Economy and Foreign Trade of North Korea
Study Tour

TOUR OVERVIEW

This tour is designed for those with an interest in North Korea’s economy and foreign trade. Whether
you are interested in exploring opportunities for trade and investment or simply have a curiosity or
academic interest in North Korea’s economy, this is the tour for you.

The tour will be centred around the 2018 Pyongyang International Autumn/Fall Trade Fair, where a large selection of foreign and domestic businesses will be represented. This will be supplemented with visits to factories, academic institutions, courts of law, shopping centres and joint venture businesses to learn more about how North Korea’s economy functions. We’ll also get to enjoy some of Pyongyang’s best leisure activities on the Sunday.

This tour will be accompanied by a Korean-speaking Western Tongil Tours guide with an academic background in North Korean studies. Before departing Beijing we’ll also have the opportunity to hear
the Chinese perspective from an academic expert in Beijing.

CONCERNING DATES
The Economy and Foreign Trade of North Korea tour will run in September 2018 to coincide with the Pyongyang International Autumn/Fall Trade Fair. However, because exact dates for the Trade Fair will not be announced by DPRK authorities until April 2018, please check back at that time for precise dates and more information. (For reference, the opening ceremony of the 2017 Autumn/Fall fair was held on Monday the 25th of September.)

Tour Highlights

  • Attend the 2018 Pyongyang International Autumn/Fall Trade Fair
  • Explore opportunities for trade and investment
  • Visit factories, academic institutions, courts of law, shopping centres, and joint venture

ITINERARY DETAILS

Please note that minor changes in itinerary may apply for reasons beyond the control of Tongil Tours.

SATURDAY

PYONGYANG

DAY 0 – FRIDAY – Beijing-Dandong train extension travellers
4 PM – Meet Tongil Tours staff at Beijing Railway Station and get ready for the interesting and leisurely Beijing-Dandong overnighter. Be sure to stock up on snacks, water, and food for Friday night meal. Cafe and snacks available on board, though more expensive.

5:30 PM – Train departs. Dinner and drinks on train. Overnight aboard the train (sleeper bunks).

7 AM Saturday – Arrival in Dandong, transfer to Dandong-Pyongyang international train.

Arrive in Pyongyang in the afternoon, and begin Saturday itinerary…

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DAY 1 – SATURDAY – Beijing-Pyongyang plane travellers
10 AM (Beijing time) – Assemble at Koryo Air flight counter in Beijing International Airport Terminal 2 before taking Air Koryo flight JS 152 to Pyongyang at 12:55 PM. A Tongil Tours staff member will be ready to meet participants and deliver tickets and visas, and give a briefing session.

12:55 PM – (Beijing time) – Estimated flight take off time. Flight time – approx. two hours.

3:30 PM – Estimated time of arrival in Pyongyang. Upon arrival, meet our Korean guides at Sunan International Airport. Head into Pyongyang and beging Saturday itinerary…

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DAY 1 – SATURDAY – Dandong departure travellers
8 AM – Meet Tongil Tours staff and fellow travellers joining group from Beijing extension train at Dandong Railway Station. Pre-briefing Dandong departure travellers. DPRK visas and train tickets distributed at this time.

10 AM – China exit procedures in Dandong, followed by DPRK entry procedures in Sinuiju.

Arrive in Pyongyang in the afternoon, and begin Saturday itinerary…

SATURDAY PYONGYANG ITINERARY

Mansu Hill Grand Monument
The largest and most famous pair of bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il that can be found in each of North Korea’s major cities. They are situated on a hill in the centre of Pyongyang offering magnificent views of the city. The statues are 22 metres high and flanked on both sides by elaborate sculptures, one depicting Korea’s struggle for independence against Japanese colonialism, the other dealing with socialist revolution.

Dinner.

Ryomyong Street
A visit to a high-rise apartment and shop complex completed in early 2017. We will walk down the street and take a look at some of the shops located there. We’ll then celebrate our arrival with a visit to a local bar.

Overnight in the Koryo Hotel. Guests now have free time to use any of the entertainment facilities in the hotel (pool/billiards room, karaoke, shop etc.) or retire early for the night.

SUNDAY

PYONGYANG CITY LEISURE TOUR

AM – Breakfast in the hotel

Pyongyang Metro
Although not in the official description, it is speculated that this
metro system, said to be the deepest in the world, could double as a network of bunkers and military use tunnels in the case of another war on the peninsula.

Arch of Triumph
One of Pyongyang’s most iconic monuments, the Arch of Triumph is larger than its Parisian predecessor at 60 m (197 ft) high and 50 m (164 ft) wide. Built to commemorate Kim Il Sung’s role in the Korean resistance to Japanese colonialism from 1925 to 1945, it was opened on his 70th birthday in 1982. If you want to take the elevator to the newly opened roof, there is an extra fee of 2.5 Euro.

Moranbong Park
Moran Hill (“Moran” meaning “peony”), also known as “Moranbong”, in central Pyongyang forms a beautiful park which has been a popular leisure spot for locals since premodern times. Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds and enjoy the wonderful view of the Taedong River and centre of Pyongyang from Ulmildae and other Yi Dynasty pavilions atop the peak. On weekends and public holidays the park is full of picnicking Koreans engaged in drinking, song and dance. These are good opportunities to mix with the locals. Practice your best moves—you may be pulled into a dance!’’

Sci-Tech Complex
A sprawling science and technology education centre located inside a large building designed in the shape of an atom on an island in the Taedong River. Tour the facilities, play with interactive exhibitions and check out the vast library.

Dinner.

Overnight in the Koryo Hotel. Guests now have free time to use any of the entertainment facilities in the hotel (pool/billiards room, karaoke, shop etc.) or retire early for the night.

MONDAY

TRADE FAIR

Breakfast in hotel.

Pyongyang International Autumn/Fall Trade Fair
Today we will attend the opening ceremony of the Trade Fair, and spend the rest of the day looking around the booths and talking to business representatives in attendance.

Dinner.

Overnight in the Koryo Hotel. Guests now have free time to use any of the entertainment facilities in the hotel (pool/billiards room, karaoke, shop etc.) or retire early for the night.

pyongyang nighttime skyline

TUESDAY

pyongyang and Pyongsang

AM – Breakfast at hotel

This day will be spent visiting factories in Pyongyang and Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang
that is an important trading hub. Factories include a textile factory and a food plant. We’ll also visit some foreign joint venture businesses such as Hana Electronics, the Austrian Coffeeshop, and others.

In Pyongsong, we’ll also visit Kim Jong Suk Middle School and the technological development
zone at Unjong Park. We’ll round off the day in Pyongyang with a visit to Kwangbok District Shopping Centre, a multi-story department store where a wide selection of locally manufactured goods are available for purchase.

Dinner.

Overnight in the Koryo Hotel. Guests now have free time to use any of the entertainment facilities in the hotel (pool/billiards room, karaoke, shop etc.) or retire early for the night.

Mansu Hill Grand Monument Pyongyang

WEDNESDAY

DPRK Economy Study

AM – Breakfast at hotel

The Korean Academy of Social Sciences
After breakfast, we will listen to a lecture on DPRK economic theory at The Korean Academy of Social Sciences, with an opportunity to ask questions. Then, we will visit Kim Il Sung University to talk with faculty at the faculty of economics. And then take a look at an apartment complex built for the faculty of the university.

Lunch.

After lunch, we will visit the DPRK Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, to learn about DPRK trade law. We will then visit the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies to converse with local university students.

In the evening we will invite a Chinese friend of ours (pending availability) who does business in Pyongyang to share some drinks with us and talk to the group.

Overnight in the Koryo Hotel. Guests now have free time to use any of the entertainment facilities in the hotel (pool/billiards room, karaoke, shop etc.) or retire early for the night.

Party Founding Monument Pyongyang

THURSDAY

departure day

AM – Breakfast at hotel

For Pyongyang-Dandong train departures
10AM – Departure from Pyongyang Train Station.
5PM – Arrival in Dandong Station
(tour officially closes for Dandong only travellers)

For Pyongyang-Beijing plane departures
AM – After breakfast, we drive to Sunan airport for Air Koryo JS 251 Y back to Beijing.

10:30AM (Pyongyang time) – Estimated departure time. Flight time – approximately two hours.

12 noon – Estimated arrival time. (Beijing time, half an hour earlier than Pyongyang time)
(tour officially closes for air travellers at this time in Beijing Capital Airport, terminal 2.)

CONTINUED ITINERARY FOR BEIJING TRAIN EXTENSION TRAVELLERS:
Upon arrival in Dandong at 5pm Thursday, you will transfer to your Dandong-Bejing overnight train, on which you will have dinner, as well as breakfast the following morning before arrival in Beijing. Cafe car, snacks and water available on train.

7AM, Friday – Arrive in Beijing Station
(tour officially closes for Beijing extension travellers)

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE ITINERARY: Upon arrival in Pyongyang, as with all travel to the DPRK, availability of activities on the above itinerary are subject to seasonal availability, last minute changes on the DPRK side, and many other factors. 95% of the time the itinerary above will run, but some activities may not be on some itineraries and will be replaced with comparable substitutes. Changes in itinerary are sometimes last minute, and determined in the moment, solely by our DPRK guides. Although we do our best to make sure that the itinerary is kept, Tongil Tours will not be held responsible for changes in the itinerary that are beyond our control, and all travellers to the DPRK should maintain an attitude of flexibility at all times.

FURTHER DETAILS
Pre-departure email
Before departure, we will send out a pre-departure email with general information to note for the trip such as what to pack, and other important information.

Optional reading list
With all of our tours, we send our participants an optional reading list (consisting mostly of items either free for view on the internet, or that will be shared with participants) to assist travellers in contextualising their North Korea travel experience. This is sent to travellers after a booking has been finalised.

Optional academic briefing
As specialists in educational tourism to the DPRK, we firmly believe in delivering an experience that is not only fun, but also allows travellers to learn a little about the country. We can arrange for academic experts in North Korean studies to conduct a 90 minute academic seminar over Skype. Contact us for more information.

Included in the tour fee:

  • Transport to and from Dandong or Beijing to Pyongyang. See booking details for transport options and pricing
  • Twin room lodging and accommodation in the DPRK (single supplement: €50/night)
  • Three meals a day in the DPRK (excluding optional meals in out of pocket restaurants)
  • All transportation in the DPRK
  • Local English-speaking DPRK guides
  • Korean-speaking Western academic guide from Tongil Tours
  • Most admission fees (see below)

Not included in the tour fee:

  • Round-trip airfare to Beijing from home country
  • DPRK visa fees and handling €65
  • Beijing hotel accommodations
  • Chinese visa fees and processing (if necessary)
  • Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance (required)
  • Gifts, souvenirs, snacks, hotel services, miscellaneous purchases
  • Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer and bottled water included with most meals)
  • Out of pocket expenses (see below)

Out of pocket expenses
These expenses are not included in the tour fee. It will be necessary to bring a little extra in cash – either Chinese yuan, Euros, or US dollars, into North Korea to pay for these expenses on the day. Prices are listed in euros, but may also be payed in USD or RMB. Note that prices are subject to change.

  • Tips for the guides and driver (in total from each traveller), €5 euro per night stayed
  • Arch of Triumph elevator ticket (for those wishing to see the view at the top), €2.5 euro
  • Juche Tower elevator ticket (for those wishing to see the view at the top), €5 euro
  • Micro-brewed beer (a pint) – €2 euro approx.
  • Possibility for a visit to a café, Italian, hamburger, or other special restaurant – €7- €14 euro approx.