Kim Jong Il Anniversary Tour
6 Day Tour, from £1520 per person
Witness celebrations to mark the birthday of Kim Jong Il on this exciting tour of North Korea's capital, Pyongyang and its surrounding areas. Unearth the awesome Kumsusan Sun’s Palace, talk a stroll from the exterior of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre to Kim Il Sung Square and visit the Koryo History Museum. Visitors will also be able to join in on festivities taking place on February 16th - a national holiday in North Korea, and gain an insight into life under this previous leader.
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 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 the National Restaurant transfer to the Koryo Hotel, here checking in for a five 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 warm up over a hot drink (at your own expense) before heading to the Mansudae Fountain Park. Pressing on 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 statues before bowing in unison before them (flowers purchased locally for a small fee). Enjoy lunch in a city restaurant. (B,L,D)
Today is an important 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 a fully 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.
Departing Pyongyang drive 150km north to 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! Also visit the Pohyon Temple, founded in 1042 yet sadly heavily damaged in the Korean War. After a late lunch in the nearby town of Hyangsan return to Pyongyang. After a long day enjoy dinner back at the Koryo 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. 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. After lunch head underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, trav-elling one stop from Puhung to Yonggwang (arguably the two most impres-sive 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. 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 even-ing enjoy dinner out in a city restaurant. (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. Return to Kaesong and enjoy lunch. This afternoon visit the Koryo History Museum and Stamp Shop before driving back to Pyongyang, making a quick photo stop at the Monument to the Three-Point Charter for National Reunification en-route upon entering the capital. Return to your hotel for time to freshen up before heading out for a farewell dinner in the Taedong Diplomatic Club, one of the most exclusive restaurants in the country. (B,L,D)
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)
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEPART BY RAIL
Day 6 - Tuesday 20th February
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 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)
Day 7 - Wednesday 21st February
You will 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.
6 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
Supplement to depart Pyongyang by Train to Beijing: £50pp
15 Feb 2018
20 Feb 2018
Tour Route Map
- North Korea, Pyongyang
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