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Despite being two geographically distant countries with two very different cultures, the DPRK and the Republic of Ireland have some surprise elements in common. Both victims of Imperialism from a larger, imposing neighbour, both countries have built their heritage upon the celebration of struggle for national liberation and suffered from the pains of national division.

On this note, Our exciting DPRK-Ireland friendship tour, taking place on the joyous St. Patrick’s Day, aims to build mutual understanding between the two peoples. To do this, the tour explores North Korea’s tales of armed resistance against the Japanese in the early 20th century, visiting memorials such as the Arch of Triumph, the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery, the Mansudae Museum and the Mangyongdae native house, all which will explore the narrative that Kim Il-Sung sought to liberate the country from occupation. Thus, similar to the Irish uprising of 1916, participants can explore the value North Korea attaches to its independence and the notion of struggle which was created to achieve it.

 

Most importantly however, being St. Patrick’s Day, is the presence of beer! How can you possibly celebrate the day without it? On this note, we’ll be paying a visit to North Korea’s very own Taedonggang brewery, trying out the country’s greatest kept secret of its premium ales! A doze of revolutionary politics will be equated with a doze of celebration as we also check out bars around the city and celebrate the luck of the Irish in one of the most peculiar countries in the world!

 

 

Saturday 16th March

 

  • Meet your guide at 8:00am at Dandong Railway Station to get your train tickets, North Korean visa and go through Chinese exit customs
  • Board the 9:25am train from Dandong.
  • We'll be stopping at the border city of Sinuiju at 10.30 to proceed with DPRK entry customs
  • After a couple of hours here, ride on the train and enjoy the beautiful countryside along the way as we head to Pyongyang

 

Afternoon

 

  • Optional lunch on the train (50RMB extra)
  • 6:45pm arrival in Pyongyang railway station where we'll meet our guides. Pack our stuff onto the bus and head to the hotel!
  • Checkin and dinner at the Rakrang Hotel- chill afterwards, grab a drink and get to know the group!

 

Sunday 17th March – St. Patrick’s Day

 

Morning

 

  • We'll begin our tour with a look around the main sites of Pyonygang. We'll head to Mansudae Fountain Park and see the mosaics of leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
  • Up from the fountain park, we'll go to the Mansudae Grand Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking the city. Here will be expected to bow, flowers may be purchased as an optional extra.
  • As part of our tour's focus, we will take note to the monument of resistance against the Japanese occupation, illustrating the struggle of Korea against Imperial rule from 1905-1945
  • Afterwards it is time to see the Grand People's Study House- heralded as North Korea's largest library, built in a traditional Korean style. Check out the courses being taught to foreigners here, as well as the peculiar collection of foreign language books.
  • From the study house we'll go for a walk around Kim Il-Sung Square, heading towards Pyongyang's Foreign Language Bookshop – here you can buy books, pins, DVD’s, CD’s and periodicals in English and other foreign Languages

 

Afternoon

 

  • It's time for a delicious Lunch in the KITC restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles or a specialty Bibimap.
  • Next, it's time for some St. Patrick's Day fun at the Taedonggang Brewery #3 There’s seven different local beers on taps, 2 euros each- Lucky prices of the Irish!
  • If we're still sober, we'll continue with a trip on the Pyongyang Metro – we'll be taking five stops, getting off at the Arch of Triumph. In line with the theme of the tour The arch celebrates the return of Kim Il Sung after the anti-Japanese war. We'll enter the arch to learn more about this much heralded resistance!
  • Next up is the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. Let the fantastic guide will show us around the magnificent museum which contains weapons, tanks, etc., and captured American equipment!
  • After we'll be boarding a ship, no not the Irish Rover of course, but the U.S.S Pueblo- the only US Naval Ship still held captive by another nation.
  • Dinner and drinks at the National restaurant with performance!
  • Overnight at the Rakrang Hotel.

 

Monday 18th March

 

 

Morning

  • After breakfast we'll head to the outskirts of Pyongyang to visit the Mangyondae Native House. The House is claimed to be the place of Kim Il-Sung's childhood, with unusual emphasis placed on his humble origins...
  • Following the house comes a trip to the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery, a cemetery which hosts the graves of purported liberation fighters against the Japanese occupation of Korea. Here is the grave of Kim Jong-suk, wife of Kim Il-Sung and mother of Kim Jong-il.
  • After a hungry morning involving lots of working, we'll be stopping by a local restaurant for lunch!

 

Afternoon

 

  • To kick off the afternoon we'll be visiting Juche Tower, a monument to the national ideology of North Korea, Juche. For a fee, visitors can go to the top and see a magnificent panoramic view of Pyongyang.
  • Following the tower it's time for a spot of shopping, the Kwanbok Department Store is one of Pyongyang's biggest commercial hubs. Exchange your money into real North Korean currency and browse an enormous range of local made products and consumer goods... experience the country in a different light in this very busy store.
  • The store will be followed to a trip to a local middle school, where we will meet children learning to speak English and converse with them! They enjoy asking questions to visitors!
  • We'll wrap up the evening with dinner at a delicious Korean BBQ restaurant. Then to end this fantastic tour, we'll go for some drinks at a local bar!
  • Back to the hotel!

 

Tuesday 19th March

 

 

  • It's time to say goodbye. Check out of the hotel and head to Pyongyang railway station to board the 10:20 train to Dandong!
  • Lunch is available on the train, we'll be arriving at 5pm! Here we will part as a group. If you need to make any accommodation or a way out of Dandong please let us know!
  • All meals, accommodation, guides and sites
  • Return train trip from Dandong to Pyongyang

 

  • Your DPRK visa (50 euros)
  • Your Chinese double entry visa
  • Any tips or gifts for guides
  • Any optional spending in North Korea

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