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The last relic of communism, yet a nation of extraordinary contrasts, North Korea is a closed, controlled and austere nation. In contrast to this North Korea is a land of beautiful pristine mountains, lakes and waterfalls, venerable Buddhist temples, and a culture unspoilt by western ideas.
Exciting, imaginative and expertly-crafted itineraries to North Korea.Discover
Travel to North Korea with CTS Horizons and discover the secrets of this fascinating country.
The last relic of communism, yet a nation of extraordinary contrasts, North Korea is a closed, controlled and austere nation, where the zealous personality cults of the Great and Dear Leaders, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un, reign supreme, where the glorification of the military and a fierce defiance of international opinion are the corner-stone of society. Yet alongside the grandiose "stalinist" architecture of Pyongyang and the world's most heavily protected border are beautiful pristine mountains, lakes and waterfalls of Kuwol, Myohyang and Kumgang, venerable Buddhist temples, and a culture unspoilt by western ideas.
• Observe life under a unique regime
• Visit a local school
• Admire the "Mountain of mysterious fragrance"
• Visit DMZ
Explore this showcase capital, an immaculately maintained modern city. See some of its most impressive monuments erected following the glorious victory of the Korean War. Pay your respects at the Mansudae Grand Monument to Kim Il Sung, and admire the grandeur of the Arch of Triumph, taller than the one in Paris, and the vast expanse of Kim Il Sung Square, larger than Red Square. Perhaps visit the Great Leader’s humble birthplace, a typical peasant cottage, and Kumsusan Memorial Palace which was his residence when alive and is now his mausoleum – far grander than Lenin’s. Admire the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery and ride the Metro between Glory and Reconstruction stations which double as nuclear bunkers. Stroll around Moranbong Hill, a popular weekend spot for the locals and great for just watching ordinary people relaxing.
A 2-hour drive north of the capital is the “mountain of mysterious fragrance”, one of Korea’s 5 sacred mountains and certainly one of the most beautiful and pristine. There are also other sights to visit in this area including the 1,000-year-old Pohyon Buddhist temple, and perhaps enjoy a gentle walk past scenic waterfalls and amazing views. Visit the International Friendship Exhibition which displays some of the 100,000 gifts to the Great and Dear Leaders.
South of Pyongyang lie the Kuwol Mountains and Kaesang, once the old capital and major Buddhist centre. The city was named Songdo whilst it was the ancient capital and the city prospered as a trade centre for Korean Ginseng. Now it is a centre for light industry. One of highlights in this area is the decorated tomb of King Kongmin, the last emperor of the Koryo dynasty who died in 1374.
|Time Zone:||GMT + 9 hours|
|Flying time:||Approx 13 hours|
|Currency:||North Korean Won|
|Visa:||Visa required (obtained in advance) for UK passport holders|
|Vaccinations:||Recommended, seek advice from GP|
KEY PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2015
1 Jan – New Year’s Day, 16 Feb – Day of the Shining Star (Kim Jong Il’s Birthday), 15 Apr – Day of the Sun (Kim Il Sung’s Birthday), 25 Apr – Army Day, 1 May – Labour Day, 27 May – Victory Day, 15 Aug – Liberation Day, 9 Sep – Independence Day, 27 Sep – Harvest Moon Festival, 10 Oct –Foundation of the Korean Workers Party, 27 Dec – Constitution Day
Korea has four distinct seasons, the same as the UK. Temperatures vary widely between midsummer and midwinter, more so in the northern half of the country. Rainfall in the north generally arrives in the summer monsoon season (late June to August).