North Korea Surf + SUP Diplomacy Trip
7 Nights, 8 Days in DPRK
Pyongyang → Hamhung → Majon
We are serving up a totally new surf destination for all you surf fans: NORTH KOREA! We’ve assembled an expert team of surfers to track and analyze the weather patterns for over a year and we’re happy to report that the pristine beaches and rocky outcrops of the Hamhung and Sijung area on the east coast receive a fair amount of swell from a 90 degrees easterly window. We’re now offering YOU a chance to surf these virgin waves through a DPRK surf exploration camp led by ISA Course Presenter and current coach of the Chinese National Surf Team, Nik Zanella - AND - North Korea expert, and Uri Tours Founder and CEO, Andrea Lee. The first part of the expedition will include analyzing surf weather patterns in the DPRK and identifying ideal surf spots, using data that Nik and his team have compiled over the past year. The second part of the expedition will be a surf camp that will include an in-class exploration seminar, on-the-spot guidance (on surf, that is) as well as practical surf lessons. This will be a great chance also to mingle with the first local surfers. We’ve received the proper permissions to invite North Koreans who want to learn to surf to participate in this inaugural surf camp. We’re stoked to introduce them to the awesomeness of surf. When we’re not surfing, participants will get an unparalleled travel experience while we visit the iconic sites in Pyongyang and drive cross-country through remote parts of the countryside to get to the coast. This is bound to mark the epochal opening of DPRK to the art of wave riding. We’re inviting surfers of all levels to join us in this incredible and historical surf expedition and to be a part of bringing surf to North Korea!!
This tour departs from Shanghai.
About the Camp
- Our surf camp will be held at the Majon Surf School at the luxurious Majon Hotel.
- The surf camp caters mainly to beginner and intermediate surfers, but the surf exploration expedition is open to advanced and pro surfers.
- Participants must be able to swim.
- Please bring your own board. We have limited rentals on a first come first serve basis. We suggest longboards and mid length boards to capitalize on small surf. We will be allowed to check boards into cargo and have pre-arranged this with Air Koryo, the national airline.
- Surf sessions are strictly dependent on marine weather and can be called off in case of hazardous conditions.
- There is no guarantee of ideal surfing conditions.
- Water temperature will range from 18 to 22C. We recommend a full wetsuit of 3mm or thicker.
Day 0 (Thursday): Departure for Pyongyang via Shanghai
Meet us at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai at 10:00pm for Air Koryo flight check-in. We’ll take JS 552 flight departing at 00:30 and arriving at 03:30 Friday. Meet our local Korean guides at the airport and we’ll head to the Koryo Hotel in city center for check in and rest.
Day 1 (Friday): Pyongyang City Tour
11AM: In the late morning, we’ll visit the Mansudae Grand Monument. This important site is famous for its large, bronze statutes of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Visitors are asked to follow local custom by bowing and laying flowers at the feet of the statues (flowers can be purchased at the stand for 10-20 RMB each). Take a walk in the Kim Il Sung Square, the 3rd largest public square in the world and home to many of the North Korean military parades broadcasted internationally during large holiday events. Stop in at the Foreign Languages Bookshop to pick up your favorite DPRK trinkets and publications.
PM: After lunch, start our road trip to the east coast by bus. In this 4-hour drive, we’ll see the vast countryside of the DPRK, making stops along the way to take in the scenery and the farmland. We may even take out the SUPs for stand up paddle on the river. We’ll stop at the new Masikryong Hotel to get a sneak peak at the new Masik ski resort and spend an overnight there.
(Meals: B, L, D)
Day 2 (Saturday): Surf Camp Day 1 / Exploring Majon
In the morning, take the lift to the Masik Peak for a killer view. Then we’ll make our way to the Majon beach, about a 2 hour drive. Check into the luxurious Majon Hotel, considered one of the best in the country and located right on our surf venue. Have lunch there before heading to the beach.
Today will be our first day on the beach. After meeting our local surf friends and checking conditions on the beach, Nik will lead us through a short classroom session before hitting the beach. We’ll set the scope of the surf camp and the DPRK exploration project. We’ll share the research our team has already completed in the past year on surf weather patterns in the DPRK, and discuss wave formation and refractions, rips and swipes. Then we’ll make beach assessments and explore the area to select the surf venue and identify local hazards.
The afternoon will be dedicated to core skills lessons for beginners and locals and longboarding maneuvers for intermediates. For experts, have a free surf session with Nik and get personalized technical advice from the coach. Overnight at the Majon Hotel.
Day 3 (Sunday): Surf Camp Day 2 / Majon
All trip members will participate in dawn patrol and surf check on the beach. During the morning session, review surf condition updates and discussion the exploration program thus far. Map beach bathymetry and select the day’s surf venue.
Have lunch at the famous Hamhung cold noodle restaurant ($6 supplement fee) and explore the city of Hamhung. When we return from the city, the afternoon will be dedicated to core skills lessons for beginners and locals and longboarding maneuvers for intermediates. For experts, have a free surf session with Nik and get personalized technical advice from the coach.
Enjoy the evening on the beach. Overnight at the Majon Hotel
Day 4 (Monday): Surf Camp Day 3 / Exploring Hamhung
Walk on the beach for surf check and get briefing on the afternoon activities. We’ll meet our local surf friends in Hamhung and together do beach assessments and explore Majon beach. Map beach bathymetry and select today’s surf spot.
Today focus on board control and trimming on waves, building speed, cross stepping and nose-riding. Free surf session with Nik. Personalized technical advise from coach. In the evening, we’ll hit the town for sightseeing and dinner.
Day 5 (Tuesday): Surf Camp Day 4 / Majon
Perform dawn patrol and surf check on the beach. Review surf conditions, discuss the day’s exploration program and get an intro into competitive surfing. As a group, we’ll do beach assessments and explore the Hamhung area to select the day’s surf spot. Free surf session with Nik, personalized technical advice from the coach. To end our surf camp, we’ll hold a friendly informal surf competition with local surfers based on ISA rules and handicaps applied.
In the evening, we’ll light up the bonfire and have dinner, soju and TAEDONGGANG beer on the beach with our new Korean surfer friends.
Day 6 (Wednesday): Return to Pyongyang
We’ll spend the morning on the beach. Get a morning surf session in and say goodbye to our local surfer friends. Depart for Pyongyang after lunch, about a 5-hour drive.
Start our trip back to Pyongyang via Ulim Waterfalls. Check into the Koryo Hotel.
Day 7 (Thursday): Pyongyang City Tour
In Pyongyang, visit the Tower of Juche Idea, learn about the Juche philosophy that serves as the national ideology. For those who wish to take the lift up 150-meters to the top, you’ll have an opportunity to take in a panorama view of the entire Pyongyang city. Catch the Pyongyang Metro during rush hour to get a glimpse of daily life in Pyongyang.
After lunch, visit a couple of microbreweries, a department store and recreational facilities. Your last chance to pick up souvenirs at the Korea Stamp Shop. Enjoy Korean BBQ for dinner (extra fees apply, everyone orders from the menu). Grab your luggage and head to the airport for an evening flight back to Shanghai. Approximate time of departure is 10:30pm from Pyongyang with arrival at Pudong at 11:30pm. (Meals: B, L, D)
* The itinerary is subject to change at any time.
- DPRK visa fees and handling
- Round trip ticket from Shanghai (Pudong Airport) to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
- 7 nights DPRK hotel accommodations
- Meals as indicated
- Coach transportation in DPRK
- Local DPRK guides
- One local driver
- Admission fees (except those listed below)
- Round-trip airfare to China from home country
- Shanghai hotel accommodations
- Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
- Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance (required)
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
- Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
- Tips for guides and drivers (please budget $10 per day per traveler)
- Additional a la carte items ordered during meals
- Elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 euros
- Beer at microbreweries ($1-3 per draft)