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

DPRK Liberation Day Tour II

15 August marks the anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule on the Korean peninsula. The application deadline for this tour is July 10 2024.

Accommodation

We will be based at one of the best hotels in Pyongyang, the Yanggakdo Hotel. We will also be staying at the east coast and at a traditional courtyard hotel in the old part of town of the ancient city of Kaesong near the DMZ.

Minsok Folk Hotel in Kaesong, North Korea. This courtyard hotel is located in the old part of town. Picture taken by KTG Tours

Group Size

Typically, our groups tend to be small, consisting often fewer than 10 individuals. However, during the peak seasons of August and September, when demand surges, we cap group sizes at 19 people.

In the rare event of exceeding this limit, we split the group into smaller, more manageable groups. Each subgroup receives personalized attention with their own dedicated guides, private vehicle, and a driver. Given the high traffic of travellers (in DPRK tourism terms) during this period, we encourage prompt application submissions to secure travel arrangements as booking last-minute flights or trains can prove challenging.

Route and Map

Explore the destinations marked on our tour itinerary by hovering over each location for detailed insights.

Pyongyang is marked with the big red star.

While Dandong and Sinuiju serve as brief transit stops for Chinese and Korean customs, we also offer extension tours in these cities. Do please let us know if you are interested in either option.

Tour Outline

Embark on a captivating journey spanning 6 nights and 7 days in the DPRK, with an optional one-night train experience (or plane departure). Delve into the vibrant tapestry of experiences, from the wide avenues and multi-laned streets of Pyongyang to the serene landscapes of Mt. Myohyang. Traverse ancient cities like Kaesong, witness the historic DMZ, and unwind by the West Coast's beaches. Culminate your adventure with a rejuvenating afternoon at North Korea's most renowned waterpark.

Highlights

Partake in unique experiences like Liberation Day festivities in Pyongyang and immersive encounters with locals. Engage with the uniquess of the DPRK and its system at sites like the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery. Marvel at monumental landmarks such as the Arch of Triumph and the iconic Juche Tower. If available, seize the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring Mass Games, showcasing synchronized performances by North Korean talents.

Moran Park on Liberation Day in Pyongyang, capital city of North Korea (DPRK) with KTG Tours
  • Being in Pyongyang for any celebrations on August 15, Liberation Day!
  • Main highlights in Pyongyang including shopping with locals!
  • Possible Mass Games - this is not confirmed yet but if they are held we will attend them!
  • The DMZ where the Korean War Armistice was signed and where soldiers from North and South Korea face each other.
  • Moran Park on Liberation Day in Pyongyang, capital city of North Korea (DPRK) with KTG Tours
  • Visiting the ancient city of Kaesong and staying there overnight in a traditional Korean courtyard hotel.
  • A local factory and farm in Nampo on the west coast of the DPRK as well as the west sea barrage; an 8 km long dam.
  • Munsu Waterpark and a lot of fun with locals!

Detailed Itinerary

Please note that itinerary adjustments may occur to accommodate local conditions in Korea.

If entering by train we leave Beijing on 12 August at 17.27

Day 1 - 13 August (Tuesday)

  • Depart from Beijing at 13.05 flight JS 152 Terminal 2, Beijing International Capital Airport
  • Arrive in Pyongyang at 16.05 (Pyongyang time)

PM

Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang North Korea with KTG Tours in the summer on our Liberation Day Tour
  • Arch of Triumph - Explore the iconic Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, a monumental structure commemorating President Kim Il Sung's return to Korea following Japanese colonial rule. Take a brief stroll around the area before your first meal in North Korea.
  • Welcome Dinner: KITC Restaurant, Pyongyang
  • Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 2 - 14 August (Wednesday)

    AM

  • Start your day with breakfast at Yanggakdo Hotel before embarking on a journey to Mount Myohyang, nestled in the northern interior of the DPRK. Visit the International Friendship Exhibition Centre, showcasing thousands of gifts honoring the country's leadership.
  • Explore the serene Pohyon Temple, steeped in history and culture and once the capital of bhudhism in the region.
monk in Mt. Myohyang, North Korea

PM

  • Enjoy lunch at the luxurious Hyangsan Hotel before returning to Pyongyang.
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Delve into the DPRK's wartime history at the War Museum and witness the USS Pueblo, a captured US spy ship.
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.
Munsu Waterpark in Pyongyang capital of North Korea DPRK with KTG Tours
  • Dinner: Local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 3 - 15 August (Thursday)

Celebrate the 79th Anniversary of Korea's Liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Visit the revered Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun. This is the most sacred place in the DPRK as it is where Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state. Formal attire required.
  • Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery - The site is a burial ground honoring revolutionaries who opposed Japanese rule. It features rows of bronze busts commemorating these patriotic figures. Additionally, visitors can enjoy magnificent views of Pyongyang from this location.

PM

  • Picnic lunch: Moran Park. Fantastic chance to eat, drink and celebrate a national Korean holiday side by side locals.
  • Moran Park - where locals gather on national holidays. Don't be shy if locals ask you to join in the banter!
North Koreans celebrating Liberation Day in Moran Park
  • Fountain Park - beautiful little spot in Pyongyang.
  • Mansudae Grand Monuments - the imposing bronze statues depicting leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are anticipated to draw a large crowd of locals, especially considering it's a national holiday.
  • Views of Chollima Statue - the winged horse, symbolising the National Policy aimed at swiftly and robustly rebuilding the nation following the Korean War.
  • Experience a journey aboard the Pyongyang Metro alongside local commuters, traversing through the deepest metro system globally. Witness the bustling facets of life in Pyongyang as you stop at various stations along the way.
North Korea subway entrance, Pyongyang (DPRK)

Pyongyang Metro

  • Juche Tower - you have the opportunity to behold the panoramic view of Pyongyang from a height of 150 meters (the tower stands at 170 meters including its flame). Alternatively, if you prefer not to ascend (entrance fee: 5 Euros, not inclusive), you can opt for a serene experience by waiting along the Taedong River bank.
  • Party Foundation Monuments - consisting of a hammer (workers), sickle (farmers) and brush (intelectuals), the main pillars of DPRK society are represented.
  • Expected Mass Dances - participate in traditional dances alongside North Koreans as part of the National Holiday festivities. Witness hundreds of individuals adorned in traditional Korean attire, with women wearing Korean dresses and men dressed in suits, dancing in synchronized harmony. Please be aware that confirmation of these events will be provided on-site.
  • POSSIBLE MASS GAMES - please note that it has not been confirmed yet if these are to take place. If they are held we will be able go.
  • Dinner: local restaurant, Pyongyang
Mass Games in Pyongyang capital of North Korea. Trip arranged by KTG Tours
  • If there are any celebrations such as firework displays in the evening we will be able to attend these.

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 4 - 16 August (Friday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Drive south to Kaesong city - An ancient city of Korea, once the capital of the Koryo Dynasty, it has preserved much of its historic architecture due to the fact that it was not decimated during the Korean War.
  • 38th Parallel (DMZ) - There's a potential opportunity to access the renowned blue negotiation rooms where discussions between North and South Korea have occurred, although these rooms are not consistently open to the public. If inaccessible, we'll still have the chance to closely observe them standing just a few meters away. Additionally, we'll visit the site where the Korean War Armistice was signed.
Negotiation rooms at the DMZ, North and South Korea

Technically in the South - Korean soldiers prepare to leave the negotiation room as we exit. The microphones positioned on the table serve as a visual marker denoting the boundary line between North and South Korea.

KTG traveller shakes hand with a North Korean soldier at the DMZ in North Korea. Panmunjom is the only place in the DPRK where we can take pictures of the North Korean military

KTG Traveller and KPA Office shake hands at DMZ

PM

  • Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - a variety of Korean traditional dishes are served in gold plate covered bowls. In feudal times, the larger the number of bowls one had, the higher their status in society. We will be indeed treasted as kings here!
Traditional Korean dishes in Kaesong Pansangi North Korea, DPRK with KTG Tours
  • Koryo Museum (Kaesong) - This site is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds the distinction of being the earliest university on the Korean Peninsula, with origins dating back to the 900s. Kaesong served as the capital of the Koryo Dynasty.
Koryo Museum in Kaesong in North Korea, DPRK with KTG Tours
  • Kaesong Stamp Shop - here, visitors have the opportunity to acquire distinctive collections of stamps, postcards, paintings, and more. Even for those not making a purchase, exploring the diverse array of materials is an enjoyable experience, given the notable variation from what is typically available in Western markets.

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

  • Drive to Sariwon City - capital of North Hwanghae Province, this is a vibrant provincial capital with a population of around 300,000.
  • Folk Street & Ancient Model Pavilions - we'll explore the lifestyles of ancient Koreans and inspect model pavilions depicting historical eras in Korea. Strolling along this street, we'll have the opportunity to visit a local Sul-Jib (alcohol house) or stall to sample delightful Makoli, a Korean rice wine with low alcohol content. The area offers an intriguing walk, often featuring street games and activities in which we're welcome to participate.
  • Walk up Mt. Kyongnam - hike up itself lasts merely 5 to 10 minutes, yet it provides panoramic views of the entire city and its surrounding areas.
Views from Mount Kyongnam pavilion in Sariwon city, capital of North Hwanghae province in North Korea, DPRK. Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Views of Sariwon City from Mount Kyongnam

Walk around the Folk Village in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)

Walk around Sariwon City

  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Kwangbok Supermarket - we'll explore the sole location in Pyongyang where foreigners can exchange foreign currency for Korean Won and shop alongside locals. The establishment features a supermarket on the ground floor, clothing stores on the first floor, and an opportunity to sample local snacks on the top floor. Expect curious gazes from many Koreans during your visit.
  • Beer bar - try some local fresh DPRK beer
  • Dinner - Number 1 Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant. Nothing like some sizzling duck and soju licor after such a long and intriguing day.
  • Kaeson Funfair (optional) - if you're still not exhausted you may want to check the funfair out, a great way to see locals have fun! The entrance fee is around 2 Euros and rides then range from 1.5 to 5 Euros.

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 5 - 17 August (Saturday)

    AM

    • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
    • Grand People's Study House - a colossal building located in the very heart of Pyongyang right by Kim Il Sung Square. Marble floors, grandiose chandeliers, enormous classrooms, and lecture rooms, all serve students and workers alike to expand their knowledge, whether it be English, Russian, philosophy. This building has too a wide range of foreign books. Why not check out if there are any from your country?

    • Drive to Nampo city on the west coast of the DPRK - we will drive on the Youth Hero Highway. This was built by volunteer students in the late 1990s. Some of the local guides we work with actually helped build this highway, it always fascinating to hear them talk about their experience.
    • Chongsanri Cooperative Farm - as you embark on this journey from the capital to Nampo, your senses are treated to an immersive adventure. The landscape unfolds before you, adorned with lush rice paddies and sprawling salt farms, painting a picturesque tapestry of rural life, and then we arrive at this model cooperative farm where hundreds of families work, live and study. See what socialist agricultural life is like in North Korea.
    • Ta'en Glass Factory - step into the heart of North Korea's industrial prowess with a visit to a glass manufacturing factory. Here, amidst the rhythmic hum of machinery and the symphony of bustling workers, witness socialism in action. Marvel at the precision and efficiency as molten glass transforms into exquisite products, embodying the nation's dedication to self-reliance and collective prosperity. Immerse yourself in the industrial landscape, where innovation meets tradition, and gain a firsthand glimpse into North Korea's industrial resilience.
    • Lunch:
    • Local Beach - experience a hidden gem of North Korea as you unwind on the sandy shores of Nampo's beach. Here, amidst the gentle lapping of waves and the laughter of locals, discover a side of the DPRK often overlooked. Sink your toes into the soft sand, bask in the warm sun, and immerse yourself in the joyous camaraderie of beachgoers. From beach volleyball matches to seaside picnics, relish in the opportunity to connect with locals and embrace the vibrant spirit of community in this unexpected slice of paradise.
    • Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel - nestled in a remote rural expanse wrapped by darkness and guarded by vigilant soldiers, the Ryanggang Hot Spa Hotel consists of several villas and offers a nostalgic journey to the socialist era of the 1970s and 1980s. Each room is a cozy sanctuary adorned with retro decor, reminiscent of Eastern European bygone times. Immerse yourself in tranquility as you indulge in your private spa, featuring a bathtub filled with invigorating sea water known for its purported health benefits. Delight your palate with a local delicacy, the oil clam barbecue, as you enjoy the star-studded skies. Please note that conditions here are not the best. Power cuts can occur, so we recommend you to have your phone or a torch handy if exploring the grounds at night.

    Day 6 - 18 August (Sunday)

    AM

  • West Sea Barrage - nestled in a remote rural expanse wrapped by darkness and guarded by vigilant soldiers, the Ryanggang Hot Spa Hotel consists of several villas and offers a nostalgic journey to the socialist era of the 1970s and 1980s. Each room is a cozy sanctuary adorned with retro decor, reminiscent of Eastern European bygone times. Immerse yourself in tranquility as you indulge in your private spa, featuring a bathtub filled with invigorating sea water known for its purported health benefits. Delight your palate with a local delicacy, the oil clam barbecue, as you enjoy the star-studded skies. Please note that conditions here are not the best. Power cuts can occur, so we recommend you to have your phone or a torch handy if exploring the grounds at night.
  • Drive back to Pyonygang
  • Mangyongdae Native House - the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. See the cottage where he grew up.
  • PM

  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang
  • Pyonygang City Walk - a captivating walking tour through the heart of Pyongyang, starting from the iconic Pyongyang Grand Theatre and culminating at the renowned Kim Il Sung Square. This immersive journey offers a glimpse into the daily lives of locals, as you traverse bustling streets. Experience the rhythm of city life, soak in the sights and sounds, and unravel the essence of Pyongyang's vibrant spirit with each step of this enchanting exploration.
  • Munsu Waterpark- dive into excitement at North Korea's most renowned waterpark, where fun knows no bounds. Join locals for a splashing good time, whether racing down thrilling slides or lounging in the outdoor and indoor pools. After the aquatic adventures, treat yourself to a snack at the coffee shop, challenge friends to a game of pool or table tennis, and unwind with a rejuvenating spa session. It's the perfect retreat to relax, and unwind after your North Korea Liberation Day Tour adventure.
  • Dinner: Local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 7 - 19 August (Monday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • 10.25 am train to Beijing - please let us know if you are interested in flying back

PM

  • Stopover at Sinuiju train station bordering China for Korean customs

Day 8 - 20 August (Tuesday)

Arrive in Beijing at 08:40 am

End of tour our North Korea Liberation Day Tour II

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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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