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North Korean War Victory Day Tour - 7 Days

Destination: Beijing ¡ú Pyongyang ¡ú Kaesong ¡ú DMZ ¡ú Mt. Myohyang
Duration: Seven Day
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Transportation: Vehicle & Flight
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Take an extraordinary journey into North Korea during this 62nd anniversary of the end of the Korean War and see a different perspective of this important but ¡°forgotten¡± war. We¡¯ll recommend reading materials and hold pre-trip discussions so you can brush up on your Korean War history, and then we¡¯ll visit some of the key sites in the North to get a more holistic picture of the war. Starting in Pyongyang, we visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo to get a sense of how the North Koreans view this war and their version of how it went down. Our next stop is at the infamous DMZ where we take you to the front lines at the border between North and South Korea. See the Concrete Wall dividing the Korean peninsula at the 38th parallel. Then travel into the mountains to see ancient Buddhist temples.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$2400/persons 2400USD/Person

Day 1:  Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, PRC and check in (after 2pm) at the Holiday Inn Express Beijing Dongzhimen, a four-star hotel in convenient city center location. Meet us at 7pm in the lobby for a night of dinner and drinks in Beijing.

Day 2:  Pyongyang
AM: Gather in the lobby of the hotel for group transportation to the Beijing Capital International Airport.

PM: Fly to the Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang on an Air Koryo flight and local tour guides will greet you at the airport. En route to the Yanggakdo International Hotel, stop at the massive Arch of Triumph for picture-taking opportunities. Check in and enjoy a welcome dinner.  Optional evening activity: take on the roller-coasters at the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park.

Day 3:  DMZ / Kaesong
AM: Your first full day in the DPRK will start with a trip to the DMZ. This de-militarized zone is actually the most heavily militarized zone in the world and serves as part of the border between North and South Korea. Sit at the actual table where the Armistice Agreement was signed, officially ending the Korean War in a truce. Although there were plans to sign a peace treaty, to this day, a peace treaty was never signed. Go to the blue houses where diplomatic talks are occasionally held, one of the only places where you can be in both the North and South side at once.

PM: Have a traditional Koryo style lunch over Panssangggi, a collection of small dishes in bronze bowls, complimented with a glass of Korean soju. Visit the Koryo History Museum to learn about one of the most powerful Korean kingdoms, the Koryo Dynasty. Pick up stamps and postcards at the Koryo Stamp shop. We'll then take you to a portion of the Concrete Wall, built by the South Koreans, to get a deeper sense of the conflict and the division of Korea. Take an evening walk through the city of Kaesong and stay overnight at the Kaesong Minsok Folk Hotel for the true Korean dwelling experience. Guests will sleep on padded mats on straw floors in traditional villa style housing. 

Day 4:  Kaesong; War Museums & Pueblo
AM: After breakfast, we'll take a walk or jog from the Minsok hotel up the road leading to the Kim Il Sung statue in Kaesong square. It takes about a half hour to get to the KIS statue at a brisk pace and this is a great way to experience this imperial city during the morning rush hour. From there, we'll visit two of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Tomb of King Wanggon and the Sonjuk Bridge. Stop at the beautiful Pakyon Waterfalls (박연폭포) for a picnic lunch before heading back to Pyongyang. 

PM: In Pyongyang, we'll visit the Revolutionary Museum for Victorious War, which was once the headquarters for the Korean People's Army (KPA). Here, we'll see where President Kim Il Sung ratified the Armistice Agreement and see where the KPA held its strategy meetings during the Korean War. You'll notice that many of the buildings are half underground, a technique developed in response to the U.S. air raids during the Korean War. Move on to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. The War Museum was renovated for the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War, and the museum features real artillery used and captured, and walk-through models of battlefields to immerse you in the experience of the war, albeit as the North tells it. Then step inside the USS Pueblo, the naval intelligence ship or the ¡°US spy ship¡± that was captured in 1968 for allegedly straying into DPRK waters. At night, we'll have a duck BBQ dinner before checking into the newly renovated Sosan Hotel in the sports district of Pyongyang. 

Day 5:  61st Victory Day; Kumsusan; Victory Day activities
AM: On this important day marking the 62nd anniversary of the end of the Korean War, attend a viewing at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where late DPRK leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state. As this is considered one of the most sacred places in the DPRK, formal dress is required (button-up shirt, slacks, skirt, dress shoes, etc.). Then visit the Mansudae Grand Monument, famous for its large, bronze statutes of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Visitors are asked to take part in local custom by bowing or presenting flowers at the feet of the statues. Work up your appetite with a walk through the Kim Il Sung square, along the Taedong River promenade and onto the Foreign Languages Bookshop where you can buy souvenirs, books and movies. 

PM: After lunch, visit the Revolutionary Martyr's Cemetery, a national cemetery built to honor fallen Korean soldiers. We will leave the rest of this afternoon flexible to take part in special Victory Day festivities. Special events can include a mass dance (brush up on your dance moves because you may be pulled in to join) or a special circus or symphony performance, even a possible military parade. End the night at the Rakwon Paradise Microbrewery for the best $1 drafts in town! Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.

Day 6:  Mount Myohyang
AM: Take a 2 hour road-trip to Mount Myohyang (묘향산), north of Pyongyang. Climb Manphok Valley at your own pace (bring comfortable shoes; there will be handrails for most portions of the trail). We'll have a picnic lunch in the mountains. 

PM: Tour the grandiose International Friendship Exhibition, an impressive treasure house of gifts given to the Kim leaders in over 150 rooms. At the top of this exhibition, take in the stunning mountain view over tea. Next, we'll walk through the Pohyon Temple, hailed as the center of Korean buddhism during the Koryo dynasty when Buddhism was the official state religion. Although this temple suffered from extensive damage from the Korean War, it has been restored and is now an important cultural heritage site in the DPRK. Return to Pyongyang to share stories and laughs at your final dinner at Pyongyang's Pizza/Pasta restaurant. Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.

Day 7:  Farewell
AM: Wave goodbye to your Korean guides as you depart for Beijing. Estimated time of arrival is 10:00 a.m. local time.  Please reserve connecting flights departing after 1pm local time, to allow sufficient time for immigration/customs clearance, baggage claim and re-check-in.

¡ª 1 Night Beijing hotel and orientation dinner
¡ª Transportation to the Beijing airport before Pyongyang flight
¡ª DPRK visa fees and handling
¡ª Round trip ticket from Beijing to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
¡ª 5 nights' DPRK hotel accommodations (double occupancy, 4 stars)
¡ª 3 meals per day
¡ª Coach transportation in DPRK
¡ª Two local DPRK guides
¡ª One local driver
¡ª Admission fees (except those listed below)

Not included
¡ª Private sedan transportation from Beijing International Airport to hotel (approximately $75)
¡ª Round-trip airfare to Beijing from home country
¡ª Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
¡ª Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance (required)
¡ª Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
¡ª Souvenirs
¡ª Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
¡ª Tips for guides and drivers (please budget $10 per day per traveler)

Special Entrance Fees for Optional Events
(Some entrance fees are priced in Euros. We strongly recommend to bring exact change in Euros to pay at the door; USD is accepted, but may be subject to an unfavorable exchange rate)

¡ª Pyongyang circus: 20 Euros
¡ª Pyongyang symphony: 30 Euros
¡ª Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum & Puebl 10 Euros (new entrance fee due to re-opening and renovation of museum)
¡ª Extra a la carte items incurred during meals (i.e., dog meat soup, Kaesong chicken soup, wine at the pizza/pasta restaurant, specialty restaurants such as the Okryu cold noodle restaurant, all roughly $5-10)
¡ª Amusement park entrance and rides, approximately 1-3 Euros each, elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 euros)
¡ª Beer at microbreweries ($1-3 per draft)

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