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Booking, visa and general information

BOOKING, VISA, PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION

To get a tourist visa for North Korea you have to book a full package including hotel accommodation, transfers, guides, meals etc. We arrange your North Korean visa in the country of your residence or upon your arrival in Beijing.

How to book your tour and get the DPRK visa in the country of residence. 

This option is applicable only if your country of residence has a North Korean diplomatic mission or Embassy (like for example UK, Hong Kong, France, Germany etc).

Booking and visa procedure step by step:

1) Please download and save our booking form here. Fill in the details carefully. Incorrect details will delay the final processing of your visa.  All fields are mandatory. Please send us the completed form to our e-mail address: postmaster@koreakonsult.com.

2) We will send you a deposit invoice (50% of the total cost). Bookings are not considered firm until we have received the booking form and the required deposit.

3) We will inform when your visa details are approved by the North Korean authorities (at earliest 2 months before the trip). Then you should contact the North Korean diplomatic mission or Embassy to pick up your visa. If you are able to come in person to the Embassy the visa will be stamped into your passport the same day. If you send your passport by registered mail you will get it back from the Embassy within 1 week.

Required documents for visa pick-up at the Embassy in the country of residence:

a) passport size photo with white background taken within the past 6 months
b) valid passport in original (it has to be the same passport which details you submitted in our booking form)
c) 1 photocopy of the first page of your passport (the page with personal details)
d) visa application form (the application form is on 2 pages, please click here to download). Filling instructions: Item 10 on the form : write "tourism". Item 13: write "Sinuiju" if you enter the DPRK by train and "Pyongyang" if you arrive by flight. Item 14: "train", "flight" or both depending on your particular trip. Item 15: write "KITC". Item 17: should be filled in only if you travel with minors under 18 years of age
e) Document from your employer/school confirming your job position/faculty (please send this document to us as JPEG or PDF file)

Visa fee. The DPRK Embassy will inform you about the visa fee amount (fees vary a lot depending on the country in which the North Korean Embassy is located).

How to book your tour and get the DPRK visa in Beijing.

If you want to get your visa in Beijing, please make sure to arrive there at least one day before departure to North Korea.

Visa and booking procedure step by step:

1) Please download and save our booking form here. Fill in the details carefully. Incorrect details will delay the final processing of your visa.  All fields are mandatory. Send us please the file to our e-mail address: postmaster@koreakonsult.com.

2) We will send you a deposit invoice (50% of the total cost). Bookings are not considered firm until we have received the booking form and the required deposit.

3) Please send documents required for visa issuance in Beijing to our e-mail.

Required documents for visa issuance in Beijing:

a) passport size photo with white background taken within the past 6 months
b) 1 photocopy of the first page of your passport (the page with personal details).
c) visa application form (the application form is on 2 pages, please click here to download). Filling instructions: Item 10 on the form : write "tourism". Item 13: write "Sinuiju" if you enter the DPRK by train and "Pyongyang" if you arrive by flight. Item 14: "train", "flight" or both depending on your particular trip. Item 15: write "KITC". Item 17: should be filled in only if you travel with minors under 18 years of age
d) Document from your employer/school confirming your job position/faculty

Save the personal photo and passport copy as JPEG files (scanned copies or good quality photos taken by digital camera, max 1 MB for each file). The document from the employer is to be sent as a JPEG or PDF file.The visa form has to be completed and saved as Word document). Please send all the saved documents to our e-mail: postmaster@koreakonsult.com

4) Your DPRK visa will be ready for pick-up in Beijing a few days prior your tour start. Normally 99% of visas are approved so you will be contacted by us only if there's any problem with your application (it will happen not later than 20 days before the tour start if we received your booking in a good time). Most of the tourists get DPRK visas in Beijing the day before the tour departure and approx. 10 days before we will send detailed instructions about the visa pick-up in Beijing.

Chinese visa, passport validity

For a trip to North Korea via China tourists usually need a Chinese visa for 2 entries. However, aliens holding connecting flight tickets to pass through China are exempted from visa requirements. The premise is that their stay in China doesn't exceed 72 hours. This exemption applies only if you arrive in China by plane, your connecting flight ticket must be presented as a proof to the passport control. It is also possible to get a Chinese visa at the PRC Embassy in Pyongyang during your tour in North Korea (the approx. visa cost in Pyongyang is 60 Euros). You have to arrange the Chinese visa on your own.

IMPORTANT! Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months after your final departure from China. The North Korean visa approval is valid only for a specific passport number. If you have to change your passport please notify us on booking otherwise a new visa approval has to be issued for a new passport and you will have to pay the visa fee once again.

Payment, guarantee and cancellation

PAYMENT: A tour deposit (50 % of the tour cost) should be paid on booking by bank transfer (credit cards and drafts are not accepted). The remaining tour fee should be paid to us by another bank transfer at least 10 working days before the tour start. All payment transactions in Euro made within European Union, quoted with IBAN numbers are charged like domestic payments.

TRAVEL GUARANTEE: Korea Konsult is affiliated with the Swedish Official Travel Guarantee Fund which makes your tour bookings with us secure. It means that you will be insured against the consequences of the tour operator becoming financially insolvent or bankrupt.

CANCELLATION.

Cancellation made by yourself. Our cancellation charge is 30% of the total tour fee if you cancel at latest 10 days before the tour departure, for later cancellations no refund will be made. However, if you are able to take a later trip, we offer you a discount.

Cancellation due to visa refusal and "force majeure". If we fail to arrange your trip to the DPRK (due to visa refusal or if the DPRK decides temporarily to close its borders for tourists) and you cannot join any later tour, a full refund will be made, however, we cannot be held responsible for any fees charged by the receiving bank in your country.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION & TIPS

Important information regarding journalists.

The DPRK does not allow journalists to visit the country on tourist visas. By completing our booking form and applying for a visa through us you certify that your personal details are correct and true. The submission of false details would have serious consequences for us as a tour operator as well as for our Korean partners and DPRK Embassy staff. This is a risk not worth taking. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Taking pictures.

It is possible to take pictures during the trip (digital cameras are allowed) but, please, always ask for permission if you want to photograph people closely, and especially military people. Please note that your camera and all pictures taken might be checked by the Korean customs when you leave the DPRK and some of the pictures might be deleted (if digital camera).

Other information.

Air Koryo: A few years ago Air Koryo purchased new Tupolev TU-204 aircrafts to replace the aging international fleet. These aircrafts are now used on regular flights between Beijing and Pyongyang (additional flights with another type of aircraft can be added during the high season). TU-204 aircrafts are fitted with the necessary equipment to comply with mandatory international standards. Since 2010 Air Koryo is allowed to resume operations into the EU with aircrafts of this type.

North Korea does not allow foreigners to travel around the country without tour guides. Even if you go to the DPRK individually, your 2 guides will accompany you everywhere; this is the first condition to which you have to consent.

Group tours: we send tourists to the DPRK from all over the world, so the main tour guide is always English-speaking. Guides in other languages can be booked on request but this is always subject to availability. Available languages: German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.

It is highly recommended that you buy private travel insurance prior to departure.

If your passport contains stamps from visits to South Korea or the United States it will NOT create any problems when entering North Korea. In the same time we have never heard of anyone experiencing problems because of North Korean stamps in the passport when entering the United States or South Korea.

Citizens of the United States of America and Israel are allowed to visit the DPRK, however there's a restriction for US citizens regarding travelling by train inside the DPRK. Until this restriction is lifted, US tourists have to enter and exit the DPRK by flight.

It is needed to show respect for Korean traditions and way of life. If you visit some holy places or monuments appropriate clothing must be worn, especially when you visit the Kumsusang Memorial Palace/the Mausoleum (to pay homage to the embalmed body of the country’s eternal leader, Kim Il Sung). No t-shirts, blue jeans, shorts or mini-skirts will be accepted inside the Mausoleum.

You are not allowed to leave the hotel on your own. But if you are craving for a stroll around the block or have any other special requests (not reflected in the program), please contact your guides and they will do their best to make it possible.The guides will follow you wherever you wish to go. 

Hot water in the hotels located in the countryside is most of the time available only during 1 hour in the morning before breakfast and 1 hour in the evening before or after dinner. This is also applicable for 3 star hotels in Pyongyang (Haebansan, Chonnon, Sosan). 4 star hotels in Pyongyang (Koryo Hotel and Yanggakdo International Hotel) as well as Nampo Hot Spa Hotel (80 km West from Pyongyang) and Kumgangsan Hotel (Diamond mountains area) offer hot water supply 24 hours a day.

While it is in principle not possible to get any Internet access in the DPRK, from 2007 you can send an e-mail from your hotel in Pyongyang (this service is not available at countryside hotels). The costs is from 2 Euros and up depending on the message size. Please note that you will be sending e-mails from the hotel’s e-mail account and not your private e-mail account, so please ask your correspondent to put your room number as a message subject when he/she replies to you.

it is very expensive to call overseas from North Korea, count on 4-5 Euros per minute, but it is always recommended to check at the reception the exact minute cost to your country.

It is allowed to keep mobile phones during DPRK trips. Laptops are ok to take in as well as MP-3 players and e-book readers.

Electric voltage in North Korea is 220 V and electric sockets are of the same type as in Western Europe. Electricity shortages can occur from time to time, so it is recommended you bring a pocket lamp with batteries or an electric torch with you.

Drinking water can be purchased in plastic bottles at any hotel.

If you have any special dietary requests or allergy on any kind of food, please inform us on booking so we can arrange special meals for you.

Foreigners are not allowed to pay with or buy any local currency (North Korean Won). All transactions are made in Euros, US Dollars, or Chinese Yuan, but Euros are preferred. It is recommended to take with you Euros in cash (preferably in small denominations as sometimes it can be difficult to get change in the souvenir or book shops).

Credit cards are NOT accepted. All payments should be done in cash. There are no any ATMs in North Korea where you you can withdraw cash.

Take with you all medicines that you normally use. It is a good idea to have some stomach medicines.

If you travel between June and August you should have an umbrella for the wet weather.

It would be nice if you took with you some little presents/souvenirs for the guides and local children. Men appreciate cigarettes (most Korean men smoke) and women like inexpensive cosmetics. Children like chocolate, ball-point pens, etc. Before departing Korea it is polite to leave a tip to the guides (there are 2 of them) and the driver.

We are going to provide you with more useful information when you book your tour and will be happy to reply to any of your questions.