Pyongyang Marathon Tour

- With Kim Il Sung Birthday extention

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What's it all about?

Join us for the Pyongyang marathon tour to participate in the most unique marathon in the world. This is the seventh year that foreign tourists are welcomed to compete or spectate from the grandstands of Kim Il Sung Stadium!

Everyone on this tour will have the opportunity to watch the opening and closing ceremony in the stadium & start the race with 50,000 locals cheering you on! 

The Pyongyang marathon tour offers the chance for you to not only spectate or compete in the marathon but also to have a great insight into North Korea by exploring the best Pyongyang has to offer. 

On Group A you’ll be seeing some of the main Pyongyang sights like the War Museum, the iconic bronze grand statues of the leaders, explore Kim Il Sung Square where all the previous military parades have been held, and much more.

You’ll also take a trip south to the DMZ which divides Korea.

Group B
Highlights

Marathon Tour

1050 - 1295
  • Group A ► April 8th - 14th (€1050)
  • Group B ► April 8th - 17th (€1295)
  • Flights from Beijing are an extra €225 one way & €400 return

Group B of this tour takes in the birthday celebrations of North Korean founder and eternal President Kim Il Sung – The biggest holiday on the North Korean calendar.

We’ll also finish off our Pyongyang tour by riding the famous metro, visiting a shooting range and driving outside of the city to the stunning Mount Myohang region.

This tour is a must see, run, and do tour that you do not want to miss! It’s a huge opportunity to be in North Korea during two massive events. Book now to secure your position for the marathon & birthday!

The race itself is open to 5k, 10k, 21k & full marathon distances. You can also choose just to spectate or just walk! Let us know which you would prefer.

  • Full Marathon (42km/26 miles) – entry fee is €135
  • Half Marathon (20km/12 miles) – entry fee is €90
  • Mini Marathon (10km/6 miles) – entry fee is €65
  • 5KM run (5km/3 miles) – entry fee is €65

A timing chip is included in the prices above. The maximum time limit for the full marathon is 4 hours (possibly 4 and a half hours but yet to be confirmed), the half marathon is 2 and a half hours and both the mini marathon and 5km marathon is 2 hours. All running participants will receive a Pyongyang marathon certificate in your name, with the top three men and women in each distance excluding the 5km run receiving ceramic vases at the awards ceremony held in front of 50,000 people!

The Pyongyang Marathon committee also welcomes differently-abled runners. If you are interested in running please let us know more about your details so we can confirm everything ahead of the event.

Registry for all marathon runners is on a first come first served basis and limited to 1500 runners in total, so if you wish to run, book now! Registrations close end of February 2021.

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Group B of this tour takes in the birthday celebrations of North Korean founder and eternal President Kim Il Sung – The biggest holiday on the North Korean calendar.

We’ll also finish off our Pyongyang tour by riding the famous metro, visiting a shooting range and driving outside of the city to the stunning Mount Myohang region.

This tour is a must see, run, and do tour that you do not want to miss! It’s a huge opportunity to be in North Korea during two massive events. Book now to secure your position for the marathon & birthday!

The race itself is open to 5k, 10k, 21k & full marathon distances. You can also choose just to spectate or just walk! Let us know which you would prefer.

*Full Marathon (42km/26 miles) – entry fee is €135 Half Marathon (20km/12 miles) – entry fee is €90 Mini Marathon (10km/6 miles) – entry fee is €65 5KM run (5km/3 miles) – entry fee is €65

A timing chip is included in the prices above. The maximum time limit for the full marathon is 4 hours (possibly 4 and a half hours but yet to be confirmed), the half marathon is 2 and a half hours and both the mini marathon and 5km marathon is 2 hours. All running participants will receive a Pyongyang marathon certificate in your name, with the top three men and women in each distance excluding the 5km run receiving ceramic vases at the awards ceremony held in front of 50,000 people!

The Pyongyang Marathon committee also welcomes differently-abled runners. If you are interested in running please let us know more about your details so we can confirm everything ahead of the event.

Registry for all marathon runners is on a first come first served basis and limited to 1500 runners in total, so if you wish to run, book now! Registrations close end of February 2021.

The Itinerary

Map
April 8th - Beijing
  • Meet your Rocky Road guide at 1pm at a Beijing Hotel near Beijing Railway Station. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, receive your North Korean visas and tickets, and meet your fellow travellers. It’s a great opportunity to ask any last questions you may have.
  • The train departs Beijing Central station at 5:25pm. There will be a chance to stock up on supplies for the journey. There’s also a restaurant car on the train.
  • The train is a full sleeper with all bedding and pillows provided
  • Overnight on the train.
April 9th - Dandong / Pyongyang
  • Train group arrive in Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then departs again for Sinuiju at 9:00am.
  • Between these hours you are free to grab yourself some breakfast and walk to the river that separates China and North Korea.
  • Flight takers depart Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo. (Meeting time to be announced closer to tour date)
  • Flight group arrive in Pyongyang to be met in arrivals by your Korean guides.
  • Train group arrive at 6:30pm and transfer directly to the Sosan hotel.
  • Dinner at a local restaurant on newly opened Ryomyong street
  • Dinner and overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Continue reading
April 10th - Pyongyang

Morning

  • Stroll through Mansudae fountain park taking in the Grand Peoples Study House and see the mosaic pictures of the leaders.
  • Visit Mansudae Grand Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il.
  • Grand People’s Study House. This is the main library and learning center for adult students. This huge building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over the Kim Il Sung Square.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at Hotpot Restaurant.
  • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. This incredible museum features dioramas, captured weapons, the Victory Monument, and the USS Pueblo: the only American military vessel captured by another nation.
  • Monument to the Party Foundation – The hammer sickle and brush built in 1995.
  • Juche Tower – the tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the Juche Ideology. Central to the teachings of the DPRK (optional extra €5 to go to the top).
  • Visit Kwanbok department store. Here we can shop with the locals and have access to the local North Korean currency!
  • Stop at the Pyongyang sports village for gentle practice session and look around.
  • Receive a Pyongyang Marathon route map from your Rocky Road guide
  • Dinner at the national restaurant with performance.
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel.
April 11th - Pyongyang Marathon!

Morning

  • Run or spectate the Pyongyang Marathon.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at the Mangyongdae District Restaurant – a great chance to tuck into some of the famous cold noodles and other local specialties!
  • Spend the afternoon to freshen up at Munsu Water Park. This place has it all – indoor pools, amazing water slides,  cafes, shops, beer bars, table tennis, billiards, massage, you name it. (Extra charge)
  • Visit a Micro Brewery to further wind down with 7 different local  draft beers on tap. Coffee, soft drinks, and juices also available.
  • Big group dinner to round off the day!
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel.

April 12th - Kaesong / DMZ

Morning

  • Hit the road for the 3.5 hour drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
  • Koryo Museum – Korea’s first university and now a UNESCO museum of history and culture. 
  • The DMZ – tour Panmunjom with a friendly army officer who will give you the look around. You can even take photos with the army here!

Afternoon

  • Lunch in Kaesong City – on the menu will be traditional Korean Pansangi, a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog Soup €5)
  • Stop by Sariwon to view the city from the mountain top pagoda.
  • Try locally brewed Makkoli in a local tea house.
  • Stop by the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification that stands over the Thongil (reunification) Highway.
  • Back to Pyongyang in time for dinner at the Duck BBQ restaurant.
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel.

April 13th - Group A depart

Morning – Group A Depart

  • Group A flight takers depart (at a time to be confirmed) to Beijing on Air Koryo.
  • Train takers depart at 10:25am for Beijing arriving at 9am the following morning.

Group B Continue;

  • Visit Mansudae Art Studio, This is where the country’s most important art work and statues are created. We will also get to meet some of the local artists too.
  • Three Revolution Exhibition – This exhibition shows the three revolutions of the DPRK; “Cultural, Ideological & Technical”

Afternoon

  • Drive out to Mt Myohyang – 2 hours north of Pyongyang.
  • Visit Pohyon Temple. One the few remaining Buddhist structures in North Korea.
  • Lunch at the Chongchon Hotel. We’ll also check in as this is our home for the night.
  • Gentle hike around the ranges of Mount Myohyang. Take in the stunning views of the Manpok Valley and it’s many waterfalls.
  • Walk back to the hotel. Dinner, drinks and overnight in Mt Myohyang.

April 14th- Mount Myohyang

Morning

  • Visit the famous International Friendship Exhibition – two large gift houses holding the gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il from people, governments and institutions all over the world.

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Drive back to Pyongyang and stop on the way at Ryongmun Cave – one of the most famous cave complexes in North Korea.
  • Next we’ll head to the shooting range which has been renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery and automatic rifles! (Extra charge).
  • BBQ dinner in downtown Pyongyang
  • Walk along the newly constructed residential Ryomyong Street with it’s highest building being 75 storeys!
  • Overnight in the Sosan Hotel.
April 15th - Kim Il Sung BIrthday!

Morning

  • Walk through Kim Il Sung Square – This the geographic center of the city where all military parades are held.
  • Foreign Language Bookshop – best place to buy books, pins, posters and other North Korean souvenirs.
  • Kimilsungia Flower Festival – this is a big exhibition in honour of President Kim Il Sung and will be packed with visiting locals.
  • Ride the Pyongyang Metro! See three of the stations and Exit to:
  • The Arch of Triumph – This celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the triumphant return of  Kim Il Sung to his home town.
  • Mangyongdae Native House – Birthplace of President Kim Il Sung.

Afternoon

  • BBQ picnic on top of Mt Ryangak – a hill located just on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
  • Special celebratory events (optional: extra €20 ) –  To be confirmed but usually these include a circus or musical performance.
  • Spectate and/or join in on the performance of a mass dance near an iconic Pyongyang landmark. Great photo opportunities!
  • Dinner
  • To be confirmed: expected fireworks on Kim Il Sung Square.
  • Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.

April 16th - Pyongyang

Morning

  • Flight takers depart at 9:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo arriving at 9:55am local Beijing time.
  • Train takers depart at 10:25am for the overnight train to Beijing.

April 17th - Beijing

  • Train arrives in Beijing at 9am local time. End of Tour.
What else?
Inclusions
Exclusions
  • Hotels in Korea

    Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra €40 per night).

  • Train travel

    Return train in and out from Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing. Contact us if you want to join the tour from the border town of Dandong.

  • All Meals

    Three meals per day in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary. (food on the train in & out not supplied).

  • Guides

    Korean guides in North Korea and a western guide all the way from Beijing to guide you through border customs & immigration.

  • Transport

    Air-conditioned bus and driver.

  • Flights

    Optional extra flight from Beijing to Pyongyang or Pyongyang to Beijing. (Conditions apply, more info below)

  • Extra purchases

    All meals are included (unless otherwise stated) with water and some beer. Any extra drinks or souvenirs that you buy are extra cost.

  • Visa

    We arrange the DPRK visa for you at a cost of €50.

  • Tips

    Tips are expected for your Korean local guides and driver. Normally this is calculated at €10 per day. For example, on a 5 day tour the total tip expected is €50. All tips go directly to both guides & driver.

  • Events

    Sometimes special events pop up on when we are on tour and we may decide to attend. It's up to you whether or not to attend but usually these are extra cost. Examples include the circus or a music concert.

Tour Notes

We will take care of every detail of the North Korea visa application as well as getting you to Pyongyang and back from Beijing. We’ll also help you with your China visa application by supplying an invitation letter. If you are planning to apply for the 144 hour China transit visa on arrival then we will send you your DPRK visa and flight ticket to Pyongyang so you can apply on arrival in Beijing.

You’ll be in the experienced hands of our expert English speaking North Korean guides and Rocky Road Travel guide. Your itinerary may change slightly but we will always go above and beyond with added extras to the itinerary such as visits to local cafes, bars and amusement parks.

Before & after each tour we will add you to dedicated email and social media groups so you can share photos easily with your travel mates. Let us know if you want to opt out of this.

To book simply get in touch below to start the conversation today.

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Group A - €1050

April 8 - 14th, 2021.

Group B - €1295

April 8 - 17th, 2021.

standard hotels

5 / 8 days

Flight option

€225 one way from Beijing or €400 return.

Dates don’t work?

More great options

March 1 – 7th

April 11 – 22nd

April 28 – May 9th

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