Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour
This is surely one of the top tours of the North Korean tourist season. The birthday of President Kim Il Sung is the biggest celebration of the year and most important holiday. During the tour we’ll explore the must see sights of Pyongyang including the Korean War Museum, the Pyongyang Metro, the Juche Tower and the Mausoleum where Kim Il Sung & Kim Jong Il lay in state.
We’ll also be sure to catch whatever celebrations are going on in the country during our trip.
If you have the time, it’s highly recommended to do the extended tour. Group B will take you to the beautiful city of Nampo. Overnight we’ll stay at a therapeutic hot spa resort nearby on the west coast. Our super long tour for Group C takes us to Mt Myohyang where the memorable Friendship Exhibition is built into the side of the mountain and holds gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from other countries.
Last but not least, Group C will be making a stop in Sinuiju, the border town of the DPRK located next to Dandong in China across the Yalu River. To get here we’ll be taking the domestic train from Pyongyang. We’ll then be visiting the Pomhayanggi Cosmetics Factory, Sinamri Co-operative farm and a local Folklore Park where you can engage with the locals and watch a performance by Kindergarten kids.
Oh and we’ve been given special access to a Soviet Mi-17 helicopter to take for a spin around Pyongyang city for a unique aerial tour of the capital.
This chopper ride is completely optional and is €250 per person on top of the tour costs. If you are interested please let us know while booking.
It’s a big one so don’t miss it!
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• Train in and out Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing. Flights are extra.
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides.
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).
• Extra drinks and souvenirs.
• Cost of visas.
• Tips for Korean guides and the driver.
• Additional events not listed in the itinerary.
Sunday 12th April
- Meet your guide at 1:30pm at a hotel near Beijing Railway Station. The exact location will be announced near the date. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, receive North Korean visas and tickets. It's also a great chance to meet your fellow travelers.
- Train takers depart Beijing Central station at 5:25pm for the 24 hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang.
Monday 13th April
- Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:00am for the extensive border control from the North Korean side
- Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo. (Group will meet at Air Koryo check in). Flight departure times will be announced closer to the departure date. To avoid any inconvenience we recommend for you to arrive in Beijing the day before to better prepare.
- Flight group arrive in Pyongyang, welcomed at the airport by your Korean guides.
- Train group arrive at 6:00pm.
- In the evening your guide will show you around the hotel before taking you for dinner and to get to know your Korean guides.
- Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Tuesday 14th April
- Stroll through Mansudae fountain park taking in the Grand Peoples Study House and see the mosaic pictures of the leaders.
- Visit Mansudae Grand Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il.
- Kim Il Sung Square – The central square of Pyongyang City and a popular meeting point.
- Foreign Language Bookshop – right next to the square and the best place for pins, stamps, books and other souvenirs!
- Helicopter ride option – Optional extra. we’ll drive to Pyongyang Airport for a special lunch (included) and then board a Mi-17 to take on a spin for a 40 minute aerial tour of Pyongyang city. (€250)
- Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. This incredible museum features dioramas, captured weapons, the Victory Monument, and the USS Pueblo: the only American military vessel captured by another nation.
- Monument to the Party Foundation – The hammer sickle and brush built in 1995.
- Juche Tower – the tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the Juche Ideology. Central to the teachings of the DPRK(optional extra €5 to go to the top).
- Visit Kwanbok department store. Here we can shop with the locals and have access to the local North Korean currency!
- Dinner at the Famous Duck BBQ restaurant.
- Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Wednesday 15th April –Birthday of President Kim Il Sung
- Grand People’s Study House- North Korea's largest library in the heart of Kim Il Sung Square
- Pyongyang Metro
- Exiting at the Arch of Triumph – the largest Victory Arch in the world, bigger than in Paris!
- Lunch at the Moranbong Hill Chicken Restaurant.
- Walk across to Moranbong park to dance and celebrate the holiday with the locals.
- Kimilsungia Flower Festival Exhibition. Join the crowds at the central holiday exhibit.
- Birthplace of the President.
- Special celebratory events (optional: approx €20) – Yet to be confirmed. These may include a circus or musical performance.
- Spectate or join in on a mass dance performance in front of the arch of Triumph.
- Dinner at a local Restaurant to sample Pyongyang Cold Noodles and other delights.
- To be confirmed: we'll watch the fireworks light up the Juche tower over the Taedong River from Kim Il Sung Square.
- Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Thursday 16th April
- Hit the road for the 3.5 hour drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
- Koryo Museum – Korea’s first university and now a UNESCO museum of history and culture.
- The DMZ – tour Panmunjom with a friendly army officer who will give you the look around. You can even take photos with the army here!
- Lunch in Kaesong City – on the menu will be traditional Korean Pansangi, a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog Soup €5)
- Stop by Sariwon to view the city from the mountain top pagoda.
- Try locally brewed Makkoli in a local tea house.
- Stop by the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification that stands over the Thongil (reunification) Highway.
- Back to Pyongyang in time for dinner at the Duck BBQ restaurant.
- Overnight in the Sosan.
Friday 17th April
Group A Depart:
- Group A train takers depart at 10:25 am for the overnight train to Beijing. Train arrives in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am on Saturday the 18th.
- Group A flight takers depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 9:55am local Beijing time).
Group B and C continue:
- Morning walk along the river which divides Pyongyang into west and east.
- Visit a North Korean Film Studio – We can tour the film sets and try on some costumes!
- BBQ picnic lunch on top of Mt Ryangak to enjoy the magnificent views of Pyongyang below.
- Drive to Nampo – a city located on the west coast of North Korea.
- Tae’an Friendship Glass Factory – A retro factory which produces most of the glass used in the DPRK.
- Kangso Mineral water factory.
- Dinner and overnight at the Ryonggang spa resort complete with private mineral spa in each room. We will also have an option to have the DPRK’s famous BBQ clams for €5 extra per person.
Saturday 18th April
- West Sea Barrage – A terrific example of socialist construction, the barrage was built to control the rising Taedong river and produce fertile farmland.
- Chongsan Co-operative farm - a great example of the DPRK farm model.
- Drive back to Pyongyang.
- Lunch at the Pottongang Restaurant.
- Visit the Pyongyang Metro Museum – this showcases the difficulties that were faced constructing the metro in the 1970s
- Next we’ll head to the shooting range which has been renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery and automatic rifles! (Extra charge).
- Mansugyo Beer Bar – cheap beers with seven different local brews on tap! Coffee and soft drink also available.
- Dinner at the National Restaurant with performance.
- Overnight in the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Sunday 19th April
- Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – This is where the Leader’s Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state.
- Revolutionary Martyr's cemetery
- Lunch at the Moran chicken restaurant
- Munsu waterpark - try the indoor slides, saunas and more!
- School Children’s Palace – (extra-curricular centers) we’ll first tour some class rooms and then watch the amazing performance.
- Visit the new Science and Technology Park – a brand new complex which has housed all the latest scientific and warfare technology and presented it in an entertaining & interactive way.
- Head to Gold Lane Bowling to shoot some pins and mingle with some locals.
- Afternoon stroll from the east side of Pyongyang to the west crossing over the river.
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Monday 20th April
Group B Depart:
- Group B flight takers depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 9:55am Beijing time).
- Group B train takers depart at 10:25 am for the overnight train to Beijing arriving at Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am on Tuesday 21st.
Group C continue:
- Drive out to Mt Myohyang – 2 and a half hours north of Pyongyang.
- Visit the famous International Friendship Exhibition – two large gift houses holding the gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il from people, governments and institutions all over the world.
- Lunch at the Hyangsan Hotel – a five star deluxe hotel situated between the mountain ranges.
- Drive back to Pyongyang and stop on the way at Ryongmun Cave – one of the most famous cave complexes in North Korea.
- Dinner and drinks at a local restaurant in Pyongyang
- Night time walk along Ryomyong street – a newly constructed street opened in 2017 with a metro station, local shops and lines of new tall apartment buildings
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Tuesday 21st April
- Depart Pyongyang by train at 10:25am and arrive in the remote village of Dongrim at approx 2:30pm.
- Check-in and prepare for afternoon hiking
- Hike to Dongrim Waterfall and explore surrounding valley of the mountain range, if you're brave enough you can take a dip beneath the waterfall
- Dinner and overnight at the Dongrim Hotel – a swanky hotel with a swimming pool. sauna, table tennis, massage, bars & karaoke.
Wednesday 22nd April
- 1 hour drive to Sinuiju stopping at:
- Co-operative farm – we’ll look out to where the locals grow rice, cabbage, chilli and cucumbers for the making of kimchi.
- Tour the Pomhayanggi Cosmetics Factory and meet some local workers that produce some of North Korea’s most famous cosmetics.
- Visit the mosaic images of the “Three Tigers of Mt. Paektu” - Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Suk.
- See the large central square of Sinuiju and visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il.
- Lunch at a local restaurant
- Head to the local Folklore Park where there may be chances to engage in traditional Korean activities (extra charges apply for taking part in the local games - these will vary from game to game) or you can simply walk around and enjoy the scenery and watch the locals
- Visit the Art Studio which holds over 250 pieces of DPRK fine art in six large halls – some amazing art pieces here!
- Bonbu Kindergarten and performance – The performance here is the best of any Kindergarten in the country.
- Explore Amnok park and walk down to the Amnok River (Yalu River) and see the original Korean/Chinese Friendship Bridge bombed by the Americans during the Korean War.
- Take the 4:30pm bus and go through Korean customs to finish tour in Dandong, China.
- Board the 6:30pm overnight sleeper train from Dandong to Beijing.
Thursday 23rd April
- Arrive in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am.