Itinerary – Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

February 14-19 2019


: 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 14 February – ARRIVAL DAY

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


Mansudae Art Studio (where paintings, mosaics, statues, etc are made), Pyongyang Metro – the deepest underground system in the world and the designs of the main stations are stunning with superb lighting and mosaics.
Museum of Metro Construction – huge exhibition is mainly dedicated to showing the involvement of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in the construction of the capital’s underground system.
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. We will tour the lecture rooms and hopefully get to see a few classes.
PM: Trolley bus ride around the city, in some of the classic 1950s vehicles, Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (Korean war Museum), USS Pueblo (US spy ship captured in 1968),
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Sat 16 February – PYONGYANG

Kumsusan Memorial Palace
(Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il). Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery (bronze busts of anti-Japanese heroes). Kim Il Sung Square, which is Pyongyang’s largest. This is where the capital’s mass dances take place and the military parades pass through. Mansudae Grand Monument (giant statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), Juche Tower. At 150m, and topped with a flickering red torch, this is the highest stone monument in the world. Take the lift to the top for stunning views over Pyongyang (entrance costs EUR 5). Next we visit the Party Foundation Monument – an iconic sculpture of a hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush which was constructed to celebrate 50 years of Workers’ Party rule. The rest of the day will be dedicated to events commemorating the holiday. The exact nature and timing of these events will not be confirmed until we get to the DPRK but based on our experience of being in the country for this holiday in previous years we expect the following: Kimilsungia Festival (Flower exhibition), Expected MASS DANCE.
Optional events: 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). Paekdusan International Figure Skating Competition (EUR 20) which is only held once a year specially to commemorate the birthday of Kim Jong Il and a Synchronised Swimming Display.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang



AM: Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
– Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible. Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery – Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. It is customary to present flowers here.
PM: We’ll drive around one hour to Sariwon City and Folk village recently built mock-up of a traditional Korean walled city which includes a history museum, food street and pavilions. Make sure to try the homemade makkolli here! Migok Co-Operative Farm – Learn about rural life in the DPRK at this farming community on the bucolic plains of Sariwon. Visit the farm’s museum, view point, and a local home. Drive onward to Kaesong, around 90 minutes drive
Overnight: Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong

Mon 18 February – DMZ & KAESONG

: This morning we’ll walk from the hotel though the old streets of Kaesong up to Janam Hill for views over Kaesong City. Panmunjom/DMZ (where North and South Korea continues their decades old face-off), Kaesong Koryo Museum (former Confucian college, shows history of the area), 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: Concrete Wall, an observation post deep in the DMZ where you can view South Korean positions and see the anti-tank barrier that stretches across the peninsular, return to Pyongyang (2.5 hrs),
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Tue 19 February 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 Sunday. End of Tour.

: $1,750
DPRK VISA FEE: $75 (to be paid at the pre-tour meeting)
PRE-TOUR MEETING: Wednesday, 13 February, 4PM, at our office in Beijing
EXPECTED WEATHER: It will be cold, not higher than 5°C so bring warm clothes.
Room upgrades available – please ask for more information.


  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