attractive International Friendship Exhibition, a massive complex housing the many thousands of diverse gifts presented to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong ll over the years. The buildings, built into the mountain-side, are home to endless corridors and rooms lined with diverse gifts from all over the world – keep an eye out for the gifts from Regent Holidays! Also visit the Pohyon Temple, founded in 1042 yet sadly heavily damaged in the Korean War. After a lamb BBQ lunch in the area make the drive back to Pyongyang and return to the Yanggakdo Hotel for your final night in the capital. There will be a little flexible time this afternoon for the group to take in any missed sites. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner in a city restaurant. (B,L,D)
This morning depart Pyongyang and make the long drive east to Hamhung, via the Sinphyong Tea House and Ullim Waterfall (where you will stop for a packed lunch). Arriving into Hamhung (North Korea’s second most populous city and a major industrial hub) visit the historical site of Hamhung Bongung, the exterior of the Hamhung Grand Theatre and Donhung Hill. This evening check into the Majon Hotel, a beachfront hotel and one of the best hotels in all of Korea. Dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning visit the Hungnam Fertilizer Factory before departing Hamhung and heading south to Wonsan. En-route visit the Dongbong Co-Operative Farm. On arrival in Wonsan enjoy lunch before pressing on south to Mt. Kumgang, stopping en-route at Sijung Beach. On arrival in Mt. Kumgang check into the Oikumgang Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
MT. KUMGANG: Mt. Kumgang had been off limits to tourists in North Korea for some years, after it was leased / developed by the South Korean Hyundai Asan company, administered as a special tourist region exclusively for persons coming overland from South Korea on special package tours, who could only stay within the Kumgang region on these “border tours.” After declining relations between North and South, this area “opened” to visitors from the North in Summer 2010. Currently visits cannot be made from the South (although this could well change). This area is spectacularly beautiful, and you will be staying in the South Korean developed resort. The Oekumgang Hotel only reopened to tourists in late 2012.
This morning enjoy a walk in most attractive scenery up to the Kuryong Waterfall (a round trip on a good path of around 3-4 hours). Those who wish can, time permitting, take an alternative track (a steep climb for the fit only) to view the “Fairies Pools,” a stunning view of the rock pools below, and a site of famous Korean legends. For persons who do not wish to make this walk they can relax at or near the bottom of the path (where there is a shop and restaurant), or take a short walk up the path as far as they wish to travel. Enjoy lunch in the Mokran Restaurant. Departing the Kumgang region drive north back to Wonsan, here enjoying a pleasant walk on the causeway out to Jandok Islet, a site normally teeming with children and local fishermen. (A small entry fee may need to be paid to enter this site). From Wonsan make the short drive to Masikryong and the Masikryong Hotel, a newly constructed hotel that is the hub for the recently opened Masikrong Ski Resort. Whilst out of season, this is still a lovely place to spend a night, and one of the best hotels in all of the country. Dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning those who wish can walk or take a ski lift into the hills (with a guide, lift fees apply), or just relax in the hotel, which offers more than enough facilities to keep one occupied for a few hours. After lunch return to Pyongyang and the Yanggakdo Hotel for your final night in the country. This afternoon enjoy a city walk in the newly built Mirae Scientist’s Street before enjoying a farewell dinner in a city restaurant.
FOR THOSE DEPARTING BY AIR:
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to depart Pyongyang at 0820 on the JS151 flight to Beijing. On arriving in Beijing at 0950 your arrangements will end. (Times TBC). (B)
FOR THOSE DEPARTING BY RAIL: This morning transfer to the train station and depart Pyongyang on the 1010 train to Beijing Dandong, 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)
For those who have departed Pyongyang on the train to Beijing, you will this morning arrive into the Chinese capital at 0833. All arrangements will end with your arrival into Beijing.
11 day tour, from £1980 per person
(Single person supplement + £380)
- 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— Beijing
- Meals / services in China
- Chinese Visa (if required)
- Entrance fees to certain sites in Korea, as specified
- Supplement charge to return to Beijing by train, if required
||Single Room Supp.
13 Apr 2017
22 Apr 2017
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