Our North Korea National Day Tour II will allow you to be in Pyongyang for the 73rd anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK. Although our group sizes tend to be small, September and August are the busiest seasons in the DPRK.
In order to guarantee being able to book your transportation tickets you are kindly asked to apply by the application deadline fort the North Korea National Day Tour III tour which is August 1st. If you contact us after the application deadline we will be able to tell you within 24 hours if we can still apply for your trip.
It is possible to extend your trip in the DPRK. If you would like to stay longer in North Korea please do notify us and a private extension can be arranged for you.
We will be based in one of the best hotels of Pyongyang, the Yanggakdo Hotel. This is classified as a Deluxe Hotel in the DPRK, unlike hotels such as the Sosan and Ryanggang Hotels, which are budget hotels. As of 2019 we have been able to use the wifi service in the hotel's casino.
We will also stay at the Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel in Onchon county, near Nampo city. Each room has its own spa, with salty water coming from area's groundwater. They usually have too the option of having Petrol Clam BBQ!
Based on what we have seen, our group tours tend to be much smaller that of other agencies specialising in DPRK tours. We usually have less than 10 people per group and people from all around the world. In the extremely unlikely case of having 19 travellers per group we will divide the group into two separate groups; each with their guides, driver and private vehicle.
Our excellent relationship with our Korean partners and local guides together with the usually small sizes of our groups allow us to arrange on the spot visits to events and places not included in the official program.
This tour consists of 6 nights / 7 days in the DPRK plus one night on the train (plane exit option is also available). This tour covers highlights and celebrations in Pyongyang on 9 September which is National Day, the lively city of Sariwon, the beautiful region of Mt. Myohyang where we visit the famous International Friendship Exhibition Centre and a local temple, the ancient city Kaesong, home to 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, DMZ which is where North and South Korean soldiers stand meters apart and the port city of Nampo on the west coast where will stay overnight at a Hot Spa Hotel. The tour ends with a visit to Munsu Waterpark where locals gather on weekends and holidays. We also expect the Mass Games to be held, though this has not been confirmed yet.
Drive to Mount Myohyang - trip to the northern interior part of the DPRK
International Friendship Exhibition - see where thousands of gifts given from all over the world to the leaders Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Suk (known as Mother Kim Jong Suk in the DPRK) are proudly exposed. There is now too a new section for the current leader Kim Jong Un.
Pohyon Buddhist Temple - one of the most important places of Buddhism in the region when Buddhism was prevalent in Korea.
Lunch: Hyangsan Hotel, Mount Myohyang - this is one of the most luxurious hotels in DPRK
Drive back to Pyongyang
Korean War Museum - impressive museum built in just 10 months. See original weapons used during this devastating War and lear the DPRK version of the first, and still existing, Cold War conflict.
USS Pueblo - US spy ship captured by the DPRK near Wonsan on the east coast and kept as a trophy
Kwangbok Supermarket - chance to use Korean Won and purchase goods with locals
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun - (where the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state). This is a very important place in the DPRK which is why you are kindly asked to wear formal attire. We will fully brief you before your trip to North Korea.
Fountain Park - chance to mingle with Koreans here
Below is a video of a parade on national day. We do not expect there to be any military parades on National Day 2021 as these are only held on major anniversaries e.g. 65th anniversary, 70th anniversary, etc. In any case, when there is one this is usually how it looks like! We took this back in 2013. There was a parade too in 2018.
Expected Mass Dances in which locals celebrate National Day - chance to dance with North Koreans. Hundreds of university students; women dress in traditional Korean clothing and men in suits as they dance in a synchronised way.
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, Pyongyang
EXPECTED MASS GAMES please note that these have not been confirmed. If they do not take place, we will arrange a trip to the local funfair where you can join Koreans on a national holiday. The entrance fee to the funfair is around 2 Euros and rides cost from 1.5 to 5 Euros and are optional.
If there are any celebrations such as a firework display in the evening we will be able to attend these.
Depart to Kaesong (Panmunjom, the DMZ) - we will have a break in the middle. As we approach Kaesong we will be able to see on our right hand side the famous Kaesong Industrial Complex as well as the train station that leads to South Korea and is still not in use.
Please note that there are military points on the way and it is forbidden to take pictures of these. We will be notified before passing each check-point.
Panmunjom (aka 38th Parallel) - early visit to the DMZ. Chance to enter the famous blue negotiation room where talks between North & South Korea take place, or to get close to them if they are locked. We will also be toured around Panmunjom, see where the armistice was signed and we will be escorted by a DPRK soldier on our bus as is required on all tours. Most soldiers are intrigued to see what travellers think of the division of Korea and this presents a great opportunity to have a Q&A session with a DPRK soldier. The trip to the DMZ is too a highlight of our DPRK National Day Tour.
Stamp shop - a great selection of DPRK stamps and souvenirs available in this shop located just outside of the Koryo Museum.
Lunch: Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - The name means Re-unification Restaurant. Dishes are served in covered golden plated small bowls. With 12 bowls per person there is a lot of variety in the food served!
Folk Street & Ancient Model Pavilions - we will see how Koreans lived in ancient times and check some model pavilions of times past in Korea. we will walk around this street and may have the chance to try some local Makoli (Korean rice wine with very low levels of alcohol). If you have a weak stomach please do not try it! The walk around here is always interesting. There are usually street games and activities too where we can of course join in!
Mt. Kyongnam Pavilion - a 5 minute walk up hill, it offers fantastic views of Sariwon city and the surrounding region.
Stop at the Re-unification Monuments - good chance to take some pictures
Drive to Nampo City - we will go on the Youth Heroes Highway which was built by university students in the late 90s.
Chongsangrim Cooperative Farm - cooperative farms were common in socialist/communist countries. Farmers and their families work and live here. The local farm manager will show us around the farm and explain how it operates.
Ta'en Glass Manufacturing Factory -unique chance to see how a DPRK factory operates
Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel
Day 6 - 12 September (Sunday)
West Sea Barrage - this is an 8 km long structure that divides the Taedong River from the West Sea of Korea (the Yellow Sea). It took 5 years to build and is seen as a source of national pride. We will be able to have views of the whole structure from the platform by the lighthouse.
Mangyongdae Native House - Birth Place of President Kim Il Sung
Lunch: local restaurant, Pyongyang
Walk by Future Street aka Scientists' Street - newly built street where scientists and university professors live. The architecture here strongly contrasts with that of the rest of Pyongyang.
Munsu Water Park - enjoy and relax having fun with locals. There are several things you can do here; get in your swimming trunks and check out the pools and slides, have a go at table tennis, billiards or simply enjoy a cup of coffee. If you would like to go on the slides and pools the fee is 10 Euros per person.
Kaeson Funfair after dinner - you can take rides with locals, but even if you'd rather not, this is a great opportunity to join Koreans during their celebrations and to mingle with them. Rides cost from 1.5 to 5 Euros and are optional. If you already went here on 9th September a trip to the bowling alley will be arranged. You can also mingle with locals there.