Beijing-based Koryo Tours have been helping foreigners travel to North Korea since 1993, and now they are finally offering their services to those of us who think that while Pyongyang might well be a holiday destination, Beijing really is a bridge too far.
The first tour leaving from Shanghai listed on their website, the Mid-Autumn Mini Break, coincides with the Pyongyang International Film Festival, so you’ll get to join a public film screening during the tour. Past editions of the festival have featured Brit slapstick comedy Mr Bean and Spanish arthouse bullfighting fairytale Blancanieves – the festival don’t publish their program in advance so you’ll have to join the tour to see what’s on offer this year.
You’ll leave Shanghai on the evening of Friday September 16th and arrive back in the wee small hours of Monday September 19th ensuring you miss most of the mooncake madness. The whistle-stop trip takes in the highlights of Pyongyang, including the new atom-shaped Science and Technology centre, the deepest metro system in the world and the vast imposing mausoleum to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. You’ll also visit the DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their decades-old face-off.
For ￥8000, you can seriously step up your Instagram game by photographing the pastel-coloured Pyongyang skyline. This post-communist Wes Anderson movie-like city is actually pretty liberal when it comes to taking pictures, and given the tour is less than 3 nights long, you’ll practically be posting pictures live.
Sep 16th-18th (2.5 nights)
•Pyongyang Science & Technology Centre
•Kumsusan Memorial Palace (mausoleum of leaders)
•Pyongyang Metro, Juche Tour and other Pyongyang monuments
•Pyongyang International Film Festival
For more information about private tours, email James.