Highlights of taking a tour in North Korea
North Korea is a very under-visited country – so much so that many people are not even aware that you can actually visit. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can – and, as experts on tours to North Korea, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what you should see and do when you’re there!
Here’s our rundown on the 7 best things to do in North Korea.
1. The many, many sights of Pyongyang
We could write an article on Pyongyang landmarks alone. The Mansudae Grand Monument; the Grand People’s Study House; Kim Il Sung Square; the Pyongyang Metro; the Arch of Triumph; May Day Stadium; the Foreign Language Bookstore & the wealth of fantastic restaurants. You won’t be surprised to hear that all tours to North Korea will of course include Pyongyang!
2. Mount Myohyang and the International Friendship Exhibition
A trip worth it just for the stunning mountain scenery of Mount Myohyang. The region also boasts the singular International Friendship Exhibition, wherein you’ll find a cornucopia of gifts offered to the two elder Kims during their tenures as leaders of North Korea.
3. Mount Kumgang
Some of the DPRK’s most spectacular natural scenery can be found at this wondrous mountain in the east of the country. The region boasts the breath-taking Kuryong Falls – best visited in the autumn to make the most of its psychedelic and variegated treescape.
Think ‘North Korea’ and you’re probably not thinking of a happening beach scene. That’s where you’d be wrong! The east-coast resort of Wonsan boasts beautiful beaches, delectable seafood and a whole host of locals hanging out and soaking up the sun. Essential for a summertime trip to the country!
Read our Wonsan in the Summer blog for more!
5. The Rason SEZ
North Korea’s sole special economic zone – Rason is similar to Hong Kong and China (it’s an imperfect analogy, but for our purposes it’ll do). Rason is the only place where ‘capitalism’ is allowed in North Korea. Here you’ll be able to open a bank account, spend North Korean won in the local markets, and even gamble in a casino!
6. The DMZ
No visit to North Korea would be complete without getting the North’s perspective on the world’s most tense border. Luckily, Panmunjom (the border village) is only around three hours from Pyongyang, and is absolutely worth the trip! After your guided tour – wherein your guide will be a genuine KPA soldier – you’ll be able to get a photo with your guide (the only place in the country you can get a picture with a soldier!).
A traditional North Korean city that is a common stopping-off point for tourists on their way to the DMZ, in Sariwon you’ll be able to hike to the top of a hill overlooking folklore street, dress up in traditional Korean clothes, try the unique fermented rice drink of makgeolli, and eat the Korean delicacies of ginseng-stuffed chicken and dog soup!