Active Adventures
DPRK Ski & Snowboard Adventure
7 NIGHTS, 8 DAYS IN DPRK

TOUR OVERVIEW

The Ski & Snowboard North Korea tour is a great way to experience the winter sports of the DPRK at Masik Pass Ski Resort, while also taking in the sites of Pyongyang, historic Kaesong, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and the east coast of the country.

Tour Highlights

  • Survey some of the most important monuments and museums of Pyongyang and visit some pubs.
  • Visit the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), the border between North and South, and historic Kaesong.
  • Three nights lodging in one of Choson Korea’s finest hotels, the Masikryong Hotel and Ski Resort.
  • Not a skiier but your friends or family are? No problem. There are lots of alternative activities for you, too!

ITINERARY DETAILS

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

SATURDAY

THE SITES OF PYONGYANG

DAY 0 — FRIDAY, JAN 26
4PM – 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.
5:30PM – Train departs. Dinner and drinks on train. Overnight aboard the train (soft sleeper bunks).
7AM – Arrival in Dandong, transfer to Dandong-Pyongyang international train and then head to Pyongyang.

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SATURDAY, JAN 27
For those flying to Pyongyang: 10 AM (Beijing time) – A Tongil Tours staff member will be ready to meet participants in Beijing International Airport. Assemble at Koryo Air flight counter in Beijing International Airport Terminal 2 for quick briefing session before taking Air Koryo flight JS 152 to Pyongyang. 12:55 midday – (Beijing time) – Estimated flight take off time. Flight time – approx. two hours. 3:30PM – (Pyongyang time, half an hour later than Beijing time) – Estimated time of arrival in Pyongyang.

PM – Meet our Korean guides at Sunan International Airport and other fellow travellers from train.

Half hour drive to Pyongyang.

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.

Following dinner, head to a local pub to try out the local craft beers, as well as the famous Taedong River beer, the DPRK’s delicious national beer.

Overnight in the Sosan Hotel.

SUNDAY

THE SITES OF PYONGYANG

AM – Breakfast in the hotel.

Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
The mausoleum where the bodies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state. It is a grand, sprawling complex surrounded by a large square and a moat. Visitors see the bodies of North Korea’s former leaders and tour exhibition halls displaying their possessions. On display are also the train carriages and a boat used to the tour the country on “on-the- spot-guidance” visits.

PM – Lunch.

Mangyongdae Native House
The humble thatched hut on the outskirts of Pyongyang where North Korea’s first leader Kim Il Sung was born and raised. Now a site of revolutionary pilgrimage and prominent North Korean cultural icon, visitors can see his family home and possessions and drink from the well. Usually busy with locals coming to pay tribute and take souvenir photos, especially on occasions such as the leader’s birthday and other public holidays.

Pyongyang Metro
Containing 16 stops and two lines, the Pyongyang Metro is one of the deepest subway systems in the world. First constructed in the 1960s, it displays a similar grand style to its predecessor in Moscow, with stops featuring elaborate murals, mosaics and sculptures alongside ornate pillars and chandeliers. Visitors can descend into the subway down an escalator with a vertical depth of over 50 metres, and tour from stop to stop while riding in the subway trains alongside local passengers.

The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is a museum dedicated to North Korea’s 1953 “victory” over the United States and its allies in the Fatherland Liberation War, commonly known as the Korean War in the West. Learn the history of the Korean War from the North’s perspective through elaborate museum displays and videos in the main hall, and see a grand panorama of the Battle of Daejon. By the entrance are war-themed monumental statues and displays featuring captured and downed American vehicles, tanks, artillery and planes. Visitors can also tour the USS Pueblo, which was in 1968 found in Korean waters and accused of being a spy ship, after which it was captured and taken to Pyongyang where it has been kept as a trophy ever since.

Juche Tower
Located along the banks of the Taedong River and opposite Kim Il Sung Square and the Grand People’s Study House in central Pyongyang, the Juche Tower is a monument dedicated to North Korea’s governing political ideology of Juche. The structure features a unique layered stone tower design topped with a torch which glows at night. A bronze statue of a worker, farmer and intellectual holding aloft the Korean Workers’ Party emblem decorates its base. Visitors can view the structure from the outside before entering to see the museum on the inside and taking an elevator to the top to enjoy a stunning view of Pyongyang.

After, we’ll go for a stroll down the Taedong River and cross the Okryu Bridge.

Dinner.

After dinner, we’ll head to a local bar for some drinks, or spend some time at one of the hotel pubs, enjoy some bowling, or try our skills at karaoke. (optional)

Overnight in Sosan Hotel.

MONDAY

Kaesong & THE DMZ

AM – After breakfast, we will begin the two-hour drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.

The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) at Panmunjom and the Joint Security Area (JSA)
Here tourists can visit the Armistice Talks Hall, the Armistice Signing Hall and Panmunjom Peace Village (also known as the “Joint Security Area”) from the northern side. At Panmunjom Peace Village it is possible to view the south from metres away at the balcony of Panmun Pavilion. Get right up to the border with South Korea, even technically cross it in one of the negotiation huts which lie between the northern and southern sides of the compound and are bisected by the border.

Drive back to Kaesong, and enjoy a special lunch of local specialities at a traditional Korean lodge. The meal will consist of cuisine that Korean royalty used to eat.

Koryo History Museum
This museum is dedicated to Kaesong’s past as capital of Koryo Dynasty Korea (which lasted from 919 to 1394 AD). Exhibits are housed in Kaesong’s former Confucian Academy (Songgyungwan), which was established in 992 AD and became the highest educational institution in Korea throughout the Koryo and Yi Dynasties. The present structures were built in the early 17th century.

Next, a quick visit to the postcard and stamp shop across the road.

Sonjuk Bridge
Constructed in 1290, Sonjuk Bridge is a Koryo dynasty stone bridge located in central Kaesong City. It is well known as the site where famed Confucian scholar and statesman Chŏng Mongju was assassinated in 1392, generally believed to have been carried out under the orders of Ri Bangwon, son of the founder of the Choson Dynasty Ri Songgye because of Chŏng Mongju’s continued loyalty to the previous Koryo Dynasty. The bridge was closed to traffic in 1780 and made into a monument celebrating Chŏng Mongju’s loyalty. After viewing the monument, step out onto the street to get a glimpse of daily activity along one of central Kaesong’s bustling thoroughfares.

Tomb of King Kongmin
Completed in 1372, this is the tomb of King Kongmin, 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty and his wife, Mongolian princess and later Korean queen, Queen Noguk. Consisting of two burial mounds adorned with stone carvings and statues on the top of a hill outside Kaesong, the site offers a splendid scenic view of the surrounding countryside.

Drive to Sariwon, halfway between Kaesong and Pyongyang.

Sariwon Folk Street
A folk culture-themed street in downtown Sariwon adorned with traditional style gates, ponds and pavilions. Visitors can see reconstructions of some of Korea’s most famous traditional structures and cultural artifacts. Usually a popular spot for locals to engage in leisure. Climb the hill behind the park for a great view of Sariwon City (weather permitting).

Drive back to Pyongyang.

Kwangbok Street Shopping Complex
A large, multi-storeyed shopping complex located in the Kwangbok Street Residential District of Pyongyang. This shopping complex is extremely popular among locals and usually buzzing with activity. Here, visitors can exchange foreign currency for the local Korean won, and use it to shop for a wide range of domestic as well as some imported products. Ground floor contains a supermarket, 1st floor clothing and accessories, and 2nd floor a bustling food court. A great place to pick up interesting DPRK-made items and people watch.

Dinner.

Overnight in Sosan Hotel.

TUESDAY

MASIK PASS RESORT

Today, we head to Masik Pass Ski Resort (also known as the Masikryong Hotel), on the eastern coast of the DPRK, near Wonsan. After we check into the amazing Masik Hotel, one of North Korea’s best, we’ll hit the slopes. Ski and snowboard equipment can be rented. If you’re not into skiing or snowboarding you are welcome to hang out in the hotel, go to the summit on the gondola and have a beer or coffee. We can also help to arrange alternative activities.

Overnight in Masikryong Hotel.

4-py

WEDNESDAY

MASIK PASS RESORT

Today, we’ll continue enjoying Masik Pass Resort and all of the amenities.

Overnight at Masikryong Hotel.

THURSDAY

MASIK PASS RESORT

AM – breakfast in hotel.

Next, it’s off to the slopes for a full day of skiing and snowboarding! If you’re ready for some down time, hang out at the pool, lounge at the cafe with a hot tea or coffee, grab a drink at the lobby bar, or head to the summit in the gondola to soak up the amazing views and get some great photos.

For those who are done skiing, alternative area activities will also be discussed, such as sightseeing along coast, and other possibilities as they arise and weather permitting. TBA.

Overnight at Masikryong Hotel.

FRIDAY

WONSAN CITY & THE DPRK EAST COAST

AM- Breakfast

Drive to Wonsan and the beautiful east coast of the DPRK, with its beautiful scenery and untouched beaches.

Kangwon Province Art Gallery
A small art gallery located by the seaside in central Wonsan. Consists of two rooms displaying locally made art in various styles: oil paintings, chosonhwa, calligraphy and sculpture. Some of the works can be purchased.

Wonsan Square
Wonsan’s central square located right on the sea. Wonsan’s bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il can
also be viewed here.

Wonsan Agricultural University
Established in 1948, Wonsan Agricultural University’s 5 year program is the DPRK’s largest among agricultural universities. Tour the grounds, including the early 20 th century constructed main building, lush outdoor areas and greenhouses. Pick-up soccer games can sometimes be arranged with the students.

Jangdok Islet and Pier
An island in Wonsan Bay with a small lighthouse. Walk up the long, snaking pier and rub shoulders with local
fisherpeople, and see the stalls selling freshly caught seafood. Good views of Wonsan Bay.

Dinner.

Drive back to Pyongyang.

Overnight in the Sosan Hotel.

SATURDAY

DEPARTURE DAY

AM – After breakfast, we head to Pyongyang Station for the train ride back to Beijing. Overnight on train. Arrive in Beijing on Day 9 in the morning.
Trip concludes upon arrival in Beijing.

For plane travellers, drive to Sunan airport for Air Koryo JS151 back to Beijing. 9:00AM (Pyongyang time) – Estimated departure time. Flight time – approx. two hours. 10:30AM estimated arrival time (Beijing time, half an hour earlier than Pyongyang time).
Trip concludes in Beijing Capital Airport, Terminal 2.

FURTHER DETAILS
Beijing Night Out, and Pre-departure Briefing
To ensure the best possible experience for all involved, we’ll have a dinner in Beijing the day prior to tour departure when we will go through some important points relating to the tour and allow an opportunity for any final questions. For anyone who can’t make it, we can quickly brief you before departure in Beijing.

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 Beijing to Pyongyang. See booking details for transport options and pricing
  • Twin room lodging and accommodation in the DPRK (single supplement – €50 euro per night, also payable in AUD, USD, or RMB)
  • 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

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
  • 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.
  • Rental of ski/snowboarding equipment at Masikryong. Ski kit rental- €15 euro per day