We are a British run company and take advice from the British Embassy who are based in Pyongyang and therefore have the most relevant advice for tourists wishing to visit the country.
We are a British-run company and take advice from the British Embassy. The staff there are based in Pyongyang and therefore have the most relevant advice for tourists wishing to visit the country.
The US Department of State currently recommends against travel by US citizens to North Korea. We of course take this extremely seriously and make sure that because of our thorough tour briefings, and our experienced and professional staff and guides, that we make sure our visit to North Korea remains safe and absolutely one of the most incredible trips possible.
Our tour guides are in North Korea most weeks and have mobile phone contact to our office in Beijing and regular contact with the British and Swedish Embassies (who look after US interests). We started tourism to North Korea in 1993 and take in the highest percentage of Western tourists to the country.
If Koryo Tours cannot arrange visas or the tour is cancelled by our partners in the DPRK a full refund will be made (note that with all refunds Koryo Tours will not be held liable for any bank charges). Please note our North Korea tours are charged in euros. If we receive any other currency this will be converted to euros on that day's exchange rate fixed by the Bank of China. Any refund will be made according to the euro amount we received and not the original currency sent. For any of our tours that are charged in US$ the same conditions apply.
Standard disclaimer: Koryo Tours reserves the right to withdraw service and cancel a tour at any time. In this eventuality a full refund of any monies paid by the customer will be made.
We realize that in many instances, cancelling a trip is due to circumstances beyond your control. If you do cancel but are able to make another trip at a later date we will do our best to offer you a discount.
If the tourist cancels themselves the following charges shall be applied:
|No. of days before tour departs*||% of tour cost|
|*calculated from 9.30am Beijing time|
|0 (day of departure) - 1||100%|
|2 - 20||60%|
|20 - 40||40%|
The above applies to all of our DPRK tours, except for those during the Pyongyang Marathon.
- Please note that if you are on one of our 2017 Pyongyang Marathon tours that we will refund all monies paid (excluding any relevant bank charges) for any Marathon Tour cancellations made before 31 Jan, 2017.
- Any Marathon Tour cancellations made from 1 Feb 2017 (9.30am Beijing time), up to 15 days before your tour is due to depart, will incur a charge of 40% of the tour cost.
- Marathon Tour cancellations made 14 days, up to two days, before your scheduled departure will incur a charge of 60% of the tour cost.
- Marathon Tour cancellations made one day before departure, or on the day of departure will be charged at 100% of the tour cost.
For tours to our other countries our policy may vary due to the need to book services and flights in advance. This will vary depending on destination and the time of year. Should a refund be needed your tour manager will confirm this with our local partners on the ground. It is advisable to arrange travel insurance upon booking any tour to ensure you are covered should the need arise to cancel.
The prices on this website are correct at the time of website publication, however, Koryo Tours reserves the right to raise or lower its prices at any time. We also reserve the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices (both before and after your confirmation has been issued). Please note, changes and errors sometimes occur. Flight/train price increases are out of our control and any increase in fee may be passed on to the tourist.
As is standard in the tourism industry we need to make all our tourists aware that Koryo Tours can offer no guarantee of the success of the visa applications, or that the tour itself will be operated as advertised. We cannot confirm the DPRK visa until it is actually stamped and issued which takes place only a few days before your departure to DPRK. Do note that in our many years of operation and thousands of tours we have had only a handful of applications refused, and arbitrary denial of permission to travel is exceptionally rare indeed and we expect to be able to secure a visa for all applications that we make.
If for any reason we cannot get you a visa Koryo Tours cannot be held liable for the travel and hardship expenses incurred in getting to Beijing. You will of course receive a full refund of any money paid to Koryo Tours.
Koryo Tours will do their best to ensure the itinerary is similar to the one we advertise however if on arrival it changes we cannot be held responsible. Even in the case where we promote 'special occasions' such as Mass Games we cannot guarantee access to the event. We advertise and promote our tours according to the advice given by the Korean International Travel Company and their decision is final. We cannot offer refunds for tours once you are in the DPRK.
Please be aware that whilst we do the utmost for our tourists you are under very strict regulations as to what you can and cannot do and this is not negotiable. For example; you are not free to wander around on your own, there are photographic restrictions and video cameras are generally prohibited. The main problem is with journalists who have tried to enter the DPRK with us but without informing us of their status. This has led to two serious instances which has got our guides into trouble. WE CANNOT TAKE JOURNALISTS INTO THE DPRK. We therefore ask all journalists to notify us of their position so we can suggest other alternatives.
It is therefore only advisable visiting the DPRK if you can tolerate the following points:
1) In the DPRK you will be under close scrutiny from the guides and security. Use of cameras causes the majority of problems. You can only take a photograph of what the guides allow. The public are obliged to report all photography. Taking photos of soldiers, at check points, poverty, sneaked photos and close ups of people without their express permission will cause serious problems. Photography when being driven around is also restricted. Even what we would interpret as 'day to day' harmless scenes may cause problems. It is too easy to get carried away and think that it is not causing offence or would not put the guides in danger. This is not the case and therefore we ask our tourists to take a very responsible attitude even though it may mean missing the photographic opportunity. If the group gets the confidence of the guides you will have amazing opportunities for photography and you will miss out on very little. DPRK regulations state that you cannot take a lens over 150 mm into the country.
2) Leaving the hotel without the guides or the guides' express permission is not possible. If you are feeling the need for 'a breath of air' then a casual stroll along the river is possible but only if accompanied with a guide. It is possible to stroll in the grounds of the hotel but please ask the guide and do not take your camera.
3) We are 'invited' to the DPRK and therefore we ask our tourists to respect the Koreans and their vision of the Great Leader - this involves bowing at the 20 metre statue on Mansudae and on various other occasions. Chewing gum, eating sweets and wearing scruffy clothing in places of Korean national importance (such as Mansudae statue to Kim Il Sung, the Friendship Exhibition and Manyongdae birthplace of Kim Il Sung) will offend guides.
In all these instances it is the guides that get into trouble and not you. If you are happy just to be taken around the 'system' with all the diatribe and trimmings, then you will have the most amazing experience. If any of the above poses a problem it is advisable not to visit the DPRK as we have too many experiences of seeing guides put in serious trouble by tourists who are not aware of their actions.
The laws of DPRK prohibit journalists and photographers (full or part-time) from travelling on tourist visas. We do not make the laws in DPRK but our work is subject to them, if a journalist/photographer poses as a tourist and manages to join one of our tours then we will be put out of business and the position of our Korean colleague/guides will be compromised.
We ask journalists/photographers to please respect our position and DO NOT APPLY for a visa with Koryo Tours. We are happy to assist journalists/photographers with any information that they may require and we can contact you when the rules are relaxed or opportunities appear.