Itinerary – Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour

April 13-18 2019

Wed 12 April MANDATORY PRE-TOUR BRIEFING


4PM
: The group assembles in our Beijing office for a pre-tour briefing, which will last approximately 1 hour and is designed so that you will get the best out of your tour.


Thu 13 April – ARRIVAL DAY


AM:
Meet together outside the office (time to be confirmed) and head to Beijing Airport T2 for our flight from Beijing to Pyongyang (1.5 hrs), the showcase capital of the DPRK
PM: Meet guides who will accompany you during your stay, Arch of Triumph – similar to the French version (but bigger)

OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang


Fri 14 April – DMZ & KAESONG


AM:
Drive south 2.5 hours to Kaesong. Panmunjom/DMZ where North and South Korea continue their decades-old face-off. It is possible to go into one of the huts that straddle the demarcation line and actually cross over into South Korea! This is one of the few places where you can take pictures of (and even with) members of the DPRK military. Next, we head back to Kaesong and visit the Kaesong Koryo Museum, a beautiful old Confucian University, to learn about the history of the area. The stamp shop here is excellent too. Lunch is a traditional pansanggi meal – something like Korean tapas. For anyone wanting to supplement their lunch, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample Korea’s famous delicacy: ‘sweetmeat soup’ (aka dog meat; costs EUR 5).
PM: We then drive for around 20 minutes to the beautiful Tomb of King Kongmin, the twin-domed tomb of the 31st King of the Koryo Dynasty (AD 918-1392) and his wife. The tomb has recently been made a World Heritage Site. On our return to Pyongyang we will also visit the Golden Lane Bowling Centre, where Pyongyang’s residents go for their ten-pin fix. This is a great chance to mix with local people. Even if you don’t end up playing, it’s worth grabbing a seat here to watch everyone have some fun. There is also a shooting range next door where you can fire 20 rounds for $6.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Mon 15 April – PYONGYANG –  PRESIDENT KIM IL SUNG BIRTHDAY


AM&PM
: DPRK HOLIDAY: 106th Birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery. Here, you will see superb individually- crafted bronze busts of the country’s anti-Japanese heroes. Mansudae Grand Monuments – the giant bronze statues of North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Kimilsungia Flower Show (free to enter) – this greenhouse is dedicated to the cultivation of the Kimilsungia (orchid) and the Kimjongilia (begonia) – today the displays will be focused on the former flower. Pyongyang Symphony Orchestra – usually held in the afternoon this concert of Korean and western music is stunning (EUR 20); Pyongyang Circus – also in the afternoon this is another stunning performance showcasing the talents of the DPRK’s acrobats and other entertainers (EUR 20). For these events that require additional payment, we will always offer a free alternative such as a walk in the city or visiting a coffee shop. Moranbong Park – located in the centre of Pyongyang this is a favourite place for locals and during the holiday periods it is not unusual to come across a group of Koreans dancing. Mass dance – university students dress in their finest and gather together in various public spots around Pyongyang to dance together. Drive 1 hour to West Coast city of Nampo.
OVERNIGHT: Overnight: Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo

 

Tue 16 April – NAMPO


AM: West Sea Barrage
– An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats. 
 Chongsan-ri Co-Operative Farm – Learn about farming and rural living in the DPRK at this farming community. Kangso Mineral Water Factory – Bottling plant for the DPRK’s most popular brand of sparkling water.
PM: Drive to Pyongyang for BBQ Lunch at Mt. Ryonggak. Science and Technology Centre – Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike. Taedonggang Bar No. 3  – Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang


Wed 17 April – PYONGYANG CITY TOUR


AM
: Go deep underground for a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, which is the deepest subway system in the world. The designs of the main stations are stunning, and particularly notable for their superb lighting and mosaics. We then visit the Foreign Languages Bookshop and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Pyongyang. On our journey, we walk through the heart of the city, and stop by Kim Il Sung Square. This is where the capital’s mass dances take place and the military parades pass through. Next we visit the Juche Tower. At 150m, and topped with a flickering red torch, this is the highest stone monument in the world. We’ll also go to the Party Foundation Monument – aniconic sculpture of a hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush which was constructed to celebrate 50 years of Workers’ Party rule. Before lunch we’ll take a tour of the Grand People’s Study House. Supposedly stocked with over 3 million books, this enormous library/place of study has a great view over Kim Il Sung Square.
PM: After lunch we’ll visit Mangyongdae Native House – the native birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. Next on our itinerary – a trolley bus ride around the city, in some of the classic 1950s vehicles that still ply their trade on the streets of the DPRK capital. Last stop on our city tour is The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum where you can learn the history of the Korean War from the North Korean perspective. The museum’s different rooms explain the origins of the conflict, and include highly impressive dioramas, tanks, planes, and much more. USS Pueblo – an American spy ship captured by the DPRK navy in 1968. Farewell group dinner at South Pyongyang’s famous Duck Barbecue Restaurant, where you can grill your own meats.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang


Thu 18th April – DEPARTURE DAY


AM
: The flight departs Pyongyang at 09:00 and arrives in Beijing at approx 10:00am. The train departs Pyongyang at 10:40am and arrives in Beijing at approx 08:30am on Wednesday. End of Tour.

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TOUR COST: $1,490
DPRK VISA FEE: $75 (to be paid at the pre-tour meeting)
PRE-TOUR MEETING: Friday 12 April, 4PM, at our office in Beijing
EXPECTED WEATHER: It will be cold in the morning and evening but warmer during the day, around 15°C so bring layers.
Room upgrades available – please ask for more information.


TOUR FEE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Flight Beijing-Pyongyang, plane/train Pyongyang-Beijing
  2. All meals on the tour except on the train out of DPRK – see below
  3. Hotel accommodations in DPRK
  4. All entry fees
  5. Two guides and a driver per group
  6. All transportation in DPRK
  7. Transportation to Beijing airport prior to departure to DPRK.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR FEE (all payments paid in cash) :

  1. Transportation from your country to Beijing and hotel stay in Beijing
  2. Travel insurance (can be purchased at the pre-tour briefing)
  3. Optional single room supplement of $60 per night (must be booked in advance and can be pre-paid in US with credit card)
  4. Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
  5. DPRK visa fee ($75)
  6. Tip for the guides (approx $7/day)
  7. Meals on the train out of DPRK – (bring your own food or eat dinner and lunch in the buffet car approx $10 per person)
  8. Entry tickets for special events (Revolutionary opera, circus , etc).
  9. The lift up the Juche Tower (approx $6)
  10. Meals will have a complimentary beer but you will have to pay for extra drinks above those provided. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements then please inform us beforehand

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