Pyongyang Trade Fair, Mass Games
& Film Festival
September 18th to 22nd 2018
(5 Days / 4 Nights)
*Includes the MASS GAMES Performance
Beijing | Pyongyang | Dandong | Beijing
Paektu Cultural Exchange is excited to offer a comprehensive 6-day trade and investment-focused mission to North Korea. During this visit, it will be possible to see first-hand the newest “Made in DPRK” products and services at the 13th Annual Pyongyang International (Fall) Trade Fair, and also witness the world-renowned Mass Games artistic dance performance in the world’s largest stadium. This special trip will provide an overview of the current economic situation, and offers insights on businesses and manufacturing methods, so we have also included factory visits and discussions with DPR Korean government officials and stakeholders. Additionally, we will participate in the Pyongyang International Film Festival to watch some local films and experience the capital’s iconic sites.
✪ Attend the 14th 2018 Pyongyang International Autumn Trade Fair
✪ Witness the Mass Games – The largest and most amazing socialist mass performance in the world with over 100,000 performers! (Optional to see the performance twice).
✪ Attend the Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF) Opening Ceremonies
✪ Pyongyang highlights: the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo, the Pyongyang Metro, and the Juche Tower, a cooking class, walking tours, visit a silk factory and other exclusive activities
✪ Visit Panmunjom and the DMZ to look across the most militarized border in the world and wave to North Korea’s neighbor South Korea
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.
Monday, September 17th – Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 – (5 days / 4 nights, Fly in – Train Out)
Monday, September 17th, 2018
- Meet up at 4:30 pm for a pre-departure meeting to discuss the itinerary, a review of etiquette & safety precautions and to answer any questions. Receive DPRK visas, flight tickets and get to know the other guests and Paektu Staff (Maps & meeting locations to be provided after registration)
- Join us for a traditional Chinese dinner and drinks in Beijing.
Please note: Hotel and meals are only covered in the DPRK, NOT in Beijing. Contact us and we can book or recommend a suitable & convenient hotel for you in Beijing.
Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
- 10 am: Meet at the Air Koryo check-in desk at Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2
- Receive visas, check-in for flight to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
- 1 pm: Departure from Beijing to Pyongyang on Air Koryo JS 152
- 4 pm: Arrival in Pyongyang
- Arch of Triumph and drive by Pyongyang’s most iconic sites.
- Welcoming Korean BBQ dinner reception with our DPRK partners and hosting organizations
- Hotel Check-in
- Night Walking Tour around the Mirae (Future) Scientists Street and learn about North Korea’s new focus to support and promote scientists and intellectuals
- Visit local beer pub and microbrewery to try some local North Korean craft beers
- Overnight: Koryo Hotel (5 Star)
About the Pyongyang International Trade Fair
The Korean International Exhibition Corporation (KIEC) has been hosting the Pyongyang International Trade Fair since 1989 with the aim of boosting trade and multilateral cooperation with various regions around the world. KIEC oversees the introduction of new companies, products, markets, and investments, and offers consultation on trade and various joint-venture policies.
Since 2000, two trade fairs have been held annually in Pyongyang—one in spring and one in autumn. They promote not only friendly economic ties, but also scientific and cultural exchange with interested states and individuals. In addition to domestic companies, enterprises from around 16 countries (including Australia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Germany, and Italy) have attended these past trade fairs.
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
- Visit 14th Annual 2018 Pyongyang Fall International Trade Fair (PSTF) & face-to-face meetings and Q&A with DPRK wholesalers and retail businesses at the Three Revolutions Exhibition. This is one of the highlights of this trip as we can visit hundreds of North Korean booths selling and displaying their products. It is an amazing place to talk and interact with local Koreans as well as buying some unique Made in DPRK products.
- BBQ Rooftop Lunch on Ryomyong Street
- Walk around Ryomyong Street, a street of high rise buildings and shop at Pyongyang’s own Miniso Retail Store, a premium product store
- Site inspections of current investment projects in Pyongyang (silk factory, textile factory, consumer goods factory or bag factory)
- Korean Revolution Museum – This Museum is a showcase of revolutionary artifacts dating back to 1860’s and is one of the largest structures in the world. It covers the anti-Japanese resistance, the Korean War and the period of socialist reconstruction.
- Visit Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies
- Attend the Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF) Opening Ceremonies
- Dinner: We will visit one of our favorite places in Pyongyang the famous Duck BBQ restaurant
- PIFF After Party (Details announced after registration)
- Overnight: Koryo Hotel (5 Star)
About the Pyongyang International Film Festival (PIFF)
The PIFF is a biennial cultural exhibition held in Pyongyang, North Korea. The film festival is a very cosmopolitan event, especially in the more recent years; prior to 2002, it was reserved to “non-aligned and other developing countries.
Thursday, September 2oth, 2018
- In the morning we will drive south to the De-militarized Zone (DMZ), Panmunjom Peace Village, the historic Armistice Signing Room where the DPRK and South Korean soldiers come face-to-face. Here we can witness guests and tourists from the south side as well as the American Joint Security Area (JSA) forces and Swiss and Swedish members of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC). This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the possible re-unification of the peninsula and to hear from the DPRK People’s Army representatives about their personal thoughts on the division of the peninsula and the associated military issues.
- Historical walk in Kaesong – We will walk around the protected UNESCO sites where there are ongoing archeological surveys taking place. We will receive a private guided walking tour through the local Ri Dynasty historic residential area from a DPRK historian involved in the UNESCO projects, which is not visited by tourists.
- After returning to Pyongyang we will visit the completed restoration project of the Ryonggwang Pavilion. This was a collaborative project completed by Paektu Cultural Exchange, the Prince Claus Fund and the DPRK’s National Administration for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. We will be given a private tour and Michael will also speak about his 4-year involvement with this restoration project. PCE EXCLUSIVE
About the Ryongwang Pavillion (련광정練光亭)
The Ryongwang Pavillion was first constructed in the 6th century during the Koguryo Dynasty (37 BC–668 AD). It was the first building to be constructed on the eastern side of the Pyongyang Fortress. It was conceived and created as a lookout point within the fortress walls overlooking the Taedonggang River and the fields lying to the east of Pyongyang. It has been repaired and restored several times, the latest in 2014 and yet still retains its original structure.
The pavilion is located on the scenic banks of the Taedong River in central Pyongyang and is thus known as a Gwangso Palgyoung – one of eight famous spots in West Korea. These eight spots are famous for their architecture, much of which dates back over 1500 years. It is a legendary spot, featured in dozens of traditional Korean folk stories and historical events.
- Traditional cooking and food preparation class. In a restaurant kitchen setting, we will take part in a cooking class to learn how to make mung-bean pancakes, Pyongyang Cold Noodles (랭면: Rengmyeon) or Hot Stone Bowl vegetables, meat and rice (비빔밥: Bibimbap). PCE EXCLUSIVE
- Dinner: Our labor is then rewarded with a sample of traditional delicacies and, of course, the dishes created during the class.
- Attend the Arirang Mass Games! Witness the most amazing and largest show on earth as 100,000 performers dance in synchronicity to unification revolutionary music and images. Tickets start at 80 Euro.
- Visit a relatively unknown local pub which is not yet open to tourists PCE EXCLUSIVE
- Overnight: Koryo Hotel (5 Star)
Friday, September 21st, 2018
- We will have a private morning 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 tablets and electronic products
- 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.
- Visit the Grand People’s Study House where North Korean students and adults learn foreign languages and other subjects. Here we can chat with students in English and other foreign languages, maybe even teach a class.
- Pyongyang Metro
- Mansudae Grand Monument – This is where Koreans commonly pay their respects to the grand 22-meter tall statues of Leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Built originally in 1972, which at that time only included President Kim Il Sung but after the death of General Kim Jong Il in 2011, they erected his statue (tentitive, sometimes this site is closed to visitors).
- Cocktail Party & Farewell Dinner: We will have dinner at the Rakbaek (Paradise) Restaurant, Department Store & Brewery, and later sample some beer and traditional alcohol at their microbrewery.
- In the evening, we will visit Fujimoto Kenji’s Gourmet Japanese restaurant to have dinner & cocktails (Japanese Ramen noodles are included but cocktails, sake, and Sushi is an extra cost starting from 50 USD for a set meal)
- We will visit a local pub after dinner for a farewell party with our with our DPRK partners, staff and driver.
- Overnight: Koryo Hotel (5 Star)
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
- 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)
Fly Out Option:
Depart from Pyongyang on Saturday, September 22nd, at 8:20 am and arrive at Beijing Capital Airport at 9:50 (+150 Euro)
End of Delegation
Monday, September 18th – Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 – (5 days / 4 nights)
- 1,290 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)
Optional Wonsan Extension (+2 days) (Link to be updated soon)
Monday, September 17th – Tuesday, September 24th, 2018 – (7 days / 6 nights)
Fly in – Train Out Arrive in Dandong by Train Sept 24th / Beijing Sept 25th – This option can be added to the above program. Contact us for details.
Optional Mt. Paektu + Wonsan Extension (+5 days) (Link to be updated soon)
Pyongyang Trade Fair, Mass Games, Film Festival, Wonsan & Mt. Paektu 12-day Comprehensive North Korean Adventure (12 Days / 11 Nights)
Monday, September 17th – Saturday, September 29th, 2018 – (12 days / 11 nights)
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 5pm the next day or in Beijing two days later at 8am.
✪ All meals (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; meals include water and beer)
✪ Transportation to, from and within the DPRK and China during the program
✪ Accommodation in the DPRK and China (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
✪ 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.
✪ 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)
Upgrades and Options
✪ 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
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.
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.