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Explore North Korea Tour

Dandong, China
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About Explore North Korea Tour
Organize Group & Independent Tour to North Korea. Applying Traveling Visa to North Korea Group tour runs every Wed & Sat train from Dandong - Pyongyang and flight from Shenyang - Pyongyang.
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Explore North Korea Tour
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MarkC8888 wrote a review Mar 2020
Rouse Hill, Australia267 contributions53 helpful votes
Great service in the face of all the closures and a prompt refund. Hopefully when this virus has passed, I can deal with them again
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Date of experience: March 2020
1 Helpful vote
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johale24 wrote a review Nov 2019
4 contributions
I went to North Korea with Explore North Korea Tours. After searching for a tour that I could fit into my schedule while still being able to join a tour, the only option that worked for me was Explore North Korea. They had multiple tours, so I joined one that was 5 days -4 nights. I contacted Sabrina before booking, she was really helpfull with the information and payment methods. Honestly, it was a little bit sketchy at the beginning since I did not apply to the visa myself, and I was booking a tour by internet from Canada. However, everything went according to plan. There's no much I needed to do besides showing myslef to Beijing's airport on time. I knew from the beginning that I was going to join a chinese tour, so I was not surprised when I went to a hotel that focused on chinese custumer service and meals. Though the majority of the my tour mates did not speak english, the experience was GREAT since everyone in the tour was really nice to me, and I made some friends in the tour. ALSO, I had my own guide, that translated everything to english, so there was no problem at all. Due to bad weather, we were not able to go to Mt.Myohyang, so we went to Nampo which was a little bit unexpected. Overall, my experience was excellent, the tour was organized, and interesting. If I ever decide to go back, I will definitely book with this tour again. Thanks : )
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Eliza Kelly wrote a review Aug 2019
Melbourne, Australia9 contributions9 helpful votes
+1
Extremely poor organisation lead to some scary experiences. I’d like to preface this with the fact that in the end I had a fantastic tour in North Korea, however it was no thanks to Explore North Korea Tours and all thanks to the kind strangers that I met along the way. I’d also just like to mention that the tours themselves in North Korea are all run by a single tour company ‘Air Koryo Travel Company’ and that the role that Explore North Kore Tours plays is organising the visa and the liasing with the DPRK to prepare them for your arrival/ensuring that you are looked after by them. There were obviously some serious communication breakdowns in my case. Like everyone else, I communicated with Sabrina before I left for North Korea and had no problems with WU. The real trouble began when I arrived in the DPRK. I had been told that I would be in a group of 33 with an English guide and that I would be staying in the Sosan Hotel in Pyongyang and I had payed a significant amount extra to book a single room. I had done my research and as a single female travelling on my own (I’m 21) I had done my best to prepare for everything I could think of. When I landed in the DPRK the first thing that was different was that I was somehow now on a tour of six people (not complaining, just unexpected and no idea what happened to the other 27) but the real problem was that there was definitely no English guide. This became a HUGE problem as I couldn’t understand a thing that was happening, and no one could communicate with me and I couldn’t communicate back. I had no idea where we were, what was going on, or if I had any serious problems I had no means of communication. This created a lot of confusion for me when we arrived at a completely strange hotel that was not the ‘Sosan’ that I had be told about and had done my research into, but was in fact the Ryanggang Hotel (which was not particularly nice, but tolerable (at this point I didn’t have a choice)) not to mention my impression was tainted by the fact that I had zero idea of what was happening around me (we’d just arrived at a strange building and I was motioned at to exit the bus). On top of this I had no way to communicate my confusion or the fact that there had been a mix up so I was forced to just go with it. I was then handed a room key to a room share with another person and I had to awkwardly protest and try to communicate the fact that I booked a private room. At this point I wasn’t trying to be precious, in many other cases I’d build a bridge and get over it, but at this point I needed a little bit of private space to digest what the hell had just happened and I’d also pre-payed about $120USD for that privacy. And that was Explore North Korea Tours role in this done. I spent the next few days smiling, nodding, staring out bus windows and watching Pyongyang with no ability to understand where we were going or what was happening and just having to go with it. I managed ok in the end, but this was pretty damn scary. The rest of my tour was managed by my North Korean guides who were amazing and could see that I was in a really tricky situation. On the second-last day of the tour they called in another guide who was a friend of theirs, who spoke fluent English and I was able to eventually have a conversation with someone and learn about everything that I’d been missing from the previous days. So it worked out ok in the end, but this could have been A LOT better. I don’t like leaving bad reviews but I thought it was important because before I went on my trip, I read through all the TripAdvisor reviews on this site and if I’d seen something like this I could have potentially avoided this whole mess in the first place by booking with another company.
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Date of experience: June 2019
3 Helpful votes
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Paullllll wrote a review Jul 2019
Brisbane26 contributions42 helpful votes
+1
I returned home yesterday from my trip to the DPRK with Explore North Korea. I booked the trip with Sabrina at very short notice (8 days). I’m a 68 yr. old Pom/Aussie living in Vietnam. I wanted to join the 3-night, 4-day tour ex-Shanghai. Sabrina arranged for me to join a party of 39 Chinese tourists (a wonderful group). I was the only westerner. We left on the night flight last Thursday and arrived at the hotel (basic but fine) about 5am. The airport at Pyongyang is modern and the DPRK customs and immigration officials were polite and efficient. After lunch we embarked upon the tour - a very full schedule. It was a wonderful and interesting experience – much to see and do. Also, our DPRK tour guides were very helpful and good fun (thank you Hong, Bea and Sin!!). Listen to the guides and stick to the rules and you shouldn't have any problems.
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Date of experience: July 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Philip wrote a review Jul 2019
7 contributions
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I am very glad that I chose to go with Explore North Korea. Sabrina was very helpful and answered all our questions, especially when we thought we might to postpone our trip due to Chinese visa issues. During the tour the staff went out of their way several times to accommodate our requests. My friend and I opted for the 4 day long weekend tour, including the spectacular Arirang Games, taking the train both ways. The train is a great way to see more of the country and get the most from a short trip. Travelling with a Chinese tour group is a cultural experience in itself, as Chinese tourists have different reasons to Westerners for travelling there. We were assigned an English speaking Korean guide who was very friendly and gave us some insight into everyday life in DPRK. I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed atmosphere on the tour, there was a lot more freedom regarding taking photos and talking to locals than I had expected. Everything ran on time, and even when Trump's unexpected visit interrupted our trip to the DMZ, an alternative trip was organised right away. The hotel room in Pyongyang had balconies with a great view of the city and everything was clean and working. The food was quite basic, but it wasn't expensive to order extra drinks and side dishes.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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