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North Korea Expedition - Apex of Adventure

Trip Length

Trip Code

14 days PCNK

Countries Visited

China, North Korea

Start City

End City

Beijing, China Beijing, China
North Korea Expedition - Apex of Adventure

Off the beaten tourist path doesn't quite cut it when it comes to describing North Korea! Our journey reveals this mysterious, unsettling and intriguing country where you will be one of only a handful of Westerners permitted to enter each year.

Why we love it:

North Korea Expedition - Apex of Adventure


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Beijing

Meals included: 1 dinner

Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing

Activities:

Day 2: Pyongyang

Meals included: 1 dinner

Accommodation: Yanggakdo International Hotel or similar, Pyongyang

Activities:

Day 3: Pyongyang

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Yanggakdo International Hotel or similar, Pyongyang

Activities:

Day 4: Pyongyang

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Yanggakdo International Hotel or similar, Pyongyang

Activities:

Day 5: Mount Myohyang

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hyangsan Hotel or similar, Mt.Myohyang

Activities:

Day 6: Kaesong

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Activities:

Day 7: DMZ

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Yanggakdo International Hotel or similar, Pyongyang

Activities:

Day 8: Lake Sijung

Travel time: approx 7 hours

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Sijung Guesthouse or similar, Sijung

Activities:

Day 9: Wonsan

Travel time: approx 2 hours

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Activities:

Day 10: Nampo

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Activities:

Day 11: Pyongyang

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Yanggakdo International Hotel or similar, Pyongyang

Activities:

Day 12-13: Beijing

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing

Activities:

Day 14: Beijing

Activities:


Your Trip

What to know

Venturing well away from cities and into remote areas, this trip takes you right off the beaten track. Accommodation and facilities my be basic but the rewards are immeasurable.

What's Included

Transport

Non-included Meals

Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.

Not Included


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

China

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance

MAINLAND CHINA & HONG KONG:

Most nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be difficult to obtain outside your country of residence. You may be able to apply for your visa in Hong Kong If you have time here before your trip departs. You will need a Single Entry Tourist for your trip valid for 30 days. Hong Kong is not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities do not require a visa. Please check with an embassy for specific requirements.

INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:

Itinerary:

Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.

Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
606 InterChina Commercial Building
33 Dengshikou Street
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100006
+86 10 6406 7328

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:

* Hotel List - this will be sent to you by your booking agent. If you do not receive this please email us with your booking number and trip details. Please tick the hotels in all destinations that your trip visits.
* Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the embassy or not.
* Itinerary – please print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website and include it with your application, listing the dates you will visit each destination.
* Photocopy of your passport.
* Passport size photo (up to 4 may be required).
* Please check with the embassy for any other specific requirements.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS

We require you to send the following at the time of booking, or no later than 60 days prior to travel: Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.

North Korea

The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) visa fee is 50 Euros.

Please provide the following Documents to your booking agent no later than 60 days prior to departure. Please note any forms listed below will be given to you by your booking agent for you to complete and return.

• Colour passport copy
• Colour passport photo x4
• Completed Application Form
• Completed Journalist Form
• Please make sure you have a double entry Chinese visa and valid insurance which can cover their trip to the DPRK.
• Unfortunately US citizens can not travel on our itinerary due to the fact that we depart North Korea via train and US citizens can only enter/exit North Korea via plane. It’s a 11 night itinerary and US citizens can only travel for 10 nights in North Korea.
• For Applicants based in Hong Kong, we need a reference letter from his/her company as well as a scan of the person’s HK ID card is required to process the application.
• For applicants based in France, please include an email address as the DPRK consulate in Paris will need to contact them.

Please understand that information and processes can change so for the most up to date information please check with your local Consulate or Embassy.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

China

There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: Wild Swans-Jung Chang The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices-Xinran Riding the Iron Rooster-Paul Theroux From Heaven Lake-Vikram Seth One’s Company-Peter Fleming Red China Blues-Jan Wong Mr China’s Son: A Villager’s Life-He Liuyi China, Renaissance of the Middle Kingdom-Odyssey Guide China-Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book-Lonely Planet. The following are recommended for travellers on the Silk Road: The Great Game-Peter Hopkirk Foreign Devils on the Silk Road-Peter Hopkirk.

North Korea

Entrance

Entrance fees to most sights are included in North Korea, however there may be some options offered locally. Your local guides will advise you on each day's included and optional activities and some possibilities from previous tours are included in the itinerary section of the Trip Notes.


Important Information

Local Emergency Contacts

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +86 1064 067 328

Single Supplement

Please note a Single Supplement is available to book for this trip, however is not available for nights spent on the overnight train.

Mass Games

Please note in 2014 North Korea have cancelled the annual Arirang Mass Games.

Photography & Mobile Phones

You can certainly take pictures although there are many restrictions on photography that have to be obeyed in DPRK, however even sticking to the rules you will come out with a great set of photos. Everyone who visits always takes many more pictures than they think they will (extra digital memory cards and sticks are NOT widely available in DPRK so be sure to take plenty of those). The Koreans do not examine your film or force you to develop the films you have taken (although the customs officials at Sinuiju may ask to see your pictures if you take the train out). Video cameras can also be taken into the country but should be used carefully. In the recent past there have been some limitations placed on cameras with GPS functions. Enforcement of this policy is rare though.

Local Travel

Tourists are not allowed to travel around freely so at all times other than in the hotel, you will be accompanied by 2 guides and a driver regardless of how many people in your group. Please remember this is not a policy set by Peregrine but by higher powers and there is no way round this. Any attempt to sneak off from the guides will have serious consequences for them and for you.

Contact with local people is possible, it’s allowed and is legal both for you to talk to locals and for them to talk to you. However it can be difficult for several reasons; the main one being the language barrier (foreign languages are not widely spoken in DPRK). Other reasons include the fact that people are generally very wary of foreigners and also are very shy, conservative and careful of drawing attention to themselves. You are free to attempt a dialogue with a local but do not be surprised if they are not interested in talking to you. However it can be very rewarding when you do manage to make some human contact and your guides and tour leader will make every effort to enable it. We make sure we take you to the best spots for mixing with the locals. 

Accommodation

The hotel we usually use in Pyongyang is the deluxe class Yanggakdo Hotel. It is roughly a western 3 star (Chinese 4 star) equivalent and equipped with bars, restaurants, shops, swimming pool, bowling, casino, and other entertainment facilities (including Karaoke of course). The hotel has reliable electricity, heating, air conditioning, hot water, and now have foreign TV channels including BBC World and Japanese and Chinese TV. The hotels we use outside of Pyongyang are less well developed and have temperamental supplies of electricity and hot water.

Responsible Tourism

Many people are of the opinion that visiting North Korea is irresponsible and that doing so only supports the government. Our local partners in DPRK, Koryo Tours, don't believe this to be true. The amount of money the DPRK government receives through tourism is very minimal and certainly not enough to fund a nuclear programme or the like. Travel broadens the mind and nowhere is that truer than in North Korea. We believe that there is a benefit to be gained by both those who visit and those who are visited from increased human-level contact between both sides. Just as most North Koreans have hardly any experience of interacting face to face with foreigners almost nobody outside of the DPRK has ever met a North Korean. We would like to see that ratio change over time and believe that non-governmental tourism is the best way to go about this. There are very few restrictions on who can visit and the United Nations, European Union and other agencies see tourism as a positive way of engagement.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

23 April 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine