A unique, new tour offered by adventure travel specialists, Active Travel, will give Australians a rare opportunity to visit both North Korea and South Korea, offering experiences of two vastly different countries and a view from each side of the famous Demilitarized Zone which divides both nations.
Ideal for intrepid Australians in search of out-of-the-box destinations, the 16-day North and South Korea tour will begin in Beijing on September 6, 2017. From there, guests will travel first to North Korea, then fly back to China in order to fly to South Korea – as tourist travel directly between the two countries is not permitted.
Highlights of the visit to North Korea include seeing the 22-metre-high bronze statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il, as well as the elaborate mausoleum where their bodies lie, hiking up the scenic Mount Myohyang, exploring the extensive Ryongmun cave network with its underground rivers and strange rock formations, and visiting the International Friendship Exhibition – where gifts from foreigners to North Korean leaders are stored. There, travellers can see a bulletproof limousine from Stalin, a train car from Mao Zedong and a stuffed alligator holding a cocktail tray and glasses from the Sandinistas of Nicaragua.
Highlights of the eight days spent in South Korea include a visit to the Seoul suburb of Gangnam – the inspiration for Psy’s famous song ‘Gangnam Style’, shopping and sightseeing opportunities in Seoul, a visit to the 600-year old royal Gyeongbokung Palace, lectures on Korean history at Yonsei University, seafood and sea-views on the east coast and two days at Pyeonngchang – where the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to be held.
Australians will also get the chance to see the Demilitarized Zone from both sides, get right up to the border and visit the Armistice Signing Hall – providing them an insight into Korean history and current world events.
A number of weeks before the tour, guests will be sent a digital selection of academic and popular readings to help them gain a basic understanding of the region before travelling there. In addition to this, guests are invited to lectures given in South Korea by experts in Korean Studies.
Including return airfares from Beijing to Pyongyang and Beijing to Seoul, three meals per day in North and South Korea, transportation, most admission fees and the services of local guides and the tour leader, the 16-day tour costs from A$7380 per person, twin-share. Return flights from Australia to Beijing are extra and can be booked through Active Travel.