Following on from our post about how you can actually visit North Korea, let’s go back to the basics.
How do I actually travel to North Korea?
By far the most common ways are by train and flight from China – 99% of foreign tourists travel in from China.
In the Past
Historically the country was quite well connected by air travel. During the days of the Iron Curtain, several airlines operated flights from Berlin, Budapest, Prague, Moscow as well as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore.
These days however things are significantly different. The only routes remaining are a single Russian flight to Vladivostok in the far East and the Chinese gateways of Shenyang, Beijing and Shanghai.
Gone too are the days of Aeroflot, Interflug & co connecting the hermit kingdom to far away continents.
Only North Korea’s very own Air Koryo and Beijing based Air China remain servicing Pyongyang.
Air Koryo – the world’s only one star airline
What’s it like to fly on the world’s only one star airline? Surprisingly good actually!
Air Koryo is a full service airline. You receive a complimentary meal – the famous Air Koryo “burger” as well as free flowing North Korean beer. The staff are polite and impeccably dressed.
Flying in and out of Pyongyang is relatively seamless too given the lack of any other traffic or passengers.It certainly beats any low cost carrier experience.
What about the train route?
There are two entry points on the North Korean border serviced by international train. Dandong / Sinuiju on the Chinese border and Tumangang on the Russian border. Rocky road travel used both these entry points for our tours to North Korea.
You can travel across the Chinese border by train daily. The Russian one is a little less reliable with departures weekly if not monthly.
The most popular train choice is the overnight from Beijing. Departing Beijing main railway station at 17:30 it’s a comfortable sleeper ride to the border city of Dandong. From here the train crosses the Yalu River into North Korea and it’s a 6 hour slow roll through the North Korean countryside to Pyongyang.
How do you want to travel to North Korea? Start planning your trip today by checking out our North Korea Tours here!