• North Koreans with the party flag
  • Korean man dancing in the park with a KTG traveller
  • Volleyball game with locals in North Korea

2018 North Korea May Day Tour

2018 North Korea May Day Tour - The application deadline for this tour is March 20 2018.

Our North Korea May Day Tour combines 4 cities in 4 nights in the DPRK: Pyongyang, Kaesong, Nampo and Sariwon, a unique chance of covering much of the DPRK during a national holiday.

In our humble opinion, May Day is one of the most fun times to be in North Korea. Please check our Youtube video below recorded in 2018 and you will see why we love this day so much:

Day 0 - April 27 (Friday) for those entering by train

  • Those taking the train in meet our KTG staff downtown Beijing for our pre-tour briefing and take the train to Pyongyang together, arriving the following day in Pyongyang

Day 1 - April 28 (Saturday) for those entering by plane

  • Head to the airport and depart from Beijing at 13.05 flight JS 152 Terminal 2, Beijing Capital Airport
  • Arrive in Pyongyang at 15.35 (Pyongyang time)

PM

  • Arch of Triumph - impressive monument larger than the Arch of Triumph in Paris
  • Brief walk around the area - we will see the enormous mural showing an image of President Kim Il Sung's speech upon returning to Korea after the liberation of the country in 1945. The Kim Il Sung Stadium is located close by too, though we will see more of this on Sunday
  • Drive by Chollima Statue - built to reflect the DPRK's official policy to reconstruct the country after the Korean War at the speed of the Chollima Horse
  • Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Welcome Dinner: KITC Restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 2 - April 29 (Sunday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun - we start the main day of our North Korea May Day tour with an early departure to where the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il remain in state. Please note that this is one of the most important places in the DPRK. You are kindly asked to dress in formal attire (please contact us for more information regarding this).
  • IMPORTANT The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun only opens on Thursday and Sunday mornings to the public and is usually closed from May until July. In 2018 it was closed on 30 April and no tourists in the country were able to go. Our partners in Pyongyang have told us that they expect it to be opened on 29 April 2018 but we find it necessary to let all travellers know about the possiblity of it being closed at the end of April.
  • Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery - located near the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in the outskirts of Pyongyang, views of the whole city are offered

PM

  • Lunch: Yanngakdo Hotel, Pyongyang - we go back to our hotel to have lunch and quicky change back into comfortable clothes
  • Drive to the port city of Nampo on the west coast of the DPRK
  • Chongsanri Cooperative farm - we will have the chance to see where farmers live and work. One of the farm leaders will show us around the greenhouses they have and explain to us how they operate. This is an opportunity to see a unique characteristic of the DPRK which was common in communist states; a cooperative, that is a farm where groups of farmers work and live. It will also allow you to see how people work and live in the farm.
  • West Sea Barrage - 8km long barrage that separates the Taedong River and the West Sea. This is a source of national pride in the DPRK. It has helped reduce floods in Pyongyang and also provides energy in the local area. You will have a view of the whole project which also lets you see a variety of ships off the DPRK coasts.
  • Drive back to Pyongyang

  • Kwangbok Supermarket - this is the only place where foreigners can exchange foreign currency for Korean won and purchase goods with Korean won. This place is usually packed with locals and we are allowed to wander around by ourselves. The bottom floor consists of a supermarket which mainly consists of local goods. The first floor is where clothes is sold as well as other goods such as watches, home equipment. The top floor is where we can buy snacks and meals and it is where hundreds of people tend to gather with their families for some food!
  • Dinner: Local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 4 - April 30 (Monday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Depart to Kaesong (Panmunjom, the DMZ) - we depart early in the morning for this 2.5 hour drive. As we approach Kaesong we will be able to see the Kaesong Industrial Complex on the left hand side of our coach and the train station with the railway connecting North and South Korea which symbolises hope of reunification.38 Parallel Korea
  • 38th Parallel (DMZ) - chance to enter the famous blue negotiation rooms where talks between North & South Korea have taken place. A KPA Officer will join us on our coach and we will be guided around Panmunjom. The officer with us tends to ask us questions regarding our views about Korea and it is fascinating to be able to interact with them
  • Koryo Museum (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the old part of the city - unlike most of Korea, Kaesong was not destroyed during the Korean War. This museum was the first university in the Korean Peninsula. It is also quite common to see newly weds celebrating their weddings here.
  • Stamp shop - chance to purchase a rich variety of DPRK stamps, post cards, artwork, etc. This is just outside of the Koryo Museum and we usually make a quick break here.

PM

  • Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - dishes are served in small covered golden plated bowls. The number of smalle dishes served symbolised in ancient times the status of the person eating, 12 dishes being the highest number.
  • Drive to Sariwon, one of the largest city in the DPRKGames in Sariwon, North Korea
  • Walk around Food Street - We drive back to Sariwon city and explore what the city has to offer. Opportunity to walk around one of the busiest streets in Sariwon and stop by a local "Sul Jib" (meaning wine house or bar) to try some of the local delicacy; makoli, a traditional Korean drink (with low levels of alcohol). Sariwon is renowned for having the best makoli in the DPRK.
  • Check local models of ancient pavilions and have an explanation of ancient Korea - apart from seeing models of Korean ancient pavilions and maps of the ancient Korean peninsula, one of the main highlights here is that there are usually Koreans playing games such as shooting targets (corks used as bullets). Not many travellers visit this city and we are always welcome to have a chance at the game!
  • Walk up to Mt. Kyongnam Pavilion - the whole city of Sariwon and beyond can be seen from here. The walk itself is not that long, around 5 to 10 minutes, but the views give you a chance of not only seeing people getting along with their daily lives around the city but also the landscape stretching miles away into the horizon. You can see our Youtube video below to see what Sairwon looks like:


  • Stop at the Reunification Monument - chance to have some pictures taken at these giant monuments
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Dinner: Hotpot Restaurant
Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 3 - May 1  (Monday) May 1st National Holiday (International Workers' Day)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Fountain Park - popular place for locals to take pictures. We will walk by the giant mosaic images of the leaders.
  • Mansudae Grand Monuments - giant bronze statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
  • Korean War Museum - the newly restored museum shows the DPRK version of the Korean War. The sheer size of the museum and amount of detail put into it is truly amazing.
  • USS Pueblo - US Spy ship captured by the DPRK in 1968, it sits in North Korea as trophy shown to locals and foreigners alike.
  • Taeson Park - sporting and dancing events are held here. You will be able to wonder around by yourself in the park and join in the fun with the Koreans! Interacting with Koreans is a highlight of our North Korea May Day tour and something that we encourage as much as possible in all of our trips. Having small groups enhances the chances of this greatly. Please check our short Youtube video:

PM

  • May Day celebrations on Moran Hill, Pyongyang, North Korea
  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang
  • Ride on Pyongyang Metro - visit several stops as part of this extended ride on one of the busiest days in Pyongyang!
  • Moran Park - chance to celebrate with locals on this National Holiday. You will be able to join in the singing and dancing. Thousands, and this is no exaggeration, of people gather here today. The spirits are high and the atmosphere is incredible. Although a capital city, Pyongyang does not receive many Westerners, meaning that you will be treated as a special guest by locals who usually have limited chance to interact with foreigners given that there are not many in the country.
  • Juche Tower - stunning views of Pyongyang are offered from the top of this 150 metre tall tower (170 including the flame!)
  • Dancing with North Koreans in Moran Park on May Day
  • Workers' Party Monuments - if Mass Dances are held you will be able to attend, though this will only be confirmed on May 1st. Thousands of Koreans gather and dance (women wearing traditional Korean outfits and men suits) in a synchronised way. You will of course be more than welcome to join in!
  • Local funfair - even if you do not want to go on the rides, this is a great time to see locals have fun on a National Holiday and they will be with no doubt very curious at the sight of foreigners. Rides are 1 to 3 Euros per person but you do not need to try any of them if you would rather simply walk and look around the park, which itself is an experience!
  • Drink at local bar - pre-dinner drinks at the Taedongang Number 3 Brewery Bar before our May Day Tour Farewell Dinner
  • Farewell Dinner: Pyongyang No.1 Duck BBQ Restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 5 - May 2 (Wednesday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • 10.10 am Train to Beijing - Please notify us if you would rather fly out of Pyongyang.

PM

  • Stopover at Sinuiju train station bordering China where DPRK customs takes place (customs officers will come on the train to proceed with formalities). We then cross the bridge over the Yalu River back into China.

Overnight: train

Day 6 - May 3 (Thursday)

AM

  • Arrival at the Beijing train station. The expected arrival time is 8.38 am

End of North Korea May Day Tour

Please go to our North Korea Tourism page to see more information on other tours that we offer other than our North Korea May Day Tour.

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