|28 Apr - 07 May|
This morning make your own way to Beijing Capital Airport, Terminal 2, to depart at approximately 1305 on the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang (schedules TBC). The short flight will bring you into Pyongyang at approximately 1605 local time. On arrival meet with your Korean guides and driver. After passing through immigration and customs head into the city centre to visit the Benevolence Bar (or similar) 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 Arirang Restaurant transfer to the Yanggakdo Hotel and here check in for a four night stay. (Snack On Flight/D
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the capital, starting with a walk in the city centre from the exterior of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre to Kim II Sung Square and then onto the Foreign Language Bookshop, a good spot to pick up a wide range of publications, postcards, souvenirs and the like. From here pop into the Vienna Coffee Shop to relax over a hot drink (at your own expense). From the coffee shop head to the Mansudae Fountain Park and ascend Mansu Hill to visit the Mansudae Grand Monument, the centrepieces of which are the spectacular 20- metre tall bronze statues of Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II. 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). You will also see the nearby Chollima Monument.
After lunch in the Ansan Restaurant, visit the Mansudae Art Studio before heading underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, travelling one stop from Puhung to Yonggwang (arguably the two most spectacular stations) before travelling on four stops to Kaeson. At Kaeson station surface beside the Arch of Triumph, 10 metres higher than its Parisian counterpart. For a small fee it is possible to ascend (by lift and then foot) to a viewing platform near the top of the arch, from where you will have a good view over north central Pyongyang, includ ing a number of buildings such as the TV Tower & Kim II Sung Stadium. End the day with a walk in Ryomyong New Town, a new high-rise residential district, and have dinner in Ryomyong also before returning to your hotel after a busy first full day of sightseeing. (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 at the Panmunjomkwan Restaurant inside the DMZ.
This afternoon, head to Kaesong itself to visit the Koryo History Museum and Stamp Shop before taking in our favourite royal tomb in the country, the UNESCO world heritage listed Tomb of King Kongmin. En route back to Pyongyang, make a short detour to Sariwon, provincial capital of North Hwanghae, and here visit the Sariwon Migok Cooperative Farm, a model farm where your tour will likely take in a farmer's home - as good a place as any to try and get a glimpse into and understanding of rural life in the country. Departing Sariwon arrive back in Pyongyang, making a quick photo stop at the Monument to the Three-Point Charter for National Reunification upon entering the capital. After a long day trip enjoy dinner this evening in your hotel. (B/L/D)
Start the day with a visit to the Monument to the Foundation of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Juche Tower. The Juche Tower is a symbol of the Juche Idea (national self reliance, literally "Master of one's self") penned by Kim II 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 and Taedong River. Heading into the eastern suburbs of Pyongyang visit Mt. Taesong, a popular park, funfair and recreational ground which is normally packed on May Day-full of locals celebrating, picnicking and partaking in traditional games and pastimes.
Returning to central Pyongyang, enjoy a lunch in the Okryu Restaurant, one of the most famous restaurants in the country, where you may sample Pyongyang Cold Noodles-a highly coveted dish. This afternoon head to Moranbong, the main city park; a pleasant spot in the heart of the city which is sprinkled with historical gates & pavilions and remnants of the old city walls - an ideal spot for people-watching and attempting to mingle with locals. The route through the park is flexible, but will certainly take in the Liberation Tower, a Soviet era monu ment built to commemorate the USSR's involvement in Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945. Moving on, enjoy a walk along Mirae Science Street, a new and impressive high-rise residential district on the north bank of the Taedong River. We have factored in a little flexibility this afternoon to strive to take in any sights missed from earlier in the tour, or to visit any areas the group may be keen to visit. After some time to freshen up back at the hotel head out for dinner aboard the Taedonggang Restaurant Boat. (B/UD)
Today is a national holiday, and as such we anticipate various special events and celebrations, and a general jovial atmosphere across the country. Celebrations I events in Korea are normally not known until the 11th hour, and we have thus today factored some flexible tine in Pyong yang - 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, spend the morning heading east, making the long and scenic drive towards Masikryong. Our first stop of the morning will be to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Tomb of King Tongmyong. From here we will commence the drive in earnest, breaking the journey en route to stretch our legs at both the Ahobi Pass and the Sinphyong Lake & Rest House. Upon arrival in Masikryong, check into the Masikryong Hotel for a two night stay and enjoy lunch. This afternoon enjoy time to relax in Masikryong, to hike in the hills or take a lift (for a fee) to the top of the ski resort, the 1363m Taehwa Peak. Dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
From Masikryong make the short drive into Wonsan and spend the day touring this charming coastal city, which is slowly trying to transform into a domestic/international tourism hub. Sightseeing today will start with the Songdowon International Children's Union Camp, an impressive 12,000 square metre summer camp with a startling array of facilities. In central Wonsan, visit the Wonsan Revolutionary Museum before taking in the Art Shop, one of the best spots in the entire country to track down and purchase oil paintings and North Korea's ever-popular propaganda posters.
After lunch in the Kalmaegi (Seagull) Restaurant, we will visit the tranquil Wonsan Botanical Gardens. Moving on visit Jangdok Islet, arguably the best spot for mingling with locals in the city, as the causeway and islet is often packed with children, families and fisherman. Final stop in the city will be (to be confirmed locally) taking in a tour of the Mangyongbong-92, a passenger/cargo ship which has been docked in the city on a semi-permanent basis for over a decade due to the strict international sanctions put on the country. Return to Masikryong for dinner at your hotel. (B/L/D)
Returning west on the same road travelled along on the 2nd May, depart early and make the long drive to Pyongsong, a satellite city of the capital. Much like on the 2nd, there will be time for a couple of stops here and there for the group to stretch their legs. On arrival in Pyongsong enjoy lunch in the Jangsusan Hotel before slowly heading north to Mt. Myohyang, travelling along a lesser-used inland road, giving us a great glimpse of rural life in the country. In the mid-afternoon we take in the rarely visited Songam Cave (warm clothing and a head torch are recommended) before finally pushing onto Mt. Myohyang. On arrival in the mountains after a long day of driving check into the Hyangsan Hotel for a two night stay, and here also have dinner. (B/L/D)
Start the day with a visit to the picturesque Pohyon Temple, founded in 1042AD yet sadly heavily damaged in the Korean War. Moving on spend the morning touring the impressive International Friendship Exhibition, a massive complex housing the many thousands of diverse gifts present ed to Kim II Sung, Kim Jong II & Kim Jong Un over the years. The buildings, built into the mountainside, are home to seemingly 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 enjoy the option of an afternoon hike in the hills. The difficulty and duration of the hike will depend on the inclination of the group, weather and current quality of the paths, but we plan for a walk of around 3-4 hours. Those who would prefer a more sedentary afternoon may relax in the comfort of the Hyangsan Hotel, which offers all manner of facilities to keep one busy for a few hours. This evening enjoy a lamb BBQ dinner back at the hotel. (B/L/D)
Departing the comfort of the Hyangsan Hotel, spend the morning driving to Pyongyang, breaking the journey partway into the drive for a visit to the rarely visited city of Anju, where the group will make a quick stop at the Pakesang Pavilion and the Anju City Chinese People's Volunteer's Cemetery, the latter being a poignant reminder of China's heavy involvement in the Korean War. Upon arriving in Pyongyang en joy lunch in a restaurant on Kwangbok Street before enjoying an afternoon of final city sightseeing, starting with the Kwangbok Area Super market. This shop 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 souvenir items such as Kore an made foodstuffs, cosmetics or clothing, for example.
From here, enjoy a very special visit to the Supreme Court of the DPRK, a sight extremely rarely visited by foreigners (at least of their own accord!) Before you get too confused by the local guides explanation of the DPRK's complex legal & criminal system, we will head to the Yanggakdo Hotel and here check in for our final night in the country. After some time to freshen up back at the hotel head (and time permitting the chance for some final/flexible city sightseeing, shopping or walking) head out for a farewell dinner in the National Restaurant. (B/L/D
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to depart Pyongyang at 1015 on the JS251 flight to Beijing. On arriving in Beijing at 1135 your arrangements will end (times TBC). (B)
OPTION TO DEPART BY RAIL
Day 10, Thursday 7th May: This morning transfer to the train station and depart Pyongyang on the 1025 train to Beijing via 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 continue through the night towards Beijing. For the overnight section of the journey you will normally be accommodated sharing in four-berth sleeping 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 11, Friday 8th May: You will this morning arrive into the Chinese capital at 0840. All arrangements will end with your arrival into Beijing.
(*If issued for you in the UK via Regent Holidays)
We can arrange your international flights to Beijing at an additional cost if desired, please speak to Carl Meadows for further information.
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
28 Apr 2020
07 May 2020