The past few years have saw North Korea rise to become a prominent issue in global affairs, yet, despite the constant fanfare of … » Learn More about 2018 March Easter Education Delegation
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
The past few years have saw North Korea rise to become a prominent issue in global affairs, yet, despite the constant fanfare of controversy and alarm which surrounds the secretive country, it is seldom understood well. As a result, never has there been a more essential, topical and necessary time to gain an objective knowledge and experience of this country… if Washington cannot carve out a path to peace, we can.
Visit North Korea present to you our “North Korea: Easter Delegation” trip, (March 29th-April 2nd) a unique opportunity to Visit the secretive state not on a standard tourist itinerary, but with the incredible privileges of meeting, engaging and interacting with the people of the country and state itself.
Led by an Oxford educated area specialist in Asia, our trip will involve aspects not touched upon in normal “tours”, some of our key highlights will include a trip to meet students at Kim Il-Sung University, a visit to a North Korean Middle School and a personalised evening talk and Q&A session by a North Korean official.
This is your chance to learn about North Korea from a hands on, first person and personalized perspective, with the highest quality of value and experience on offer. For those pursuing careers in international relations, area studies and general academia, this will prove to be a massive CV building opportunity.
We’ll be first meeting in Beijing, where we will take the train first to Dandong on the North Korean border, and then onwards to Pyongyang, where we will be staying at the Yanggakkdo international hotel for the duration of the tour. In North Korea, we will be led by local guides and a driver, who will take us to the various sites.
Including the things mentioned above, the trip will also involve the following:
- The North Korean Science and Technology Park, the famous “atom” building constructed in 2016
- The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the sacred resting place of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il
- The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum- North Korea’s “story” of the Korean War
- The Mansudae Art & Film Studios, the heart of North Korea’s propaganda machine
- A ride on the Pyongyang metro and its new trains, covering six stations rather than the standard two.
- A trip to a local department store in Pyongyang
- The DMZ border with South Korea and Kaesong, the adjoining city, including a local walk through it and a visit to the historic Koryo Museum, once the ancient capital of Korea.
- A view at another city in the North Korean countryside, Sariwon
- A walk down the brand new Ryongmong district, a new area of Pyongyang opened in June
The price starts at 995 euros for students and 1195 euros for non-students.
(note we are unable to accept United States and South Korean passport holders on this trip)
DPRK Academic Tour
Oxford Led Delegation
28th March – Departure from Beijing to Pyongyang
- Arrive into Beijing
- Meet the group at 1:30pm at the Zhonggu Hotel near Beijing Railway Station. Here we will have our pre-tour meeting where we run through questions about travel to the DPRK and give you your visas and train tickets.
- Board the 5:27 overnight train to Dandong, the Chinese border city opposite the DPRK. Food and drinks are available on the train or you can stock up on supplies before we board. We will be travelling by hard sleeper which is six beds to a berth but quite comfortable.
29th March – Pyongyang Arrival
- We will arrive into Dandong at around 7am, and have a chance to walk down to the Yalu River that separates China and the DPRK. Here you can get your first sight of the DPRK and the Broken Bridge which was bombed by the Americans during the Korean War
- Board the 9:30 train from Dandong after going through Chinese customs. The train makes the short journey across the China-Korea Friendship Bridge and then stops at Sinuiju Railway Station where we go through Korean customs.
- We then carry on all the way to Pyongyang arriving around 4pm, with a table service lunch in the dining car (€7) or snacking on supplies bought in Dandong
- Arrive in Pyongyang where we are met by our two English-speaking Korean guides. Go for a walking tour up to Kim Il Sung Square and get great sunset views of the Juche Tower
- Head for dinner at the KITC Restaurant No 1, choose between bibimbap and Pyongyang cold noodles for your first taste of Korea.
- Check into the Yanggakdo Hotel and overnight
30th March – Pyongyang Day Tour
- An early rise because straight after breakfast we will head to the Mansudae Grand Statues, fountain park and mosaics and the Chollima statue. Visit the huge statues of President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il.
- Explore the Science and Technology Park where the DPRK’s latest medical and scientific technology is on show. Afterwards we’ll go to the Mansudae Art Studio and see some local artists in action, before looking around the Mansudae Film Studios where North Korean films are created
- For lunch we head to the Korean hotpot restaurant. After eating our fill we go straight to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum to see the DPRK’s take on the Korean War and walk around the captured US military vehicles and equipment, including the USS Pueblo, the only US ship captured and on show in another country. The local guide will give us a talk about the war and we get the chance to ask many questions
- Head to the Pyongyang metro, the deepest in the world because it also doubles up as bomb shelters. We ride for six stops, taking in three of the stations and their decorated murals, coming out at the Arch of Triumph, just as spectacular and even bigger than it’s French equivalent, which was built to celebrate victory over the Japanese.
- Go to a real Korean department store and supermarket – the Kwangbok Department Store. Here is the only place we can change foreign currency into Korean won and spend it amongst the locals, and potentially take some out as a souvenir. Stock up on local snacks, toiletries, soju and cigarettes or buy some North Korean cosmetics – great for gifts from the DPRK or memorabilia for yourself.
- Stop by a genuine DPRK microbrewery, the Mansugyo Beer Bar, and try out a pint in the company of the locals. After a drink we will head for dinner of Korean Duck BBQ (vegetarian options available).
- Evening walk around the new Ryongmyong Street to see how modern Pyongyang is changing before we head back to the Yanggakdo. The hotel has many facilities – swimming pool, sauna, bowling alley, karaoke and various bars. You can even visit the tailor and get a Korean suit made!
31st March – DMZ and Kaesong Day Tour
- After breakfast we head out for the 2 and a half hour drive to Kaesong city and go for a walk around the old town. Then we visit the Koryo Museum – this was the oldest university in Korea and has now been converted into a museum in beautiful grounds.
- Head down to the DMZ and Panmunjon village where we will see the treaty rooms where the armistice was signed and where we will be accompanied by a Korean People’s Army soldier who will be able to answer some questions about military affairs or Korean unification
- Lunch of traditional Korean pansangi at the Thongil Restaurant in Kaesong. This lunch consists of a series of bronze bowl dishes and if you’re willing to pay €5 you can sample another of Korea’s specialities – dog soup!
- Drive to Sariwon city where we can explore the local folk custom park and climb up to the mountain top pagoda with awesome views of the city. We will also head to a local roadside bar to try makkoli, a fermented Korean alcohol.
- On the drive back to Pyongyang we will stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification for photo opportunities
- Back in Pyongyang we’ll go to a real North Korean pizzeria to see the local’s take on one of everyone’s favourite foods before we head back to the Yanggakdo Hotel
1st April – Pyongyang University Tour
- An early start because today we are going to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – the mausoleum where Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state. This is a solemn event but an absolute must do for anyone interested in North Korea
- Drive out to Pyongysong city, which takes just under an hour, to see a different city in the DPRK and one which has only recently been opened to foreign tourists. Visit the Kim Jong Suk Middle School, named after Kim Jong Il’s mother, and participate in classes with the middle school students. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Korean, the students have great English and this is an excellent opportunity to learn about their life in the DPRK
- Lunch at the Jangsusan Hotel and then we head to the Paeksonri Foodstuffs Factory before the drive back to Pyongyang
- We head straight to Kim Il Sung University for an extended visit around the campus. We’ll observe classes and also talk with students to see how university life in the DPRK compares with your home country.
- For dinner we go to the National Restaurant where a traditional Korean meal is served and we can watch one of the famous performances by the waitresses
- Head back to the Yanggakdo Hotel where we will have a very unique talk by a Korean academic. Here we will be able to hear about university issues in the DPRK and also ask questions so we can find out more about academia in the DPRK. For those willing the talk will continue over a few beers in one of the hotel bars as we celebrate our last night in Pyongyang
2nd April – Pyongyang Departure
- Catch the morning train from Pyongyang back to Beijing, arriving at 9am on the 3rd
- All meals, hotels, guides and sites in north Korea
- All trains to and from North Korea
- Your DPRK visa
- Transport to Beijing
- Your Chinese double entry visa
- Any additional or optional costs
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