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North Korea Trip 2012

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies | Dept of East Asian Studies

In August 2012, a group of eighteen, mainly consisting of Cambridge students, went to the DPRK (North Korea) in a trip specially arranged by the travel company Koryo Tours.  The trip lasted for a week, and they visited sites of special importance in the capital Pyongyang, as well as the towns of Nampo and Kaesong. The itinerary included monuments, museums, countryside, frisbee tournaments, a DJ night, and cultural performances such as the Mass Games.  Although staying in the capital, Pyongyang, on one day the group went to the border between North and South Korea in the DMZ.  They had the opportunity to step briefly into South Korea within a neutral United Nations hut placed right on the border.

About the tour operator

Established twenty years ago, Koryo Tours is the largest travel company to organize tours to the DPRK. Founded by Nick Bonner, an expert in North Korean affairs, it runs tour groups as well as cultural, sporting, and school exchanges. Having made several award-winning documentaries, such as 'Crossing the Line', 'State of Mind', and 'The Game of Their Lives', Koryo Tours is based in Beijing and has closer links in DPRK than any other travel company.  More information can be found on their website at:


Day 1:  Arrival; Arch of Triumph, Mass Games – “Arirang”
Day 2:  Kumsusan Memorial Palace, Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery, Kim Il Sung Square, Moranbong Park, local fair, Mansudae Grand Monument, bowling center
Day 3:  Buddhist temple (Mt. Myohyang), Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum
Day 4:  The DMZ, Panmunjom, Tomb of King Kongmin, ancient city gates, micro-brewery
Day 5:  USS Pueblo, Juche Tower, performances
Day 6:  Departure


A selection of photos from the trip.