North East & Pyongyang Tour
This tour includes the rural north east DPRK which is way off the usual tourist trail!
The tour combines the must see sights of Pyongyang and the DMZ with a connecting domestic flight – something that is certainly unique for an experience in North Korea.
Our journey first starts in Beijing where we’ll board our overnight sleeper train to Tumen – a border town of China and North Korea. Once arriving we’ll have time to explore this small town and spend the night at a local hotel.
The following morning we’ll go through Chinese immigration and become one of the very few western tourists to walk into North Korea. Here we’ll be met by our friendly local Korean guides and head directly by road to Wangjaesan grand monument, one of the most impressive in the country and a must-see for any fan of grand socialist monuments.
We’ll then make our way to Hoeryong city, a beautiful border city famous for its pretty girls and the hometown of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Jong Il’s Mother). Other highlights include a middle school where we’ll involve ourselves in an English class; most of these students have most likely never seen a westerner before.
Next on our agenda will be the North Korea’s third largest city, Chongjin. Here we’ll visit a local kindergarten where the workers of the Kim Chaek steelworks factory send their children to study. We’ll also explore the recently renovated square and the revolutionary museum that tells the history of the battle for liberation against the Japanese during the Second World War.
Our next destination is Mt Chilbo, famous for it’s incredible beauty. Here we’ll stay in the only home-stay available in the country. This is a one of a kind experience will lead us to spend our day’s and night’s eating, drinking, playing sports and exchanging photos with our Korean hosts. We’ll also take advantage of the mountains here and go for gentle hikes along the peaks for spectacular views over the ocean. After saying goodbye to our Korean families we’ll make our way to Orang Airport to board one of the very few domestic flights to Pyongyang! This concludes our tour of the rural north east of Korea.
Once arriving in Pyongyang we’ll meet our new guides and dig deep into the must-see sights of the capital. We’ll be visiting the Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the Korean War Museum, riding the Pyongyang Metro, drinking at the local microbreweries, Kim Il Sung Square and much much more. And of course, no trip to North Korea is ever complete without a day visit to the DMZ to see where both North and South Korea are divided.
And there you have it! All the must-see sights of North Korea in one very convenient and not to be missed North East DPRK tour.
Wednesday 24th June
- Meet your Rocky Road guide at 10:00am in the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel near Beijing Railway Station. We’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, receive DPRK visas and tickets, as well as get to know your fellow travelers and to discuss any other questions you may have about the North Korea.
- Take the overnight sleeper train at 1:00pm for Tumen.
- During the journey, your guide will be happy to answer any North Korea based questions you might have and use his Chinese ability to keep you stocked up with supplies for the journey
Thursday 25th June
- Arrival in Tumen at 3:00 pm
- Check into hotel
- Hangout by the river to have dinner and look over the border into North Korea. This is also a great place to buy cheap local souvenirs.
- Overnight in Tumen
Friday 26th June
- Up early to drive to the border to go through the very relaxed Chinese customs.
- Walk the bridge into the DPRK to meet your local guides and some friendly but thorough Korean customs officials.
- Lunch at Namyang restaurant
- Drive to Wangjaesan Grand Monument – one of the most spectacular monuments in the DPRK.
- Drive to Hoeryong city - Population 140,000, This city is famous for White Apricots, Ceramics and beautiful girls! It’s also the birthplace of revolutionary hero - Kim Jong Suk.
- Visit Hoeryong School Children’s Palace – here we can see classes held where the students practice Taekwondo, music and sports.
- Check into the Hoeryong Hotel
- Dinner, drinks and overnight at the hotel – during dinner we’ll dance and sing with the Korean waitresses!
Saturday 27th June
- Visit the statue of Mother Kim Jong Suk (Mother of General Kim Jong Il) and her Revolutionary Museum.
- We’ll pay a very special visit to Kim Ki Song Middle School – they have an English class here full of students learning basic English. We'll chat to the students and give a quick class.
- Drive to Chongjin City (2 hours) – Chongjin is North Korea's third largest city and is most famous for its steelworks industry.
- Check-into Chongjin Hotel and have lunch
- Visit the renovated city square and pay respects at the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il
- We’ll walk around the square to visit the newly built E-Library.
- Visit the Revolutionary Museum of Chongjin
- Visit the local Kim Chaek Steel Complex Kindergarten for a Children’s Performance
- Chongjin Foreign Languages school – Here we will have the chance to practice English with the students.
- Visit the Soviet Martyrs Cemetery – this cemetery was built to commemorate the Russians who landed in Chongjin to help battle the Japanese Aggressors during WW2. The Cemetery has a fantastic view of Chongjin’s port.
- Stop by the local Namgang spa to have a hot bath (€8 extra)
- Dinner and drinks at Namgang Restaurant with a performance.
- Overnight at Chongjin Hotel
Sunday 28th June – Home Stay
- Drive to Mt. Chilbo national park (3 hours) stopping along the coastal road for some amazing scenic views
- Arrive at the entrance to Mt. Chilbo for an explanation of the area using the world’s largest mineral painting map as a guide.
- Lunch at the Outer Chilbo hotel.
- We’ll begin our easy hike through the mountains of Chilbo – this region is the most famous part of North Hamgyong province.
- We’ll stop by Kaesim Buddhist Temple and meet the local monk here
- We’ll drive to the homestay village where we’ll be greeted by our families and then taken to our homes.
- Dinner and overnight at Homestay village
Monday 29th June – Home Stay
- We’ll begin another hike, this time up to Tokgol and Gangsonmun areas – these are the highest peaks of the Mt. Chilbo area.
- Picnic lunch once we reach the top!
- Jump on a local fisherman’s boat and drive out to see to see the magnificent Mt. Chilbo from afar (€5 extra)
- Spectate or play volleyball with the locals, help with some light chores or walk around to meet the neighbors!
- Optional Korean wrestling tournament with the villagers.
- Bonfire party on the beach with the villagers, singing songs and dancing.
- Dinner and overnight at the village – two guests per family.
Tuesday 30th June
- Group breakfast at the village
- Drive to a scenic lake for a picnic lunch (2 hours).
- Picnic Lunch
- Drive to Orang Airport and board a domestic Air Koryo flight at 3:00 pm to Pyongyang – here we’ll say goodbye to our North Hamgyong Korean guides!
- Arriving in Pyongyang at 3:50 pm to be greeted by our new local Pyongyang guides.
- 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!
- Dinner and drinks at a local restaurant
- Overnight in the Yanggakdo International Hotel
Wednesday 1st July
- 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.
- Grand People’s Study House. This is the main library and learning center for adult students. This huge building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over the Kim Il Sung Square.
- Lunch in a local Korean restaurant
- Ride the Pyongyang Metro! See three of the stations and Exit to:
- The Arch of Triumph- This celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the triumphant return of Kim Il Sung to his home town.
- 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.
- 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).
- Stop by Taedonggang Brewery #3 for 7 different types of micro-brewed beers, juices or coffee!
- Dinner at the National restaurant with a grand performance!
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Thursday 2nd July
- 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 – the final resting place of the greatest anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters. Also offers greats views of the city.
- Lunch at the Gold Restaurant.
- Visit Kwanbok department store. Here we can shop with the locals and have access to the local North Korean currency!
- Stop by the Party Foundation Monument – this monument is 50 meters high and displays the socialist hammer, sickle and writing brush.
- Visit Gold Lane Bowling Alley to compete in a bowling game with our guides €2.50 per game.
- Dinner at the Moran Hill Restaurant
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo International Hotel.
Friday 3rd July
- 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 at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Saturday 4th July
- Flight takers depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo arriving at 9:55am local Beijing time.
- Train takers depart at 10:25am for the overnight train to Beijing.
Sunday 5th June
- Train members arrive 9:00am at central Beijing Railway Station.