Rason Special Economic Zone Tours - We are extremely excited to announce that we will be offering trips to the extreme northeastern part of the DPRK; Rajin and Sonbong. Please our itineraries below:
This is a unique part of North Korea and one of the least visited places in one of the least visited countries in the world. By unique we mean that it is the first Special Economic Zone in the DPRK and has a particular location, bordering Northeast China and the remote area of eastern Russia.
Trips to Chongjin and the breathtaking Mount Chilbo, where you will be able to stay with a North Korean homestay, can also be arranged.
The goal of this section is to let you know about this remote DPRK region, the itineraries that can be arranged there and information on the surrounding region in China.
Rajin and Sonbong together make up a special economic zone created in the early 1990s to attract foreign investment in the DPRK and usually used as an “economic experimental area” in North Korea. The name usually used for this area is the combination of the cities Rajin and Songbong i.e. Rason. Hardly any Westerners visit this remote part of the country. We will be able to visit for example a local bank, the Golden Triangle Bank, and a private market where locals sell and buy goods.
Just to add to the uniqueness of this area, this area borders both China and Russia and it is possible for you to end your tour in either country! Please note that you cannot start your tour to Rason from Pyongyang and will have to enter from Yanbian in China (more information below) though we are currently working on creating a new direct route.
The Chinese area that borders Rason is the Korean autonomous region in Jilin province called Yanbian in Chinese (Yonggil in Korean); a mishmash of Chinese and Korean culture merged into one.
Is it possible to go from Pyongyang to Rason and vice versa?
It is currently not possible to do so, but we have good news regarding this. As of spring 2013 there will be flights from Yanji to Pyongyang. This means that you can exit a tour to Yanji from Pyongyang and then go on an extension to Rajin and Sonbong or visit this special economic zone first and then fly from Yanji to Pyongyang without having to go from Pyongyang to Beijing and then from Beijing on to Yanji!
On the Russian side it is possible to exit the DPRK via Khabska and then from there you can move to Vladivostok and fly to Pyongyang.
Please note that we can help with the flights Pyongyang – Yanji,
Yanji – Pyongyang, Pyongyang – Vladivostok, Vladivostok – Pyongyang.
For your “mainland” DPRK visa this can be handed to you in Beijing, Shenyang,
Yanji or Vladivostok (if you are not obtaining it in your country of
However we currently cannot help with transportation from Khabska to Vladivostok. Currently trains from Rason to Khabska are on Tuesday and Fridays at 2pm Pyongyang time. Flights from Vladivostok to Pyongyang are on Fridays and Saturdays.
Please click on our North Korea Places of Interest page for more information on areas that can be visited in the DPRK other than this Special Economic Zone of North Korea.