VIP Photography Tour
This is a new tour concept for North Korea – A VIP photo tour run by photographers for photographers.
This tour will be capped at 6 people in order to present you with the best and rarest opportunity to photograph daily life in North Korea.
This is not a conventional DPRK tour that you may know. Besides the usual stops at Mansudae Grand Monument and Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, we have designed an itinerary that allows you time in key places to get that perfect shot. We get up early to catch sunrise along scenic spots like the Taedong River and the Juche Tower. We will set up our gear over looking the most iconic 105 storey Ryugyong Hotel and other various street scenes/famous landmarks at sunset. One of our expert Rocky Road guides will be on hand to make sure we push the boundaries and get you to the sites you want to – something only made possible with a small group.
During our stay we’ll obtain some of the highest rooms available in the 47 storey Yanggakdo Hotel which overlooks the Taendong River and Pyongyang skyline for a perfect vantage point to do some time lapse and long-exposure night shots.
Our incredible relationship we have built with the Korean guides will allow us to move as a small group with great flexibility for any photo opportunity.
The group is maxed at 6 people to ensure smooth running, flexibility and plenty of time at each location. The tour will be led by semi professional photographer and Rocky Road founder; Shane Horan (www.shanehoran.com) (@shaneohodhrain) who has visited the DPRK over 40 times and has designed this itinerary.
Join us in North Korea this July for the trip of a lifetime. Book fast as it’s first come first serve!
Thursday 23rd July
- Meet your Rocky Road guide at 1:30pm at a Beijing Hotel near Beijing Railway Station. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, receive your North Korean visas and tickets, and meet your fellow travelers.
- Train takers depart Beijing Central station at 5:25pm for the 24 hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang.
Friday 24th July
- 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 Korean side, along the way photography of rural North Korea from the window is permitted.
- Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo at 13:25pm (Meet group at Air Koryo check-in counter).
- Flight group arrive in Pyongyang at 4:00pm to a warm welcome from your Korean guides.
- Train group arrive at 6:45pm to an equally warm welcome and transfer directly to the hotel.
- In the evening your guide will show you around the hotel before taking you for drinks and to get to know your Korean guides
- Dinner and overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
Saturday 25th July
- Explore the mysterious Pyongyang Metro. We’ll start from Puhung station, then ride one stop to Yonggwang station, and 5 more stations onwards to Kaeson station. That’s three stations in total.
- The Arch of Triumph- The largest Victory Arch on the planet – it celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of the general Kim Il Sung to his home city. Kim Il Sung Stadium is nearby with more opportunities to snap Pyongyang’s traffic.
- Munsu Water Park- a modern indoor and outdoor Waterpark built recently in Pyongyang. Sunday is the most popular day for locals to come and take advantage of the facilities. Lots of families, couples and friends mingling. Incredible for photography.
- Lunch at the Koryo Hotel
- Monument to the Party Foundation – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the worker’s party. This is the large monument with hammer, sickle and writing brush.
- Juche Tower- The tallest stone tower in the world it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology. To visit the top of the Juche Tower is 5 euros. The best vantage point of a panoramic view of Pyongyang city.
- Visit the Jangchon co-operative vegetable farm
- We’ll set up alongside the Ryugyong Hotel (the tallest and most famous building in Pyongyang) for nighttime shots.
- Dinner at Potonggang Restaurant
- Overnight and at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Sunday 26th July
- Drive towards Nampo (1-hour drive) – a port city located on the west coast of the Korean peninsula.
- Chollima Steel Complex – One of the DPRK’s most famous industrial sites (TBC)
- West Sea Barrage – A terrific example of socialist construction, the barrage was built to control the rising Taedong river and produce fertile farmland.
- Swim at Nampo beach and hang out with the locals!
- Picnic lunch on the beach
- Chongsan Co-operative farm - a great example of the DPRK farm model.
- Drive back to Pyongyang
- Dinner and overnight in the Yanggakdo Hotel
Monday 27th July
- Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – This is where the Leader’s Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lay in state.
- 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.
- Lunch at the famed Moranbong Chicken Restaurant
- Visit Moranbong park to dance, party and mingle with the locals as they celebrate the biggest holiday of the year!
- 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 more!
- Special celebratory events (optional: approx €20) – We will take part in any holiday events that are possible for tourists to attend.
- Expected mass dance for Victory Day, join in or just watch for fantastic photo opportunities!
- Dinner at the Duck BBQ restaurant
- Attend the Mass Games - the greatest Show on earth! (TBC)
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel
Tuesday 28th July
- We’ll start the morning by setting up at Kim Il Sung Square to catch the early commuters as they make their way to work.
- We’ll then continue our way to Mansudae water fountain park with mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il in the background
- We’ll set up at the Mansudae Grand Monument where the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il stand overlooking the city.
- Lunch at a restaurant in Mangyongdae District – here you can have the chance to sample Pyongyang’s famous Cold Noodle dish or the Korean traditional Bibimbap.
- Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s palace- These are extracurricular centers in the DPRK, we’ll first observe some lessons then watch the amazing kids performance.
- Visit the Kim Jung Suk Textile factory
- Hit the road for the 3.5 hour drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
- Dinner and overnight at the Kaesong old town traditional hotel.
Wednesday 29th July
- 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 drink.
- 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.
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
Thursday 30th July
- Breakfast in Pyongyang and drive to Wonsan city (4 hours) stopping at Sinpyong Lagoon along the way for a quick break.
- Picnic lunch at Ulim Waterfall – one of the most famous and beautiful waterfalls in North Korea.
- Arrive in Wonsan, check into Tongmyong hotel overlooking Wonsan Bay and the East Sea.
- Trip highlight – Visit Wonsan Beach for a swim, sunbathe, or play beach games with the locals (the entry for the beach is €2 per person)
- Walk along the pier to Chok Islet where the locals will be fishing, drinking and enjoying their own BBQs with friends and family. Here you have the option of trying the fresh catch of the day for €5, this will give you a good mix of everything. Be sure to wash it down with the local rice wine.
- Dinner at a nearby famous seafood restaurant along the waterfront (The best meal you will have on tour!)
- Overnight at the Tongmyong Hotel.
Friday 31st July
- Take a walk around Wonsan Central Square and the nearby port to see North Korea’s very own cruise ship named the Mangyongbong-92. It used to ferry passengers to Japan.
- Visit the former Railway Station which has now been converted into a Revolutionary site with an old Japanese stream engine left over by the Japanese during the Korean occupation.
- Visit the Songdowon International Children’s Union Camp – This recently renovated summer camp was designed for both domestic and international guests. Its facilities include a waterpark, dormitories, aviary, track & field and a even a beach.
- Lunch at a local Wonsan restaurant.
- Drive back to Pyongyang
- Dinner at the famous Duck BBQ restaurant in the Reunification District.
- Take a walk down new and bright Mirae Scientist’s street, perfect for long exposure shots.
- Overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel
Saturday 1st August
- Flight takers depart at 9:00am and arrive in Beijing 9:55am local time.
- Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing
Sunday 2nd August
- Train arrives in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am