2021 North Korea Victory Day Tour III - East Coast Tour
Join our 2021 North Korea Victory Day Tour III and celebrate the Anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice in Pyongyang. In addition to exploring the east coast we will also head to Mt. Myohyang for this trip.
When staying in Pyongyang, we will be based at one of the capital's best hotels; the Yanggakdo Hotel.
As of 2019 there has been wifi available in the hotel's casino. Unlike other hotels such as the Sosan Hotel, Ryanggang Hotel, Haebangsan Hotel, the Yanggakdo Hotel is not a budget hotel and is classified as a Deluxe Hotel.
You will be able experience what life was like in feudal Korea when staying in this courtyard hotel. It was actually part of the old town of Kaesong and was cut off and turned into an area for tourists, both domestic and foreign, in 1989. The hotel complex sprawls all the way to the footsteps of Janam Hill.
When heading to the less visited east coast, you will stay one night at the beach front at the Majon Beach Resort. This resort consists of small villas. It offers us a great chance to spend an evening of fun with any locals staying there.
Another night will be spent at the Songdowon Hotel in the port city of Wonsan.
This hotel is a blend of soviet and Korean styles.
It is located in the city centre and is at walking distance from the central square, docks and beach. They also have a greta restaurant just across the hotel with fresh fish and seafood.
Our group sizes tend to be the smallest amongst agencies specialising in DPRK tours. We hardly ever have more than 10 people per group and we limit our group sizes to 19 people. In the very unlikely case of having more than 19 people in a group we divide the group into two and each group will have there own tour guides and private vehicle.
KTG Travellers with locals at Majon Beach on one of our Victory Day Tours
Picture on the right - Mass Games. We expect them to be held in 2021 though this has not been confirmed yet
This is an extremely comprehensive tour of the DPRK. You will spend 8 nights / 9 days in North Korea plus one night on the train back to Beijing if you fly in and take the train back, 2 nights if you take the train both ways.
You will be based in Pyongyang and will be there the entire day on Victory Day for any celebrations. You will stay overnight in Kaesong, a historical city where you will see several UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will then visit the DMZ and meet KPA soldiers and stop by the lively city of Sariwon, provincial capital of North Hwanghae province.
Picture on the right - Workers at the Hungam Fertiliser Factory
This trip will also allow you to explore the northern interior part of the country when going to the beautiful area of Mount Myohyang and visit a local temple and visit the one and only International Friendship Exhibition Centre, two buildings built into the mountains that hold hundreds of thousands of gifts presented to the country's leadership.
After this you will drive through remote rural areas as you cross the whole Korean Peninsula before arriving at the port city of Wonsan where you will be able to join a swim with locals at the seaside
Picture on the right - Children at a beach in Wonsan
You then head to the second largest city in the DPRK; the industrial city of Hamhung which only started taking in Western tourists in 2010. You will visit the largest fertiliser factory of the DPRK here and then stay overnight by the beach front in Majon.
Please note that, even though this is a long tour, that it is still possible for you to extend your stay in North Korea. Please check our tour extensions page for some sample itineraries and please bear in mind that these extensions can be fully customised based on your requests.
Main highlights in Pyongyang including the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
Mass Games - a unique show with thousands of participants in the largest seater stadium in the world. Please note that there is speculation that these may be held but that this has not been confirmed. If they do take place we will be able to attend.
Kumsusan Memorial Palace - where the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state. The most sacred place in the DPRK. You are kindly asked to dress in proper attire. You will be sent more detailed information regarding this but please feel free to contact us for more details. This is a highlight of all of our DPRK tours.
Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery - bronze busts of national heroes. The cemetery is located on atop a hill in the outskirts of Pyongyang, offering great views of the capital of North Korea.
Coach to Kaesong (near Panmunjom, the DMZ) - we leave early due south. There will be a break on the way as the ride is approximately 3 hours long. We will have a break in the middle and will be able to take pictures of the Reunification Highway. On our way here our Korean guides who we have worked with for many years now and are the top level guides from the Korean tourism authorities will explain to us the principles by which the DPRK seeks to obtain reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
Kwangbok Supermarket - this is the only place where foreigners can exchange foreign currency for Korean won and purchase goods with Korean won. This place is usually packed with locals and we are allowed to wander around by ourselves. The bottom floor consists of a supermarket which mainly consists of local goods. The first floor is where clothes is sold as well as other goods such as watches, home equipment. The top floor is where we can buy snacks and meals and it is where hundreds of people tend to gather with their families for some food!
DMZ (i.e Panmunjom, aka 38 Parallel) - chance to enter the famous blue negotiation rooms where talks between North & South Korea have taken place. This is with no doubt a highlight of all DPRK tours. A DPRK soldier will guide us here and we will be able to see the world famous 38th Parallel that divides the Korean Peninsula to this day.
Koryo Museum (Kaesong) - the first university of the Koryo Dynasty, it is now a museum where guests are explained how life was like in medieval Korea
Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - we will all be served with small covered dishes, each one being a surprise!
As leave Kaesong we will be able to see the famous Kaesong Industrial Park Complex at a distance as well as the train station which's railway connects North and South Korea but which is not in use.
Drive to Sariwon City Centre - this is a very lively city. We will walk around Food Street and see some model local pavilions in Folk Street. There are usually street games held in this area and we will be more than welcomed to join in!
Have break at a Sul Jib or Sul Jib stand - meaning wine house or alcohol house, we will be able to have a drink of local Makoli (a Korean drink with low levels of alcohol) at a local joint.
Walk up Mt. Kyongnam - this takes 5 to 10 minutes and it is absolutely worth it as we will be able to not only have fantastic views of Sariwon but of the surrounding region too
You can see our Youtube video below of Sariwon city:
Stop at the Reunification Monuments - chance to have some pictures taken at these giant monuments
Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum - the war museum has been moved to and now lies adjacent to the building where it used to be. The amount of detail and the size of the museum comes to show how important the Korean War is and how tangible it is today in the DPRK
USS Pueblo - US spy ship, the only US vessel in possession of a foreign country. It is shown in the DPRK to Koreans and foreigners as a trophy.
Kim Il Sung Square - the largest square in the DPRK and the one we see on TV when mass rallies and military parades are held
DPRK Bookstore - you will be able to purchase DPRK books in English as well as other publications such as the Pyongyang Times newspaper
Fountain Park - favourite spot for locals to take pictures
Mansudae Grand Monuments - we will see the famous giant bronze statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. This will be busy with Koreans on a national holiday such as today
Juche Tower - chance to go up 150 meters and have a panoramic view of Pyongyang. The flame itself adds another 20 metres to the height of the structure!
Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang
Moran Park - see local celebrate this National Festivity. Expect to be asked to join them in the singing and dancing! National holidays are a fantastic time to be in the DPRK!
Victory Day Celebrations in Pyongyang - Workers' Party Foundation Monument - if there are any mass dances we will be able to attend and to join in with the university students dancing
Mass Games on 27 July in Pyongyang. 7.27 is Victory Day in the DPRK
MASS GAMES - a spectacular and unique show with thousands of participants. Please note that we expect them to be held but that there has been no official confirmation. If they take place and it is an option available to tourists then we will be able to attend.
Kaeson Evening Funfair if the Mass Games are not held - you can take rides with locals, but even if you'd rather not, this is a great opportunity to join Koreans during their celebrations. Expect to see many pleasantly surprised faces! Rides cost from 1 to 5 Euros.
Drive to the coastal city of Wonsan (East Coast) - unique chance to be driven through second tier cities and counties as you literally cruise across the DPRK, from one side of the country to the other. The ride is around 4.5 hours long and a fascinating experience. We will have a 30 minute break on the way at a local guest house with relaxing views.
Sinpyong Guesthouse - 30 minute break by a lake. Chance to try some snake liquor!
Lunch: Local restaurant, Wonsan
Walk around Wonsan City (Central Square and along the pier) - you can see locals going on with their daily lives here. The square tends to be very lively with children roller skating, families walking together and then by the port there are always people fishing.
Jangdok Islet - just opposite the "mainland", it offers full views of the port area and the frontline of Wonsan
Drive to Hamhung City - discover the second largest city in the DPRK. This industrial city only started receiving Western tourists in 2010 and is therefore considered even more "off the beaten track" of a destination.
Mt. Donghung - with an impressive view of Hamhung City and the whole surrounding area, a giant bronze statue of President Kim Il Sung is here and it is a popular place for newly-weds to go and pay tribute.
Lunch: City Restaurant, Hamhung. Hamhung is well known for its potato starch noodles.
Hamhung Grand Theatre - enormous theatre located in the city centre right across from the main square. Please bear in mind that in spite of being the second biggest city in North Korea with an estimated population of 800,000, Hamhung has only been opened up to tourism very recently and the site of foreigners here is extremely rare for locals (more so than in other areas in the DPRK) which will explain the surprise on many people's faces when seeing you. The image on the right shows a Children's rally in Hamhung.
Home of Ri Song-gye - Founder of the Choson Dynasty, he overthrew the Koryo dynasty. His home is located in Hungnam disctrict which is home to many factories.
Hungnam Fertiliser Factory - unique chance to visit one of the country's biggest factories
Check-in Majon Cottage - a series of cottages located by the beach. Enjoy a relaxing stroll by the seaside before dinner. There are usually locals here happy to have us join in.
Chonsam Cooperative Farm - see how farmers and their families live here. We will see farmers' homes, the fields and visit the kindergarten that their children attend (also located within the premises of the cooperative farm). This is an interesting aspect of DPRK tours as it allows travellers see different aspects of the country
Drive to the northern interior of DPRK; Mount Myohyang
International Friendship Exhibition Centre - two buildings where thousands of gifts presented to the leaders of the country are kept. They are actually built into the mountain and are windowless despite their aspect from the outside. We frisked as we enter after having passed the armed guards who protect these national treasures.
Pohyon Temple - built in 1042, this was a buddhist learning centre in the region and is still home to several monks.