This tour will provide unique opportunity to travel along two routes never traversed by rail on DPRK tours. Our group will be the first foreign tourist group to travel scenic route from Pyongyang to Wosan by rail. This journey is usually made by road, and this tour will provide a whole new slant on this route, opening up towns, villages and railway stations not visible from highway. The long journey northwards from Hamhung to Chongjin, meanwhile, will reveal entire parts of the country very-rarely seen by foreign eyes, as our train meanders its way through remote mountains and along the pristine coastline of the DPRK’s far North East, stopping at as-yet-undiscovered cities such as Sinpho and Kimchaek and passing by isolated beaches. We will be travelling in vintage 1970s carriages with Korean diesel locomotives and fully-functioning restaurant car, and will be the first foreign tour groups to travel overnight by train within the DPRK, as we make our way non-stop back from Chongjin to Pyongyang at the end of the trip. As a final bonus, we will take a ride on a local trolleybus in Pyongyang, adding even more to what will be a truly ground-breaking tour!
Fri 22nd Sep – TOUR BRIEFING
4PM: The group assembles in the 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.
Sat 23rd Sep – 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 your Korean guides who will accompany you during your stay. En route to the hotel stop off at the Arch of Triumph – similar to the French version (but bigger) – commemorates the liberation from Japanese rule. Mansudae Grand Monuments – Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang
OVERNIGHT: Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang – Pyongyang’s premier international hotel (which overlooks the city’s central railway station).
Sun 24th Sep – PYONGYANG – WONSAN
AM: This morning we board our special train for our rail journey eastwards to Wonsan, passing through the farmland, local towns and rolling hills of the DPRK’s central areas. This journey takes about 8 hours, and we will have lunch on board the train in its restaurant car.
PM: Arriving at Wonsan new Railway Station in the mid-afternoon, we will take a tour of this fascinating coastal city, which is not only the location of the DPRK’s main port, but also contains many examples of 1970s and 80s socialist buildings and public spaces.
OVERNIGHT: Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan
Mon 25th Sep – WONSAN – HAMHUNG
AM: After breakfast, we will take a tour of the city’s huge port area, as well as its central square, still frozen in the mid-1980s. A highlight of the tour will be the visit to the city’s Old Railway Station, now a museum, as well as visiting Wonsan Art Gallery. We then depart for Hamhung city, heading northwards up the line from Wonsan through the mountains and valleys of the DPRK’s East Coast. This is a journey of 4 hours, and we will once again take lunch in the restaurant car while enjoying the spectacular scenery from the train.
PM: We will arrive in Hamhung in the late afternoon, and immediately begin our tour of the DPRK’s second city with a tour of the city’s main square and brutalist Grand Theatre. We will also visit the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. We will then visit the Hamhung Fertilizer Factory, a huge complex which provides the best glimpse of socialist heavy industry in the country. Later we will transfer to the Majon Guesthouse on the coast for dinner and overnight.
OVERNIGHT: Majon Guesthouse, Hamhung
Tue 26th Sep – HAMHUNG – CHONGJIN
AM: We will depart Hamhung train station for our pioneering journey north to the remote industrial city of Chongjin on the DPRK’s north-eastern coast. This is a long journey of 12 hours, and will give us plenty of time to admire the views of spectacular coastline, isolated beaches and local Korean towns through which we will pass on our journey. We will have a hearty lunch and a sumptuous dinner in the train’s restaurant car.
PM: After meandering through the mountains and up the shoreline of the DPRK’s north-east, we will arrive in time to visit the bar at the local Seamen’s Club for drinks and a late dinner. A Chongjin institution, this is a great place to mix, play pool, and drink with locals, and to enjoy the city’s maritime atmosphere. We will then go to the Chongjin Tourist hotel for the night. Many of the hotel’s rooms overlook the main train line, providing a great chance to observe night-time rail traffic and soak up the city’s industrial atmosphere.
OVERNIGHT: Chongjin Tourist Hotel, Chongjin
Wed 27th Sep – CHONGJIN
AM: This morning we will have a comprehensive tour of Chongjin, the DPRK’s third largest city. We will visit the city’s vast main square and giant statue of Kim Il Sung, as well as Chongjin Revolutionary Museum, We will also get a chance to discover two educational establishments in the city, as we tour the Chongjin E-library and the Steelworks Kindergarten, where we will see a musical and dance performance by the local children. Following this, we will have our second chance to get a feel for DPRK industry, with a tour of the city’s Foodstuffs Factory
PM: Following the morning’s city tour, we will have lunch in a local restaurant in Chongjin, before boarding our charter train for the long overnight journey back to Pyongyang. We will be the first foreign tourists to take an overnight train journey through the DPRK. Our route will take us south along the country’s eastern coast through the towns of Kyongsong, Myongchon, Kimchaek, and Sinpho. We will have dinner in the train’s restaurant car before retiring for the night in our comfortable sleeper compartments.
OVERNIGHT: On train from Chongjin to Pyongyang
Thu 28th Sep – CHONGJIN – PYONGYANG
AM: We will spend this morning continuing our journey to the capital, as our train branches off from the Hamhung-Wonsan main line at Kowon and heads westwards back to Pyongyang through the central towns Yangdok and Sinyang, passing waterfalls, lakes and quiet local settlements on the way.
PM: After enjoying another delicious lunch on the train, we will arrive at Pyongyang Railway Station. We will head to hotel first to freshen up, before visiting Kwangbok Supermarket, Juche Tower, Party Foundation Monument and dinner back at the hotel.
OVERNIGHT: Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang
Fri 29th Sep – PYONGYANG CITY TOUR
AM: Today we start by riding the whole of the Pyongyang Metro. We will travel through all stations on this system, reportedly one of the deepest in the world. Its stations are decorated with socialist- realist mosaics and reliefs depicting the revolutionary history and achievements of the DPRK. On this special tour, we will be able to alight at each of the six stations to admire the superb decoration on the platforms. Following this, we will head to 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. Then it’s on to the USS Pueblo – an American spy ship captured by the DPRK navy in 1968.
PM: The afternoon will start with a tram ride along grandiose Kwangbok Street, built in 1989as the ultimate socialist micro-district for the World Festival of Youth and Students. We will then visit the city’s Metro Museum, where we will see exhibits relating to the construction of the system and a superb panorama. We will then drop by Taedonggang Number 3 brewery. Our farewell dinner will be in Pyongyang’s famous duck BBQ restaurant.
OVERNIGHT: Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang
Sat 30th Sep – DEPARTURE DAY
AM: The flight departs Pyongyang at 9:00am and arrives in Beijing at approx 10:00am. The train departs Pyongyang at 10:40am and arrives in Beijing at approx 08:30am next morning. End of tour.
TOUR COST: $3,490
DPRK VISA FEE: $75 (to be paid at the pre-tour meeting)
PRE-TOUR MEETING: Friday 22nd Sep, 4PM, at our office in Beijing
EXPECTED WEATHER:It will be cool in the morenings and evenings but warm during the day, around 20°C.
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. Mass Games ticket (from $100)
7. Tip for the guides (approx $7/day)
8. Meals on the train out of DPRK – (bring your own food or eat dinner and lunch in the buffet car approx $10 per person)
9. Entry tickets for special events (Revolutionary opera, circus , etc).
10. The lift up the Juche Tower (approx $6)
11. 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