Sunday 12th August
- Meet at 1:30 pm at the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel with your fellow travelers and guide to have a chat about the tour itinerary and receive your visas before you travel to North Korea.
- 5:25 pm train to Pyongyang.
Monday 13th August
- Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00 am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:00 am for the extensive border control from the DPRK side
- Flight takers travel to North Korea from Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 12:55 pm (Meet group at Air Koryo check-in counter).
- Flight group arrives in Pyongyang at 4:00 pm to a warm welcome from your Korean guides.
- Train group arrives at 5:30 pm to an equally warm welcome.
- In the evening your YPT guide will show you around the hotel before taking you for drinks and to get to know your Korean guides
- Dinner and overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Tuesday 14th August
- Early breakfast and then we drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
- Koryo Museum- Korea’s oldest university and now a history and culture museum. Also home to an interesting stamp and propaganda poster shop. No other souvenirs will encapsulate the North Korean experience more!
- The DMZ- aka ‘the tensest place on earth’. Our guide here will be a friendly KPA officer who will give us an insightful tour and also pose for some photos.
- Traditional Korean lunch at the Thongil Restaurant in Kaesong City. This is a good opp to try some Korean Pansangi- an array of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog soup €5, Ginseng Stuffed Whole Chicken €30- can be split between several).
- Next stop is the provincial capital of Sariwon City. Admire the scenery with a walk in the local folk park. Nice views of the city from the mountain top pagoda.
- Try locally brewed Makkoli in the local tea house
- We stop by the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification which stands over the Thongil Highway.
- We arrive back in Pyongyang in time for dinner at the Famous Lamb BBQ restaurant with a traditional performance!
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Wednesday 15th August – Liberation Day!
- Stroll around the scenic Mansudae fountain park which is flanked by the mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il.
- Some photos at the Mansudae Grand Monument where we can show our respects to the President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il. (You have the option to donate flowers if you wish. Cost 2-4 euro.)
- We take the mysterious Pyongyang Metro to the Arch of Triumph.
- The Arch of Triumph- an enormous arch that was built to celebrate the Korean victory over the Japanese and the return of the general Kim Il Sung to Pyongyang.
- Lunch at Moran Hill Chicken restaurant.
- We’ll take a walk through Moranbong Park where some of the celebrations will have begun. Feel free to join in on the dancing!
- Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (Korean War Museum) – A fascinating insight into Korean warfare and history. We have a local historian as a guide who will show us the enormous collection of dioramas, weaponry, tanks and even some captured American equipment.
- Juche Tower – monument to the everlasting Juche Ideology (nice photo opportunity overlooking the capital at the top of the tower for an additional €5).
- Monument to the Party Foundation
- Special celebratory events (optional: approx 20 euros) – the exact proceedings are usually kept secret up until the day but we will be taking part in any official events setup for the celebrations. These may include a parade, a circus performance, and many other spectacles. Not to be missed!
- Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic DPRK monument – get your camera this is a rare photo opp!
- Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace – This is a huge extracurricular center for children. We’ll have the chance to observe some lessons then view a performance by the kids.
- Stop by the local Mansugyo Beer Bar where we can join the locals for a refreshing beer or two.
- Dinner at KITC Restaurant. (Chefs recommendations are the famous cold noodles or Bibimbap!)
- We finish the evening in Kim Il Sung Square where we watch the fireworks over the Taedong River and Juche Tower
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Thursday 16th August
- Kumsusan Palace of the sun- a sacred site to the Koreans. Where President Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong Il lie in state. Dress smart!
- Foreign Language Bookshop- for all your souvenir needs. Don’t travel to North Korea without picking up some propaganda posters!
- Visit Kim Il Sung Square and walk around the largest square in Pyongyang City.
- Lunch at Korean Hot Pot Restaurant
- Juche Tower
- Workers Party Foundation Monument
- Visit the Korean Film Studio – a truly unique place where over 1000 Korean films and television series have been produced down through the years. We’ll also explore the film sets of Seoul, China, a European town and old Koryo dynasty villages. Props and costumes are supplied if anyone would like to dress up!
- Mansudae Art Studio- most of DPRK’s most famous art and statues have been produced here.
- Grand Peoples Study House
- Dinner and farewell drinks at the Duck BBQ restaurant
- Visit Kaeson Funfair – entry 2 euros and ride are 3 – 5 euros depending on how crazy!
- Taedonggang Beer Festival – this is a real treat and is the second year of the festival. Koreans are very proud of their variety of nationally brewed beers which you will get to try in abundance.
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Friday 17th August
- At 8:30 am flight, takers leave for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 9:55 am Beijing time)
- Group A train members and Group B depart Pyongyang train station at 10:10 am. Group A train members arrive at Beijing Railway Station at 9:00 am on August 18th
Group B continues on from the afternoon:
- At 3 pm we arrive in Sinuiju.
- With our new local guides, we will explore the large central square of Sinuiju and see the statue of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il
- Next up is the local Folklore Park – stunning natural scenery and potentially some chances to join the locals in some activities.
- Tour the Pomhayanggi Cosmetics Factory. Home of the DPRK’s finest cosmetic products.
- Next, we head south to the neighboring town of Dongrim (about 1-hour drive).
- Dinner and overnight at the Dongrim Hotel – this is a newly built pretty swanky hotel complete with a swimming pool. sauna, table tennis, massage, bars, karaoke, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.
Saturday 18th August
- After breakfast, we take a walk to Dongrim waterfall and explore surrounding valleys
- Drive back to Sinuiju city on the way stopping at:
- Sinamri Co-operative farm – a large local co-op farm producing rice, cabbage, chilli, and cucumbers.
- Visit the mosaic images of the “Three Tigers of Mt. Paektu” Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and his mother Kim Jong Suk.
- Visit the North Pyongan Province Revolutionary History Museum to help us top up on the regions local history.
- Myohyangsan Travel Company Restaurant for some lunch.
- Explore Amnok park where we can check out the Amnok River (Yalu River) which is home to the original Korean/Chinese Friendship Bridge. This is a rare sight for tourists to see (especially from the NK side!) and was bombed by the Americans during the Korean War.
- Visit the Art Studio which holds over 250 pieces of DPRK fine arts in six large halls. Again this is a pretty rare tourist opp!
- Bonbu Kindergarten and performance – Famous for training the Children who perform in the infamous skipping scene of the Arirang Mass Games. The school has a long history of training artistic performers and boasts the highest standard of performance in the country.
- At 5:30 pm we catch the bus and for Korean customs to finish our tour in Dandong, China.
- At 6:30pm we board the overnight sleeper train to Beijing.
Sunday 19th August