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Budget tour operator from China

Canada
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33 posts
87 reviews
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Budget tour operator from China

We thoroughly enjoyed our 5-day tour departing Shenyang, China for only Euro 500. It included 2 flights, 4 nights’ accommodation, all meals, visa fees and tips. Arirang mass game (Euro 80) was extra but you can opt not to go.

However, you have to wire a deposit to a Chinese bank, courier your passport to the tour operator for visa processing (about 1 month ahead), you have to visit the operator in Shenyang to pay for the trip and you go with a group of Chinese tourists. There were about 20 in our group.

While the hotels are the same for all tourists, the restaurants are not. We were usually in small restaurants, with us being the only group dining there. Food is OK but not great. But we did manage to get some DPRK coins to keep from one of the restaurant personnel. (It is officially illegal to take currency out of the country).

If you are budget minded and adventurous like us, you can try the Manageress Ms FU. http://www.syhxlx.cn/, Email:syhxlx@sina.com. We have checked that she can handle English-speaking guests but we do have someone who can speak Chinese travelling with us.

You also need to be prepared to use Chinese translator, phrase book or word cards to do basic communication before you meet your DPRK guide. Once you meet the guide in Pyongyang, there is usually one who can speak good English. It will be like you are having your own personally guide.

Another option is to contact Brooklyn who has good English and reasonable price. He quoted us roughly the same cost in small group though the website is a lot more expensive. However, we did not go with him as we have to travelling by train from Dandong to Pyongyang. His website is: http://www.dprktour.com.cn/

When we compared the more expensive western tour operators, Juche Travel seemed to be the most reasonable taking into account of finer details like mode of transportation and actual days in DPRK. But since we did not travel with them, we cannot comment on their service ( http://www.juchetravelservices.com/index.html).

The supposingly budget tour operator, Young Pioneer, is not more reasonable than Juche in our opinion.

Here's my two cents worth and hope it will be useful to travelers like us.

2 replies to this topic
Tel Aviv, Israel
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1,681 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Budget tour operator from China

Hi there thats certainly a reasonable priced tour. I paid almost double with Koryo tours who are probably the biggest and most well known tour operator to NK. For that we got two excellent guides, all transportation and some pretty good meals including dog soup (I passed on that little delicacy). Still whoever you go with this is a unique experience and unlike anywhere else on the planet. I heard there were now some private markets operating - did you see anything to that effect. I wonder how they would cope with a free market economy, An unknown concept to them. Still you gotta admit the country is One big totalitarian theme park.

all the best

angie

www.angietravels.com

Beijing, China
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118 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: Budget tour operator from China

Why would you pass on the dog soup? It's deliciously great, and worth the extra cost. I always have it when I head to Kaesong.

The food in DPRK is definitely getting better, I really didn't think much of it when I first started going 5 years ago, but I have grown to quite like it. On a longer tour, towards the end, I have always found that its good to take the tourists to one of the pizza restaurants in Pyongyang, which is an interesting place. By the 7th day, quite a few of the tourists are craving for western style food, so they usually are happy to pay the 10 Euro for the pizza.

In terms of the cheaper Chinese tours... Hmm... The Chinese groups can be quite loud, and I have heard local guides speaking of them in a negative light more than a few times. This is advice based on what I have heard from the guides. If I was going in for the first time, I think I would rather pay that little extra and choose an English speaking tour group... But that's just me, plus my Chinese is not so good.

Stuart

www.taedongtravel.com

Edited: 10:18 pm, April 29, 2013
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