Extended Workers Party Foundation Group Tour
11 Day Tour, from £2150 per person
Celebrate the 72st anniversary of the foundation of the Workers Party on this extended group tour to North Korea which coincides with the national holiday on October 10th 2017. Witness the festivities and gain an insight into this secretive and fascinating society. Explore the Pyongyang suburbs, travel through Kaesong to the DMZ, venture to Mt. Myohyang and Nampo, and discover some of the many interesting sights in the capital including the Mansudae Grand Monument.
This morning make your own way to Beijing 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 customs 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 Pyongyang. (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 to check out. This afternoon depart Pyongyang and head north to Mt. Myohyang, a drive of just under 3 hours. On arrival in Mt. Myohyang visit the Pohyon Temple, founded in 1042 yet sadly heavily damaged in the Korean War. Transfer to the Chongchon Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (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 mountainside, 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! After lunch back at the hotel depart Mt. Myohyang and make the long drive south, via Pyongyang, to Kaesong. After a full afternoon of driving check into the Jansamsan Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
This morning check out of the hotel. Start the day with a brief stop at Sonjuk Bridge before visiting 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 here head 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 to 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 eyes of South Korean soldiers, into one of the huts which straddle the North/South Korean border. Enjoy lunch at the Panmunjomkwan Restaurant inside the DMZ. This afternoon head north back to Pyongyang, stopping at the Monument To The Three Point Charter For National Reunification on the outskirts of Pyongyang for a quick photo opportunity. On arriving in Pyongyang we hope to witness any special celebrations that may be taking place for the national holiday before we return to the Yanggakdo Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Today is a national holiday, and as such we anticipate the possibility of some special events and celebrations, and a gen-eral jovial atmosphere across the city. Celebrations / events in Korea are normally not known until the 11th hour, and we have thus factored in a degree of flexibility for this afternoon/evening – allowing the group the best chance of see-ing 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. Local fees will be payable to attend any special events.
Today enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Pyongyang. To start the day 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). Moving on visit the Grand People’s Study House— the national library and a major centre of learning. After lunch head underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, travelling one stop from Puhung to Yonggwang (arguably the two most impressive stations) be-fore pressing on four stops to Kaeson. At Kaeson station surface beside the Arch of Triumph. From the Arch of Triumph head into Moranbong, the main city park—a great spot for people watching and taking in views over the city. Last sites of the day will be to visit 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. This evening enjoy dinner in a city restaurant. (B,L,D)
This morning check out of your hotel and visit 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 before departing Pyongyang for your journey east to Wonsan, breaking the journey en-route at the Sinphyong Tea House for lunch. Arriving in Wonsan check into the Tongmyong Hotel for an overnight stay. In Wonsan visit the Songdowon Schoolchildren's’ Camp and head to Jandok Islet, a lovely spot from where one can watch the locals at leisure (a small entry fee applies to enter Jandok). Dinner back at the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning enjoy further sightseeing in Wonsan with a brief city walk, visit to an art shop (a great spot for purchasing Socialist Realist art) and the small Railway Museum. Enjoy lunch in the Kalmaegi Restaurant before commencing the drive to Mt. Kumgang, enjoying a stop en-route at Sijung Beach. On arrival in Mt. Kumgang check into the Oikumgang Hotel for a 2 night stay. This evening enjoy dinner at the nearby Pyolkumgang Restaurant. (B,L,D)
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 closed to visitors from the South in 2008 and opened to visitors from the North in Summer 2010. 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, and is one of the best hotels in the country.
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 at the foot of the path. This afternoon visit the attractive Samil Lake and Sea Kumgang, a pleasant coastal site near the South Korean border. Enjoy dinner in the Sujongbong Restaurant near the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning make a long drive to the Masikryong Hotel, a newly constructed hotel that is the hub for the recently opened Masikryong 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. After lunch those who wish can walk or take a ski lift into the hills (with a guide, fees apply), or just relax in the hotel, which offers more than enough facilities to keep one occupied for an afternoon. Dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
Spend the morning driving west, stopping once more en-route at the Sinphyong Tea House. Passing through Pyongyang arrive in Nampo and enjoy lunch at the Hanggu Hotel. This afternoon visit the West Sea Barrage, a most impressive 8km long construction built in the 1980s along the estuary of the Taedong River. This immense building project is of great pride to the Korean people, and we will likely enjoy a video in the visitor centre showing this massive undertaking. Returning to Pyongyang return to the Yanggakdo Hotel for your final night in the country. This afternoon there will be time for a little flexible sightseeing/shopping/leisure activities (time pending and depending on the majority inclination of the group). 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 0830 on the JS151 flight to Beijing. On arriving in Beijing at 1000 your arrangements will end. (Schedules TBC). (B)
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEPART BY RAIL
Tuesday 17th October: 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)
Wednesday 18th October: You will this morning arrive into the Chinese capital at 0833. All arrangements will end with your arrival into Beijing.
11 day tour, from £2150 per person
(Single person supplement + £450)
- 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
07 Oct 2017
17 Oct 2017
Click on images to enlarge
I just wanted to let you know what a fabulous time I had in North Korea. Your travel notes were absolutely apropos, so I was pretty well clued up as to what to expect there. A really brilliant experience and one of the most rewarding trips I have ever undertaken. What a contrast to South Korea, which I happened to visit back in May. So glad I added the south-eastern extension.
Mr A Cole
October 23, 2014