8-Day North Korean Thanksgiving in

Pyongyang & Wonsan Beach Tour

+ 3 days at Mt. Paektu Extension

September 22nd to 29th 2018

(8 Days / 7 Nights)

*Includes the MASS GAMES Performance  

Shenyang | Pyongyang | Wonsan | Mt Paektu | Pyongyang | Dandong | Beijing

Starting September 19th:

Starting September 22nd:


Paektu Cultural Exchange is excited to offer a one of a kind mission to North Korea. We will be going to the famous Wonsan beach and explore the East coast of Korea as well as visiting the remote and sacred mountain to all Koreans: Mt Paektu. We will be spending an unprecedented 3 days and nights there exploring new sights and doing new activities in what is one of the priority development areas of the DPRK.

The finale to this trip will be attending the 2018 Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF) Closing Ceremonies followed by a Farewell afterparty at the Koryo Hotel with other local and international guests. The following day we take the picturesque train ride out to Dandong or Beijing.




✪ Spend the weekend in Wonsan where we will go to the beach, and visit the Masikryong Resort and the Songdowon Children’s Camp
✪ Witness the Mass Games – The largest and most amazing socialist mass performance in the world with over 100,000 performers!
✪ Spend an unprecedented 3 days & 3 nights at Paektu Mountain for an extensive visit to this sacred area and visit new unexplored sights and new activities.
✪ Attend the Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF) Closing Ceremonies

PCE utilizes its high-level contacts with government officials and more than 20 years of relationships to organize unique meetings and activities that would otherwise not be possible.

Itinerary Details

Saturday, September 22nd – Saturday, September 29th, 2018 – (8 days / 7 nights, Fly in – Train out)

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Day 1:

  • 10:30 am: Meet at the Air Koryo check-in desk at Shenyang International Airport Note: this programs starts and ends in Shenyang, China Receive visas, check-in for our flight to Pyongyang on Air Koryo:
  • Departure from Shenyang to Pyongyang 1:40 pm: Arrival in Pyongyang
  • Upon arrival (flight Beijing – Pyongyang landing at 16:05), we will take a scenic drive through the mountains towards the east coast city of Wonsan (3.5 Hours)
  • We will then stop for a coffee and snacks at the Sinpyong Lagoon
  • Visit the beautiful Ulim waterfalls
  • After an evening walk, we will dine at a popular seafood restaurant famous for their exotic seafood selection
  • Arrive at the Masikryong 5 star 4 Season Resort
  • Overnight: Masikryong Resort
  • We can explore a number of the hotels top facilities like the Cave themed bar, KTV, swimming pool and DPRK’s only “4-hands” professional massage

About the Masikryong Hotel

The Masikryong Hotel is located in a cozy valley and provides its guests with first-class amenities. This luxury hotel is equipped with dozens of upscale restaurants that serve both Korean and Western food, swimming pool, ice rink, massage parlor, gym, and a sauna. The Masikryong Hotel meets the standards and expectations of Western guests by providing internet access, a coffee shop, and other facilities. The hotel has 120 guest rooms, including deluxe suites, family rooms and single rooms which can accommodate 350 guests.

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Day 2:  

  • In the morning we will go the Wonsan’s premiere Public Beach to relax, play sports and go swimming with locals.
  • We will take a walk around central Wonsan city and visit the docks, which is usually crowded with old men fishing. We can buy fresh seafood here as well.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Exchange Activities at the Wonsan Agricultural University: We will visit the campus and greenhouses of the university and, if weather allows, organize a joint soccer game with the students at the university.
  • Visit the newly renovated Songdowon Children’s Summer Camp where international children also spend their summer vacation
  • Visit Wonsan Railway Station
  • Visit the Taehwa Peak restaurant and cafe located at the top of the Masik ski hill for a 360-degree view of the Wonsan Area
  • Overnight: Masikryong Resort (5 star)

Waves crashing from the East Sea onto the coastline near the city of Wonsan, DPRK

Monday, September 24th, 2018 – Korean Thanksgiving Day Chuseok

Day 3: 

  • Return drive to Pyongyang
  • We are arranging some special holiday activities with local families to celebrate this important holiday “Chuseok”  which is the Korean Thanksgiving
  • We are arranging to watch the annual Tradition Wrestling Event (In Korean: SSirum 씨름). This is a tradition across the peninsula in both North and South Korea where traditionally farmers and local strongmen fight for the grand 1st prize of a large bull.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Option to attend the Mass Games again. In past years many of our guests have requested to see the Mass Games twice during their visit so we are including this option, we will also have an alternative activity
  • In the evening visit Pyongyang’s famous Kaesong Fun Fair Amusement Park
  • Overnight: Koryo Hotel

The 2017 11th Grand Bull Prize Traditional Wrestling Event (제11차 대황소상 전국민족씨름경기), Pyongyang, DPRK

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Day 4: 

  • 10:30 am: Departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo JS3102I to Samjiyon
  • 11:50 am: Arrival in Samjiyon
  • Lunch
  • Visit the Samjiyon Revolutionary Museum and Samjiyon Military Palace of Culture
  • Visit the Grand Monument – the second biggest monument in honor of President Kim Il Sung. It commemorates the anti-Japanese revolutionary efforts
  • Walk around Lake Samji
  • Tour the Samjiyon Schoolchildren’s Palace, a recreation centre for local kids
  • Get on a chairlift to reach the top of Samjiyon Hill
  • Dinner
  • Overnight: Paegaebong Hotel

A view of Lake Chonji on Mount Paektu, DPRK

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Day 5: 

  • Rise early to watch the sunrise on Mt. Paektu, and descend to Lake Chonji which means Heavenly Lake
  • Drive down the very picturesque road that follows the Amnok river along the Chinese border
  • Stop to take pictures at Chongun Rock
  • Lunch
  • Visit Paektusan Secret Camp, a series of hidden army bases in the forest
  • Visit the Ode Monument, a monument erected for the 50th birthday of General Kim Jong Il
  • Visit the Paektu Secret Log Cabin, lodge where great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il was born
  • Drive back to Samjiyon village to enjoy a cozy farewell dinner with our partners and some locals
  • Overnight: Paegaebong Hotel

Statue on the lake commemorating the anti-Japanese efforts

The hike up to the top of Mount Paektu, DPRK

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Day 6: 

  • Go for a nature hike and Visit Rimyongsu Falls and the surrounding villages
  • Lunch
  • Visit Taehongdan Collective Farm, a potato farming community where a large revolutionary battle against the Japanese was fought
  • Visit other sites in and around Samjiyon
  • Bonfire dinner with locals (tentative and weather permitting)
  • Overnight: Paegaebong Hotel

Rimyongsu Village Waterfalls

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Day 7: 

  • We will spend the morning exploring the remote town of Samjiyon and see some newly opened sites. Samjiyon is undergoing a huge restoration and construction phase. We will provide more detailed information after registration.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • 3:30 pm: Departure from Samjiyon to Pyongyang on Air Koryo JS3102I
  • 4:30 pm: Arrival in Pyongyang
  • Attend the Pyongyang International Film Festival Closing Ceremonies held at the Ponghwa theater
  • Attend PIFF afterparty
  • Final Farewell Dinner with our DPRK partners
  • Enjoy drinks and cocktails at a local pub and enter a Karaoke Singing contest (or just watch)
  • Overnight: Koryo Hotel

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Day 8: 

  • In the morning, we will look around Pyongyang Train Station before departing at 10 AM (K28) from Pyongyang Station to Beijing via Sinuiju/Dandong. Taking the train is a trip highlight as you can enjoy the views of the DPRK countryside from your train car or sit in the restaurant car sharing food and drinks with locals.
  • Korean style on lunch on the train
  • Arrive in Sinuiju
  • Our train will cross the bridge from Sinuiju to Dandong arriving at about 5 pm (Or continue on to Beijing See below)

End of Delegation

Fly Out Option:  

Depart from Pyongyang on Saturday, September 29th, at 8:20 am and arrive at Beijing Capital Airport at 9:50 (+150 Euro)



Saturday, September 22th – Saturday, September 29th

  • 1,840 Euro
    • This includes travel permits, accommodation (double occupancy), information sessions, trade fair entrance, and other events in the DPRK.
  • Deposit – 40% deposit to hold your space (limited) on a first come first serve basis (non-refundable)
  • Application Deadline: September 2nd, 2018  (Japanese need to apply before August 28)

Trip Extensions

Optional Sinuiju Extension (+1 day)

A one day Sinuiju trip can be arranged when departing the DPRK by train. 

This option can be arranged to any trip when departing the DPRK by train through the Sinuiju / Dandong border. Arrive in Dandong by train at 5 pm the next day or in Beijing two days later at 8 am.

Visit the City of Sinuiju on a 1 Day Trip Extension


  All meals (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; meals include water and a beer)
  Transportation to, from and within the DPRK and China during the program
  Accommodation in the DPRK (4-star hotel, standard room)
  Smiles, jokes, anecdotes, basic DPR Korean language skills and some fun and interesting stories to go along with each day’s activities

Street vendor selling flowers on the side of the road in Pyongyang, DPRK. (Paektu Cultural Exchange)

Not Included

  DPRK visa fee (50 Euro)
  Chinese double-entry visa (required) – Please Note: for more information, contact the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. Some nationalities (e.g. Americans, Canadians, etc.) may qualify for the Free Beijing 72-hour Visa when flying in and out of Pyongyang.
  Ticket to the Mass Games performance. Options: €100/p (3rd class), €300/p (2nd class), €500/p (1st class) or VVIP for €800/p. 

  Additional snacks, liquor, and alcohol (e.g. ~1–3 Euro per beer)
  Souvenirs, personal expenses, and other amenities
  Tips for Korean guides and drivers (usually expect to tip about 10-15 Euro in total per day)
  Mobile phone and data communication services: About 200 USD to buy a sim card with data enabled. Data fees are additional and are about 0.28 USD / MB
  Accommodation in Beijing is not included in this program, please contact us if you need a recommendation near our office or briefing location
  Mass Games ticket (from 80 EUR per ticket)

Optional Upgrades

  Flight (Economy) from Pyongyang to Beijing: Add +150 Euro
Flight (First Class) from Pyongyang to Beijing: Add +250 Euro
  Train Connection from Beijing to Dandong or Dandong to Beijing Add +50~60 Euro one-way (Different Classes available  | Based on Availability | Book early to guarantee)
 Single Room – A supplement fee (private single room): Add +50 Euro per night
 Economy –Flight from Pyongyang to Beijing or Beijing to Pyongyang: Add +150 Euro
 First Class – Return Flight from Pyongyang to Beijing: Add +250 Euro
 Private Airport Pick-Up (or drop off) – clients will be met by a private car at the airport: Add +25 Euro
 Room upgrades available for additional charges
 Please contact us with any special requests

History of the Pyongyang Film Festival

The event originated in 1987 as the Pyongyang Film Festival of the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries. The maiden event, held from September 1 through September 10, showed short films, features, and documentaries that were judged for competitive awards. The film festival returned in 1990 and would be regularly held every other year. Recurrent subject matter included domestic cinema that commonly praised the high leadership such as a film shown at the 1992 film festival, verbosely translated, Glory of Our People in Holding the Great Leader in High Esteem and foreign films about revolutionary resistance. In 2000, officials widened the acceptable breadth of film watching, by screening Japanese films for the first time when Yoji Yamada arrived to present six of his films. The ninth festival, held in 2004, moderated cultural restrictions further with the screening of a dubbed and censored version of the British comedy Bend It Like Beckham and U.S.-produced South African drama Cry, The Beloved Country. Bend it like Beckham won the music prize and later it became the first Western-made film shown on television in North Korea. In 2006, the Swedish horror comedy Frostbitten was shown at the festival, the first foreign horror film to ever be shown in North Korea. The Schoolgirl’s Diary, which premiered at the 2006 festival, in 2007 became the first North Korean film in several decades to be picked up for international distribution when it was purchased by French company Pretty Pictures. It was released in France in late 2007 (Wikipedia).

DPRK Cultural Interpreter and Guide

Michael Spavor

Guide & Cultural Interpreter
Paektu Cultural Exchange Director 

Michael has spent over 18 years living, working and studying in both North and South Korea and is fluent in the DPRK dialect. He first visited the DPRK in 2001 than in 2005; he became the managing director of a Canadian NGO operating in Pyongyang.

He also has extensive experience in South Korea working for government tourism organizations, but in the past decade, he has focused on organizing and facilitating trade, investment, cultural, academic, and specialized delegations to the DPRK. Michael has strong professional and personal relationships with the country’s leadership, and across different ministries and departments throughout the entire country.

He organized the Dennis Rodman 2013 and 2014 visits, the basketball match between the DPRK and former NBA players as well as cultural heritage restoration projects with the Dutch Prince Claus Fund.

Michael studied International Relations focusing on the Korean Peninsula and East Asian Studies in Canada then went on to study International Trade and Political Science in Korean.

Social Responsibility

Paektu Cultural Exchange is a social enterprise dedicated to promoting ethical business with a focus on social impact. A significant portion of the delegation fees will support Paektu Cultural Exchange’s Project Samjiyon, providing school supplies and language learning materials to less accessible rural elementary schools in northern Kanggye and Chagang provinces. This is a joint project between Paektu Cultural Exchange and ministry-level DPRK government partners. All donated materials are strictly designed to benefit primary school children and their educators.


Disclaimer: This itinerary is tentative and subject to some changes. It is quite normal and expected for small changes on any delegation to the DPRK. PCE and our hosts always do our best to accommodate within our abilities. In the event of itinerary changes, PCE will arrange relevant alternative activities.  All payments are subject to our terms and conditions.

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