Booking Information

Tour price and itinerary

 

Included in the tour price:

  • Flight tickets Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing or train tickets Dandong-Pyongyang-Dandong
  • Accommodation in North Korea
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (1 free water / beer per meal)
  • Two North Korean guides (English-speaking)
  • Sightseeing and almost all entry fees (some exceptions are mentioned under “not included in the tour price”)
  • Transportation within North Korea (an air-conditioned mini bus)

Not included in the tour price:

  • Costs of your accommodation and flights outside North Korea (such as your travel to Beijing or Dandong)
  • Single room surcharge (EUR 40 p. person p. night).
  • Souvenirs, drinks, snacks, books, postcards, posters, …
  • Additional activities (such as funfair rides, Arirang Mass Games tickets, Moranbong Band or Symphony Orchestra, Bowling, leisure and wellness activities)
  • Entry fees to special areas and sights (such as the lift to the top of the Juche Tower / EUR 5-10, Miniature Park / EUR 16)
  • North Korean Visa fee (EUR 40 in Berlin, EUR 100 if issued in Beijing and delivered to your hotel there)
  • Chinese Visa fee (you need a double entry visa if you cannot make use of the 72-hour-visa-free-policy in Beijing))
  • Tips for your guides and the driver (optional, but we recommend about EUR 5-10 per day)
  • Flowers at the Mansudae Grand Monument (optional, but highly appreciated by the Koreans / EUR 3-5)
  • Travel and medical insurance

 

The itinerary is a pre-planned itinerary, which we intend to follow accordingly. However, it is also normal for DPRK tourism that certain program points may be modified or replaced by the North Koreans at short notice. Usually, such changes only happen to the order of events, but in rare occurances also to larger parts of the itinerary. We as a travel intermediary between our clients and the North Korean government tourism agency are not responsible for any of such short-term changes. We therefore we ask you for your understanding that in the event of such changes, the tour can neither be fully, nor partially refunded.

 

There are many unique things to see in North Korea and perhaps even new opportunities like visits to previously closed places will arise during your trip. Please note that tourists in North Korea cannot move around as freely as in other countries. Your group will always be accompanied by two North Korean tour guides. Independent travel does not exist in North Korea. But with your guides, you can have some very interesting conversations. Since we have very good contacts with our North Korean partners, we will of course try to get you the best tour guides available.


Customs regulations

In early 2013, customs regulations for tourists have been relaxed. Mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras, video cameras (with GPS module) for your own use may now be taken into the country. However, you have to declare them on the customs form accordingly. It is not possible to make phone calls in North Korea with a foreign sim card and to dial into the local network. But tourists have the opportunity to buy SIM cards with balances on arrival at the airport.

 

Even a 3G Internet network for smartphones is available. However, the prices of these are very high. For more information about the prices and availability, please contact us. For international calls, you can use the telephone service at the hotel receptions. Weapons, radios, narcotics, as well as Western publications about North Korea and the whole Korean Peninsula may not be taken into the country and will be confiscated at the airport on arrival (usually handed back to you on departure). There are no quantity restrictions on imports of alcohol and tobacco. It is strictly forbidden to take religious publications into the country as well as any kind of literature critical to the North Korean government. We kindly ask you for your understanding of this.


Accommodation

The Koryo Hotel and the Yanggakdo Hotel offer high comfort on an internationally comparable level. These twohotels are the best hotels in Pyongyang (Deluxe Class by North Korean standards). The Changgwangsan Hotel and the Ryanggang Hotel have a little lower standard compared to the top three. However, they are still comfortable, but look little dated.

 

Power outages are now a rare case in Pyongyang, and the hotels usually have their own power generator to compensate for this. For stays outside of Pyongyang, it is possible that local hotels may temporarily not have hot and running water. However, warm water will mostly be available in the morning and evening hours. Public toilets in museums and rest areas often lack running water. It is therefore advisable to bring a supply of toilet paper and antibacterial gel for cleaning hands on excursions.


Notes on photo rules, clothing and behaviour during the trip

North Korea is a unique travel destination that makes some restrictions concerning photography on tourist trips. After arrival in the country your tour guides will inform you about these rules. Please note that the tour guides themselves are not responsible for the existence of such rules, but must assure everybody complies with them, as it could otherwise lead to difficulties for the guides. There are some situations and objects that cannot be photographed (especially military equipment, soldiers, military vehicles and weapons). Apart from that, the photography rules are not extremely strict. Moreover, it is usually not a big problem, if you have photographed non-desirable things by accident. You will however be asked by your guide to delete these images.

 

The problem arises when tourists take such pictures often and deliberately, for example of marching soldiers. This usually results in disadvantages for the entire tour group and it may be possible that certain events, attractions or places become ‘no longer visitable’ or ‘sold out’. Also, the relationship between you and your guides suffers from such violations. We therefore ask you to accept the rules on photography, also in the interest of your fellow travellers. This way, you will have a lot more from your trip than on the path of confrontation. We also ask for a respectful attitude towards North Korean culture as well as towards the economic and social system of the country, particularly towards the leader cult. Portraits of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un have to be handled with extreme care (this is equally true for the newspaper “The Pyongyang Times”, which you may get at the airplane). We kindly ask you to only “roll” the newspaper as well as other publications containing the leaders’ images. Please do not discard them within North Korea (perhaps the best way is to stow these publications in your luggage).

 

You will be expected to bow in front of the statues of the North Korean leaders as well as in the mausoleum Kumsusan Palace as a sign of respect. We kindly ask you to do so out of courtesy towards your North Korean hosts. For obvious reasons, we would also ask you to restrain from any critical remarks during the time of your North Korea trip. When visiting Kumsusan Palace (the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), a conservative dress code rule applies. We therefore ask you to not wear any too casual clothes during this day (shorts, sandals, mini-skirts, T-Shirts are not welcome). The Koreans would appreciate you to wear a suit and a tie (if you are a man). Moreover, smoking and trashing cigarettes in front of monuments may be considered offensive, so please make sure this does not happen.


Health

In the very unlikely event that you become seriously ill or have an accident while travelling, there is a hospital for foreigners and diplomats in Pyongyang. We advise you to have in place a necessary travel and health insurance, which would cover your treatment in the country. We also think it would be a good idea to carry with you medication such as sleeping pills against jet lag and medication against diarrhoea).


Money

As a tourist in North Korea, you have to pay in foreign currency. Euros, Chinese Yuan, the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen are accepted as payment. Please note that there are no ATMs or banks available in North Korea. The amount for all your intended expenses inside the country must therefore be brought with you in cash. It is also recommended to have ready at least a portion of the amount in smaller coins (EUR 1, EUR 2 and 50, 20 and 10 Cent coins), because occasionally, there might not be enough change available. Since all travel expenses for transportation, meals and accommodation are included in the tour price (for more details see “included in the tour price includes”), we recommend you to take into the country only as much money as is needed for expenses, special events, souvenirs, gratuities and drinks. A sum of EUR 20-30 per day will be totally fine. If you want to buy Korean paintings and art products as well as consume western spirits, you may take in some additional money.


Deposit

A deposit of EUR 150 has to be paid by international bank transfer and is due at time of booking. Once you have booked, you will receive your invoice with our bank details for the deposit.


And this is how it goes on:

Roughly 6 weeks before your journey we will write you an email with the latest information concerning your trip. At this stage, we need the final tour balance. Your visa applications will be processed during the same time. Your Air Koryo flight ticket or the train ticket will be issued around 3 weeks before your journey starts. We will send the ticket to you by email. Before some tours with larger groups, a pre-tour group meeting with the latest information (short but important briefing about tourism in North Korea) will be held in central Beijing. It will take place at 18:00 h (6 pm) on the day before your departure to North Korea. We will of course let you know about the exact location.


Cancellation & Refund policy

The tour deposit is only refundable in case your visa gets rejected by the North Korean authorities. However, this is almost never the case (visa rejection usually only happens to journalists who attempt to travel to the country as tourists). We strongly suggest that you sign a travel insurance that covers your cost for case that you have to cancel your trip. If you have to cancel your trip, we will do our best to provide you with a discount for a later tour. In the case of cancellation from the costumer’s side, we can refund most of your final tour balance, but only if cancellation is made until 14 days before the tour. However, we will need to deduct the visa cost and the cancellation cost for the already booked train or flight tickets into North Korea. We however do not refund possible previous parts of your journey outside North Korea (such as your flights between Beijing and a third country).


Please note:

We are tour operator for tourists only and we do not take journalists or professional photographers into the country. If you are a journalist or professional photographer and you intent to visit North Korea, we are very sorry to tell you that we are not the right persons to help you out. To make sure that there are no journalists posing as tourists on our tours, all of our applicants will have confirm that they are no journalists or professional photographers before we are able to take them into the country. Upon travelling to North Korea, we strongly suggest that you have a travel insurance in place that covers medical treatment in the country and transport out of the country in the very unlikely case of illness or/and accident. If you don’t have any insurance, we can assist you in finding one. Such a travel insurance is usually not expensive and should be available for a small amount around EUR 10-20.

 

Please do not take this travel advisory into the country.