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North Korea holidays
Travelling to North Korea can feel like visiting another world. Tours are accompanied by two government minders at all times, and North Korea requires a strict conduct of behaviour, with rules that must be adhered to at all times. Travel notes with details of behaviour expected from visitors will be provided.
There is a lack of infrastructure in North Korea and accommodation is often basic. Tours can involve driving over long distances, and possibly long walks and climbing steps that requires a good level of fitness.
However, despite all the rules, there are plenty of things to see and do in North Korea; including gaining an insight into a unique society and culture. For the more adventurous, a trip to North Korea is ever-rewarding.
North Korea’s Mass Games is a synchronised socialist-realist spectacular, featuring more than 100,000 participants in a 90-minute display of gymnastics, dance, acrobatics, and dramatic performance, accompanied by music and special effects, all wrapped in a highly politicised package. There is no other place on Earth where you could find a comparable spectacle, and the only way to truly appreciate the scale of the display is to see it first-hand. The games are typically held at Pyongyang’s world-class May Day stadium between July and September each year.
The capital of Pyongyang is the focus of any tour in North Korea, and contains most of the country’s tourist facilities. The city is also home to many monuments to recent North Korean history, including the Fatherland Liberation War Museum, Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War and the Mansudae Grand Monument.
One of the most heavily militarised areas in the world, the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is a 4km-wide strip along the 38th parallel that divides the Korean peninsula into two countries. Through its 50-year isolation from human activity, this strip of land has been identified as an area of outstanding natural biodiversity, with many endangered species known to inhabit the area. It is possible to visit an observation post, where the South Korean military positions can be seen, and also the imposing anti-tank barrier that stretches across the peninsula.
Standing at 1,638 metres above sea level, Mount Kumgang is part of the Taebaek mountain range in the east of North Korea and one of the few areas where tourists can explore the natural beauty of the countryside.
See North Korea come alive in this image and video gallery, showing off some of the best areas that you can visit and explore.
Discover the temperatures and rainfall you can expect when visiting the main areas of North Korea, along with the best time to travel.
We have collated some of the best books and guides to North Korea, to help you make the most of your holiday to the country.
Find out more about what you can expect from travelling in the Far East – from internal flights to accommodation standards and local transport.
Learn more about the airlines we use to fly to the Far East, chosen for reliability and good service; as well as any available upgrade facilities.
Before travelling to the Far East, please read more about the entry requirements for each country, as well as any general health advice.
Get to know our expert Far East tour consultants, their personal recommendations and favourite hotels around the world.