Kim Il Sung Anniversary Tour
10 Day Tour, from £2020 per person
Witness celebrations in Pyongyang and observe local people paying their respects to North Korea's leaders during this 6 day tour that coincides with a national holiday celebrating what would have been the 106th birthday of the previous leader Kim Il Sung. Visit the famous political monuments of the previous leaders (the centre-piece of the Mansudae Grand Monument in the capital), ride on the city's impressive metro system, admire the Arch of Triumph, explore the fascinating Friendship Exhibition and enjoy the jovial atmosphere across the country on April 15th.
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. On clearing customs/immigration meet with your Korean guides and driver. From the airport head into the city centre to visit the Mansugyo Bar 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 city restaurant transfer to the Yanggakdo Hotel and check in for a four night stay. After checking in enjoy the rest of the evening free at your leisure. (D)
Enjoy the full day sightseeing in Pyongyang, starting with a walk in the city centre 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 pop into the Vienna Coffee Shop to relax over a hot drink (at your own expense) before heading to the Mansudae Fountain Park. Pressing 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 Pu-hung to Yonggwang (arguably the two most impressive stations) before pressing on four stops to Kaeson. At Kaeson station surface beside the Arch of Triumph, 10 metres higher than its Parisian counterpart. To make the afternoon a hat-trick of Pyongyang monuments also visit the Juche Tower and the monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea. As a novel twist however, we will drive to these two sites and tour the city this afternoon in a 1950s vintage public bus, still in service to this day. The Juche Tower is a symbol of the Juche Idea (national self reliance, liter-ally “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. Parting with our vintage bus return to the hotel and, after our busy day of sightseeing, enjoy dinner this evening at the hotel. (B,L,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 head to Mt. Taesong to visit the 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, including the wife and moth-er of Kim Il Sung. If the weather is clear you will be afforded good views over Pyongyang from here. Return to the hotel for lunch and the chance to change into more casual clothes. This afternoon head to the western suburbs of Pyongyang to visit the Mangyondae Native House, birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. From the native house spend the rest of the after-noon in the Mangyondae area, visiting the Kwangbok Supermarket and the Mangyondae Schoolchildren’s Palace. Kwangbok Supermarket 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) - the best location to pick up some small items such as Korean made foodstuffs, cosmetics or clothing, for example. At the recently refurbished Mangyondae Schoolchildren’s Palace enjoy a tour/performance of this impressive facility. This is one of two centres in Pyongyang where talented youth can enjoy extra curricular activities in a variety of arts and disciplines. Last site of the day will be to let off steam in the Maeri Shooting Range, where you can (for a small fee) enjoy target shooting with pistols or rifles. After a brief walk in the nearby Sport Street (Chongchun Sport Village) enjoy dinner before returning to your hotel. (B,L,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 a specially arranged restaurant located inside the DMZ. Back in Kaesong visit this afternoon the Koryo History Museum and Stamp Shop. On leaving Kaesong drive to the UNESCO world heritage listed Tomb of King Kongmin, one of the best preserved royal tombs in the country. From here return to Pyongyang, stopping on the edge of the city for a quick photo opportunity at the Monument to the Three-Point Charter for National Reunification. This evening enjoy dinner in a city restaurant. (B,L,D)
This morning check out of your hotel and drive west to the port city of Nampo on the northern shore of the Taedong River. On arrival transfer to a dockyard and enjoy a private motor boat cruise down the Taedong River estuary to the West Sea Barrage. After crusing for around one hour arrive at the 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 here enjoy a video in the visitor centre showing this massive undertaking. Return-ing to Nampo enjoy lunch in the Hanggu Hotel before visiting the Nampo Orphanage, a showcase city orphanage providing care for some of the city’s neediest young children. Departing Nampo head north east and spend the bulk of the afternoon driving to the Mt. Myohyang region. On arrival visit the Pohyon Temple, founded in 1042 yet sadly heavily damaged in the Korean War. This evening check into and have dinner at the Chongchon Hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning check out of your hotel and visit the attractive International Friendship Exhibition, a massive complex housing the many thousands of diverse gifts presented to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong ll & Kim Jong Un 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 a lamb BBQ lunch at the Hyangsan Hotel return to Pyongyang and visit Moranbong Park, the main city park. Moranbong is ideally visited on Sundays, when locals often picnic and party in the attractive surroundings—as today is also a national holiday it will be the perfect time to visit. The night will be spent back at the Yanggakdo Hotel. (B,L,D)
Today is a national holiday, 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 in a degree of flexibility – 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 up-most to ensure you will see as much as is permitted on this special day. Local fees will be payable to attend any special events.
Checking out of the Yanggakdo once more, spend the morning touring some lesser visited, but nonetheless impressive sites in Pyongyang. Start the day with a walk along Mirae Scientists Street, a newly developed high-rise street in central Pyongyang, not far from the Yanggakdo. Pressing on, visit and tour the recently refurbished May Day Stadium, which is arguably the largest stadium in the world. Departing Pyongyang head east, starting the 190km journey to Masikryong. After just 30km of driving enjoy a packed lunch at the Tomb Of King Tongmyong, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From here head through attractive rural scenery towards Masikryong, stopping at the Sinphyong Tea House en-route. From Sinphyong the road climbs before we enter Kangwon County—the DPRK’s South-Eastern corner. Arrive and check into 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 stay, and one of the best hotels in all of the country. This afternoon 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. Dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
This morning depart Masikryong at a leisurely hour, giving those who wish further time to relax in the comfortable hotel or head into the hills (with your guide). From the hotel make the short drive to the pleasant coastal city of Wonsan and spend the rest of the day exploring in and around the city. First stop of the day will be to visit the Chonsam Cooperative Farm, a good spot to try and get a brief insight into rural living in the country. Back in the city itself enjoy lunch in the Kalmaegi Restaurant before visiting the local art shop—one of the best locations in Korea to purchase Korean artworks. Moving on enjoy a brief walk in the city before walking over a causeway to Jandok Islet - a lovely spot to mingle with locals and for people watching. This afternoon also visit the Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp, a large and recently refurbished facility offering all sorts of leisure activities for local children and, being an International camp, the occasional foreign child. After touring Wonsan return to the Masikryong Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Departing Masikryong after breakfast spend the morning driving back to Pyongyang, stopping once more at the Sinphyong Tea House to break the journey. Arriving back in the capital return to the Yanggakdo Hotel for lunch and to check in for your final night in the country. This afternoon visit the 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 there will be time to visit just some of the highlights before enjoying refreshments (at your own expense) in the nearby Mansugyo Bar. We have factored in some spare time this afternoon to take in any final sightseeing/shopping/leisure activities (time pending and depending on the majority inclination of the group). This evening enjoy a farewell dinner in a 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 1130 your arrangements will end (times TBC). (B)
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEPART BY RAIL
Thursday 19th April
This morning transfer to the train station and depart Pyongyang on the 1010 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 speed on through the night towards Beijing. 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)
Friday 20th April
This morning arrive into the Chinese capital at 0833. All arrangements will end with your arrival into Beijing.
We can also arrange for the tour to end upon your arrival in Dandong. This will normally result in a minor reduction in tour cost. Please contact us for further details.
10 day tour, from £2020 per person
(Single person supplement + £400)
- 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
||Single Room Supp.
10 Apr 2018
19 Apr 2018
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