North Korea November Tour I
Korea November Tour I - This tour will allow you to see all highlights
of Pyongyang and Kaesong (including the DMZ). Despite this being one
the most economic departures of the year, you will still stay in the
available in Pyongyang, the Yanggakdo Hotel.
application deadline is October 15th.
Being in the DPRK is an unforgettable and unique experience,
but being only one of a few westerns in the entire
the trip a whole new dimension.
Please note that our group tours tend to be small, with an average of
less than 10 people, which we believe is, together with
of one of our Western tour leaders and long lasting relationship with
Korean partners and guides, essential in
allowing you having closer
rapport with the Koreans, more flexibility in the official program and
an invaluable chance of interacting
more with local people,
something that is logistically not
possible with large groups.
Day 1 - November 11 (Saturday)
- Depart from Beijing at 13.05 flight JS 152 Terminal 2, Beijing
- Arrive in Pyongyang at 16.00 (Pyongyang time)
- Arch of Triumph –
built to mark President Kim Il Sung’s return to Korea from abroad. The impressive structure
is located next to the Kim Il Sung Stadium and to a gigantic mural
depicting his speech made upon
returning to Korea.
Brief walk around the area
- Drive by the Chollima Statue – the
winged horse represents the DPRK’s
policy of rapid reconstruction after the war. While
other countries would take one step forward, the DPRK’s goal was
to advance 10 steps.
- North Korea November Tour I Welcome Dinner: KITC Restaurant,
- Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel, one of the best in Pyongyang
Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
Day 2 - November 12 (Sunday)
- Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
- Kumsusan Memorial Palace
- mausoleum of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il (where
they remain in state).
Please note that this is one of the most sacred places in the DPRK and
that no informal attire should be worn when visiting. You will be fully
briefed before your trip.
- Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery
- located in the outskirts of the capital of the DPRK on a hill, it
offers great views of the skyline of Pyongyang. This cemetery is
dedicated to National Heroes. It is common to see school children
visiting. Children in bright green military uniforms are children of
military personnel who have perished or are ill and who are taken care
of by the state.
- Mansudae Grand Monuments - the giant
bronze statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il
- Lunch: local hotpot restaurant, Pyongyang
- Pyongyang Metro
- take an extended ride in the deepest metro in the world with locals.
Chance to experience one of the busiest aspects of life in Pyongyang.
- Juche Tower - chance to go up 150
meters and have a panoramic view of Pyongyang (the torch adds another
20 metres to the tower).
- Workers' Party Foundation Monuments
- monument to the Foundation of the Workers' Party of Korea - it
consists of a hammer, sickle and brush, all rising 50 metres into the
- Foreign book and stamp shop
- a wide range of books, stamps and DVDs are available. Please note
that you will have multiple chances to purchase souvenirs in your trip
such as for example at the Yanggakdo Hotel where you will be staying.
- Depart to Kaesong
- we head south towards the border between North and South Korea. The
trip is 2.5 hour long and we will have a break by the highway where you
can take pictures. If you go up the building you can take pictures of
the empty Re-unification Highway.
Please note that there are several military
when going and coming back from Kaesong. Our guides will tell us when
we cannot take pictures. After the break it will start getting dark and
driving on an empty pitch black highway towards one of the most
symbolic and long lasting points of the Cold War in the world while the
guides talk to us about life in the DPRK is definitely an unforgettable
experience. They will explain to us too the DPRK's points for a
- Hotel check-in: Minsok Hotel, traditional
courtyard Korean hotel located
by the old part of town. We will sleep and eat on the (heated) floor.
If you would like to try dog meat soup this is possible (€5 per
person). You can also try ginseng chicken soup (€30 Euros - one chicken
is more than enough for two people) or simply have the food served in
the restaurant which is included in your tour fee.
is a cozy small bar by the dining room where we usually gather for
drinks and to chat after dinner. Our Korean guides join in too, which
is great to get to know them and their personal views better.
- Dinner: Minsok Hotel, Kaesong
you exit the restaurant after dinner you can see the bronze lit-up
statue of Kim Il Sung at a distance overlooking the whole city of
Kaesong, indeed an impacting view given the darkness that dominates the
general scenery. Also worth mentioning is the stark contrast of dark
skies full of stars (given a clear night of course) and the purple /
orange skies that can be seen further south, presumably from Seoul
which is only around 70 km away.
Overnight: Minsok Hotel, Kaesong
Day 3 - November 13 (Monday)
- Breakfast: Minsok Hotel - you can choose between a traditional
Korean breakfast or a western style breakfast
- Drive to Mt. Janam where the giant
bronze statue of President Kim Il Sung is. We will be
able to see the local pavilions and the old
part of town
which was not destroyed in the Korean War. Quite a rare view in the
DPRK, where most buildings have a communist style architecture!
- Drive to the Tombs of King Kongmin
and his Mongolian wife
- the twin tombs are located in a quiet surrounding. As we drive there
we will be able to see ancient tombs of generals too, all in their
- DMZ (Panmunjom, 38th Parallel) - we will be escorted by a WPA soldier who
will hop on our bus as we are taken to the demarcation line. This is a
great chance to interact with a North Korean soldier as they tend to be
curious about what foreigners think about the Korean War and about the
situation on the Korean peninsula.
- Chance to enter the famous blue rooms where negotiations
between North &South Korea
take place. Please note that these have been closed to travellers when
negotiations between the North and South Korea are frozen. If they
resume though we will be able to enter. If not, we will still walk up
close to them and face South Korean soldiers on the other side of the 38th Parallel.
We will also be shown by the North Korean soldiers where the Korean War
armistice was signed and be able to sit on the original chairs used
when the armistice talks where held.
Tongil Restaurant - the Re-unification restaurant serves each person up
to 12 small dishes in covered up golden plated bowls. You can also try
some soju (Korean liquor) if you like!
back to Pyongyang - as we drive back we will be able to see the train
station built to link North Korea and South Korea but which is not in
use. The internationally known Kaesong Industrial Complex will also be
seen at a distance.
- Stop by the Re-unification monuments
just after having entered the capital. Great chance to take some
- Victorious Fatherland Liberation War
Museum (Korean War Museum)
- the museum was re-located and is now much larger and shows more
detailed information. You will be able to walk through "war scenes" and
see planes, tanks and weapons used in the Korean War. Most
significantly, you will be able to witness first hand how vivid the
first armed conflict of the Cold War remains in the DPRK, something you
will also perceive when at the DMZ.
- USS Pueblo - US spy ship
captured in 1968, it is held as a trophy in the DPRK and shown to
Koreans and foreigners. The ship was captured off the east coast of the
DPRK and then shipped to Pyongyang. The US crew captured stayed in
North Korea 11 months before being released.
- Grand People's Study House
- see locals studying. Chance to join an English
lecture if this is being held when we visit. There are also
truly great views of Kim Il Sung Square
as the building is located just behind the point where the country's
leaders view military parades (those that we see on TV).
- North Korea November Tour I Farewell Dinner: Number 1 Pyongyang
Duck BBQ Restaurant
Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
Day 4 - November 14 (Tuesday)
- Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
- 10.10 train to Beijing - if interested in
exiting by plane please notify us
Day 9 - November 15 (Wednesday)
- 08.38 arrival in Beijing central train station