The Korea Peace Tours (KPT) is honored to be a partner of the Glocal Encounters Tourism Company. Glocal Encounters is helping to foster greater mutual understanding between nations, communities and people of all walks of life. In a highly interdependent world Glocal Encounters believes that it is critically important that individuals have an opportunity to see, experience and learn about the people and cultures of others throughout the planet. Glocal Encounters is helping create interesting, educational and exciting tourism itineraries for people throughout the world.
From Glocal Encounters:
Cultural diversity as humanity’s common heritage should be recognized and celebrated for the sake of both present and future generations to come.
– Glocal Encounters
GE (Glocal Encounters) stands for the harmoniously mutual and enriching exchanges amongst widely varied and unique local cultures, languages and traditions of nations around the globe.
GE, therefore, believes, through humble and mutually respectful cultural exchanges as human encounters between and amongst cultures, people from all walks of life around the world could surely learn, appreciate, and even celebrate the immensely diverse cultures of humanity.
Through its unique global tourism project, GE, together with its global patrons, dreams and hopes that a genuinely harmonious world of peace may arrive not too far down the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to travel to North Korea?
Yes, definitely! According to LA Times, about 4,000 to 6,000 western tourists and about 237,000 tourists travel to DPRK annually. Getting a tourist visa to DPRK is quite easy, and the North Korean government actively promotes tourism. The country has a very low crime rate, and customer safety is a priority to the Korean International Travel Company (KITC).
What if my visa gets rejected?
This won’t happen – unless, of course, you are a journalist or professional photographer making false declarations during visa and tour application. In a highly unlike case when the DPRK government won’t let you in because of political tensions, we will give you a full refund of the tour. We can, of course, not refund your expenses in China such as your flight to Beijing or accommodations in Beijing, as those are not a part of the tour that we offer. We suggest that you have a travel insurance that would compensate if you have to cancel your flights between Beijing and the original country of your departure.
Does the U.S. have an embassy there?
The U.S. does not have an embassy in the DPRK. However, on September 20, 1995, the U.S. signed a consular protecting power agreement with the Swedish embassy to provide basic consular protection services to U.S. citizens traveling to the DPRK.
Many of the European, Asian, and African countries have permanent diplomatic mission in the DPRK, and citizens of those countries may call upon their home embassy in case of an emergency.
Why do you need my passport scan?
We need the passport scan for your visa application. It also functions as a passport replacement since the visa issuance in Beijing works without your physical passport.
I am already in China. Can I take the train to DPRK instead of flying?
No, the U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter or exit the country by train; you may only fly in and out.
What currency is accepted in North Korea?
There are not ATMs or currency exchange counters in the DPRK, so come prepared.
USD, Euros and Chinese RMB can all be used in the DPRK. We recommend using Chines RMB for smaller purchases like water, snacks, and souvenirs. Euros are good for entrance fees to special events. USD can be used everywhere else and actually, it is the currency of choice. It’s best to bring a mixture of these currencies and to bring small bills, as some vendors will not have the right amount of change. In addition, North Korean banks do not take bills that are worn or torn, issued prior to 2000 or generally look like they have been “washed.” So please try to bring newer, cleaner bills.
Won, the North Korean currency, cannot be used by tourists.
What is the age restriction on the DPRK tours?
Anyone over the age of 18 can travel with us independently. The minors between the ages 13 and 17 need parental permission to travel with us independently although adult accompaniment is strongly recommended. Children under 13 must travel with a parent or guardian.
When is the best time to travel to North Korea?
During the national holidays is the best time to visit DPRK as the holidays are celebrated with mass dances in the square, fireworks, and even military parades. Aside from the national holidays, each of the four seasons offers its unique beauty and charm.
* If you are traveling during the rainy season between July to the beginning of August, bring ponchos and umbrellas.
What are the local guides like?
The DPRK guides are friendly, professional, and respectful. They have excellent foreign language skills. They understand that the foreign travelers have various cultural backgrounds and political views. They will not try to convince you of anything; in return, they will appreciate the travelers’ respect for their customs, beliefs and ways of life. As are Glocal’s firm beliefs, as long as there is genuine curiosity and respect, you will find the journey quite pleasing.
How is the food?
The food in the DPRK hotels is generally of very high quality compared to some other parts of Asia. The only problem might be that the food could be a bit too spicy if you are not used to Korean food. If you are a vegetarian, please tell us your special food requests, and we will pass it on to our Korean partners from KITC.
What if I get sick?
We require travelers to purchase emergency medical insurance. Although medical treatment is available in Pyongyang at the hospital in the diplomatic compound, medical resources may be limited in the outer provinces.
In a very highly unlikely case when you might get seriously sick or have an accident during the tour, there is a dedicated hospital for foreigners and diplomats in Pyongyang where you can get a very good medical treatment. To avoid having to pay for the cost of such treatment, though, make sure you have an appropriate medical insurance in place before traveling to the DPRK. This insurance should also cover the worst case scenario, such as the transport to your home country if you have to terminate your tour early due to health issues. Many providers such as SOS International and Travel Guard offer emergency evacuation policies out of the DPRK. In case where airlift is required for emergency situations, our local guides will work with the foreign embassies to arrange it.
Can I bring my laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and/or music player while traveling in the DPRK?
Yes, of course. You can even buy or rent local SIM cards to call your friends and family during the trip. You may also access mobile 3G Internet although it may not be cheap. (Please contact us if you need the exact prices on such services.) The international hotels still allow you to send emails using the hotel email address and there are phone booths to make international calls or send faxes internationally for a fee (typically 1-3 Euros). Generally, there are no restrictions on bringing electronic devices as long as it is not a GPS device. Laptops, iPads, iPods, and kindles are all allowed.
Are there rules for taking pictures during the DPRK tour?
You can take pictures and videos in most places in the DPRK. There are certain places where pictures are not allowed, and the local guides will let us know when not to take pictures. Generally, pictures in the military are prohibited. If you are not sure about the protocols, please consult the local guides.