• Firework display for Kim Jong Il's Birthday, Pyongyang
  • Frozen Taedong River, Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Mass Dances in Pyongyang with North Koreans on the Birthday of Kim Jong Il
  • Pyongyang Indoor stadium during Mass Dances
  • DPRK Soldier Ice Sculpture

Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour 2018

2018 Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour. The application deadline for this tour is January 8 2018. If interested in extending your tour please send us an e-mail stating how long you would like to extend for and if there are any specific places you would like to visit.

Very important date in the DPRK calendar. Celebrations expected. Bundle up and explore North Korea with us!

Day 1 - February 13 (Tuesday)

  • Depart from Beijing at 13.05 flight JS 152 Terminal 2, Beijing Capital Airport
  • Arrive in Pyongyang at 15.35 (Pyongyang time)


  • Night drive around Pyongyang
  • Arch of Triumph - walk around the area. See the giant mural showing the image of President Kim Il Sung upon his return to Korea after Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945
  • Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Welcome Dinner: KITC Number 1 Restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Please check our Youtube video below. It was shot during our Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour in 2016 and will give you a fair idea of what to expect on this tour. We recommend you to watch in HD!

Day 2 - February 14 (Wednesday)


  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Depart to Kaesong (Panmunjom, the DMZ) - this city was not destroyed during the Korean War and we can therefore see some traditional Korean architecture. We will then visit the DMZ, the last area where the consequences of the Cold War are still very alive.
Banner to celebrate the birthday of Kim Jong Il in Kaesong, North Korea. The sides have the flag of the Workers' Party of Korea and of the DPRK. 2.16 is the date of Kim Jong Il's birthday, a major holiday in North Korea

Preparations in Kaesong for 16 February

  • 38th Parallel (DMZ) - chance to enter the famous blue negotiation rooms where talks between North & South Korea have taken place


  • Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - dishes are served in small covered golden plated bowls, with no less than 12 small dishes per person. The number of dishes served symbolised the rank of the person eating and 12 is the highest ranking of all!
KTG traveller taking a picture of the old part of town of Kaesong, North Korea (DPRK)

KTG Traveller takes a picture of the Old Town of Kaesong

  • Koryo Museum (Kaesong) - the first university in the Korean Peninsula, it dates from the 900s and is located in extremely peaceful surroundings
wedding celebration in the Koryo Museum in Kaesong, North Korea. This museum is a UNESCO world heritage site. Kaesong is located near the border between South Korea and the DPRK

Wedding Celebration in the Koryo Museum, Kaesong

  • Stamp shop - just outside of the Koryo Hotel, we usually make a quick stop here. A wide variety of stamps, postcards, artwork, etc can be purchased.
  • Concrete Wall - allegedly built by the South and only visible from the North. See one of the world's most important nature reserves as hardly any humans have stepped on the land dividing the Korean peninsula since 1953. It is interesting to listen to a WPA personnel tell us the story behind this. The drive there is around 30 to 40 minutes away from Kaesong and we drive by very small villages on the way there.
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Dinner: Chongryu restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 3 - February 15 (Thursday)


  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Kumsusan Memorial Palace - where the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state, one of the most sacred places in the DPRK
Kumsusan Memorial Palace in the winter, Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea)
  • Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery - views of the whole of Pyongyang are available atop the hill where this cemetery is located


  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang
  • Drive to Sariwon City - capital of North Hwanghae Province, this lively city is one of the largest in North Korea.
  • Migok Cooperative Farm - this is a model cooperative farm in North Korea and a visit here allows us to see an aspect of life in the DPRK unique to socialist/communist countries. Farmers work and live in this farm where their children's schools are located too. We will see the fields where farmers work and visit a farmer's home where we can meet a local farmer. Office workers in North Korea also work on farms for a few weeks to one month every year. Our local guides do this too. It is always extremely interesting to hear what guides have to say about their own experiences and about life in North Korea by listening to their own personal experiences. With no doubt this helps us make the most out of the trip. Having known the guides for several years after going to the DPRK so frequently has allowed us to create very close relationships with them. This combined with our small sized groups allows our travellers to have more of a personal relation with our guides. Many of our travellers send us messages and pictures for their guides after their trip to DPRK.
  • Folk Street & Ancient Model Pavilions - we will see how Koreans lived in ancient times and see some model pavilions showing this. Walking around this street give us the chance to check a local Sul-Jib (alcohol house) and try some delicious Makoli (Korean rice wine with very low levels of alcohol) if available. 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)
  • 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.

  • Drive to Mt. Chongbang Fortress - medieval fortress built in the 1100s under the rule of the Koryo Dynasty
The South Gate of Mt. Jongbang Fortress (aka Chongbang) in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Songbul Temple - a local monk will guide us around this temple which attracts local painters because of its beautiful and varied landscape
Local monk shows us around Songbul Temple, Mt. Chongbang, Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Children's Palace - see kids practicing extra curricular activities
  • Dinner: local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 4 - February 16 (Friday) National Holiday - Leader General Kim Jong Il's 76th Birthday


  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum enormous museum holding original vehicles used in the Korean War and explaining the DPRK version of the war. This was restored recently. The theme of the Korean War is very important in DPRK.
  • USS Pueblo - US spyship captured in 1968 by the DPRK
North Korean Ice Rocket sculpture in Kim Il Sung Square with the Juche Tower in the background

DPRK Ice Rocket Sculpture in Kim Il Sung Square. The Juche Tower can be seen in the background across the Taedong River.

  • Pyongyang Metro - we will take an extended ride with locals. This is one of the deepest subway systems in the world and the stops are beautifully decorated.
  • Mangyongdae Native House - the Birthplace of President Kim Il Sung


  • Local Supermaket - chance to go on a shopping spree in Pyongyang! This is the only place where we foreigners can exchange foreign currency to local Korean Won and buy goods together with locals. There are three storeys here and we get to roam them all by ourselves. Great experience to stack up on food and drinks, buy some local DPRK clothes or to just take in the atmosphere while nibbling on a local snack.
  • Fountain Park - 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. There will be many locals here today
  • Kim Il Sung Square - This is the square where military parades and rallies take place (the ones we usually see on TV when there are news regarding North Korea)
  • DPRK foreign Language Bookstore - chance to read & purchase DPRK publications in English and in other languages
  • Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition - thousands of locals go to see flowers given to Kim Jong Il on occasion of his birthday. There is usually local media interviewing Koreans
Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition held in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK), for the Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

People gathering at the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition - this place is literally crowded with locals the days surrounding 16th February

  • Juche Tower - chance to go up the 150 metre tower (170 metres including the torch) that offers a panoramic view of Pyongyang
  • Monuments to the Workers' Party - monument consisting of a hammer, sickle and brush that rise 50 metres in the sky
  • Expected Mass Dances - thousands of Korean students dance in a synchronised way and we will have the opportunity to join in!
KTG staff member dancing with Koreans at the Mass Dances on Leader Kim Jong Il's Birthday in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK)

There will likely be optional extra activities available such as Music Concerts or Synchronised Swimming shows. These will be offered on the spot once in the DPRK

  • Local beer bar - chance to have a few drinks before dinner
  • Farewell Dinner: Pyongyang Number 1 Duck BBQ Restaurant
  • Expected Fireworks Display after dinner - these are usually held at 8.30 pm

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 5 - February 17 (Saturday)


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


  • Stopover at Sinuiju train station bordering China - customs procedures will be carried out on the train

Day 6 - February 18 (Sunday)

Arrive in Beijing at 08:38 am

End of the Leader General Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour

Please go to our North Korea tourism page to see more information on other tours that we offer other than our Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour.


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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..."

P. Clarke

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