I have a new group tour to North Korea - 2016 April 7th to 16th. This will be the 3rd group tour that I'm organizing. I've been to DPRK 8 times already and the 9th time will be this coming October so the locals there are quite familiar with me by now.
There are plenty of photography opportunities on my tours and I will guide you when you can or cannot shoot.
- Price: €1600 covers accommodation and tour costs within North Korea and the internal flight from Orang to Pyongyang on a Russian Antonov 24 plane (or larger).
- Participants will need to arrange their own way to meet at me at Yanji, LiuJing Hotel; and to make their own arrangements for their own flight home from Beijing.
- Additional Cost: €55 per room (2 beds) for the LiuJing Hotel which is North Korean owned. Since we are all meeting there, I recommend booking that hotel.
- Additional Cost: €40 per day for those who want single room in North Korea
- Optional Cost: €50 per person for access to the Armed Forces Military exhibition (We will have to see if I can get access during the tour)
We also need a minimum of 16 people (including me) to make this trip so the headcount will only be tabulated based on people who have paid the deposit.
To book the tour, I will require a 50% deposit. The full balance is due 30 days before the tour departure date. To Book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details
I seek your understanding that North Korea is a unique country and the itinerary may be changed by the local guides. Nonetheless, should any place be made unavailable, I will arrange for us to see and do something else.
Wednesday 7th April
•Make your own way to Yanji and transfer to the LiuJing Hotel, the main North Korean hotel owned in Yanji city.
•Dinner, drinks and a performance at the hotel
•Overnight in hotel
Thursday 8th April - Tour Officially Starts.
•7:30am departure for the 3 hour drive to the border between the DPRK and China.
•DPRK and Chinese border formalities.
•Meet Korean local guides and transfer to Rason Tourist Hotel.
•Lunch in hotel.
•Visit the Grand Monuments of the leaders to pay respect
•Visit Golden Triangle Bank where it is permitted to change North Korean money at unpublished rate and to open a local DPRK bank account if you want.
•Visit the local market where tourists are able to visit in the DPRK. Here it's possible to see what is available for normal citizens to buy and sell. Tourists can use local DPRKorean Won as well as other hard currencies. This is one of the best and cheapest places on the planet to buy some great seafood, clothing, cigarettes, alcohol and other goodies.
•Drinks and dinner at a Ukrainian bar – lots of imported drinks here from Eastern Europe and Russia (of course the good local stuff too!)
•Overnight at Rason Tourist Hotel.
Friday 9th April
•Visit the foreign language high school - here we'll split up into small groups and chat with students. They really appreciate this as they like to practice English with foreigners! Something that doesn't quite happen all the time for them!
•Bus tour of Rason city and visit Rajin port – where ships mostly from China, Hong Kong and Russia dock
•Visit the local shoe factory where we can meet local workers and see how they do their business
•Visit the local garment factory to see clothes produced, boxed and shipped to China (you might just catch a glimpse of a familiar brand)
•Drive to Sonbong City
•Lunch at Songbong city
•Drive to Tumangang City and we'll drive up a mountain which we can see the three borders! China, DPRK and Russia all meeting at one spot!
•Sungjondae Monument to the Famous Admiral Ri Sun Xin inventor of the turtle ship.
•Drive back to Rajin city
•Explore the Emperor Hotel – a casino built by Hong Kong investors to help encourage Chinese tourists to travel and gamble in the DPRK.
•Visit the public square. Drinks are extra cost if you want booze.
•Dinner at RITA restaurant
•Overnight in Rason Tourist Hotel
Saturday 10th April
•Drive to Chongjin city (2 hours) – handover from Rason guides to North Hamgyong guides
•Arrive in Chongjin, check into Chongin Tourist Hotel
•Pay our respects to the statue of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il in Chongjin City
•Visit the Electronic Library in Chongjin.
•Lunch at Chongjin tourist hotel
•Ride the trolley bus around town
•Susongchon Foodstuffs Factory - where bread, soju and other sweets are made here
•Dinner and drinks/group bathing at the Chongjin seaman’s club.
•Overnight at the Chongjin hotel.
Monday 11th April
•Drive to Mt Chilbo for an easy hike (2 hours)
•Arrive at the entrance to Mt Chilbo for an explanation of the area using the world's largest mineral painting map as a guide.
•Drive to the Home stay Village in the Sea Chilbo area
•We will be greeted by our home stay families as they take us around to show us their neighbourhood
•Drinks and snacks with the Home stay village Chief and his family – also a demonstration how to prepare rice bean cake (20 RMB per person for the ingredients)
•Dinner at the Home stay Village.
•Bonfire party on the beach with the villagers, singing songs and dancing.
•Dinner and home stay overnight at the village – two guests per family (tourists travelling with US or Japanese passports must drive to stay at the Outer Chilbo hotel at this point)
Tuesday 12th April
•For home stay residents, please help your families with some morning chores - not a must but a very polite gesture
•Jump on a local fisherman's boat and drive out to see to see the magnificent Mt. Chilbo from afar
•Tour of the outer Chilbo hotel including hikes along the famous Tokgol and Gangsonmun areas - spectacular views!
•Picnic on top to help enjoy the views
•Drive to Orang City
•Board Air Koryo flight departing 1:30pm from Orang city to Pyongyang city
•Arrive Pyongyang at 2:50pm
•Check into Ryanggang Hotel (fantastic new cafe in the lobby)
•Walk along the Mansudae Street stopping by Kim Il Sung Square for fantastic late afternoon shots
•Visit the foreign book store to pick up some posters, books, postcards or pins
•Continue walking up to Sunrise coffee for snacks and good coffee (extra cost)
•Dinner at Dong Song Restaurant
•Drinks and overnight in Ryanggang Hotel
Wednesday 13th April
•Up Nice and early to drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
•Koryo Museum- Korea’s first university and now a museum of history and culture. Also home of the best stamp and propaganda poster shop in the DPRK, so don’t forget your wallet!
•The DMZ- See one of the tensest places on earth complete with a friendly KPA officer who will not only give you a guided tour but also keep you safe.
•Lunch at the Thong-il Restaurant in Kaesong City - try your hand at traditional Korean Pansangi- a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog soup 5 euro, Ginseng Stuffed Whole Chicken 30 euro- can be split between several people).
•Drop by Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda.
•Try locally brewed Makkoli in the local tea house
•Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thong-il Highway.
•Get back to Pyongyang for dinner at the Famous Lamb BBQ restaurant with performance!
•Kaeson Youth Amusement Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 2 to 5 euros extra depending on their excitement levels).
•Overnight at the Ryanggang hotel.
Thursday 14th April
•Drive out towards Nampo and stop by the Chongsan Co-operative farm - One of the top co-op farms in the DPRK and a model example of the co-op method. Here we can explore farmlands, a nursery and see inside a farmer's house
•Visit Cholima Steelworks Factory
•Nampo Orphanage - It's an older orphanage so if you wish you can bring some powdered milk for the young children, they will really, really, really appreciate the donation. There is a China Customs limit of 6kg of milk per person so don't bring more than 6kg of powdered milk into China. The packet types instead of the tin types are easiest to transport.
•Lunch at the Nampo Harbour restaurant
•Head back to Pyongyang and explore Kwanbok Department store. Here you can exchange foreign currencies into local Korean Won and spend at either the supermarket, smaller stores or in the delicous food court upstairs!
•Watch the Children's performance in the recently renovated Mangyongdae Children's Palace – here we'll also explore the classes and have a chance to meet the students and see the perform behind the scenes
•Visit KITC restaurant to sample local famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles or Korean Bibimbap dish
•Overnight at Ryanggang Hotel
Friday 15th April – Day of the Sun - President Kim Il Sung's Birthday
•Stop by the Austrian Joint Venture cafe by Kim Il Sung Square for a fresh wake up with good coffee!
•Visit the Tower of Juche with its panoramic views
•Visit the Monument to Worker’s party founding
•Visit Mansudae Grand Monument to show our respects to the President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il. (Optional extra- you can present flowers if you wish: 4 euros).
•Pyongyang Metro! Ride from Stop 1 to Stop 2 then on to stop 6! Exiting to The Arch of Triumph Station
•The Arch of Triumph- The largest Victory Arch on the planet- it celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of the general Kim Il Sung to his home city
•Lunch at Hot Pot Restaurant
•Walk to Moranbong park to drink, dance and celebrate the holiday with the locals.
•Kimilsungia Flower festival Exhibition
•OPTIONAL Visit the KPA Military Hardware Exhibition (We will have to see if I can get permission for access. 50 euros per person)
•Join the Mass Dance at the Workers Party Foundation monument
•Dinner at the Moran Chicken Hill restaurant
•Go to Kim Il Sung Square to watch the fireworks with the locals
•Visit Taedonggang Brewery #3 for delicious beers and snacks (best fries in town!) - extra cost
•Overnight in Ryanggang Hotel
Saturday 16th April
•Air Koryo flight to depart Pyongyang at 8:20am
•Arrive in Beijing at 9:55am local time.
•Tour ends... you may choose to stay in Beijing or go home...