|05 Sep - 14 Sep|
This 10 day trip includes the ‘must-sees’ of any highlights tour of North Korea yet also manages to squeeze in visits to the lesser visited Mt. Paekdu & Chongjin by chartered aircraft. As an added bonus, this tour coincides with the 70th Anniversary of the Foundation of the DPR Korea, expected to be the biggest event in the country’s calendar for 2018, with major celebrations expected across the country. If you are looking for as much variety as possible, but time is tight, this special tour ticks all the boxes. Visits include Pyongyang, Kaesong & the DMZ, Mt. Paekdu, Chongjin and Mt. Myohyang.
This small group tour will operate for a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 16 persons.
For those looking for a more in-depth tour at a similar time of year, our longest tour of 2018, Pioneering North Korea, will operate from the 28th August - 13th September. Please contact us for further information.
This morning make your own way to Beijing Capital Airport, Terminal 2, to depart at approximately 1305 on the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang. On clearing customs/immigration meet your Korean guides and driver. From the airport head to the city centre and check into the Yanggakdo Hotel for a 2 night stay. After time to freshen up head out for a leisurely welcome dinner in the National Restaurant. (Snack On Flight/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, before heading 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.
After lunch visit 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.
You will also see the nearby Chollima Monument. From the highs of Mansu Hill head underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, travelling one stop from Puhung 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. From the Arch enjoy time to explore/walk in Moranbong, the main city park. Moranbong is a great location for people watching and to admire the scenery of the Taedong River below. Return to the hotel for dinner and the evening at leisure. (B/L/D)
Visit 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 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.
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.
This afternoon visit the Kwangbok Area Supermarket. This is the only “normal” Pyongyang supermarket that can be visited by tourists and the best location to pick up some small items such as Korean made foodstuffs, cosmetics or clothing, for example. Drive south to Kaesong, stopping to visit the Monument To The Three Point Charter For National Reunification and the UNESCO world heritage listed Tomb of King Kongmin, one of the best preserved royal tombs in the country. Upon arrival in Kaesong check into the Janamsan Hotel for dinner and a two night stay. (B/L/D)
This morning visit Sonjuk Bridge before heading South to Panmunjom - the DMZ and border with South 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. Head 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 return to Kaesong and visit the Koryo History Museum before driving to the Concrete Wall or “Wall of Division,” an 8 metre high concrete wall built by US forces along much of the southern perimeter of the DMZ from 1976 to 1979. A senior army guide will here likely explain the history of the wall and the current border tensions with the south. This evening enjoy dinner in a city restaurant near the hotel. (B/L/D)
Checking out of your hotel return to Pyongyang and the Yanggakdo Hotel, here checking in for a one night stay and having lunch. Today is an important national holiday, and as such we anticipate various 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 an flexible afternoon of sightseeing, which will strive to include as many city sights, events and celebrations as possible. Local fees will be payable to attend any special events. In the evening we anticipate a walk along Mirae Science Street, followed by dinner in the Mirae Pizzeria before returning to the hotel.
Visit the Mansudae Art Studio—the organisation responsible for the most famous artworks and statues in the DPRK. From here visit the Korean Embroidery Centre in the shadow of the Ryugyong Hotel and then 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 mother of Kim Il Sung.
If the weather is clear you will be afforded good views over Pyongyang. Enjoy lunch nearby in the KITC Ryomyong Restaurant, located in the Ryomyong New Town— a new modern high-rise residential district which you will have the chance to walk along. Transfer to the airport to board a chartered aircraft and fly north to Samjiyon. This border region is home to Mt. Paektu – a peak of great spiritual symbolism to the Korean people, enhanced by the fact that it was the home of the Korean People’s Army during the war against the Japanese. Arriving in Samjiyon visit the impressive and beautifully located Samjiyon Grand Monument at Lake Samji before transferring to the Pegaebong Hotel for dinner and a two night stay. (B/L/D)
This morning drive to Mt. Paektu. Arriving at the roadhead/checkpoint at the foot of Mt. Paektu, go through entry formalities (as this is right beside the Chinese border) before ascending to the crater rim of the mountain. From here, those who wish can walk to the highest point in the Korean Peninsula, Janggun Peak, at 2750 metres in height, or head down to the shore of Lake Chon.
Descending the mountain, we will find a pleasant spot to pause for a picnic lunch near the Chinese frontier before visiting the Paektu Secret Camps, from where the Army was based and Kim Il Sung headquartered from 1936 to 1943. This site is also the “official” birthplace of Kim Jong Il. Visit Rimyongsu Falls. This afternoon there should be a couple of hours free to relax in the hotel. Subject to local confirmation those who wish may, with a guide, be able to head out for a brief walking tour of Samjiyon. Dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
Transfer to the airport to board your aircraft for the short flight to Orang. Orang is essentially a military airport, and on previous Regent trips through here we have often spotted MiG fighter jets in the air and on the tarmac! On arriving in Orang head north along the attractive coastal road to Chongjin, the administrative capital of North Hamgyong Province. Chongjin is an industrial and port city which receives few foreign visitors - closer to Vladivostok than Pyongyang.
On arriving in Chongjin enjoy lunch in the Foreign Sailors’ Club before commencing your afternoon of sightseeing. Visit the Susongchon Combined Foodstuffs Factory, the Chongam Kindergartenand the Chongjin Foreign Language Institute. At the institute you will likely have the chance to meet English-language students. This evening enjoy dinner in your hotel. (B/L/D)
This morning the group will be trans-ferred to the airport to depart Pyongyang at approximately 0820 on the Air Koryo flight to Beijing. Upon your arrival in Beijing (scheduled for 0950) tour arrangements end. (B)
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEPART BY RAIL
Day 10, Monday 10th September: 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)
Day 11, Tuesday 11th September: 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.
05 Sep 2019
14 Sep 2019
I would like to say a big thanks to our guide Carl Meadows, who even on my third visit to North Korea still managed to make it enjoyable, comfortable and full of adventure. Thanks again.
Any trip to North Korea is always good, and with Carl as tour leader it is impossible to fault.