- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
In the world of socialism, May 1st is known as the “International Workers’ Day“, “Labour Day” or “May Day”. The event, dating back to 1886, serves as a celebration of international working class solidarity. The day is celebrated worldwide, not least including North Korea. Thus, our May Day Delegation gives you the opportunity to visit the country during this special occasion and discover the role it plays in North Korea’s collectivist culture.
Our premium quality program offers a carefully blended mix of educational, fun and unique content. Starting from Beijing, we’ll take the overnight train and make our way to Pyongyang, where we will stay at the famous Yanggakdo International hotel. Our itinerary will give the participant optimum opportunities to interact with ordinary North Koreans including the chance to engage in a wide range of sporting activities at the Mt Taesong Amusement Park, as well joining in a mass dance later on! To understand North Korea’s association with May Day, we’ll be dropping by a number of revolutionary sites including the Worker’s Party Monument, the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery, Juche Tower and the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun Mausoleum, described as “the most sacred place in North Korea”. We’ll also have time for an optional helicopter ride around the city too!
In addition, we’ll be travelling out of Pyongyang too, the holiday emphasis doesn’t stop you getting a rounded view of the country! Our trip will take us southwards to Kaesong, the historic city adjacent to South Korea. Here we can discover how once a tense area is now changing to facilitate a growing peace between the two Koreas, including an increasingly eased DMZ, Panmunjom village and the joint security area. A whip around the historical Koryo museum is also amongst the highlights, as well as a trip to the equally historic city of Sariwon. For Korean culture and history lovers, there’s plenty to be had!
For 945 euros this package promises quality, insight and real experience of the DPRK. 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! Either way, get ready for a working class adventure… May Day, May Day! We’re going to North Korea!
Monday 29th 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!
Tuesday 30th 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 eye opening scenes of the North Korean countryside and the realities of rural life in the country
- 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!
Wednesday 1st May
- We begin our day with a walk through Mansudae Fountain Park, before heading up to the Mansudae Grand Hill Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking the city.
- Given it is the holiday of May Day, we will have the chance next to see the Mt Taesong Amusement Park – celebrate the occasion by playing sports and dancing with locals – you'll have the chance to try out football, volleyball , sack races, and many more! The park also has rollercoasters and other rides for you if you wish!
- Settle down after an exciting morning with lunch at the Moran Hill Restaurant. After, we can join locals for some singing and dancing.
- As with every national holiday in North Korea, there are some special celebratory events, be braced for a potential parade, a circus performance, a mass dance, and possibly some other fun surprises as well.
- Time for a ride on the Pyongyang Metro! Ride six stops and exit at the Arch of Triumph, which emulates North Korea's struggle against Japanese colonial rule.
- Next up is Juche tower, the monument to North Korea's ideology. Pay 5 euros to go to the top of the tower and witness a panoramic view of all Pyongyang!
- The Worker's Party Monument, remembering 50 years of the establishment of North Korea's ruling party. The three firsts symbolize industry, agriculture and intellectualism
- Next up is a special dinner with host to an extraordinary performance
- Back to the hotel!
Thursday 2nd May
- It's a very early start as we head out for the bus journey southwards to Kaesong, a city now at the heart of growing peace efforts between North and South Korea!
- The DMZ – See the site of the standoff lasting nearly 70 years between both Koreas. We will enter Panmunjom village and witness the sites of negotiations for the 1953 Korean War Armistice. We will be led by a real North Korean officer who you can take selfies with
- He will take us through into the joint security area, the place where Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in famously met in 2018. Due to changes in policy between the two countries, we will now have the opportunity to step right into the South Korean side! (Although we will not be able to enter the country at large)
- After the DMZ experience we head back to Kaesong for lunch- Try out traditional Korean Pasangi, a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. If you're feeling daring, you can try Dog Soup for 5 Euros or share a supposedly healthly Ginseng chicken (for 30)
- Following lunch we will witness the Koryo Museum, an ancient centre of learning and instruction when Kaesong was capital of the ancient Koryo Dynasty. It is a a UNESCO approved world heritage site which contains unique reflections into Korean history
- To wrap that up, we'll be having a look in the famous Korea stamp and poster shop just outside! Propaganda galore!
- On route back to Pyongyang we take a detour and stop by the city of Sariwon. Again with an emphasis on Korean history, we stop by "folkore street' which depicts the country's past and can climb a hill to see a panoramic view of the whole area
- A local old couple will also offer us the opportunity to try out their home brewed Makkoli- a delicious fizzy rice wine with minimal alcohol content
- Re-entering Pyongyang, we stop the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, or the "Arch of Reunification" which acts as a de-facto gate to the city.
- We wrap up a long day with a delicious dinner at the Pyongyang BBQ duck restaurant
- Back to the hotel for the night!
Friday 3rd May
- A serious start to the day. We will be going to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – the Mausoleum for former President Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il. Formal dress is required. They lay preserved in state, something we will witness first hand. No photography is allowed in this facility.
- We will drive to the outskirts of Pyongyang to see the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery – this place contains the graves of Koreans who fought against Japanese colonialism.
- Helicopter ride! If you wish, take a ride in a real soviet era helicopter for a quick and visual 40 minute flight around Pyongyang!
- Delicious Hotpot for lunch!
- 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, a walk around Kim Il Sung Square – the central square of Pyongyang city, famously the centre of all big events in the country
- From the square we'll walk to the local foreign language bookstore. You can purchase here all kinds of texts, newspapers souvenirs and other memorabilia!
- 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!
- School Children’s Palace – one of the many children's palaces (extra-curricular centres) in the DPRK, we’ll first observe some lessons then watch an amazing performance from the students!
- Dinner at KITC restaurant – choose between delicious Pyongyang Cold Noodles (Raengmyeon) or a traditional Korean Bibimbap dish!
- Theme park time! We have the chance to go to the Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra!).
- Back to the hotel for the night!
Saturday 4th May
- 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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