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

DPRK Liberation Day Tour II

August Tour North Korea - Liberation Day 2019, anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule on the Korean peninsula. The application deadline for this tour is July 10 2019. Our group sizes tend to be small, with an average of less than 10 people. The number of Westerners going to the DPRK each year is also very limited. However, this is the busiest period in DPRK tourism terms. We therefore kindly ask you to apply by the application deadline as it can be hard to book any late plane and train tickets during this period.

This tour consists of 4 nights in the DPRK plus one night on the train (plane exit option is also available). This tour covers highlights and celebrations in Pyongyang, the lively city of Sariwon, the beautiful region of Mt. Myohyang, the ancient city Kaesong and of course the DMZ. A truly amazing and compact way of experiencing the trip of a lifetime!

If entering by train we leave Beijing on 13 August at 17.27

Day 1 - August 13 (Tuesday)

  • Depart from Beijing at 13.05 flight JS 152 Terminal 2, Beijing Capital Airport
  • Arrive in Pyongyang at 15.35 (Pyongyang time)

PM

  • Arch of Triumph - gigantic arch built to commemorate President Kim Il Sung's speech upon returning to Korea after the colonial rule of Japan
  • Brief walk around the area.
  • Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Welcome Dinner: KITC Restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 2 - August 14 (Wednesday) - Liberation Day of Korea

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Drive to Mount Myohyang - we head to the Northern interior part of the DPRK to one of its most secluded and beautiful spots; Mount Myohyang (meaning fragrance mountain).
Mount Myohyang in North Korea (DPRK)
  • International Friendship Exhibition Centre - No other area better portrays how much the leadership of the country is revered than this place. The two buildings, built into the mountains and consisting of endless corridors and several floors, show thousands of gifts given to the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and Comrade Kim Jong Suk (wife of President Kim Il Sung and mother of General Kim Jong Il). There is now a section too for the current leader Kim Jong Un.
  • Pohyon Temple - initially built in 1042, it used to be the centre of Buddhism in the region.
monk in Mt. Myohyang, North Korea

PM

  • Lunch: Hyangsan Hotel - one of the most luxurious hotels in North Korea
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • War Museum - see the North Korean version of the war. This museum contains original vehicles and weapons used during the Korean War. The new War Museum is an impressive building with all kinds of details regarding the Korean War.
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.
  • Dinner: local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 3 - August 15 (Thursday)

Today is the 74th Anniversary of Korea's Liberation from Japanese colonial rule

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum where the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state). Please note that this is the most sacred place in the DPRK and that there is a dress code to follow. Please contact us for more information.
  • Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery - cemetery of anti-Japanese revolutionaries. There are rows of bronze busts of these national heroes. There are too great views of Pyongyang from here.

PM

  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang - chance to see locals celebrate a national holiday
  • Kim Il Sung Square - walk around one of the most iconic places of the DPRK. Located in the heart of Pyongyang, this is the square we see on TV all around the world when parades and mass rallies are held.
  • DPRK Foreign Language Bookstore - we walk from the square to this shop. We will have the chance to read and purchase DPRK books that have been translated into English, German, French, Spanish, etc. We can also purchase samples of the newspaper The Pyongyang Times.
Walk from Kim Il Sung Square to the foreign bookstore in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Fountain Park - we will have a stroll here. There are great views of the city centre.
  • Mansudae Grand Monuments - Giant Bronze Statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. We expect there to be many locals here as it is a national holiday
  • Views of Chollima Statue - the winged horse that was used as a symbol of National Policy to rapidly and strongly reconstruct the country after the Korean War
  • Ride on Pyongyang Metro (extended ride) with locals - take the deepest metro in the world with Koreans stopping at several stops and seeing the busiest aspect of life in Pyongyang.
North Korea subway entrance, Pyongyang (DPRK)
  • Moranbong Park - where locals gather on national holidays. Prepare to be asked to join in the dancing (and singing if you can)!
North Koreans celebrating Liberation Day in Moran Park
  • Party Foundation Monuments - consisting of a hammer, sickle and brush
  • Expected Mass Dances - Chance to dance with North Koreans during the celebrations of this National Holiday. Hundreds of women wear traditional Korean dresses and men suits while they dance in a synchronised manner. Please note that if these are held we will be notified there and then.
  • Juche Tower - chance to see the entire city of Pyongyang by going up 150 metres (the tower is 170 metres tall including its flame). If you would rather not go up (the entrance fee is 5 Euros and not included) you can wait by the Taedong River bank which is too a pleasant experience.
  • If there are any celebrations such as a firework display in the evening we will be able to attend these.
  • 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
  • Local funfair - 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!

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 4 - August 16 (Friday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Drive to Kaesong City - we head south to see the DMZ on the reunification highway. Kaesong
  • 38th Parallel (DMZ) - chance to enter the famous blue negotiation rooms where talks between North & South Korea have taken place as well as where the War Armistice was signed
Negotiation rooms at the DMZ, North and South Korea

Technically in the South - Korean soldiers prepare to leave the negotiation rooms as we exit. The microphones shown on the table mark the diversionary line between North & South

  • Koryo Museum (Kaesong) - this too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it the first university on the Korean Peninsula it dates from the 900s. Kaesong was the capital of the Koryo Dynasty.
  • Kaesong Stamp Shop - chance to buy unique collections of stamps, postcards, paintings, etc. Even if not purchasing any, browsing around the material is always entertaining as the stamps vary considerably to what is offered in the West.

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

PM

  • Lunch at Tongil Restaurant (Kaesong) - a variety of dishes served in gold plate covered bowls
Children at the War Museum in Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea)
  • Drive back to Pyonyang
  • Drive to Sariwon City - this lively city is located in North Hwanghae Province and is one of the largest in Korea
  • 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 have the chance to check a local Sul-Jib (alcohol house) and try some delicious Makoli (Korean rice wine with very low levels of alcohol). The walk around here is always interesting. There are usually street games and activities too where we can of course join in!
  • Walk up Mt. Kyongnam - the walk itself is only 5 to 10 minutes but we will have views of the whole city and of the surrounding region.
Walk around the Folk Village in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Stop at the Re-unification Monuments - good chance to take some pictures
  • Local Supermarket - we will visit the only place in Pyongyang where foreigners can exchange foreign currency for Korean Won and buy amongst locals. The bottom floor consists of a supermarket, the first floor is where clothes is sold and the top floor is where we can try some local snacks. Be prepared to see many Koreans stare at you!
  • Dinner: Number 1 Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant. An ideal way to end a compact but diverse trip to North Korea!

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 5 - August 17 (Saturday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Drive to the port city Nampo on the west coast of Korea - head to the west coast of the DPRK. You will drive on the Youth Hero Highway which was built by students at the end of the 1990s, a period known in DPRK as the "Arduos March." Some of the more senior guides were students during that time and actually contributed to building the road! It is always fascinating to hear what our Korean guides say about life in North Korea and their personal experiences, something we believe is possibe due to our many years' of working with them and knowing them very well combined with the small sizes of our groups.
  • Chongsan Cooperative Farm - see how Koreans work and live in this model cooperative farm. We can see the greenhouses and will ask to see one of the kindergartens.

    Farmer in North Korea, DPRK. A KTG picture

    West Sea Barrage - 8 km long barrage that separates the Taedong River from the West Sea of Korea. This is a source of national pride in DPRK. The site was also visited by Jimmy Carter in 1994.

  • Mineral Water Factory - we will visit a local factory and see how it operates

Water bottling factory in North Korea (DPRK) with KTG

PM

  • Drive back to Pyongyang
  • Lunch: Pyongyang
  • Munsu Water Park - Enjoy your last afternoon in Korea hanging out with locals and trying out different slides. There are other entertainment facilities here such as table tennis, billiards and several coffee shops. If you would like to go on the slides and pools the fee is 10 Euros per person.
Munsu water park in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK) with KTG
  • Farewell Dinner: local restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 6 - August 18 (Saturday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Transfer to Wonsan (east coast) - drive through second tier cities and counties seeing areas not many have the chance to as you literally go across the DPRK from west to east. This fascinating drive will take around 4.5 hours. We will have a 30 minute break on the way at the Sinpyong Guest House facing the lake.
  • Guesthouse Break - stop by a lake on the way. Chance to try some snake liquor if you wish!

PM

  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Wonsan
  • Songdowon Beach - Chance to swim in the sea with locals.
Songdowon beach in Wonsan (North Korea). Trip to the east coast of the DPRK with KTG tours
  • Walk to Jangdok Islet - we go across the beaches and then have a panoramic view of the seafront of Wonsan.
  • Walk around Central Square and the pier - You can walk by children skating, men finishing, and soak in the atmosphere of main port city of North Korea.
Wonsan port, North Korea (DPRK). Trip to the east coast of North Korea with KTG tours
  • Dinner: local restaurant, Wonsan

Overnight: Songdowon Hotel, Wonsan

Day 7 - August 19 (Sunday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Songdowon Hotel, Wonsan
  • Songdowon Children's Summer Camp - Chance to see children enjoying their summer vacation. Please note that you will be a novelty for them!
  • Wonsan Agricultural University - walk around the campus and visit several building located on campus. Interesting chance to have more of an insight into the higher educational system in the DPRK
DPRK east coast. Discover North Korea with KTG tours

PM

  • Ullim Waterfalls - (Ullim meaning echo in Korean). These were discovered by soldiers in 2001. A great, relaxing way to end a fascinating trip to North Korea.
Ullim waterfalls in North Korea (DPRK)
  • En-route picnic lunch / local restaurant
  • Arrival in Pyongyang
  • Evening walk around by the Taedong River in the centre of Pyongyang ending at Kim Il Sung Square where we can have a pre-dinner coffee break in an Austrian - DPRK coffee shop located right by the square.
  • Farewell Dinner: Local restaurant in Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 8 - August 20 (Monday)

AM

  • 10.25 am train to Beijing - if interested in flying back please contact us

PM

  • Stopover at Sinuiju train station bordering China - DPRK customs will be carried out on the train

Day 9 - August 21 (Tuesday)

Arrive in Beijing at 08:40 am

End of tour our North Korea Liberation Day Tour III

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