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

Tourism in North Korea - DPRK Liberation Day Tour III

15th August is the anniversary of the Liberation Day of Korea; a date celebrated both in North and South Korea. This date marks the independence of Korean from Japanese colonial rule. The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese control for over 35 years and independence from Japan is celebrated on both sides of the 38th Parallel on the Korean Peninsula.

Our groups tend to be small in size (on averages less than 10 people per departure), a fact that we believe gives our travellers the chance of being able to get along well with the local Korean guides and to have greater flexibility once in the DPRK, something simple not possible with large groups. However, August and September are busy periods in terms of North Korea tourism. We kindly ask you to please apply by the deadline, July 12 2018, so as to ensure that your transportation means can be booked with enough time in advance. If you apply after the deadline we will be able to notify you within one working day if it will be possible for you to join the trip.

This trip is a very complete one and will allow to explore a wide set of aspects of life in North Korea. You will see all the highlights of Pyongyang, the Northern interior of of North Korea, head south to the DMZ and stay near the border overnight and to top it all up we will literally drive across the DPRK travelling through smaller cities and counties until you reach the east part of the country.

Day 1 - August 14 (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, see the enormous mural showing the Leaders Kim Il Sung giving his famous speech upon returning to Korea after the liberation of the country from Japan.
  • Hotel check-in: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Welcome Dinner: KITC Restaurant, Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 2 - August 15 (Wednesday) - Liberation Day of Korea

Today is the 73rd Anniversary of Korea's Liberation from Japanese colonial rule

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • War Museum - learn about the North Korean version of the war. This museum, which was moved to a much larger complex, shows original vehicles and weapons used during the Korean War as well as of course the DPRK version of the first armed conflict of the Cold War which is officially still ongoing over 60 years later...
Children at the War Museum in Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea)
  • USS Pueblo - US spy ship captured in 1968. This is the only US vessel held by a foreign country and is shown to Koreans and foreigners as a trophy.
  • Kim Il Sung Square - walk around one of the most famous places of the North Korea; point 0 of the DPRK. Right in the heart of Pyongyang, this is the square we see on TV 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 North Korean books that have been translated into several languages such as English, German, French, Spanish, etc. We can also purchase samples of the newspaper The Pyongyang Times in English (or Korean if you prefer!)
Walk from Kim Il Sung Square to the foreign bookstore in Pyongyang, North Korea (DPRK)

PM

  • Lunch: Local restaurant, Pyongyang - chance to see locals celebrate a national holiday
  • Fountain Park - we will have a walk here. There are fantastic views of the city centre.
  • Mansudae Grand Monuments - Giant Bronze Statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il
  • Views of Chollima Statue - a symbol of the domestic policy that followed the Korean War and consisted of reconstructing the country at great speed
  • Ride on Pyongyang Metro (extended ride) - at an average of 100 metres below ground we will take a ride with locals
North Korea subway entrance, Pyongyang (DPRK)
  • Moranbong Park - where locals gather on national holidays. Chance to see locals celebrating, singing, eating and having fun on a national holiday. You will more likely than not be asked by curious and friendly Koreans to join in the fun!
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 Korean university student during the celebrations of this National Holiday. Hundreds of women wear traditional Korean dresses and men suits while they dance in a synchronised way. These are not guaranteed to take place and if they do we will be able to attend and will be notified that day.
  • Juche Tower - if you decide to go up the tower you will have a panoramic view of the whole of Pyongyang by going up 150 metres (the tower is 170 metres tall including its flame). The entrance fee is 5 Euros. If you would rather not go up you can wait the few minutes that this takes by the riverside. It is also very pleasant to sit on the steps and see locals
  • 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 - 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 there are any celebrations such as a firework display in the evening we will be able to attend these.

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 3 - August 16 (Thursday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
  • Kumsusan Memorial Palace - Most sacred place in the DPRK; it is where the Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il remain in state. Please note that this is the most sacred place in the DPRK and that there is a dress code to follow. We should also be on our best behaviour when here. You will be fully briefed in Beijing regarding how to behave in the DPRK in order for you to make the most out of this, for many, once in a lifetime journey.

PM

  • Lunch: local restaurant, Pyongyang
  • Drive to Sariwon City - this is a lively city located in North Hwanghae Province and is one of the largest cities in the DPRK
  • Migok Cooperative Farm - see how farmers and their families live in this model cooperative farm, typical of communist countries. We will be able to see the fields and visit a farmer's home and meet the whole family and/or the farmers' children school. These are all located within the farm.
Migok farm in North Korea (DPRK)
  • Folk Street & Ancient Model Pavilions - we will see how Koreans lived in ancient times and check some model pavilions of times past in Korea
Games in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK) with KTG tours
  • 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)
  • Mt. Chongbang Fortress - ancient Korean fortress built in the 1100s under the rule of the Koryo Dynasty
The South Gate of Mt. Chongbang Fortress (aka Jongbang) in Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Songbul Temple - we will visit this ancient temple in Mt. Chongbang and will be guided by a Korean monk. It is common to see painters here given the beautiful landscape offered.
Local monk shows us around Songbul Temple, Mt. Chongbang, Sariwon, North Korea (DPRK)
  • Drive to Kaesong City - we will visit Panmunjom (the DMZ) the next day
  • 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.
  • As we approach Kaesong we will be able to see the Kaesong Industrial Park at a distance on our lefthand side as well as the train station that has the railway leading to South Korea (which is not in use).
  • Hotel check-in: Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong City
  • Dinner: Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong City

Overnight: Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong City

Day 4 - August 17 (Friday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong City
  • Tomb of King Kongmin and his wife - This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are one of the best preserved tombs in the DPRK having undergone little restoration. We will see too, on our way there, some tombs of generals that remain in their original states.
  • 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. A KPA soldier will join us on our coach and then show us around this highly symbolic area of Korea and of the Cold War.
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) - also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the first university on the Korean Peninsula and its initial construction dates back 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 plated covered bowls.
  • Drive back to Pyonyang
  • Local Supermarket - we will visit the only place in Pyongyang where foreigners can exchange foreign currency for Korean Won and buy goods together with locals. The Kwangbok Department Store's bottom floor has a supermarket, the first floor is where clothes is sold and the top floor is where we can try some local snacks. The site of Westerners in North Korea is not that common, so be prepared to see some surprised faces!
  • Dinner: Number 1 Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant. Fresh sizzling duck! Options for vegetarians are also available for all of our meals.

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 5 - August 18 (Saturday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • Drive to Mount Myohyang -  we head north to this beautiful part of the DPRK
Mount Myohyang in North Korea (DPRK)
  • International Friendship Exhibition Centre - showing 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 Leader Kim Jong Un.
  • Pohyon Temple - first 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
  • Grand People's Study House - you will be able to see Koreans studying. When going into the English classroom some curious students may try to practice their language skills with you. The views of Kim Il Sung Square are stunning from here!
  • Dinner: Local restaurant in Pyongyang

Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Day 6 - August 19 (Sunday)

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 20 (Monday)

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 21 (Tuesday)

AM

  • Breakfast: Yanggakdo Hotel
  • 10.10 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 and there is no need for you to exit it

Day 9 - August 22 (Wednesday)

Arrive in Beijing at 08:38 am

End of tour our North Korea Liberation Day Tour III

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