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Far away from Pyongyang, to the far North East of the country, sits the small city of Rason. You might wonder what such a place has to offer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Rason has a special status, in 1992 it became the first “Special Economic Area”  in the DPRK, a local jurisdiction that was given its own economic powers in order to attract foreign investment and experiment with more liberal markets. Being wedged both between China and Russia, it has attained strategic importance, with the ultimate goal of emulating the economic zones established by China itself in the 1980s


Here at Visit North Korea, we are offering you an exciting opportunity to visit this unique hub of enterprise and innovation within the DPRK, skipping the “same old” sites of Pyongyang with a “venture” into somewhere completely different. For fans of business and economics, our Rason Discovery tour provides a glimpse at the country’s efforts to economically reform, and a curious model for the country’s future as negotiations with the United States and South Korea continue to progress. Starting at Beijing, we’ll first travel on the overnight sleeper to Yanji China. The morning after we’ll enter the DPRK across the friendship bridge linking the two countries, where we will then travel to Rason. Once there, we’ll be staying at the Pipha international hotel


As the trip commences, we’ll be exploring all kinds of economic tidbits in the area, including a visit to a clothing factory, a real North Korean private market, a local bank, a foreign owned microbrewery, a casino, the city’s port and a seafood victory! Of course there are some other more relaxing activities on offer too. We’ll go for hike up the local Mt Sahyang, we’ll visit a local kindergarden, check out Rason’s Art Gallery and go for a walk in Haean Park, as well as many other activities.


Either way, this impressive 5 day trip is guaranteed to be unique. If you are looking for the North Korea that people don’t typically visit or see, and for an assessment of change in the country, then this trip is absolutely worth it. For a bargain price, you can’t go wrong.





Monday 4th March


  • Meet your guide at 10:00am at the Beijing Jingu Qilong Hotel near Beijing Railway Station. Here we will have our tour briefing. This will involve going through the itinerary, getting our local visas, train tickets and also getting to know one another as a group. It's a great chance to ask questions
  • We'll head off to Beijing station afterwards and get on the overnight sleeper train at 1:10pm for the journey to Yanji


Tuesday 5th March


  • Arrive in Yanji and transfer to the LiuJing hotel- here we'll freshen up. Believe it or not, this hotel is ran by North Koreans.
  • Free time in the afternoon to do what you wish, have a look around!
  • Afterwards, we'll meet for dinner- there's a Korean karaoke show on the evening if you wish to attend



Wednesday 6th March




  • Now it's time to enter the country itself. An early start for 8:30am departure to the border between the DPRK and China – 3 hour drive
  • Arrive at the Chinese Immigration to go through customs and departure



  • We will walk across the friendship bridge linking China and the DPRK
  • On the other side, our two local guides will be waiting for us. They will immediately take us to the Rason International Travel Agency restaurant where we'll have lunch
  • Afterwards, we'll tour some local mosaic pictures of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
  • Our first proper destination will be the Rason Foreign Languages School – meet and engage with local students learning English, help them out through conversation!
  • Next is the Rason Kindergarten – the children have prepared for us a fantastic performance.  For appreciation, bring them some sweets, snacks and other small gifts
  • Time for some economic insights, we'll be going now to the Rajin Clothing Factory – one of the more interesting factories in town with a lot of outsourced production finding its way here- you might be surprised at what you find!
  • We'll settle down the dinner with Dinner at the Local Noodle House – try out famous North Korean Cold Noodles (Raengmyeon!)
  • We'll now stop by the hotel for the night



Thursday 7th March




  • Good healthy start with a relaxing hike up Mt Sahyang – there is a revolutionary site at the top we can take a glimpse at
  • Ever wondered what a North Korean bank is like? Here's your change. The Golden Triangle bank is one of the few banks in the DPRK foreigners are authorized to use, here you can exchange foreign currencies into Korean Won and even open a bank account! It comes with a debit card!
  • We'll next go for a walk around the city square, before heading to see the Rason Art Gallery –top artists throughout the country host their works here
  • It's souvenir time! Check out the Rason Bookshop and Souvenir Shop – plenty of things to get!




  • After lunch, we'll be going to a real North Korean private market, one which shows what ordinary citizens can buy and sell. You may use local currency here, as well as others. Explore a whole range of goods and foods at fantastic prices!
  • We'll walk through Haean park afterwads- if you fancy, you can even hire rollerskates, or a board, to play with local kids!
  • Fancy a drink? We'll check out a local microbrewery for some great pints
  • Next is the visit to Rason Port- key to North Korea's trade with neighbouring Russia, let's see how busy it is
  • After the port, we will check out a Ukranian Restaurant!
  • Dinner will be served at the Kumyong Restaurant – you can even ask them to cook seafood you buy earlier at the market
  • We'll round off the day w drinks at a local bar near the city square, before heading back to the hotel



Friday 8th March





  • An early start for checkout
  • We'll have a look at Pipha Island for scenic shots of the East Sea of Korea
  • It's Casino time! The Emperor hotel was built by Hong Kongers, we can have a look around and relax for a bit.
  • Next we'll see a local seafood factory on Pipha Island.
  • Drive to nearby Sonbong to visit the Sonbong Revolutionary Site.



  • After lunch it's time to see the three point pass- this amazing corner of the country is where the borders of the DPRK, China and Russia all collide together. What a great photo opportunity!
  • Drive to the three point pass where the borders of the DPRK, China and Russia meet. Fantastic photo chance here!
  • Visit the historical monument of Admiral Ri Sun Xin
  • We'll return to the pass and tuck into a delicious picnic, before heading down to the DPRK-Russia Friendship Pavilion
  • Now it's time to leave the DPRK, drive to exit customs and re-enter China
  • Bus ride back to Yanji where our tour ends!


If you need assistance staying in Yanji afterwards, or returning to Beijing, please contact us by [email protected] and we'll be happy to help!

• Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• One Way Train from Beijing to Yanji.
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• All guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All site entrance fees (unless otherwise stated).

  • Extra drinks and souvenirs.
  • DPRK Visa (50 EUR)
  • Chinese Visa
  • Tips for Korean guides and driver.
  • Meals in China.
  • Start
    Group Size
  • start: Monday 03/04/2019
    end: Friday 03/08/2019
    Group Size: No Size Limit
    price: € 595 /Person

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