The Pyongyang Marathon, Day of the Sun celebrations, hiking and both east & west coasts of Korea – it’s the April Adventure tour!
Spring is one of the best times to visit North Korea, as the cold winds have gone and flowers begin blooming and lining the beautiful Pyongyang streets.
Taking part in the Pyongyang Marathon is sure to be an experience you won’t forget, and something few foreigners get to do.
What’s more, a few days after the Pyongyang Marathon is the most important date in the Korean calendar - the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il-Sung. For this, we can expect a day of merriment for the locals as they enjoy their day off celebrating with picnics in parks, participating in mass dancing events and then gathering together at Kim Il-Sung Square to watch the incredible firework display at night.
For the truly adventurous traveler, this 10-night tour will get you to not only the west coast of Korea where you’ll visit the industrial city of Nampo, but you’ll also get across to the east coast where you’ll tour the seaside city Wonsan and then go hiking on Mt. Kumgang – also known as the diamond of Korea.
Of course you’ll also head south to Kaesong and the DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their face-off. You’ll also have the opportunity to head north to the lively city of Pyongsong, where you will meet the incredibly talented students at a local school.
And for all the serious marathon runners out there, the Pyongyang Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race with AIMS Certification. Earn yourself one of the most unique running shirts, finisher's medal and race certificates around.
Mandatory Pre-Tour Briefing
Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.
For Pyongyang Marathon tours, we will hold several briefings - in the morning for those departing by train in the afternoon, and in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.
- Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
- Briefings for those departing by train, expected time is 10:00 am (to be confirmed)
- Briefings for those departing by flight, expected times are 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm (to be confirmed)
- 17:00 | Train travelers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.
Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2020, is the 108th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.
- Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.
- Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
- Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
- Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll and have picnic lunch in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
- Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
- Artistic Performance | Expect to see a performance on the day, while the type of performance is to be confirmed we have been able to see circus, musical and other performances on this day, typically 20-50 EUR per person depending on nature of performance.
- Mass Dance | Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
- Fireworks over the Taedong River | watch with thousands of locals in Kim Il Sung Square as this holiday comes to an end. Wonderful mingling opportunities in a festive atmosphere
Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
Please read the following for important information about your transport options for this tour. The default option is round-trip train travel from Beijing to Pyongyang, and back again. Flight upgrades are available. Expand the below options for more details, and read below regarding visa for China requirements.
We arrange your North Korean visa as part of your tour package [+50 EUR]. However, given the tour starts and finishes in China you may also need to arrange a Chinese visa for your trip obtained at a Chinese diplomatic mission abroad. We recommend obtaining at least a double-entry Chinese visa for your trip.
Most nationalities will require a visa for China if entering and/or exiting by train.
Over 50 nationalities can obtain a visa-waiver for up to 144 hours when in transit through Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) using direct international flights. Most other nationalities can transit for up to 24 hours.
Please be sure to check your visa status for travel through China while planning your trip. We are unable to arrange Chinese visas, but can provide documentation in support of visa applications upon payment of a tour deposit.
Please note that the itinerary may differ slightly to what is above but your tour leader will do their best to ensure that as much is covered as possible and will also add in extras when there is time such as a visit to a local bar or a funfair. We visit the DPRK regularly and know all the best places to go to make your trip even more unique. We will make the most of your time in the DPRK to guarantee the experience of a lifetime.
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE REDIRECTED TO KORYO TOURS APPLICATION SYSTEM TO COMPLETE YOUR BOOKING