The Real Deal Tour
The name of the tour says it all. This is the ultimate North Korean experience. The tour includes the rural northeast of the DPRK (way off the usual tourist trail) and combines the must-see sights of Pyongyang with the DMZ and a connecting domestic flight, something that is certainly unique for North Korea. We’ve timed it to coincide with the massive 75th anniversary of Party Foundation celebrations happening on October 10th. Military parade expected!
Our journey 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 explore this small town and spend the evening at a local hotel.
The following morning we’ll go through Chinese immigration and become one of the very few tourists to walk into North Korea. Here we’ll be met by our friendly local Korean guides and head directly to Wangjaesan grand monument.
We’ll then make our way to Hoeryong, a beautiful town famous for beautiful girls! It’s also the hometown of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Jong Il’s Mother). Other highlights include a middle school where we’ll teach an English class. Most of these students have most likely never seen a Westerner before!
Next on our agenda will be North Korea’s third largest city – Chongjin. Here we’ll visit a local kindergarten for a special performance. We’ll also explore the recently renovated square and its revolutionary museum.
Our next destination is Mt Chilbo Famed for its incredible nature of both land and sea. We’ll stay in the only homestay available in the country for two nights. This is a one of a kind experience will lead us to spend our time eating, playing sports and exchanging photos with our Korean homestay family. We’ll also take advantage of the mountains here and go for short hikes along the peaks for spectacular views. After saying goodbye to our Korean families, we’ll make our way to Orang Airport to board one of the few domestic flights to Pyongyang ! This concludes our adventure of the rural northeast of Korea.
Once arriving in Pyongyang, we’ll hit the must-see sights of the capital. We’ll be visiting the Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the War Museum, the Metro, Kim Il Sung Square and much more including the Party foundation anniversary celebration! Plus of course, no trip to North Korea is ever complete without a day visit to the DMZ to see where Korea is divided.
That’s it! All the must-see sights of North Korea in one very convenient and not to be missed tour.
Saturday 3rd October
- Meet your guide at 10:00am at a Beijing Hotel near Beijing Railway Station. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary and receive your DPRK visas and tickets.
- Take the overnight sleeper train at 1:00pm for Tumen City.
- During the journey your Rocky Road 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.
Sunday 4th October
- Arrival in Tumen at 3:00pm
- Check into the hotel downtown.
- Hang out by the river to have dinner and look over the border into North Korea.
- Overnight in Tumen.
Monday 5th October
- Drive to the border and go through some curious Chinese customs.
- Walk the bridge into the North Korea! Meet your local guides and some friendly customs officials on the other side.
- Get your first taste of North Korean food with Lunch at a local restaurant in the border town of Namyang.
- Drive to Wangjaesan Grand Monument. One of the largest monuments in North Korea.
- Drive to Hoeryong city. This city is famous for apricots and beautiful girls! It’s also the birthplace of revolutionary hero Kim Jong Suk. We'll see her birth place.
- We’ll pay a very special visit to a middle school. They have an English class here full of students learning basic English. We'll chat to the kids and give a quick class!
- Check into the Hoeryong Hotel on the border.
- Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Tuesday 6th October
- Visit the statue of Kim Jong Suk (Mother of General Kim Jong Il).
- Drive to Chongjin. Chongjin is North Korea’s third largest city and is most famous for its steelworks industry.
- Check-in at the Chongjin Hotel and have some lunch.
- Visit the square to see 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 an incredible schoolkids performance.
- Chongjin Art Gallery – The best place to pick up unique Korean art.
- Visit the Soviet Martyrs Cemetery – this cemetery was built to commemorate the Russians who landed in Chongjin to battle the Japanese Aggressors during world War 2. It offers fantastic view of Chongjin’s port.
- Dinner and drinks at the newly opened Namgang Restaurant – during dinner we’ll dance and sing with the Korean waitresses!
- Overnight and drinks at Chongjin Hotel.
Wednesday 7th October – Home Stay.
- Drive to Mt. Chilbo scenic area stopping along the coast road for some amazing views
- Arrive at the entrance to Mt. Chilbo for an explanation of the National Park area.
- Lunch at Outer Chilbo Hotel.
- We’ll begin our easy hike through the mountains of Chilbo.
- We’ll stop by Kaesim Buddhist Temple and meet the local monk.
- We’ll drive to the home-stay village where we’ll be greeted by our families and then taken to our houses.
- Dinner and home stay overnight at the village – two guests per household.
Thursday 8th October – Home Stay.
- We’ll begin another hike, this time up to the Tokgol and Gangsonmun areas – these are the highest peaks of the Mt. Chilbo region.
- Picnic lunch once we reach the top!
- Back to the village to spectate or play volleyball with the locals, help with some light chores or walk around to meet the neighbors!
- Jump on a local fisherman’s boat and drive out to see to see the stunning Mt. Chilbo from afar (€5)
- Korean wrestling and volleyball tournament with the villagers.
- Dinner at the home-stay village.
- Bonfire party on the beach with the villagers.
- Overnight with our families.
Friday 9th October
- Group breakfast.
- Drive to a scenic lake for a picnic lunch. Along the way, we will stop at a few last minute sites in the Chilbosan area.
- Drive to Orang Airport and board the domestic Air Koryo flight at 3:00pm – here we’ll say goodbye to our local North Hamgyong Korean guides!
- Arrive in Pyongyang at 3:50pm to be greeted by our new 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 with our new guides at the Taedonggang Brewery #3.
- Overnight in the Sosan Hotel.
Saturday 10th October - Party Foundation Day!
- 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.
- 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.
- Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic North Korean monument – fantastic for photo opportunities!
- Monument to the Party Foundation – The hammer sickle and brush built in 1995.
- Watch the expected military parade
- Dinner at the National restaurant with a big performance!
- We’ll gather in Kim Il Sung Square to watch the fireworks amongst the locals
- Overnight and drinks at Sosan Hotel.
Sunday 11th October
- Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – This is where the Leader’s Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state.
- Grand People’s Study House – library for adult learners. This grand building is built in the Korean style and offers a great view over Kim Il Sung square.
- Lunch at the Gold Restaurant.
- 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.
- Visit Kwanbok department store. Here we can shop with the locals and have access to the local North Korean currency!
- Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s palace- This is the largest extracurricular centre for kids in North Korea, we’ll first observe some lessons then watch the incredible kids performance.
- Dinner and drinks at the Moran Hill Restaurant.
- Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Monday 12th October
- 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 Sosan Hotel
Tuesday 13th October
- 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.
Wednesday 14th October
- Train team arrive at 9:00am in Beijing Railway Station.