Sunday, October 1st – Monday, October 9th, 2017 – (9 days / 8 nights)
✪ Pre-departure briefing, lecture, and workshop on October 1st (the specific location and time will be sent to registered participants)
Departure from Yanji, China
Note: It is recommended to arrive in Yanji, China, on the evening of September 31st (or on the morning of October 1st).
This program and ends in Beijing, China
By Train: 8 am Beijing Station | October 10th, 2017 (International Train K27/K28)
By Flight: 10 am Beijing Capital Airport | October 9th, 2017 (Air Koryo JS 151)
✪ Mt. Paektu and the borderlands overnight trip
Saturday, September 31st – Sunday, October 1st, 2017
This program begins in Yanji, China and ends in Beijing
Trip Cost: About 150-250 Euro depending on number of people (Contact us for more details)
How to get to Yanji, China
✪ Celebrate the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) Anniversary with locals in Sinuiju
Sinuiju Extension (+1 day) Arrive in Beijing on October 11th, 2017
Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Day 1: Yanji: Center of China’s Korean Ethnic Minority, Border Trade & The Gateway to the DPRK
We will begin our journey exploring the dynamic city of Yanji, located in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of China. This is one of the largest centers of trade and business between the DPRK and China, which includes joint investment projects, factories, and restaurants employing DPR Koreans. We will gain a greater understanding of the people and the region through exploring markets, local specialty products, and meeting with local traders and businessmen involved in cross-border trade. We’ve organized a special interactive workshop with one of China’s top authorities on DPRK-China trade, politics, and economy.
In the late afternoon, we will have a briefing with PCE’s director, DPRK and local expert, Michael Spavor. For dinner, we will also visit a Yanbian-Chinese joint venture restaurant which employs DPR Korean waitresses, whom we will have the opportunity to chat and get their thoughts on life in China.
In the late afternoon, we will have a briefing about this region and a comprehensive trip introduction with PCE’s director, DPRK and local expert, Michael Spavor. For dinner, we will visit a Yanbian Chinese joint venture restaurant which employs DPR Korean waitresses, who will perform privately for our delegation and we will also have the opportunity to dance, sing, and chat with them and get their thoughts on life and working in China. Overnight: Yanji
A local Chinese-Korean (조선족, Joseonjok) friend and cross-border trader, selling his DPRK, South Korean and Chinese food products and goods in a small local market. A variety of products like red pepper powders, nuts, edible mountain mushrooms, and roots are all products from the DPRK. They are all proudly displayed as “MADE IN DPRK” and these products are well known and valued in Northeast China to be organic, naturally grown and processed with no artificial preservatives or chemical fertilizers. Yanji, China (Paektu Cultural Exchange).
Monday, October 2nd, 2017
Day 2: Tumen Industrial Complex, Borderlands & the Rason SEZ
PCE has special permission to visit a joint-venture factory in a private industrial complex where about 2500-3000 DPR Korean laborers are employed to produce electronic goods and engage in food processing and other manufacturing.
Following the factory visit, we will drive along the Tumen river for a glimpse into rural life then arrive at the Quanhe-Wonjong, DPRK-China border immigration to enter the DPRK’s first and most successful Special Economic Zone. We have permission to speak to local officials and view some of the city’s newest infrastructure developments. We will walk around the Rason City Port, which is currently being used to ship Russian coal to several China ports.
We have also been invited by the local university to observe classes and speak to some of the students and faculty. In the evening, we can enjoy European beer and food at the Czech micro-brewery where we can learn about this European start-up. Overnight: Rajin
Quota inspection at a shoe and garment factory in the Rason SEZ, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange).
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
Day 3: Rajin, Songbong & Factory Visits
We will conduct site inspections of a trading company and a few DPRK-China JV investments (the new Rajin bag factory and the Rajin cigarette & tobacco factory), where we will meet with the managers to discuss production, labor practices, and how the 2015 and 2016 floods and the US and European sanctions have affected recent business.
We will visit a local bank to change foreign currency into DPRK won and then visit the Rason Central Market, one of the most exciting sites to visit in the DPRK. PCE will take you on a guided tour of the massive Central Rason Market to bargain for electronics & artifacts and sample local delicacies.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit a local Department Store to get a feel of what domestic and imported products are being sold. We will also go swimming with locals at the beach and relax at the Rason’s Central Square. Overnight: Rajin
Saying heartfelt goodbyes after a friendly sports and language exchange, North Hamgyoung, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
Day 4: The eastern port city of Chongjin, factories & colonial history
We will begin the day with a scenic drive through the countryside in North Hamgyong. This province is one of the least visited regions and was one of the hardest hit regions during the 1995-1996 famine (known as the Arduous March).
Upon arrival in Chongjin, the third largest city in the country and provincial capital, we will tour the coastal city on a local trolley ride We will visit the Susongchon Combined Foodstuff Factory which produces various food products, snacks, and alcohols in the region. After eating lunch at a Japanese-Korean run restaurant, we will visit the North Hamgyong Provincial City Museum and a private art gallery where affordable hand-painted art works will be available for purchase. We will also take the time to observe a community computer and language class at the newly renovated provincial E-Library.
For dinner, we will visit the Chongjin Seamen’s Club, the designated compound for foreign seaman to lodge, bathe, and shop while stopping over in the Chongjin Port.
Street scene near the central market in Chongjin, North Hamgyoung, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)
Thursday, October 5th, 2017
Day 5: Chilbo Mountain, the East Sea & Homestay
In the morning, we will embark on a spectacular drive winding along the beautiful east coast through local fishing villages, active open mining facilities and pastures.
After a relaxing hike overlooking the sea, we will engage with locals who are very eager to interact and play sports with visitors. We have also arranged a special workshop with the local farmers and fishermen where they will teach us their catching, harvesting, food processing and trade. After we prepare local dishes together, we will enjoy a feast and spend time with our homestay families and villagers. We will spend the evening together with our new friends then we will each stay at different villager’s homes with their families at the country’s only homestay for foreign guests. Overnight: Oceanside Chilbo Homestay Village
Late night fun sharing food, wine, stories, and electronic goods with one of the homestays in a Chilbo fishing village. Note the father of this household and fisherman shown here in the iPad photo, took this amazing photo of his son and our guest, after showing him some SLR photography basics. Chilbosan, DPRK (Mr. Ri Gwang-Chol, Paektu Cultural Exchange)
Friday, October 6th, 2017
Day 6: Chilbo, Kyongsong, Hoeryong and crossing the Tuman Namyang Border and return to Yanji, China
The next morning, we will drive to Kyongsong (famous for its hot springs) and along the way visit a special Oceanside revolutionary site and a local fishing village.
We will then transfer to the Orang Airport for our domestic private charter flight to Pyongyang.
In Pyongyang, we will spend the afternoon visiting the cities’ iconic sites and monuments before checking into the Koryo Hotel. We will then have a welcome dinner at the top Pyongyang BBQ Restaurant with our Pyongyang partners. After dinner, we will visit the magical Kaeson Youth Amusement Park where we can ride Italian-made rides with local students and families. Overnight: Koryo Hotel
Saturday, October 7th, 2017
Day 7: Pyongyang Department Store, Walking Tour, University & Factory Visits
In the morning, we will have a comprehensive private walking tour with a local specialist to view and learn about Pyongyang’s rich history, its architecture, the newest residential districts and cultural landmarks. We will also stop in at some newly opened western and DPRK style shops that sell all the newest Made in DPRK products such as Naenara, Bomhyanggi, Achim, and Samjiyon.
We will visit a department store to take a first-hand look at the huge variety of new domestically produced food, household, and cosmetic products. Then we will participate in a traditional cooking class with top local chefs.
In the afternoon, we will head to Kim Il Sung University where we will receive an introduction to the school, and speak to students and faculty before visiting the newly built home of a KISU professor and his family. Overnight: Koryo Hotel
Note: We will visit several factories in Pyongyang and we have requested visiting the new Silk Factory and the Pyongyang Chewing Gum Factory among others.
Learning traditional food preparation in a private cooking class with local chefs, Pyongyang, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)
Sunday, October 8th, 2017
Day 8: Museum and Exhibition Visits
We will visit a museum that documents US and Japanese war crimes as well as the history of South Korean and US aggression up to 2016. This museum has not yet been open to foreign visitors; PCE has gained special permission to visit.
We will also take a look at an underground bunker complex used during the Korean War. This often-overlooked site houses rare relics as well as an amazing museum of city planning and design which took place after the city was reduced to rubble after the war.
We will continue our ‘museum day’ with a special visit to the Exhibition House of Military Hardware of the Korean People’s Army, which is only open with permission.
In the evening, we will visit Fujimoto Kenji’s newly opened Gourmet Japanese restaurant for dinner & cocktails. We will visit a local pub after dinner for a farewell party with our DPRK partners, staff and driver.
Offerings of flower baskets at Mansudae Hill on a National Holiday, Pyongyang, DPRK (Paektu Cultural Exchange)
Monday, October 9th, 2017
Day 9: Train Journey to Sinuiju/Dandong
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.
✪ Celebrate the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) Anniversary with locals in Sinuiju (+1 day)
- Sinuiju Extension (+1 day) Arrive in Beijing on October 11th, 2017
Fly Out Option: Depart Pyongyang at 9:30 am and arrive at Beijing Capital Airport at 2 am on October 9th, 2017
Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
Day 10: Arrival in Beijing
Arrive in Beijing Station at 8:30 AM
End of Delegation
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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 PCE terms and conditions.