It’s Korea’s highest and most majestic peak and an active volcano. Standing tall at 2,744 m (9,003 ft) high, Mount Paektu is revered by the Koreans as a sacred place and has been known as the birthplace of Korea for centuries starting from the legendary King Tangun, founding father of Korea. When Kim Jong-un recently scaled the mountain, he famously said that climbing it “provides precious mental pabulum more powerful than any kind of nuclear weapon.” Read on to find out how you can experience Pyongyang and climb North Korea’s Mount Paektu in one unforgettable weekend!
Fly from Shanghai Thursday night and return Sunday morning!
The tour, which departs from Shanghai, arrives into Pyongyang very early on Friday morning. On the first day, you get to see the highlights of Pyongyang, take a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, see the “US spy ship” (aka USS Pueblo), test your skills at the Meari Shooting Range and enjoy DPRK craft beer. On the second day, you take a short charter flight to Mount Paektu where you’ll climb to the peak and look down onto Lake Chon, the deepest crater lake in the world. On the third day, you travel to the DMZ to witness the living conflict at the North-South Korea border. This tour is ideal for both the returning DPRK enthusiast and the everyday traveler looking to see as much of North Korea’s rugged natural beauty as possible. Flights from Shanghai and DPRK visa fees are all included.
This tour requires a minimum of 15 people to run.
WHO CAN JOIN
Anyone can join the tour to Pyongyang and Mount Paektu. Americans, and other nationalities, can apply!
You should be reasonably fit and able to follow along as a typical day can be quite long. You can always choose to rest at the bottom of the mountain if you’re unable to join us. All said, Uri Tours are as physically demanding as you want it to be! Check out a wide variety of tours through North Korea here.
The tours are predominantly in English, and of course Korean for those who speak it. There are also local guides available who speak German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian.
June 19-21, 2015
September 25-27, 2015
Please note that for this tour, only Shanghai departures are available. For tours departing from Beijing, click here.
Click here for more information on How to Book a North Korea Tour.
THURSDAY NIGHT / FRIDAY MORNING 00.30:
Depart for Pyongyang: Meet at 10:00pm at the Air Koryo counter at the Pudong International Airport to check in for 12:30am departure to Pyongyang. Approximate arrival into Pyongyang is at 3:30am. The local tour guides greet you at the airport. Uri Tours will check you in at the Koryo Hotel (where you’ll be staying during the trip). (Meals: Dinner on flight)
DAY 1: PYONGYANG CITY TOUR
AM: In the late morning, you’ll visit the Mansudae Grand Monument. This important site is famous for its large, bronze statutes of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Visitors are asked to follow local custom by bowing and laying flowers at the feet of the statues (flowers can be purchased at the stand for 10-20 RMB each). Take a walk in the Kim Il Sung Square, the 3rd largest public square in the world and home to many of the North Korean military parades broadcasted internationally during large holiday events. Stop in at the Foreign Languages Bookshop to pick up your favorite DPRK trinkets and publications.
PM:Get a dose of history (from a different perspective) at the newly renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo in its new spot (the “American Spy Ship” captured in 1968). Visit the Tower of Juche Idea, learn about the Juche philosophy that serves as the national ideology. For those who wish to take the lift up 150-meters to the top, you’ll have an opportunity to take in a panorama view of the entire Pyongyang city. Catch the Pyongyang Metro during rush hour to get a glimpse of daily life in Pyongyang. Finally, you’ll stop for some pictures at the Arch of Triumph and then get on some (optional) rides at the Kaeson Amusement Park! On this first full night in the DPRK, enjoy a (few) DPRK craft brew. Breakfast, lunch and diner are all included.
DAY 2: MOUNT PAEKTU
AM: You take a morning drive to Sunan International Airport, where you’ll take a charter flight to Samjiyon Airport (1.5 hours). From there, you travel to Mount Paektu, the tallest peak in all of Korea. Mount Paekdu was formed by volcanic eruption towards the third period of the Cenozoic Era and the crater lake Chon in the center is one of the deepest mountain lakes in the world. The mountain is sacred in both North and South Korea and is regarded as the origin point of the first Korean kingdom.
PM: Upon arrival, you hike to the famous Lake Chon, which measures about 384 meters in depth. Have a picnic lunch along the way to the “secret camp,” that once held the headquarters of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army and which is said to be the birthplace of Kim Jong Il. Visit the majestic Rimyongsu Waterfall created from the waters of Lake Chon flowing out from the ground-water zone and through the cliff. Before heading to dinner, you’ll visit the Grand Monument on Lake Samji commemorating the revolutionary struggles of Kim Il Sung. Return to Pyongyang for an overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
DAY 3: DMZ / KAESONG
AM: Get ready to cross to the other side on the morning of day 3. You will be visiting Panmunjom, the portion of the DMZ where the two sides are only separated by concrete only a few feet high and wide. Uri Tours takes you right into the neutral blue house which straddles both sides – you will be one of the few to say that you were in both Koreas at the same time. See the original building where the Armistice Agreement ending the Korean War was signed and the neutral blue houses that are shared by the North and South Korean sides. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and take pictures. The drive to the DMZ is about 2 hours by bus.
PM: Enjoy the traditional Kaesong cuisine called Pansanggi for lunch. Then head over to the Koryo History Museum for prime photo opportunities and a backgrounder on the ancient Koryo dynasty. Adjacent to the museum is the Koryo Stamp Shop, which is your one-stop shop for DPRK postcards, stamps and posters. You will then return to Pyongyang, pack up, check out and say farewell. You’ll head for the new Sunan Airport for an evening departure back to Shanghai Pudong Airport.
RETURN TO SHANGHAI PUDONG AT 2230 ON SUNDAY NIGHT
Please note that this itinerary is subject to change at any time.
Special Entrance Fees for Optional Events
(Some entrance fees are priced in Euros. We strongly recommend to bring exact change in Euros to pay at the door; USD is accepted, but may be subject to an unfavorable exchange rate)