The following are a few of the events we have orgainised:
Middlesbrough FC Ladies - September 2010: In conjunction with the British Embassy in Pyongyang, we brought 17
players over from the UK to play 2 friendly matches
against DPRK teams in order to mark 10 years of
diplomatic relations between the UK and the DPRK.
The matches were attended by 6,000 spectators and were both broadcast nationwide. The impact that this trip had on all the Koreans who came into contact with the girls cannot
be underestimated and shows how important engagement with the DPRK is.
Middlesbrough Women's Football Team in the DPRK Online booklet can be viewed/downloaded here (do note that the
file is 5MB)
Friendship matches: We are very proud to have been the first to organise friendly football tours in North Korea, we have operated several of these tours and truly believe that if football is the true language of the world (well, most countries at least!) then arranging games between locals and visitors creates a meaningful dialogue which resonates with all the participants long after the final whistle. The teams we have taken include a Beijing-based Irish side, a team of expats from Hong Kong, a Dutch team, and a team of Europeans based in Singapore. For each game or tournament we arrange picnics with the opposing Korean team as well as kick-abouts with mixed squads. We have also arranged a five-a-side tournament involving Koreans, tourists, NGO staff, diplomats, men, women, etc, some fit and some fat - some stretching whilst others are smoking and drinking for their warm up....the reactions from those who participate and even just passers by who stop to watch has to be seen to be believed! If you play for a team that would be interested in a trip to Pyongyang to partake of the beautiful game then please drop us a line, it is an experience never forgotten!
Football Coaching: In August 2007 English tourist Chris Hayes travelled with us to the DPRK to coach a local school team
In June 2012, Koryo Tours made history by organising the first ever basketball trip to the DPRK. The group from Coaches Team International was made up of 14 basketball coaches and players who were all travelling to Pyongyang for the first time to share their basketballing expertise with North Korean youth teams. The team did 2 training sessions -- the first at Mangyongdae Schoolchildren's Palace and the second at Kang Bank Sok Middle School.
On 6th September 2011, 24 tourists from 10 different counties and
4 Korean guides embarked on the first ever cycling tour in the DPRK. The locals who we encountered seemed bemused to see a load of foreigners on bikes, but all waved back and smiled when we greeted them. On the first day we cycled 30km along the empty highway
(2.5 hours) from Pyongyang to Nampo. The second day in the Mt Kuwol area was quite disappointing as we were cycling for only 7km (approx 1 hour) because it was either a too steep ascent or descent. On the third day we did 50km and cycled for 5.5 hrs through absolutely breathtaking scenery in the Mt Paekdu area. The route was a nice mix of ups and downs – a few hard ascents but lots of flat and descents too. On day 4 we went to Mt Chilbo were we cycled for about 8km (1 hour) alongside a huge lake and another 15km through stunning cliffs from the Buddhist temple and pagoda towards the homestay. Throughout the trip, people had the option of sitting out in the bus which a couple did but most did all the cycling. We will definitely offer the cycling tour again, hopefully with some new routes also. Once we have dates we will post them up on the website.
You can view video highlights from the 2011 Cycling Tour on our youtube-channel here
In September 2012 we ran the Cycling Tour again, see some of highlights from our Cycling trip in September 2012
Don't miss it in 2013! Check out our group tours page for tour dates
The first ever Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in the DPRK was arranged in Pyongyang in August 2011. A Sport exchange arranged by Koryo Tours. The matches took place in the Taesongsan Park in Pyongyang and there were participants from various nationalities from all over the world playing together with the Koreans.
You can see a video documentation of the sports exchange here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRUIq8vnrEQ
During the May Day Holiday 2008 we organized the first ever cricket match in the DPRK! The match was held in Taesongsan Park and comprised of the Juche Team & Reunification team (both made up of members from Shanghai cricket club) and the Pyongyang Cricket Club – newly formed for the event. The latter was made up of 4 Koreans who had never played or seen cricket before, the Koryo Tours’ staff, a few tourists and a delegate from the British Embassy in Pyongyang. The event, which was supported by the DPRK Ministry of Sport, was sponsored by DHL who paid for the shipment of a roll of coconut matting from the UK to Pyongyang. The match went superbly. The opening batsmen were 2 Koreans who played incredibly well especially considering they had only picked up a cricket bat once before at a practice in Moranbong park a few days earlier. Picnic lunch was provided by accordion-playing waitresses and after the 2nd match we had a traditional cucumber sandwich tea. Despite not getting the highest scores, the PCC were the clear winners that day (trophy in the Koryo Tours’ office!). The day rounded off with a sunset boat trip along the Taedonggang followed by a black-tie dinner in the Yanggakdo Revolving Restaurant.
A Dutch volleyball team in 2008 made their mark on Pyongyang by taking on some local teams (as well as some people in the park!) in a series of closely-fought contests. What the Koreans lacked in height they made up for in well-honed teamwork and each and every match was a close one. Volleyball is probably the sport most participated in by DPRK urban residents, with every company having a team, and people using their lunch-breaks to have a game between themselves. This tour gave an excellent chance for local people to test their skills against visitors and bond over a shared love of the sport. A very worthwhile and fun trip; we hope to take more volleyball teams in the future.
Another first in 2008! Pyongyang Ice rink is the only place in the country where competitive ice hockey can take place and we finally managed to arrange for a team of Canadian and Scandinavian expats based in Beijing to make the trip and take on two DPRK teams in a series of competitive matches. No holds were barred as the bigger, stronger visitors took on the faster, wilier locals in some very hard fought matches. The audience of local Koreans will not soon forget these games and we are very grateful to all involved who made this possible, it was our hardest sports event thus far to organise and was a genuine coup to pull off. At the end of the matches jerseys were swapped and everyone came away having learned new techniques. Take note Ice-Hockey enthusiasts; North Korea’s women play at a higher level than the men (as they do in football also), a tour by a foreign women’s team would be even more groundbreaking! Click Here >
June 2004 was our first Pyongyang Friendship Golf tournament - odd we know - but in our experience it is from projects like these that all sorts of positive links can develop. As with anywhere else, business can be done on the golf course and lifelong friends made during the struggle from the tee to the green. Make sure you avoid the goats that cut the grass on Pyongyang’s one and only full sized course; an unexpectedly well laid-out and aesthetically pleasing course, an added incentive could be to aim for the course record, held by a now-retired Korean, of a few shots over par (don’t believe the rumours, according to the club no Leader has even been to the course) certainly possible for higher level players. We have since organised other golfing events. Also, the course is open to tourists and anyone visiting the country can request to have it added to the itinerary – a rare ‘good walk spoiled’ in the most unlikely of settings!
Click here for a link to newspaper reports about the football tours.