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london82

North Korea from China / Dandong

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london82

Hello,

I am a studying in the very North East of China and I am interested in going to North Korea from Dandong.

I have seen several posts on other websites of people saying it's possible to go from Dandong for only 2000RMB, however, it seems this is all hear say as no one mentions with who or how to arrange it and it has been suggested it may only be available to Chinese at this price.

I really don't want to go via Beijing as I am so far away. Price is very important as the prices I am seeing at the moment in the range of 2000US Dollars are not a viable option for me. I know this is all controlled by the North Korean Government and the price is the price but I was wondering if anyone knows more about this 2000RMB option?!?! Or where I can find more information without going all the way to Dandong.

Any help would be gratefully received. Any information on trips there from other cities in the North East of China would also be appreciated.

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pandaxiongmao

North Korea tours are normally priced in Euros, so I am guessing you might be American (since you quoted a price in US dollars). In that case, you have no choice. You'll have to go with Koryo Tours and pay the large amount. Then you can stay for 4 days tops during one of their special tours for Americans.

If you are a different nationality, you could go to North Korea for a longer period. But I think you would still need to go to Beijing to get the visa from the North Korean embassy. Even then, probably much easier to do a tour to save yourself a lot of documentation trouble with the visa.

There are westerners in certain pro-North Korea groups that get invited to North Korea, but assuming you are American or from a country that freely gives info to the US government, it wouldn't be a good idea. You'll get put on a list, and you will probably get extra security checks down the road. By going on a tour, you won't be associated with those groups.

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london82

Hi pandaxiongmao,

Thanks alot for the reply. I'm actually english but I think your comments are still correct and we wouldn't be seen favourably. Don't know why I quoted it in dollars.

This trip is looking completely out of bounds for me unfortunately. 太贵了 :(

Thanks for the help anyways

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xuechengfeng

You can go through Hunchun, just swim across the river, it's really not too bad. Also, very cheap. :)

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london82

Hello,

I didn't get a huge amount of response from this so not sure if many people are interested but I found an agent in Dandong that does North Korean trips from Dandong, alot cheaper than the Western companies. The telephone number is 04152145255 and there is a guy called Brooklyn in the office that speaks English. The trip I got is 4 days and depending how many people join the group, it is definately well under 5000rmb. Oh and they also take Americans over the Mass Games period.

Hope this helps someone.

Thanks for your idea xuechengfeng, was looking very attractive for a short period of time.

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Pravit

!.

!!.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Went to Dandong last summer and became a member of the "been-to-North-Korea-but-only-because-I-swam-across-the-river" club, but I'd jump at the chance to see more of North Korea, than, you know, the other side of the river at Hushan Great Wall. Koryo tours is doing US citizen tours Aug17-20 for Mass Games. But there's no way I'm paying 1590 Euros and flying on Air Koryo to boot. However, 5000 RMB and a romantic train ride across the Sino-Korean friendship bridge sounds more like my kind of thing.

More information, please! Are you going with this organization? If so, please tell us how it went!

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london82

It looks like you speak Chinese which helps alot in finding these companies however the prices mentioned in Chinese are actually for Chinese people so I'm not sure where you're from but you do need to call them for the 'Westerners' information. I am intending on going on the trip for the first link that you mentioned. It leaves on the 1st May and I can pm you the information they sent me for Westerners. Can you let me know the prices of the second company if they get back to you as I haven't paid yet and would be interested in knowing if it's any cheaper?

Thanks alot

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flameproof

Let's presume you can go from Dandong - how you get to Dandong? Can you fly there? Or take a train from Shenyang? Dandong has an airport, but I am not sure what routes are served.

And how you get the visa? How long does it take? I presume you need to hand in your passport and wait.....

I am certainly also interested to visit!

I used Bablefish to have a look at: http://www.ddtmt.com/tmtline/detail.php?id=6

What was "1、报名时须备因私护照原件,2寸近期正面免冠光板彩色照片4张,身份证复印件一份。"

Came out: "1st, when registration will have to prepare 因私护照 the original part,2 inches near futures frontage to remove one's hat worn out fur woman with no pubic hair color photo 4, ID card copy."

Anyway, the 5-day trip is 2380 rmb

There is also a link to a forum:

http://ourtour.com.cn/club/forumdisplay.php?fid=181&page=1

Here are 3 more useful links with information:

http://www.koryogroup.com/

http://www.koreakonsult.net/index_eng.html

http://wikitravel.org/en/North_Korea

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Pravit

There are regular trains to Dandong from Beijing(among other places), and I'm sure it would be pretty easy to get a train from Shenyang to Dandong. There are also flights at least a couple times a week; when I went to Dandong I almost considered flying back but took a more "scenic" route instead :D

As london82 mentioned supposedly there are higher prices for foreigners than Chinese, but we'll see. Planning on calling soon and waiting on e-mail replies.

1、报名时须备因私护照原件,2寸近期正面免冠光板彩色照片4张,身份证复印件一份。

It means for registration you need to prepare your passport, (4) passport-style photos, and a copy of your ID card. I have no idea how they handle the visa, but I imagine they must send them to the North Korean embassy in Beijing, so it does seem a bit inconvenient to have to send everything to Dandong, then to Beijing, then back to Dandong, then back to you. And a bit worrisome given my experiences with the Chinese mail system(I'll be sending them my passport after all!), though I've heard it works fine domestically. Perhaps you could get the visa done yourself if you actually went to the NK embassy in Beijing.

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Pravit

Called both travel agencies, here's the information I got:

丹东中青国际旅行社 (London82's company)

http://www.dd-guide.com/lsdw/zhongql/01.htm

They did not seem concerned at all about Americans going during the Arirang festival times, the problem was that foreigners cannot travel in the same group as Chinese. As a result there are only a few groups foreigners can join; the price goes down if more join. I can't join London82's group leaving on May 2nd since I don't get to China until late May(and the first Arirang is only until May 15); there is another Arirang starting August 15th, which is when I would want to go, but as of now there were no groups organized for that date. They told me I could set up an independent group(I would be travelling with my girlfriend, making it a group of two) for 800euros/person, but that's still more than what I would be willing to pay. However, given that there were some people in the May group, I imagine there might be another group forming in August.

丹东天马旅行社

http://www.ddtmt.com/tmtline/detail.php?id=6

This agency also thought it would be no big deal for Americans to go during Arirang time but there was the same problem that all the foreigners needed to be traveling together. I was given a quote of around 700-800euros/person were I to organize my own group of two people in August. From what I understood there were no foreigner groups yet.

Both organizations offer similar tours of 4, 5, or 6 days; I did not ask specifically about pricing differences for each one, although the itineraries are detailed on their websites.

So, Chinese-Forums: how many of you would be interested in going to North Korea on August 15th, from Dandong? If we could get a group together, we could all save ourselves some money and have a blast in the land of Juche. I didn't bother asking how much prices would go down if we got a group of say, 4 or 5 people, but maybe london82 can enlighten us.

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london82

In response to Flameproof.

Getting to Dandong is fairly easy by train from lots of places and the visa I actually think they may be able to do it in Dandong. At least during the Mass Games period as the travel agent requested my passport 20 days in advance to sort everything but I need it and can't send it that early so they said to me 4 days was sufficient. I'd be surprised if using Chinese post, they could get it to Beijing and back guaranteed in 4 days assuming the would need at least half a day to get the visa in beijing. In their response they also said, the whole process is more relaxed during the Mass Games and this is why 4 days was sufficient.

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london82

NORTH KOREAN TRIP FROM DANDONG - UNDER 5000RMB

Due to popular demand I am posting this company's information on the web. Please can you mention my name if you call and let me know that you have as the travel agent said he would give me a discount depending on how many people book. I realise that's a cheeky request but I would really appreciate it :wink: .

There is a guy in the office of this travel agency that speaks perfect English. His name is

Brooklyn and his contact details are:

office tel:0415-2145299/2145266 cellphone:13941586781

email:[email protected]

For your information, ALL NATIONALITIES can travel during the Mass Games (Arirang Games). That includes South Koreans and Americans and this agency can arrange this trip for them with the same process as everyone else. These games are from 15th April until 20th May 2007 and then again from 15th August until 18th October 2007.

I will be going in May so will write on here how it went.

Emma Bentley

JourneytoPyongyang[3].doc

Arirang[1].doc

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yonglin

Gosh, I'm so excited! There must be at least 4 other people that can join us! :roll:

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koreth

I might be interested if the dates work out -- I'm taking a summer class in Dalian but I'm not sure exactly which day it ends. It certainly sounds tempting. I'd assumed I'd never get to see North Korea because my passport says "United States of America."

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flameproof

August? North Korea may not exist by then anymore!

I will be in Beijing in early/mid May. Are there any options from BJ (other then Koryo)?

(should I open a new threat - NK from BJ?)

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Pravit

Not that I know of. There are a few other European tour groups that leave from Beijing but they are about as expensive as Koryo tours. You could go with london82's group(leaving May 1 or May 2 - don't remember) if you just took the train up to Dandong - you leave in the evening and get there in the morning. Ask for K27 when you buy rail tickets - should not be a problem getting tickets even in summer. Dandong is a fun place even if you don't actually go to North Korea - friendly people, great views of Sinuiju across the river, easternmost point of the Great Wall, and you can even swim across to NK and back if you really want to!

Update: For some reason I never thought to check the Dandong office of CITS. They have quite a nice page with the North Korea tour featured prominently on the front page. Not expecting any different situation from Dandong Zhongqing, but they are CITS, after all...

http://www.ddcits.com/index.php

And, yet another Dandong-based tour agency offering trips to North Korea:

http://www.koreatrip.net/

Have not contacted any of these yet other than through e-mail.

Update 2:

An ominous message from Dandong Tianma travel agency:

前一阵,朝鲜说美国人可以过境,但是后来准备出境的美国人都被拒签了.

(Translation: Last time, North Korea said Americans would be allowed in, but afterwards all the Americans had their visas denied).

They did not seem nearly so pessimistic when I called them, though.

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london82

This is the price CITS in Dandong offered me and the information they gave me. Not a good deal I think.

North Korea trip for 4 days pirce is 1096£per person About 2000 US Dollars They told me pounds as I am british.

Pyongyang Kaesong Myohyang Mountain Travel D1 We will arrival Pyongyang (Internationnal Trains). Stay at Yanggakdo International Hotel

D2 After breakfast, we will arrival from Pyongyang to Kaesong and vist Panmunjom, The koryo museum.Afert lunch,we will return Pyongyang and vist Children’s palace, Datong River. Arilang Perform, (the ticket price is 80£

by yourself). Stay at Yanggakdo International Hotel

D3 After breakfast, we will arrival from Pyongyang to Myohyang Mountain and vist Exhibition hall of the international friendship, after lunch, we will vist Arch of Triumph, Acrobatics Perform,( the ticket price is 10£ by yourself). Stay at Yanggakdo International Hotel

D4 After breakfast, we will vist Mansudae Large monument, Chollima Statue, Subway, Mangyongdae, and the travel over.

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koreth

I just found out the dates for my class in China, and sadly it sounds like the dates won't work out to join you guys in NK. :( It's about a week earlier than I expected and I can't take that much time off work in one stretch.

Too bad - I was looking forward to it. Maybe next year they'll do the games again.

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