Friday, August 19, 2022

How To Travel To North Korea

AsiaNorth KoreaHow To Travel To North Korea

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By plane

Sunan Foreign Airport in Pyongyang handles all international flights. There is no other airport in North Korea that handles international aircraft. Sunan is served by just two commercial airlines: Air Koryo, North Korea’s official carrier, and Air China. Aeroflot and China Southern Airlines do not travel to North Korea as of August 2013.

Air Koryo

Air Koryo, North Korea’s only airline, presently operates regular flights from Beijing departing at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and returning at 09:00 a.m. on the same days. Every Wednesday and Saturday, Air Koryo flies to and from Shenyang, as well as every Tuesday morning to Vladivostok. There are additional flights to Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur.

Air Koryo has been the sole 1-star (lowest) airline on Skytrax’s ranking for the last four years. It was formerly prohibited in the EU owing to safety concerns. Despite the fact that Air Koryo last had a fatal accident in 1983, the airline only runs a few trips with its fleet of ten planes. Flying Air Koryo is mostly for the experience; otherwise, it is generally preferable to fly Air China. The Air Koryo fleet comprises solely of Soviet or Russian-made aircraft, with two Tupolev Tu-204s serving as the pride of the fleet, which currently mostly serve the Beijing–Pyongyang and Beijing–Shengyang routes. Otherwise, you’ll most likely be flying on one of their Ilyushin IL-62-Ms, Tupolev Tu-154s, or Tupolev Tu-134s (1979-1988 era).

Air China

Air China, a Star Alliance member, operates Boeing 737s three times weekly from Beijing to Pyongyang. Most people prefer Air China over Air Koryo because of its much more modern fleet.

By train

Train K27/K28 runs four times a week between Pyongyang and Beijing, China, via Tianjin, Beidaihe, Shanhaiguan, Jinzhou, Shenyang, Benxi, Fenghuangcheng, Dandong, and Sinuiju. On the international railway between Beijing and Pyongyang, there is just one class: soft sleeper. It is possible to reserve it at the Beijing station, but reservations must be made many days ahead of time. Unless you’re traveling for business, your tour agency will generally handle this for you. Space on the Beijing–Pyongyang line is becoming more scarce, so reserve your tickets as soon as possible.

Train K27/K28 also transports straight sleeper carriages from Moscow to Pyongyang through China once a week. Moscow – Novosibirsk – Irkutsk – Chita – Harbin – Shenyang – Dandong – Shinuiju – Pyongyang is the route. Every Friday evening, a flight leaves Moscow and arrives in Pyongyang one week later on Friday evening. Saturday morning departure from Pyongyang, Friday afternoon arrival in Moscow.

There is also a direct train connection into Russia, which runs via Tumangan/Khasan and across the North Korean/Russian border. This route is serviced by a direct sleeper carriage that travels twice monthly (on the 11th and 25th from Moscow) and arrives in Pyongyang 9 days later. However, this has not been an officially authorized tourist route since the mid-1990s, and KITC refuses to arrange excursions using this route; a few Western visitors have been able to ride this train into North Korea, but reports suggest that additional journeys on this route would be fruitless.

Some travel agencies (Lupine Travel, for example) may arrange for a minivan to take you from Dandong to Sinuiju, where you can then catch a domestic North Korean train to Pyongyang. On most cases, you’ll be placed in a hard seat carriage with KPA troops and party employees who are traveling with their families. A restaurant car with foreign beers (Heineken) and soft drinks, as well as various local beers and spirits, is available. The journey to Pyongyang is intended to take about 4 hours, although it has been known to take up to 14. Prepare for temperatures as low as -10°C inside the carriages while traveling in the winter.

By boat

Between Wonsan and Niigata, Japan, there was an unplanned cargo-passenger ship. The boat service, which was only accessible to select Japanese and North Korean people, has been stopped indefinitely as a result of North Korea’s suspected nuclear tests; Japan has prohibited all North Korean ships from accessing Japanese ports, as well as North Koreans from entering the country. If you’re on a boat, be cautious not to go too near to the North Korean border; many South Korean fisherman are still waiting to exit the country.

A cruise ship runs between the coast of Northeastern China and Mt Kumgang, in addition to the unscheduled ferry. The cruise company utilizes a 40-year-old ship that is jointly managed by China and North Korea. The voyage is 44 hours long in total, with each leg lasting 22 hours, however non-Chinese nationals are not allowed on the boat to Mount Kumgang.

By bus

A bus from Dandong, China, to Sinuiju may potentially be taken over the Yalu River. The “Dandong China Travel Company” runs it, although it is currently exclusively accessible to Chinese residents.

How To Travel Around North Korea

Your tour operator will take care of all of your transportation requirements. The majority of the time, this implies buses, but tour groups visiting isolated locations (such as Paekdusan and Mount Chilbo) may utilize Air Koryo's chartered aircraft. It is not permitted to wander about on your own, and...

Visa & Passport Requirements for North Korea

Visiting North Korea may be difficult, and you will not be able to see the nation without being escorted by a North Korean, whether as part of a group or on an individual trip. Depending on the geopolitical environment, entry conditions vary often and without warning. For example, between...

Destinations in North Korea

Regions in North Korea Donghae Coast (North Hamgyong, South Hamgyong, Kangwon, Kŭmgang-san) Baekdu Mountains(Ryanggang, Chagang) Pyongan(North P'yongan, South P'yongan, Pyonyang, Shinuiju) Hwanghae(North Hwanghae, South Hwanghae, Kaesong) Cities in North Korea Pyongyang was the capital of Goguryeo during the Three Kingdoms era.Chongjin is a North East industrial city that is seldom visited by visitors.Hamhung -...

Accommodation & Hotels in North Korea

This will most likely be your largest outlay while in North Korea. Only "approved tourist hotels" are allowed to stay, and you must pay in hard money. Discounts may be available if you request lower-class accommodations, travel in a group, or visit during the low season (November to March)....

Things To See in North Korea

Every tour is led by a government minder who determines what you can and cannot see. Expect to be escorted by one or more minders from the time you leave your hotel. They examine any photos that they believe do not represent North Korea or its government in a...

Things To Do in North Korea

As previously said, there is virtually little to do outside of the boundaries of your assigned minder(s), with the majority of recreational activities taking place inside the tourist resorts. Bowling and karaoke are two of the most recent additions to the city's astonishing array of leisure options. The karaoke...

Food & Drinks in North Korea

Food in North Korea Despite acute food shortages in North Korea, which have resulted in the deaths of millions of people, you will not have any difficulties in obtaining food. Your guide will place all of your meal orders for you, and you will only dine in places that accept...

Money & Shopping in North Korea

Foreign Exchange Certificates (FEC) were phased out in 2002, along with all the other colored currencies. There is now just the North Korean won, which is officially valued at about 130 per US dollar or 1315 per euro (Dec 2015). Although black market prices may easily be 20 times...

Internet & Communications in North Korea

Phones You may now bring a mobile phone into North Korea from outside the nation as of January 2013. However, you will be unable to use your existing SIM card in North Korea. The local network, Koryolink, is the only network you are permitted to connect to using one of...

Traditions & Customs in North Korea

It's worth noting that the DPRK leadership, particularly its leaders Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un, are held in high regard in North Korean culture, at least officially. While visitors should not anticipate slavish devotion, particularly because the DPRK's Juche ideology is intended only at the Korean people...

Language & Phrasebook in North Korea

Korean is the national language. It's worth noting that North Koreans prefer to call Koreans Choseonmal rather than hangungmal. North Korea, unlike South Korea, has abandoned Chinese hanja characters in favor of Choseongul, or hangeul characters. Your guides will speak English reasonably well (some better than others) and will translate...

Culture Of North Korea

Despite a significant Chinese influence in the past, Korean culture has developed its own distinct identity. It was attacked during Japan's reign from 1910 to 1945, when the country imposed a program of cultural absorption. Koreans were pushed to study and speak Japanese, adopt the Japanese family name system,...

History Of North Korea

Early history According to Korean foundation mythology, Dangun established the Joseon dynasty in 2333 BC (nicknamed "Gojoseon" to avoid confusion with another dynasty formed in the 13th century; the prefix Go- means 'older,' 'before,' or 'before'). Gojoseon grew to dominate the northern Korean Peninsula as well as portions of Manchuria....

Stay Safe & Healthy in North Korea

WARNING:You should never mention anything that might be seen as an offense to Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Un, or any member of their family, the North Korean government in general, the North Korean military, the Juche philosophy, the Songbun policy, the North Korean economy, or North Korean people....

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