- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Kim Il-Sung is the founder of North Korea, ruling from the establishment of the state in 1945 up to his death in 1994. In DPRK politics, his life and legacy have been immortalized to an extent seen nowhere else on Earth. He is as the country’s constitution terms it the DPRK’s “eternal president”. The anniversary of his birth, April 15th, 1912 (the day the titanic sank) is consequentially a national holiday in the country, titled “day of the sun“. It is the most special day of the year in the country.
Our Kim Il-Sung anniversary holiday gives you the opportunity to witness this unique event and comprehend the DPRK’s personality politics at its epitome. We will be starting this tour in Beijing and heading there by train with a small stop in Dandong. We’ll be staying at the Yanggakkdo International Hotel. Once we’re in Pyongyang, as the birthday of Kim il-Sung arrives, attendees will have the chance to witness sublime national celebrations, which will include performances, a mass dance with locals, potentially a military parade and evening fireworks. In addition, we’ll also be getting an exciting chance to ride a soviet led helicopter, (a Mil Mi-17 for you military/aviation experts!) around Pyongyang. Besides the usual sides including Juche Tower, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Pyongyang Metro and more, the tour group will also be attending the Mausoleum of Kim, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, termed “the most sacred place in North Korea”
Above all, this is a premium quality tour available at a bargain price of 795 euros. Payment is possible through either paypal or international bank transfer, beginning with a 30% deposit and the rest being brought on the day of the tour. For an additional fee, we can process your North Korean visa too, a straightforwards and uncomplicated process! The birthday of Kim il-Sung is a surreal experience. Don’t miss out on one of the biggest moments to experience North Korea in 2019!
Friday 12th April
- Meet your guide at 1:30pm at the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel near Beijing Railway Station for a introductory briefing on North Korea. During this meeting, we’ll go over the tour’s itinerary, receive North Korean visas train and tickets, as well as a great chance to meet the group and to discuss any other questions you may have about the tour.
- Afterwards its time to depart Beijing Central station at 5:25pm for the overnight sleeper train to Dandong!
Saturday 13th April
- Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00am. We'll have a quick break to grab breakfast, then we need to be up and out through Chinese exit customs and on the train for 10:00am
- Once we've crossed the bridge, it's time to go through North Korean customs and entry, this may take a couple of hours.
- After this is done, enjoy the scenes of the North Korean countryside and life
- Arrive at Pyongyang station for the evening, where we will meet our guides on the platform! We'll then board the bus and travel to the Yanggakdo international hotel, where we will be given our rooms!
- Afterwards, it's time for dinner at the hotel! Then we can settle down and socialize for the night!
Sunday 14th April
- We start our tour with probably the most serious thing we will see in North Korea, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. Once the official office of Kim Il-Sung, this building is now a mausoleum for the bodies of Kim and his son Kim Jong-il, where they lie in state. Formal dress is required for this.
- After this intense experience, we'll head tot he Mansudae Grand Hill Monument, the famous statues of the two leaders. Here, we will be expected to pay our respects. (Optional– you can purcahse flowers if you wish: small bunches are 2 euro, larger ones 4).
- Wind down from an intensive morning with lunch at a delicious Korean Hot Pot Restaurant.
- After lunch it's time to visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum – as North Korea tell their own story of the conflict between 1950-1953, you can see captured American weapons and vehicles, displays and dioramas from famous battles and much more!
- Outside the museum, all aboard the USS Pueblo – the only US Naval Vessel held captured by another country, seized off the coast of Wonsan in 1968!
- Next is the Worker's Party Monument – this enormous sculpture was built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party. Its three hands emphasize industry, agriculture and intellectualism.
- Now for Juche Tower- This stone column monument is the tallest of its kind in the world. It represents the eternally burning flame of the Juche ideology (Optional extra 5 euro to go to the top and see a panaromic view of all Pyongyang!
- Fancy some shopping? We'll next be going to the Kwangbok department store, Pyongyang's largest and most popular supermarket. It is home to exclusive North Korean brands, where you can use real local korean won currency!
- To wrap up the day we'll then be tucking into dinner at the Famous Duck Korean BBQ restaurant.
- Back to the hotel for the night!
Monday 15th April – The Day of the Sun
- We start monday off, the big day itself, with a walk around Kim Il Sung Square – the central square of Pyongyang city, famously the centre of all big events in the country
- From here we'll walk to the local foreign language bookstore. You can purchase here all kinds of texts, newspapers souvenirs and other memorabilia!
- Time for a ride on the Pyongyang Metro – We'll be going across six stations and Eeiting at the Arch of Triumph – the largest Victory Arch in the world, the arch celebrates North Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945 and the long struggle against it!
- Helicopter ride– we will head to Pyongyang airport for lunch and then board a real a Mil Mi-17 soviet era helicopter. We'll take a 40 minute ride and aerial tour of Pyongyang city.
- As the holiday kicks in, we'll walk around Moranbong park to drink, dance and celebrate the holiday with the locals.
- In the park we well see the Mangyongdae Native House– the claimed Birthplace of the President Kim Il Sung and where he spent the early years of his childhood. Pay attention to how they depict his life and how it is designed to match ideology of the regime.
- Special events (optional: approx 20 euros) –These may include a parade, a circus performance, and possibly some other surprises.
- We'll be joining in a famous North Korean mass dance with local university students- a fantastic opportunity to get involved with locals
- Dinner at the KITC No.1 Restaurant. You can try famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles, Raenngmyeon, or the delicious traditional Korean rice dish, Bibimbap.
- Theme park time! We have the chance to go to the Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra!).
- Next, we will wrap up the evening with locals at Kim Il Sung Square and watch the fireworks light up over the Taedong River to celebrate his birthday
- Back to the hotel!
Tuesday 16th April
- It's time to depart! Arrive at Pyongyang railway station for the 10:25am train to Dandong! Relax and get lunch on the train!
- After DPRK exit customs, we'll arrive back in Dandong and then get the overnight train back to Beijing, which will arrive around 8am the following morning. Here we will part ways!
- All accommodation,
- All meals and primary sites (unless specified in the itinerary)
- Return train trip Beijing/Pyongyang
- All guides
- International flights
- DPRK visa (we can process this for 50 euros)
- Chinese visa or transit visa
- Air Koryo add ons
- Any additional spending or tips
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