North Korea - The Hermit Kingdom
£3,215 excl. flight
- North Korea’s culture, both ancient and modern
- Fascinating insight into this unique ‘pariah’ state
- Lecturer’s anecdotal commentary having lived in DPRK
Practically untouched by tourism, North Korea’s self-imposed isolation, where little has changed in decades, makes it hugely intriguing. Travel is strictly controlled and a government guide will escort you throughout, but the experience is like no other. Gain fascinating insights into a nation still doggedly following a fifty year old political path, where mobile phones and the Internet are still unknown and total obedience to the state is universally unquestioned. For many this is more than enough reason to go.
Day 1 London/ Beijing – Fly overnight to Beijing.
Day 2 Beijing - Arrive in Beijing with afternoon briefing.
Day 3 Beijing, Pyongyang - Fly to Pyongyang with afternoon tour of the Arch of Triumph, Fountain Park and Mansudaue Grand Monument.
Day 4 Pyongyang - Full day’s city tour of Pyongyang including Kumsusan Palace, Kim Il Sung’s Mausoleum, Revolutionary Martyr’s Cemetery and Kwanbok Temple, and Pyongyang Botanical Gardens. After lunch take a lift up the 150 metre high Juche Tower, stroll through Kim II Sung Square and visit the Foreign Language Bookshop.
Day 5 Pyongyang, Nampo - View the paintings, ceramics and lacquerware of the Central Art Gallery before travelling outside the city to the nearby UNESCO nominated tombs at Kangso and the Koguryo period tombs at Tokhungni, many with beautiful wall paintings. Overnight near Nampo.
Day 6 Nampo, Kaesong - Drive south to the impressive ancient Korean capital of Kaesong, visiting the Koryo Museum, a preserved Confucian museum, Jannam Hill for views over the old city and the magnificently preserved Tomb of King Kongmin, 31st King of the Koryo Dynasty. Overnight in a traditional Korean-style inn.
Day 7 Kaesong, Pyongyang - Morning visit to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) at Panmunjon, the most heavily fortified border in the world. Continue on to Pakyon Waterfall for lunch. Afternoon visit to the Tomb of King Wangon and the Manwoldae Palace site before returning to Pyongyang along the Friendship Highway.
Day 8 Pyongyang – Today head to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, USS Pueblo (a US spy ship captured in 1968), Mansudae Art Studio and ride the elaborately decorated Metro Pyongyang. Afternoon to include Pyongyang’s Film Studio, where you can walk amongst the sets, and optional visit to Taesong Department store, one of the only places that foreigners and Koreans can go in together. Dinner at the popular Diplomatic Club.
Day 9 Pyongyang, Beijing - Travel back to Beijing by overnight train, crossing the border at Sinuiju/ Dandong.
Day 10 Beijing – Morning arrival into Beijing. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 11 Beijing/ London – Return flight to London.
**Please note that any journey to North Korea is strictly controlled. It is essential to acknowledge that you will have no freedom during your stay and that you will be escorted by government approved guides at all times. Typically the Mass Games are only confirmed at relatively short notice and may change.
Jim Hoare has a PhD in Japanese history from SOAS University of London. He joined the British Diplomatic Service as a Research Analyst in 1969 and for the next 30 years worked mainly on China, Japan and the two Koreas. In addition to many visits to the region, he served in the British embassies in Seoul and Beijing, and his last job was as the first British representative in Pyongyang, North Korea, where he established the British embassy in 2001-02. He retired in 2003, and since then has been a frequent broadcaster, teacher and writer, mainly on North Korea.
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