On our first North Korea small group tour of 2020, witness celebrations to mark the birthday of Kim Jong Il in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, and explore the capital along with its surrounding areas. Discover 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. Visit Mt. Myohyang and the Friendship Exhibition which houses thousands of gifts presented to the North Korean leaders over the years.
This morning make your own way to Beijing Capital Airport, Terminal 2, to depart on the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang (schedules TBC). The short flight will bring the group into Pyongyang 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 transfer to the Koryo Hotel, here checking in for a three night stay. After checking in enjoy the rest of the evening free at your leisure. (D)
Start the day with a walk in the city centre from the exterior of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre to Kim Il Sung Square before pressing 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). In the late morning visit the Pyonyang Orphanage before departing the city and driving to the city of Nampo, in nearby South Pyongan Province. After lunch in the Hanngu Hotel visit the West Sea Barrage, a massive civil engineering project of immense national pride. Slowly making your way back to Pyongyang along the Youth Hero Highway visit the Kangso Mineral Water Factory before dropping in at the Chongsangri Cooperative Farm, a famous model farm on the western fringes of the capital. Back in central Pyongyang after a busy first full day of sightseeing visit the Stamp Shop before returning to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B/L/D)
Enjoy the full day sightseeing in Pyongyang, starting with a visit to the Grand People’s Study House — the national library and a major centre of learning. The view from the balcony atop the Study House down onto Kim Il Sung Square affords a spectacular vista of central Pyongyang. From here head underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro. 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.
Continue to a take in some further landmark monuments, with visits in the late morning to the Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Juche Tower. After lunch in Ryomyong, a new high-rise residential district in the city, 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. Later, visit the Kwangbok Area Supermarket. The Kwangbok Area Supermarket is the only “normal” Pyongyang supermarket that can be visited by tourists - the best location to pick up some small items such as Korean made foodstuffs, cosmetics or clothing, for example. For your last stop of the day head to the Chongchun Sports Street and visit the Maeri Shooting Range. After another busy day of sightseeing return to the Koryo Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (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. From the mausoleum, head to the nearby Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery on Mt. Taesong, 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 mother of Kim Il Sung. If the weather is clear you will from here be afforded good views over Pyongyang. This afternoon, head to the Mansudae Fountain Park and ascend to the Mansudae Grand Monument, the centre piece of which is 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). (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.
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 upon entering the capital. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner in the National Restaurant. (B/L/D)
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to depart Pyongyang at 0850 on the JS151 flight to Beijing. On arriving in Beijing at 0950 your arrangements will end (times TBC). (B)
There is an option to depart by rail, offering a fantastic insight into both DPRK and China as you travel over the course of a day through the countryside to Beijing. Please speak to a Regent Specialist on 020 7666 1258 for more information.
Supplement to depart Pyongyang by Train to Beijing: £50pp
We can arrange your international flights to Beijing at an additional cost if desired, please speak to Carl Meadows for further information.