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On July 27th, 1953, belligerency in the Korean War came to an end with an armistice agreement in the village of Panmunjom, freezing but not resolving, the three year conflict on the peninsula. In North Korea, this date become a marked celebration, dubbed “Victory Day”. In the official state narrative, the United States had failed in their conquest of the DPRK and the forces of the Korean People’s Army were said to have successfully repelled them. As a result, Victory Day is a day of national celebrations and commemoration in the country.

 

This year’s victory day is immensely exciting. 66 years on from the day of the Armistice, there is now a real possibility that the Korean War may be permanently come to an end. The Trump Presidency have said this is something they want to achieve with Pyongyang. Meaning, this year’s victory day is extra special.

 

Given this, Visit North Korea are proud to announce their victory day delegation for this summer, offering visitors a high quality chance to witness the celebrations and the unusual euphoria surrounding a war which never actually came to an end. Our tour will start in Beijing, where we will take the overnight train to Pyongyang, staying at the Sosan hotel. The main highlights will include the opportunity to engage in celebrations with locals, including a party at Moranbong hill, a famous mass dance and also a firework display at Kim Il Sung square.

 

On a larger scale, other highlights will centre around a military theme. We’ll be visiting the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery, where those who fought in the Japanese resistance were laid to rest, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the grand facility which accounts for the history of the war itself and of course, the DMZ itself and Panmunjom Village.

 

Payment for the tour will involve a 30% deposit made by either paypal or a bank transfer and bringing the other 70% in person to Beijing. We can issue you a North Korean visa for 50 euros. Traveler’s should also ensure they have a double entry Chinese Visa as well. If you wish to fly, an Air Koryo Option is also available. Any questions should be directed to [email protected]

Thursday 25rd July

  • Meet your guide at 1:30pm at the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel next to Beijing Railway Station found here. Here we will have our tour induction: we’ll go over our itinerary, hand out DPRK visas and train tickets, and then give you the chance to answer any questions you might have
  • Those taking the train will depart on the 17:20 train to Pyongyang via Dandong.

 

Friday 26th July

 

  • Early start as the overnight train arrives at Dandong for 7am. We'll have a couple of hours to get breakfast and check out some of the sites of the city before heading through customs and boarding the train to Pyongyang
  • Those taking the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang will meet at Beijing airport terminal 2, where they will board the 12pm flight to Pyongyang to arrive by afternoon
  • Back on the train, we'll first stop in Sinuiju on the Korean border where we will go through immigration and customs. After a couple of hours, we'll then proceed onwards to Pyongyang. Enjoy the scenes of DPRK life in the countryside and grab lunch in the restaurant cart.
  • The train group will arrive at evening in Pyongyang and meet the Korean Guides on the platform
  • We'll reunify on the bus. We'll then have dinner together at a local Korean restaurant on the brilliant new Ryomyong Street, opened in 2017 by Kim Jong un
  • Afterwards it's time to check in for the night at the Sosan hotel

 

Saturday 27th July – Victory Day!

 

Morning

  • We'll begin this day with a walk through Mansudae Fountain park where we can see mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il.
  • Afterwards, we'll head up to the nearby Mansudae Grand Hill Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking the city. Here we will be kindly asked to pay our respects, flowers are optional if you wish.
  • Afterwards it's time for a ride on the Pyongyang Metro! We'll be going 6 stops before heading out to the Arch of Triumph- Like that in Paris, but bigger! This magnificent structure celebrates the victory over Japan and the liberation of Korea

Afternoon

  • We'll be grabbing lunch Moranbong Chicken Restaurant, afterwards it's time to head to the nearby Moranbong hill. As it is victory day, we will be dancing, partying, and mingling with locals as they celebrate the day!
  • Next up is Kim Il Sung Square, the famous city square in Pyongyang that is frequently seen as the site of parades. We'll go for a walk here, and head down to the street to the Foreign Language Bookshop – here you can buy local literature, newspapers, badges, flags and all kinds of souvenirs!
  • Now it's time for a mass dance! Join in with locals and make the most of victory day in this famous display, fantastic for photographs!
  • After all that dancing we'll need a rest, we'll be stopping at the Mansugyo Beer Bar for some nice drinks to cool down
  • After the bar, we can have some delicious Duck BBQ at Pyongyang's famous Duck BBQ restaurant
  • We'll end the day with a bang. As night falls, it's time to join locals again for an incredible Victory Day Firework exhibition on Kim Il Sung Square
  • Overnight in Sosan Hotel.

 

Sunday 28th July

 

Morning

  • A serious start to the day. We will be heading to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, known as the elaborate mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. Here, their bodies lie in state. Formal dress is reacted, as well as your best behaviour!
  • After the Palace, we'll go to see the Revolutionary Martyry’s Cemetery – Here lies those who fought against the Japanese occupation of Korea, as well as the grave of Kim Il Sung's Wife, Kim Jong Suk

 

Afternoon

 

  • We're having hotpot for lunch at Pyongyang's Chongryu Hotpot restaurant
  • Afterwards it's time to see the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. The local military guide will show us North Korea's depiction of the Korean War in this enormous complex, showing us around captured American weaponry and other equipment
  • All aboard the USS Pueblo! Outside the Museum sits a captured US Navy ship seized in 1968 by the North Korean navy. It's still registered as an official vessel! See bullet holes inside on the walls where US and North Korean sailors clashed
  • Next up is Juche Tower- Monument to North Korea's National Ideology. Go up to the top for an extra fee and see an incredible panoramic view of all Pyongyang
  • We will next see the Worker's Party Monument. This structure was built in 1995 and celebrated 50 years of the Worker's Party of Korea- The three giant firsts symbolize agriculture, industry and intellectualism
  • We will then be treated to a performance at the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s palace- where children will sing, dance and show incredible instrumental skills to the audience
  • Fancy some shopping? Next us the Kwangbok department store, North Korea's biggest domestic supermarket and department store. Here you can buy locally made goods, clothing and all kinds of items. Here you can real local currency.
  • Diner will be at the KITC restaurant. Try out famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles (Raengmyeon) or a traditional Korean Bibimbap.
  • We'll wind down dinner with a walk down the funky Mirae Scientists Street, a street with futuristic themes opened in late 2015
  • If you wish, we can finish the day with a trip to the funfair! Attend the  Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros each)
  • Back to the hotel

 

Monday 29th July

 

Morning

 

  • A very early start as we've got a lot of ground to cover. Our first stop is the Koryo Museum- An ancient centre of learning at the heart of the ancient Koryo Dynasty. See old Korean artifacts, clothing, coinage and weaponry!
  • Outside of the museum sits the Korea stamp stop! Stock up on your stamps, postcards, posters and other memorabilia here!
  • Now it's time for the DMZ. First, we'll stop the Panmunjom Gift shop, where you will have another chance to buy hand painted propaganda posters and other assortments
  • Our soldier guide, a real KPA officer, will then lead us into the DMZ. He will show us around Panmunjom village where the Armistice talks were held, as well as the signed document itself!
  • Next he will take us through to the Joint Security Area, where North Korean, South Korean and American soldiers famously stand face off! Now, it is becoming a centre of peace and subsequently, relaxed in contrast to pass times. There may be an opportunity to cross over into the South Korean side and see the tree planted by Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in last April (we cannot enter South Korea proper

 

Afternoon

 

  • Lunch at the Tongil Restaurant in Kaesong- try our traditional Korean Pansangi- a series of assorted dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- If you're feeling daring, there is Dog Soup at 5 euro! Or, you can even buy a share a ginseng chicken, apparently it's good for health
  • We'll srop by Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the historic folklore park. We'll also have the chance to view the city from the mountaintop pagoda.
  • Re-entering Pyongyang, we will stop at the  the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, otherwise known as "the Arch of Reunification"- longing for the day Korea is reunified
  • We'll then close the day with dinner at the National restaurant and tune in for a special performance!
  • Overnight in Sosan Hotel.

 

Tuesday 30th July- Departure

 

Morning

  • Those flying out will depart Pyongyang at 9:00am on Air Koryo, arriving in Beijing at 9:55am local time.
  • For those taking the train, we will depart at 10:25am for Beijing. The train will head back to Sinuiju for customs and then back into Dandong, before heading onwards overnight to China's capital.
  • 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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  • start: Thursday 07/25/2019
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