• Arch of Triumph on Liberation Day, Pyongyang (DPRK)
    Liberation Day

August Tour North Korea - Liberation Day 2017

August Tour North Korea - Liberation Day 2017, anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule on the Korean peninsula. The application deadline for this tour is July 10 2017. Our group sizes tend to be small, with an average of less than 10 people. The number of Westerners going to the DPRK each year is also very limited. However, this is the busiest period in DPRK tourism terms. We therefore kindly ask you to apply by the application deadline as it can be hard to book any late plane and train tickets during this period.

This tour consists of 4 nights in the DPRK plus one night on the train (plane exit option is also available). This tour covers highlights and celebrations in Pyongyang, the lively city of Sariwon, the ancient city Kaesong and of course the DMZ. A truly amazing and compact way of experiencing the trip of a lifetime!

Day 1 - August 12 (Saturday)

  • 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 - gigantic arch built to commemorate President Kim Il Sung's speech upon returning to Korea after the colonial rule of Japan
  • Brief walk around the area.
  • Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Welcome Dinner: KITC Restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 2 - August 13 (Sunday)

AM

  • Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum where the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state). Please note that this is the most sacred place in the DPRK and that there is a dress code to follow. Please contact us for more information.
  • Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery - dedicated to DPRK heroes. Located on a hill in the outskirts of Pyongyang, it offers amazing views of the capital of North Korea.

PM

  • Lunch: Hotpot restaurtant, Pyongyang
  • Mangyongdae Native House (Kim Il Sung's Birthplace)
  • Drive to Sariwon City - this lively city is located in North Hwanghae Province and is one of the largest in Korea
  • Migok Cooperative Farm - see how farmers and their families live in this model cooperative farm, typical of communist countries. We will be able to see the fields and visit a farmer's home and meet the whole family and/or the farmers' children school. These are all located within the farm.
  • Folk Street & Ancient Model Pavilions - we will see how Koreans lived in ancient times and check some model pavilions of times past in Korea
Playing a shooting game with North Koreans in the city of Sariwon, capital of North Hwanghae Province, DPRK

  • Walk up Mt. Kyongnam - the walk itself is only 5 to 10 minutes but we will have views of the whole city and of the surrounding region.
  • Food Street - we will walk around this street and have the chance to check a local Sul-Jib (alcohol house) and try some delicious Makoli (Korean rice wine with very low levels of alcohol). The walk around here is always interesting. There are usually street games and activities too where we can of course join in!
Walk around the Folk Village in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)

  • Mt. Chongbang Fortress - medieval fortress built in the 1100s under the Koryo Dynasty
The South Gate of Mt. Jongbang Fortress (aka Chongbang) in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)

  • Songbul Temple - we will visit this medieval temple in Mt. Chongbang that attracts local painters because of its landscape. A local monk will guide us around
Local monk shows us around Songbul Temple, Mt. Chongbang, Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)

  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Golden Lane Bowling Alley - chance to have a game where locals gather on weekends. There is also an area with 1990s arcade games!
  • Dinner: Local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 3 - August 14 (Monday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Depart to Kaesong (Panmunjom, the DMZ)
  • 38th Parallel - chance to enter the famous blue negotiation rooms where talks between North & South Korea have taken place as well as where the War Armistice was signed
Negotiation rooms at the DMZ, North and South Korea

Technically in the South - Korean soldiers prepare to leave the negotiation rooms as we exit. The microphones shown on the table mark the diversionary line between North & South

  • Koryo Museum (Kaesong) - the first university on the Korean Peninsula it dates from the 900s. Kaesong was the capital of the Koryo Dynasty.
  • Stamp shop - chance to buy unique collections of stamps, postcards, paintings, etc. Even if not purchasing any, browsing around the material is always entertaining as the stamps vary considerably to what is offered in the West.

Please note that this shop is just located outside of the Koryo Museum and will therefore not take up much of our time.

PM

  • Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - a variety of dishes served in gold plate covered bowls
  • Tomb of King Kongmin and his wife. These are one of the best preserved tombs in the DPRK having undergone little restoration. We will see too, on our way there, some tombs of generals that remain in their original states.
  • Drive back to Pyonyang
  • Stop at the Re-unification Monuments - good chance to take some pictures
  • Children's Palace - see a performance put on by extremely talented children who attend this extra-curricular activities centre
  • Drinks at a local bar - The Taedongang Number 3 Beer Bar is one of our favourite ones not only because the beer is brewed there but also because it is a major hangout place for locals.
  • Dinner: Local restaurant in Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 4 - August 15 (Tuesday) - Liberation Day of Korea

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Mansudae Grand Monuments - Giant Bronze Statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. We expect there to be many locals here as it is a national holiday
  • Views of Chollima Statue - the winged horse that was used as a symbol of National Policy to rapidly and strongly reconstruct the country after the Korean War
  • War Museum - see the North Korean version of the war. This museum contains original vehicles and weapons used during the Korean War. The new War Museum is an impressive building with all kinds of details regarding the Korean War.
Children at the War Museum in Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea)

  • USS Pueblo - US spy ship captured in 1968. The only US vessel held by a foreign country, it is displayed to this day in the DPRK as a trophy.

PM

  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang - chance to see locals celebrate a national holiday
  • Kim Il Sung Square - walk around one of the most iconic places of the DPRK. Located in the heart of Pyongyang, this is the square we see on TV all around the world when parades and mass rallies are held.
  • DPRK Foreign Language Bookstore - we walk from the square to this shop. We will have the chance to read and purchase DPRK books that have been translated into English, German, French, Spanish, etc. We can also purchase samples of the newspaper The Pyongyang Times.
Walk from Kim Il Sung Square to the foreign bookstore in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK)

  • Ride on Pyongyang Metro (extended ride) with locals - take the deepest metro in the world with Koreans stopping at several stops and seeing the busiest aspect of life in Pyongyang.
  • Moranbong Park - where locals gather on national holidays. Prepare to be asked to join in the dancing (and singing if you can)!
North Koreans celebrating Liberation Day in Moran Park

  • Party Foundation Monuments - consisting of a hammer, sickle and brush
  • Expected Mass Dances - Chance to dance with North Koreans during the celebrations of this National Holiday. Hundreds of women wear traditional Korean dresses and men suits while they dance in a synchronised manner
  • Juche Tower - chance to see the entire city of Pyongyang by going up 150 metres (the tower is 170 metres tall including its flame). If you would rather not go up (the entrance fee is 5 Euros and not included) you can wait by the Taedong River bank which is too a pleasant experience.
  • Farewell dinner: Number 1 Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant. An ideal way to end a compact but diverse trip to North Korea!
  • Local funfair - you can take rides with locals, but even if you'd rather not, this is a great opportunity to join Koreans during their celebrations. Expect to see many pleasantly surprised faces!
  • If there are any celebrations such as a firework display in the evening we will be able to attend these.

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 5 - August 16 (Wednesday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • 10.40 am train to Beijing - if interested in flying back please contact us

PM

  • Stopover at Sinuiju train station bordering China - DPRK customs will be carried out on the train and there is no need for you to exit it

Day 6 - August 17 (Thursday)

Arrive in Beijing at 08:31 am

End of tour our Liberation Day North August Tour North Korea

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"The whole experience was actually even better than I thought, especially the Mass Games which I can’t even find words to describe." P. Simon - attending the Ocotober 10th Military Parade rehearsal "We had a very enlightening trip and were most impressed with how well organised it all was...and would not have changed anything..."

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