• North Korea Adventure

    Be among the first to peek into another world: the unchanged Democratic People's Republic of Korea

    Seasoned travelers know how difficult it is to find truly untraveled places to explore in our modern world, and North Korea is just such a place. Mostly closed to the outside world for more than a half century, this largely unchanged land has only just begun to welcome travelers from abroad, and MTS is among the first to embrace this wonderful opportunity to learn about and engage with the people of North Korea.

    best times to go: April, September

    departures: 2 scheduled datesview departures

    pricing: from $4,695 see detailed pricing

    Other Asia

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Be among the first to peek into another world: the unchanged Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Seasoned travelers know how difficult it is to find truly untraveled places to explore in our modern world, and the importance of seizing an opportunity to be among the first to experience a new destination before tourism’s influence alters its character. North Korea—officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK— is just such a place. Mostly closed to the outside world for more than a half century, this secretive and largely unchanged land has only begun to welcome foreign visitors. It’s a veritable time capsule that promises visitors a real glimpse into the past as well as rare insight into the modern reality of this last intact remnant of the Cold War. And true to our heritage of exploring new and unknown lands, MTS is among the first to embrace this wonderful opportunity to learn about and engage with the people of North Korea. (NOTE: This entire trip occurs below 6,000' elevation)
 

Activities

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Get a glimpse into the past as well as a rare insight into the modern reality of this last intact remnant of the Cold War
  • Visit notable places like Panmunjom and Pyongyang as well as journey farther afield to remote areas like Mount Paekdu (September departure) and Kumgangsan (April departure)
  • Enjoy informal opportunities to interact with locals at plazas, fairs, and other outings
  • Come away feeling changed by the extraordinary experience of traveling to the unparalleled DPRK

Duration: 11 days Start Location: Beijing End Location: Beijing

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • Day 1 : Fly to Beijing

    Upon arrival at Beijing Capital Airport, catch the convenient Hilton Capital Airport shuttle to the hotel. In the evening there will be a trip briefing for the group, followed by a welcome dinner.

    NOTE: This entire trip occurs below 6,000 feet elevation.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Dinner
    LODGING: Hilton Capital Airport - Beijing
  • Day 2 : Beijing to Pyongyang

    Today we transfer to the Beijing Capital Airport for our Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang (we are currently scheduled to fly on Air Koryo flight 152, which departs Beijing at 1:00 p.m. and arrives in Pyongyang at 4:00 p.m. After proceeding through immigration and customs, we are met by our local Korean guides. We visit the Arch of Triumph, modeled on and larger than that of Paris, before transferring to our hotel. Our hotel for tonight is Yanggakdo Hotel on an island in the Taedong River that flows through the center of Pyongyang. The hotel is the best they have, and there's a bar with good beer. (The beer is good because Kim Jong II hired German brewers to set up a brewery in the bar.)  Welcome dinner at hotel.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Dinner
    LODGING: Yanggakdo Hotel - Pyongyang
  • Day 3 : Pyongyang

    Today we tour Pyongyang from the Grand People's Study House, an enormous library and public university building modeled in traditional Korean style with great views over Kim Il Sung Square; to the Korean Art Gallery and Pyongyang Folk Village, featuring scale models of many of Pyongyang's ancient and modern buildings. Enjoy lunch at the Yanggakdo Revolving Restaurant. In the afternoon we embark on a secondary school visit as well as a visit to the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital to gain insight into public facilities in the DPRK. We walk through Moran Park and have the chance to interact with locals before trying the draft beer at Paradise Department Store. Dinner at Koryo Hotel Restaurant.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Yanggakdo Hotel - Pyongyang
  • Day 4 : Drive to Mount Myohyang

    This morning we drive two hours to Mount Myohyang, a remote and pristine area. Upon arrival, our first visit will be to the International Friendship Exhibition, a series of enormous subterranean exhibition rooms housing gifts given to the DPRK's leaders by foreign political figures, politicians and organizations. Lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon we embark on a 4-5 hour hike in the Mapok Valley, passing waterfalls and unusual rocks set in a stunning landscape. We have dinner at the hotel, the fanciest hotel in the DPRK and the only hotel in the DPRK with Internet access.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Hyangsan Hotel - Mt. Myohyang
  • Day 5 : Mount Myohyang to Pyongyang

    This morning we visit an historical Buddhist temple that originates from 1042 AD, but has been rebuilt many times. We then visit the Ryongmun and Paengryong Caves, natural grottoes on the road back to Pyongyang. The vast array of stalactites and stalagmites combined with colorful local legends about the places make it an interesting stop. Korean barbeque picnic lunch. After our return to Pyongyang, we visit the Golden Lane Bowling Center. This visit will be a highlight of our trip as it's one of the best places to truly interact with locals. Lamb barbeque dinner.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Yanggakdo Hotel - Pyongyang
  • North_korea_7
    Day 6 : Pyongyang

    Today we visit the public areas of Pyongyang and have a great chance to interact with locals, as it's a public holiday.  We visit Juche Tower, featuring panoramic views of the city from the top; Monument to Party Foundation, the Foreign Languages Bookstore and walk along the boulevard to Kim Il Sung Square, Pyongyang's largest square in the heart of the city.  It features portraits of President Kim Il Sung as well as Marx and Lenin.  We take lunch at a hotpot restaurant. In the afternoon we visit Mansuadae Art Studio, Pyongyang's center of artistic excellence; Mangyongdae Native House, the birthplace of Kim Il Sung and the USS Pueblo, a US espionage ship captured in 1968 and held as a trophy ever since.  Then we ride the Pyongyang Metro, having the distinction as the deepest metro in the world, adorned with mosaics and chandeliers. A Mass Dance can be expected on Kim Il Sung Square.  Dinner at a pizza restaurant.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Yanggakdo Hotel - Pyongyang
  • Nok_day07_123_paekdu
    Day 7 : Pyongyang to Mount Paekdu

    Today we transfer to the airport for our charter flight to Mount Paekdu. Located in a remote region near the Chinese border, Mount Paekdu is worshipped by both Koreans and the Manchus of Manchuria as the place of their ancestral origin. Only a tiny number of Westerners have ever been here, as it was closed to all foreigners until recently. Mount Paekdu is a dormant volcano, and in its crater is the spectacularly beautiful crater lake Chonji, or Heaven Lake. We arrive mid-morning at Samjiyon Airport, take a funicular railway to the crater rim, then take a cable car down to the lake. After a lakeside picnic lunch, we visit the Secret Camp of Kim Il Sung's anti-Japanese guerrilla army and birthplace of Kim Jong Il. After a full day on the mountain, we spend the night at the Pegaebong Hotel in Samjiyon, a mountain town surrounded by forests on the shore of Lake Samji.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Pegaebong Hotel - Mt. Paekdu
  • North_korea_1
    Day 8 : Mount Paekdu to Chongjin

    Today we visit Samjiyon Grand Monument, the largest set of statues in the country, before transferring to the airport for our flight to Orang on the East Coast. From Orang, we drive to Chongjin, the DPRK's second largest city and a very controlled place, along the East Coast Road. We have lunch at the hotel. Afterwards we take in the Central Square, Revolutionary Museum (the main attraction of this city shows exploits in the area), Cultural Exhibition Center, and Steelworks Kindergarten, where we will be treated to a fascinating performance. Drinks and dinner at the Fishermen's Club, one of the few fishermen's clubs in the DPRK that can be visited by tourists. It is a place for local people and foreign seamen as well.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Chongjin Hotel - Chongjin
  • North_korea_3
    Day 9 : Chongjin to Pyongyang

    This morning we visit revolutionary sites related to the anti-Japanese period on the way to Orang Airport. We have lunch at one of the revolutionary sites. Then we fly to Pyongyang and transfer to the city center. There we will visit the Mansudae Grand Monument, 60 foot high bronze statues of Present Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, flanked by reliefs of workers, soldiers and citizens. Next on the agenda is the Pyongyang Embroidery Institute, located at the foot of the towering Ryugyong Hotel (105 storey pyramid). The institute showcases the Korean art of needlework. We conclude our day's sightseeing with a visit to Fountain Park, before returning to our hotel for dinner in the revolving restaurant.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Yanggakdo Hotel - Pyongyang
  • Day 10 : Pyongyang to Panmunjom/DMZ

    Today we drive to Kaesong, an ancient city and capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-932 AD) from which Korea takes its name. The area is riddled with historic temples and monuments, and we visit the best preserved, the beautiful twin-domed Tomb of King Kongmin and his Mongol princess wife, Queen Noguk. In the afternoon, we drive 6 miles east of Kaesong to Panmunjom in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) boundary between North and South Korea. Technically known as the Joint Security Area, it is a circular area about 800 yards in diameter that is bisected by the Military Demarcation Line (MDL)—the North/South Korean border. Set squarely on the MDL are three small blue huts simply called the Conference Rooms of the Military Armistice Commission, the UN Agency that conducts negotiations between the two Koreas. The tension here is like a thick fog. We'll be able to visit the main Military Armistice Conference Room with its long conference table, through the middle of which runs the border. We get back to Pyongyang in the late afternoon. Tonight we have a farewell dinner at a barbequed duck restaurant.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    LODGING: Yanggakdo Hotel - Pyongyang
  • Day 11 : Pyongyang to Beijing

    Today we rise early and transfer to the airport for our return flight to Beijing at 9:00 a.m., arriving at 10:00 a.m.  Upon arrival, connect to your homeward bound flights or other plans.


    INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast
Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: April, September Departures: Apr 22, 2015 - May 2, 2015 Sep 2 - 12, 2015

PRICING:

2014 Prices
$4,695 (17-25 members)
$5,195 (10-16 members)

$800 single supplement
$775 internal air - April departure
$1750 internal air - September departure

2015 Prices
$4,995 (11-25 members)

$5,495 (9-10 members)
$5,895 (6-8 members)

$800 single supplement
$775 internal air - April departure
$1750 internal air - September departure

Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double accommodations.

If you prefer single accommodations, you must pay the Single Supplement Fee. If you’re traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we’ll try our best to find you a roommate. If that’s not possible, we will only charge you half of the single supplement.

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

photo credits: ©Robert Scott Stallard , MTS Photo File



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Apr 22, 2015 - May 2, 2015 Sep 2 - 12, 2015
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Toll Free:1-888-831-7526