August 10 - August 19/20 2017

Liberation Day Long Tour

9 nights in the
DPRK + 1 on the
train

Take this chance to visit
Korea's stunning Mt. Paekdu!

From 2,390 EUR per person

Liberation Day Long Tour

9 nights in the
DPRK + 1 on the
train

Take this chance
to visit Korea's
stunning Mt. Paekdu!

  • Overall

    Liberation Day 2017 marks the 72nd anniversary of the end of Japanese occupation. It is a major public holiday in North Korea and we'll give you the chance to spend the day joining in the celebrations by picnicking and dancing with the locals in Moranbong Park, and possibly joining in a Mass Dance with university students! As well as the Liberation Day festivities and a city tour of Pyongyang, the highlight of this tour is a domestic charter flight to visit the sacred Mt Paekdu and Lake Chon!

    Our comprehensive city tour of Pyongyang includes must see sights such as the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, as well as visiting more local places such as the bustling Kwangbok Supermarket, the only place in Pyongyang where tourists can spend local Won that can be changed at the black market exchange rate. You will be staying at the Yanggakdo Hotel, one of the deluxe standard hotels in Pyongyang.

    Highlights

    • Mt Paekdu - the sacred mountain in Korea's northeast
    • Liberation Day celebrations on August 15th
    • Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum of leaders), captured spy ship USS Pueblo and other Pyongyang highlights (ride on a 1960s trolleybus through the city - a Koryo Tours special!)
    • Panmunjom/DMZ – the border with South Korea
    • Soaking up the medicinal waters at Dragon River Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo
    • The beautiful Mt Myohyang and International Friendship Exhibition
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. August 9 - Wednesday

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

      PM

      • 16:00: Our group assembles for a pre-tour group briefing at the Koryo Tours office in Beijing. This briefing will last approximately one hour and designed so that you will get the most out of your tour. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travelers. Please be punctual - you can come early, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art.

      Overnight: Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour. Contact us for recommendations near our office!
    2. August 10 - Thursday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight at 13:55. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:25. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Arch of Triumph - Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.

      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. August 11 - Friday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Science and Technology Centre - Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology.
      • Jonsong Revolutionary Site   - Museum explaining anti-Japanese activities during the colonial era.
      • Walk through central Pyongyang from the Grand Theatre to Kim Il Sung Square.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop - Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Korean Central Art Gallery – We’ll tour the galleries exhibiting Korean art from ancient times on through the socialist realist works of today.
      PM
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured spy ship USS Pueblo – We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide.
      • Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.


      Overnight: Chongchon Hotel - Basic but clean hotel at Mt. Myohyang. Book and souvenir shop, billiards, ping-pong, and karaoke.
    4. August 12 - Saturday

      Mt Myohyang

      AM
      • International Friendship Exhibition - An exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning.
      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple - A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with stone pagoda and repository of a print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasion during the Koryo Dynasty.

      PM
      • Manpok Valley Walk - A gentle stroll passing waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 - 3 hour drive.

      Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
    5. August 13 - Sunday

      Kumsusan Memorial Palace and Pyongyang City

      AM
      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun - Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.
      • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery - Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. It is customary to present flowers here.

      PM
      • Trolleybus Ride - A ride through Pyongyang on one of the city’s famous trolleybuses (a Koryo Tours special!)

      • Maeri Shooting Range - Shoot at targets with low caliber sports pistols and rifles in the facility that trained Olympic medalists. Pay by the bullet (0.50 -1 EUR) depending on the type of gun and target.

      • Pyongyang Feature Film Studio - See the home of 'Cholliwood', the DPRK's domestic film industry. Visit sets of traditional Korea, colonial Korea, China, Europe, and more!
      • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 45 minute to 1 hour drive.

      • Optional Petrol Clam BBQ (approx 7 EUR per person), fired up by your very own driver this is a great local experience - just make sure to wash the clams down with sufficient soju!

      Overnight: Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel - a compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Bring a torch! Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong.
    6. August 14 - Monday

      Nampo

      AM
      • West Sea Barrage - An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.

      • On the way back to Pyongyang we'll visit Chongsan-ri Co-Operative Farm to learn about farming and rural living in the DPRK at this farming community.

      • Mt. Ryonggak BBQ - A BBQ lunch in a woodland setting just outside of the city.

      PM
      • Kwangbok Department Store - Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Grand People’s Study House - National library and public university in neo-traditional Korean style building overlooking  Kim Il Sung Square. Gain insight into higher education and research in the DPRK and great views of Pyongyang.

      • Mansudae Art Studio - The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.

      • Kaeson Funfair -We’ll take on the rides of Pyongyang’s newest funfair with the locals: pirate ship, vominator, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Tickets purchased on the spot (1 EUR entry, 2-7 EUR for rides).


      Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

    7. August 15 - Tuesday

      Liberation Day

      Today marks a very important national holiday and we expect to see and join in for the celebrations in Pyongyang.

      AM
      • Mansudae Grand Monument - Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ - a symbol of speed - commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour - One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.

      • Mangyongdae Native House - Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.

      • Tower of the Juche Idea - Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Monument to the Party Foundation - Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

      PM
      • Picnicking with the locals in Moranbong Park - We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports (especially on holidays such as the one today!). The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
      • Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person) – A one hour circus show including clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, and much more. The shows here are especially popular with locals on national holidays.
      • Mass Dance - As it's a national holiday, we expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre - Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang


      Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
    8. August 16 - Wednesday

      Kaesong and the DMZ/Panmunjom

      AM

      • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 2.5 hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Truce Village - Located in the middle of the 4 km wide Demilitarised Zone, Panmunjom is the site of the signing of the 1953 armistice at the end of the Korean War. This is the only location where visitors can directly view soldiers from both sides and the demarcation line dividing Korea. On some days it is possible to enter the hut straddling both Koreas and there cross temporarily into the south.

      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall - Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.

      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) - A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Old City Walk and South Gate - A stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
      • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ -View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive through scenic countryside.

      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 2.5 hour drive


      Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
    9. August 17 - Thursday

      Flight to Mt Paekdu!

      AM

      • In the morning, we will take charter flight to Samjiyon Town, the gateway to Mt. Paekdu located in the far north of the country. A 1 hour flight.
      • Lake Chon - The highest crater lake in the world. It is possible to hike the last few km of the overlooking summit or ride a funicular railways to the top for spectacular views. From here one can either walk down or cable car (weather permitting) to the lake itself to sample the crystal-clear waters.
      PM
      • Mt. Paekdu Secret Camp - The guerilla headquarters of General Kim Il Sung during the anti-Japanese struggle set in hidden alpine valley lined by towering peaks and said to be the birthplace of leader Kim Jong Il. See the reconstructed camp telling of how the guerillas lived year in and year out.

      • Rimyongsu Waterfall - A scenic waterfall which never freezes due despite chilling alpine winters. The waterfall also provides hydroelectric power to neighboring villages.


      Overnight: Paegaebong Hotel, Samjiyon - Very basic hotel with limited hot water. Bring a torch!
    10. August 18 - Friday

      Samjiyon and flight back to Pyongyang

      AM
      • Samjiyon Grand Monument - Group of bronze statues, including one of President Kim Il Sung, and stone monuments next to a scenic alpine lake. One of three ‘grand monuments’ in the country.
      • After a picnic lunch we will take our charter flight back to Pyongyang Sunan Airport.

      PM

        • Farewell drinks at Mansugyo Beer Bar- A new standing bar serving seven type of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work and on weekends!
        • Duck Barbecue Restaurant -South Pyongyang’s famous grilled duck restaurant that has seen many teary-eyed farewells.


        Overnight: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
      • August 19 - Saturday

        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred exit method upon booking

        AM

        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:25 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:55. Please note there is a 50 EUR surcharge for flight return.

        OR

        • Train departure by international sleeper train to Beijing at 10:10 with scheduled arrival to Beijing Station on Sunday August 20 at 08:30. We typically book soft sleeper (four beds per cabin) for the return journey. Please note that in some rare instances, soft sleeper tickets may sell out and we will book hard sleeper (six beds per cabin) instead.
    11. Extras

      • Return by plane not train

        All our tours enter the DPRK by plane. But the default setting upon your return is the 24-hour international train from Pyongyang to Beijing. For an extra 50 EUR you can opt for the plane back instead. The flight takes around 90 minutes.

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      • Upgrade to your own room

        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night. This rises to 50 EUR per night if you're on one of our marathon tours due to the shortage of rooms over this period.

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      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

        If you are heading back to Beijing by train then this option lets you get off at Sinuiju, just before the border with China, and spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. It’s a great opportunity to see a rarely explored part of the country. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

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      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme. Please note: US citizens cannot take the train out of the DPRK, but can do this extension by flying from Pyongyang to Shenyang (China), and we will get you to Dandong from there.

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    12. What is / is not included?

      • Included
        Flight Beijing – Pyongyang
        Train Pyongyang – Beijing
        All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
        Hotel accommodation
        A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
        All transportation in the DPRK
      • Not included
        DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
        Optional flight back to Beijing at end of the tour (50 EUR)
        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
        Spending money for souvenirs
        SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
    13. Notes

      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

    Please apply by 20th July, 2017.

    info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
    27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
    Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

    中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
    邮编:100027
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