• North Korea is one of the most mysterious countries in the world today. The lack of advertisement and heavy traffic in the streets, the portraits of the "Great Leaders" all around the country, the almost omnipresent political banners and slogans, the relative lack of pollution and an endlesslist of other aspects that put this country into a category we can only label as unique, make North Korea an extremely interesting place to visit.

    North Korea can only be visited withan organized tour, but this can be a large group or a party of one.
    No matter which company you decide to book with, all tour groups are received by the Korean International Travel Company and it will be their guides who show you around. When you book your trip with CCC, you know will not be put into groups from other operators but will only travel with other CCC members - expats living in China or their visitors.

    Notes:
    1. All visitors from all over the wolrd have to fly into DPRK from Beijing, China. Travellers from other countries join us in Beijing and fly to DPRK.
    2. It takes at least 15-20 days to acquire a visa to DPRK.
    3. Tourism in DPRK is off-limit to journalists.
    4. All tours are open to US citizens, however there is a policy in DPRK restricting US nationals from leaving the country by train.
    5. Japanese nationals are charged at higher rates.



  • Things to Note:


    A visit to the DPRK is unlike any other tourist experience in the world. However it also comes with its own unique style of operation which must be respected. We therefore urge all visitorsto the country to bewareof the following points in order to get the most from their tour. If you have any other questions, please ask us and we will happy to answer.


    Guides


    Anytourist to the DPRKwill be accompanied by two KITC guides, who will escort the tourist at all times, except in and around the hotel, throughout their stay in the country. This sounds far more daunting than it is in reality. KITC guides are generally intelligent, friendly and resourceful people. They speak adequate, if not excellent, English.


    Respect


    The DPRK possesses a unique social and political system, and travelers to the country are asked to respect this. Regardless of your own views, the people of the DPRK hold the eternal President Kim II Sung, General Kim Jong II and present supreme leader Kim Jong Un in extremely high regard. (Contrary to popular belief, the two former leaders are not usually referred to as the “Great Leader” and the “Dear Leader” in English.)Any outward criticism, sarcasm, or negative comments about any of three will not be tolerated. It would result in you losing the respect and trust of your guides and, if it is severe enough, it could even result you in being ejected from the country. There will be occasions such as at the Mansudae Grand Monument and the Kumsusan Memorial Palace where you will be expected to offer flowers and bow to the statutes of the former leaders, as is the custom of the DPRK.

    During the tour, there may well be times when you find yourselves strongly disagreeing with the DPRK’s official stance on various matters, or how a certain event in history is portrayed. In such a case, we strongly recommend going with the flow, putting up with the country’s idiosyncrasies, and saving any criticism you may have until you are back in your home country. By doing this, you will get the most out of your tour and have a far more pleasant and productive experience.


    Visa, Customs and Nationality


    To travel to the DPRK, all visitors will need a tourist visa, which normally takes a few weeks to prepare. This will be arranged by us using the information provided on your application form. More detailed information can be found in the ‘Apply’ section, but the actual process is very simple and straightforward.

    Almost all nationalities, including USA citizens, can visit the DPRK for tourism. The only exception is South Korean passport holders, who are not permitted.

    Customs exclusions include the usual items: drugs, arms, pornography etc. A customs declaration is required to be filled in upon arrival, this also lists electronic items you are carrying and how much currency you are bringing into the country.


    Photography


    The authorities do not seem to stop cameras at the border based on the sizes of the lenses anymore. Feel free to try and bring a long lens if you wish, so long as you have a smaller lens or camera in case things change again. If anything is not allowed in, you will get it back as you leave the country. You will find your guides are sometimes quite sensitive about photography, especially if it is of something deemed to paint the country in a negative light. Please be respectful and understanding when taking photos. As a general rule, do not photograph people in uniform. They are particularly strict about this in the airport terminal. However, the famous Pyongyang traffic police are an exception. Grooms having their wedding photos taken in uniform usually are fair game as well. Ask for permission from your tour guides if you are unsure.


    Freedom of Movement

    While local tour guides are supposed to accompany their charges at all times and tourists are kept on a narrow path, it is possible to have some limited freedom of movement. The Yanggakdo Hotel is on a small island – Yanggakdo, or Sheep Horn Island. Guests are allowed to stroll on the grounds around the hotel, but are not allowed to approach the bridge that leads to the mainland. Either between activities during the day or in one of the evenings, the tour guides may be happy to take the group on a walk through downtown Pyongyang. At night, the central square is all but empty, the streets are dimly lit, and there are few pedestrians. One will be able to peer into – and photograph –sparselystocked local stores and antiquated hair salons that are found one every block or two.


    Money and Tipping


    The euro is the officially accepted foreign currency in DPRK, but US dollars and Renminbiare also accepted almost everywhere – everywhere tourists can shop, that is. Be sure to take small denomination notes with you, as change is often not available for larger notes. Small change might be given in any of the three currencies. Credit cards are NOT accepted and there are no ATMs in the country. Tourists are not permitted to use the local currency, though it may be purchased as a souvenir from the hotel. Some tour guides may be interested in selling you some local notes and coins – very discretely.


    CCC will take care of tips and gifts for the tour guides and the driver.If you want to show personal appreciation with extra gifts, Chinese cigarettes for men and cosmetics for women would be most appropriate. Western alcoholic drinks, chocolate, confectionary, pens, etc. are other options.


    Communications and Electronics


    Visitors are now able to take mobile phones into the country, though they would be of limited use, since international roaming is not possible. Laptops, tablets and MP3 players are OK to bring in to the country. Personal video cameras may be brought in, but professional video cameras may not.


    To contact the outside world, you may use the telephone at the “business center” in the lobby of the hotel. You can also send emails from the hotel’s common email account for a fee, and go back to check for replies at no charge. In other words, there is no private email access.You will not be able to use the World Wide Web.


    Electricity


    Voltage in the country is 220 Volts. Plug type is Western European two pin. We suggest taking any adapters you require with you, as they may not be available to purchase or borrowlocally. A small flashlightmay also prove useful, as there are occasional power cuts. There is one potential use for your mobile phone!


    Food and Drink


    The standard of food in the restaurants is generally good. For the majority of time you will eat Korean cuisine, although there are opportunities to enjoy “Western” style foods, especially in Pyongyang itself, and at breakfast. Please let us know if you are vegetarian or have other dietary requirements, so arrangements can be made accordingly.


    There is a full range of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and bottled mineral water is always available. Of the local beers, Taedonggang is very pleasant. Soju, the Korean spirit, is drunk in large quantities, especially by the male Korean guides, and can be an acquired taste. The brand Songak is noticeably smoother than other sorts.


    Medical


    Please ensure you bring adequate supplies of any prescription drugs and medicines that you take, plus any usual travel medicines and lotions (such as stomach upset relief, sun cream etc.) as a precaution. As usual, the CCC leader will have a simple first aid and medicine box.


    Climate


    The DPRK has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. Winters can be bitterly cold, often with snow and sub-zero temperatures. Summers are hot and humid, with occasional heavy rainfall during the day. Consequently, the most pleasant times to visit are spring and fall, providing milder temperatures and a more conducive atmosphere to sightseeing. Nevertheless, the country can be visited at all times of the year, and each season brings with it its own visual rewards. As the saying goes, ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!’ If you pack the right sort of clothes, it is a comfortable tourist destination all year round.


    Insurance


    As with any international travel, we strongly recommend taking travel insurance for your visit, in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Be sure that the travel to the DPRK is included in the policy.


    Journalists


    If you are a journalist and wish to travel to the DPRK, even as a genuine tourist, we are regrettably not the people to help you. We are notpermitted to take journalists– whether they intend to engage in journalism or not – to the country.Joining a touristgroup while concealing your profession will create all sorts of problems for yourself, for us, and, worst of all, for your Korean hosts.


    “Arirang” the Mass Gymnastics and Art Performance


    Arirang performance is available from July 22 to the end of August.

  • * Visit a mysterious country that lacks neon lights, advertisement and heavy traffic in the streets, but the portraits of the "Great Leaders" are all around the country, and the political banners and slogans are almost omnipresent.
    * Drive to the countryside and see farmers working the fields, albeit from a distance.
    * Visit the Panmunjom on DMZ, Koryo History Museum - those famous blue huts on the border.
    * Watch the Grand Mass Gymnastics and Artistic Performance Arirang.(please note sometimes the show stops some months for no reasons)

  • North Korea opens its tourism every year fron April to early December.
    The best time is the spring & fall. Compared to the climate of Beijing, the country is a bit colder in winter and cooler in summer.

 Note:

North Korea can only be visited with an organized tour, but this can be a large group or a party of one. 
No matter which company you decide to book with, all tour groups are received by the Korean International Travel Company and it will be their guides who show you around.

When you book your trip with CCC, you will not be put into groups from other operators but will only travel with other CCC members - expats living in China or their visitors.

1. All visitors have to fly into DPRK from Beijing, China. Travellers from other countries join us in Beijing and fly to DPRK.
2. It takes at least 15-20 days to acquire a visa to DPRK.
3. Tourism in DPRK is off-limit to journalists.
4. All tours are open to US citizens, however there is a policy in DPRK restricting US nationals from leaving the country by train. 
5. Japanese nationals are charged at higher rates.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly from Beijing into Pyongyang 

  •  Fly from Beijing to Pyongyang (visitors from other countries or cities of China are welcome to meet us and depart from Beijing.
  • Arrive in Pyongyang by JS 152/JS 252 at 16:00.
     - Photography at the airport is OK in theory, but avoid including any person in uniform in your shots. And that can be hard.
  • Transfer into the city, visit the Arch of Triumph 
    - Yes, a bit like the one in Paris.
  • Welcome dinner at Chongryu Hotpot Restaurant. 
    - There is plenty to eat.
  • Stay overnight in Yanggakdo Hotel. 
    - As luxurious as it gets.

Day 2: Pyongyang /Mt. Myohyang

  • Tour the main attractions of PyongyangMansudae Fountain ParkMansudae Grand Monument, Grand People’s Study House, Foreign Language Bookshop, Taedong Gate, Ryongwang Pavilion, Pyongyang Bronze Bell, Kim II Sung Square.  
    - Lots of big public spaces. Opportunities to walk among the locals. Be prepared to bow to statutes.
  • Lunch on Pyongyang Boat No.1 on Taedong River.
  • Continue the tour by visiting the Tower of Juche Idea, Monument to Party Founding, Pyongyang Metro, Mangyongdae Native House (birthplace of President Kim II Sung).
  • We then drive to Mt Myohyang – the Mountain of Mysterious Fragrance – two hours north of Pyongyang. It’s said that the air is so fresh here that, regardless of how much alcohol you drink, you won’t have a hangover the next day (provided you sleep with your window open, of course). We’ll leave that up to you to test out!
  • OVERNIGHT: Chongchon Hotel, Mt. Myohyang (a basic but comfortable hotel surrounded by beautiful scenery; no 24-hr hot water). 
    UPGRADE OPTION: for US$ 200 per person you can stay in the Hyangsan Hotel – renovated in 2010 this is one of the top hotels in the country and perfect for those who want a little luxury.

Day 3: Mt. MyohyangPyongyangKaesong

  • Visit the International Friendship Exhibition. Built in 1978, these two huge subterranean halls are filled with gifts to the leaders Kim Il Sungand Kim Jong Il, presented to them by people from all over the world, including heads of state, as well as ordinary citizens. It’s estimated that if you spent one minute in front of each gift it would take over a year to see the whole exhibition.
  • Take a look around the nearby thousand-year-old Pohyon Buddhist Temple. It was destroyed during the Korean War, but was rebuilt as a working temple, complete with North Korean monks. 
  • Drive back to Pyongyang and have lunch.
  • Visit the US Spyship "Pueblo" and Children's Palace. 
    - Flawless, if somewhat mechanical, performances by the children.
  • Then continue the drive to Kaesong and stay overnight at the Kaesong Folk Hotel (traditional courtyard style hotel).

Day 4: Kaesong /Pyongyang

  • After breakfast in the hotel, drive to Panmunjom on DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their decades old face-off. It is possible to go into one of the huts that straddle the demarcation line and actually cross over into South Korea! This is one of the few places you can take pictures of (and even with) members of the DPRK military.
  • And then we travel back to Kaesong and visit the Koryo History Museum- a beautiful old Confucian University, to learn about the history of the area.
  • Royal lunch at the Folk Custom Hotel. 
    - Sitting on the floor inside well-maintained traditional houses, eating from shiny copper bowls. Opportunity to dress up in historical costumes for photos.
  • Return to Pyongyang and attend the concert or circus show (optional).
    - High-quality performances by any standard.
  • Farewell dinner at Duck BBQ Restaurant.
  • Stroll along the Kim II Sung Square at night, and one of a few neo-lights gleamed street. 
  • Stay overnight in Yanggakdo Hotel.

Day 5: Pyongyang / Beijing

  •  Leave Pyongyang by air (JS 151) at 10:10 for Beijing.      
  • Beijing price: RMB 12000 Single Supplement: RMB 1500

    Shanghai price: RMB 14500 Single Supplement: RMB 1500


    Children's Discounts

    Children ages 2-4 pay 50% of total tour price. (Single supplement would be applied if there is a need of extra bed)
    Children ages 5-7 pay 60% of total tour price.
    Children ages 8-11 pay 80% of total tour price.
    Children ages under 2 pay nothing for the tour but may incur the transport costs listed below:
    Train tickets cost:
    If they require their own berthat on the train they will have to purchase an adult ticket

    Air-tickets costs:
    10% of adult ticket if the child does not require his/her own seat
    50% of adult ticket if the child requires his/her own seat

    CCC calculates its trip prices and books its trip accommodations based on dual-occupancy rooms. Therefore, single travelers who is booking this trip as a lone passenger, and for whom CCC cannot find a room-mate when booking or paying for the trip, will have to pay the “Single supplement”. Should a room-mate be found, the Single Supplement paid shall be refunded.


    CCC services include:

    --Flights Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing
    --All hotel accommodation mentioned in the above itinerary
    --All meals mentioned in the above itinerary
    --Entrance fee for all sights mentioned in the program
    --DPRK Visa fee (RMB400)
    --Transfers in customary air conditioned coaches
    --All sightseeing and transfers with one CCC English-speaking tour leader & one local English-speaking tour guide
    --Local travel insurance

    Payment Terms and Conditions

    Payment must be received before published deadline to receive corresponding price. Please refer to the following terms and conditions associated with each method of payment:

    Payment at office: CCC must receive the amount (Cash or from credit card) before the published deadline to receive corresponding price.

    Credit card: If paying by international credit card authorization form (moto form), CCC must receive your form 2 days before the published deadline in order to have time to process it, and for funds to be received on/by the published deadline.(click to view details)

    Bank Transfer: CCC now requires that your payment must be transferred into Chinese RMB before you wire your bank transfer. We must receive a copy of the bank transfer receipt before the published deadline in order to guarantee your price.

    Last minute booking: CCC cannot guarantee that we will be able to reserve tickets and rooms at this late stage but we will try our best. Thank you for your understanding.

    CCC will respond to every email concerning payment immediately. If you do not hear from us this may indicate that we may not have received your email and we would advise you to call us to confirm. We cannot guarantee that we receive every email so the onus is on you to ensure we receive the payment information before the published deadlines. Thank you for your understanding.