North Korea China Golden Week Tour - If you are travelling around China during this time of
the year or if you are based in China and would like to have a break during the notoriously busy Chinese Golden Week, this is the perfect chance to hop on a trip to the DPRK. The application deadline for this trip is September
If you apply after the application deadline we will be able to notify you within 24 hours if your transportation means can be booked on time.
This trip will also allow you escape a busy week in China. If you may need us to arrange any trips or accommodation in China please do let us know as we offer trips all over the Middle Kingdom.
When in Pyongyang we will stay at one of the best hotels in town; the Yanggakdo Hotel. Unlike hotels like the Sosan and the Ryanggang Hotel, which are low budget hotels, this is graded as a Deluxe Hotel in the DPRK. We have been able to use the wifi service at the hotel's casino since 2019. Please note that we cannot guarantee that it will be available.
We will stay too at the Kaesong Minsok Folk Hotel which is located in the old part of the historical city of Kaesong. You will sleep and eat in the Korean traditional way when staying at this courtyard hotel which is barely 8km away from the DMZ.
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.
You can see the places that you will visit in the map below. Feel free to hover over each spot to see what it is like.
Pyongyang is shown with the red star.
Please note that Dandong and Sinuiju are just your entry/departure points when taking the train. We do offer day tours in both of these cities so do please let us know if you would be interested in any tour extensions there.
This tour consists of 5 nights / 6 days in the DPRK plus one night on the train (plane exit option is also available). This tour covers all the main highlights in Pyongyang, a trip to the spectacular Mount Myohyang area where you will go to the International Friendship Exhibition Centre and to a buddhist temple, the ancient city Kaesong which has no less than 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites and where you will stay overnight, the Demilitarised Zone which was described by Bill Clinton as the "scariest place on Earth" and the port city of Nampo on the west coast of the country where you will visit a farm and factory amongst other places.
All the main sites in Pyongyang including the Palace of the Sun and the Mansudae Grand Monuments
Main highlights in Pyongyang including shopping with locals!
The DMZ where the Korean War Armistice was signed and where soldiers from North and South Korea face each other.
Staying overnight at a traditional courtyard hotel in the ancient city of Kaesong.
Heading up north to the beautiful area of Mt. Myohyang where will visit the International Friendship Exhibition Centre; a museum consisting of two huge buildings partially built in and under the mountain that hold thousands of presents, some of which you cannot imagine, presented to the Leaders of the country. We will also visit the relaxing Pohyon Buddhist Temple where we usually see local monks.
Visiting a local factory
Checking out Kim Il Sung University, number one in the DPRK
Seeing how farmers work and live
Going to the impressive 8km Barrage that separates the Taedong River from the West Sea of Korea
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun - The most sacred place in the DPRK, you are kindly asked to wear formal clothing. Please note that this is place is not referred to as a mausoleum in the DPRK. We will fully brief you regarding your travel to North Korea
Drive to Kaesong city - We will have a break on this 2.5 hour drive. As we drive on the empty Reunification Highway, our guides will give us a detailed explanation of the DPRK’s Reunification principles. It will become dark as we approach Kaesong. Riding across the pitch-black highway as we chat with our Korean guides is an interesting and a little surreal experience. When we arrive Kaesong we will be able to see the giant lit up bronze statue of President Kim Il Sung at a distance overlooking the whole city, once capital of the Koryo Dynasty
Check-in: Minsok Folk Hotel - The folk hotel is a traditional courtyard hotel located in the old part of Kaesong. Given that there is a clear night, which should be the case this time of year, walking around the premises at night allow you to see countless stars which is a stark contrast to the skies from Seoul only just 70 KM south (you can see the difference from Kaesong as you look south). The statue of President Kim Il Sung can also be seen from the courtyard hotel.
Dinner:Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong - All meals are included in our rates. However, if you would like to try some dog meat soup this is optional (€5) as is the ginseng stuffed chicken (€30, one chicken serves two people). Please let us know beforehand if interested in the chicken a few hours before our arrival to Kaesong as it will have to be prepared beforehand. Again, please note that these dishes are optional and that regardless on whether you order them or not, many other dishes will be served.
Tomb of King Kongmin- and his Mongolian wife. This is one of Kaesong's many UNESCO World Heritage sites. We will see tombs of generals on the way there too. These tombs have undergone very little restoration and therefore remain close to their original state.
Panmunjom (the DMZ aka the 38th Parallel)- chance to enter the famous blue negotiation rooms where talks between North & South Korea have taken place. We will tour Panmunjom, always escorted by KPA soldiers as is mandatory. We will see where the Korean War Armistice was signed. The KPA soldiers tend to be keen on seeing what travellers views on the Korean War and the Korean peninsula are and a visit here presents us with a unique chance to interact with North Korean soldiers.
Koryo Museum, Kaesong - Another UNESCO World Heritage site. We head to the city of Kaesong which was not destroyed by the Korean War and boasts an old part of town, to visit what initially was a university during the Koryo dynasty. We will be explained what life was like in Korea in the medieval ages.
Kaesong Stamp Shop - chance to purchase stamps, postcards (you can actually send these from North Korea to your home country) and artwork.
Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong city) - (Kaesong city) - reunification restaurant. You will be served 12 different dishes in covered up golden plated small bowls.
Stop at the Re-unification Monument - chance to take some pictures of this monument that represents a unified Korea.
Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum - see the North Korean version of the Korean War. This museum exhibits original weapons and vehicles used during the first Cold War conflict. It was moved to a much bigger building in 2013 and is now a truly impressive and detailed museum fully explaining the DPRK version of the Korean War.
USS Pueblo - US spy ship captured off the east coast near Wonsan in 1968. It is the only US vessel in another country's possession and is proudly displayed as a trophy by the DPRK.
Local Beer Bar before dinner
- Have some drinks before heading for dinner at a nearby bar where locals gather!
Drive to Mt. Myohyang - Fragrance Mountain is set in a scenic, beautiful area of Korea. You will have the opportunity, when driving there, to see a variety of different landscapes.
International Friendship Exhibition Centre - See where gifts for the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are displayed. There are too gifts given to Comrade Kim Jong Suk (wife and mother of President Kim Il Sung and of Chairman Kim Jong Il respectively). There is a new segment for Leader Kim Jong Un now. This impressive museum consists of two buildings built into the mountain and holds some truly impressive gifts which we let you see for yourself in person!
Pohyon Buddhist Temple - initially built almost 1000 years ago (it has undergone restauration several times), this used to be the centre of buddhim in this region of Korea
Children's Palace - Talented children go to this venue for extracurricular activities. We can see the kids here performing.
Kwangbok Store - Opportunity to visit a popular grocery store. This is the only spot where Korean Won can be used by foreigners to buy products and gives us a great opportunity to shop with locals. We are allowed walk around by ourselves in this store. The building consists of a supermarket on the ground floor. Clothes and other items such as windows, watches, home appliances and even boats are sold on the first floor and there are several food stands on the top floor, a great chance to enjoy a snack or some beer. It is very popular amongst locals. Do not be surprised if many people stare at you here!
Dinner: Ryongmyong New Street - This modern, yet retro-looking street was constructed in less than a year!
Grand People's Study House - not just a library, it is also a study centre where students and workers can partake in a wide range of lessons, including English.
Pyongyang Film Studios - see where movies in North Korea are filmed. If lucky we might see a movie being filmed!
National Embroidery Institute - absolutely stunning artworks are produced here. We'll be able to see the workshops where these are produced while the workers are making them. You can also purchase sewn pictures. The other interesting aspect of the embroidery institute is that is right by the Ryugyong Hotel and it is then when you realise how gigantic this building is!
Kim Il Sung University - chance to visit the top university in DPRK
Lunch: Local restaurant in Pyongyang
Drive to the port city of Nampo - located on the west coast of the DPRK. We will drive on the Youth Hero Highway, a highway built by university students at the end of 1990s. Some of the guides that we have now worked with for many years were actually involved in helping construct the highway. We believe that knowing the local guides as well as their personal stories and views on life in North Korea as well as on the rest of the world are a vital part of the trip and truly believe that our long lasting and trusting relationship with our Korean partners as well as our small groups help this to be attainable.
Chongsan Cooperative Farm - see how Koreans work and live in this model cooperative farm. We will have the chance to walk around the fields.
Kangso Mineral Water Bottling Factory - see how a DPRK factory operates.
West Sea Barrage - 8 km long barrage that seperates the West Sea and the Taedong River; a source of pride in the DPRK
Drive back to Pyongyang
Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
Day 6 - 7 October (Thursday)
10.25 am train to Beijing - please let us know if you would rather fly out.
Stopover at Sinuiju train station bordering China - for DPRK customs
Day 7 - October 8 (Friday)
Arrive in Beijing at 08:40 am
China Golden Week Extended Tour
KTG Travel Guide
KTG DPRK Travel Guide
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