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Pyongyang Marathon Short Tour - Beijing Departure (via Air China)

3 nights, 4 days in DPRK

Pyongyang Marathon Short Tour - Beijing Departure (via Air China)

Pyongyang → Pyongyang Marathon → Kaesong/DMZ


NEW: We are pleased to announce that by popular demand, the Pyongyang Marathon will now be held twice a year. The inaugural October Pyongyang Marathon will run on October 29 this year. A 5km option is new to this fall marathon. The April 2018 marathon will be held on April 8.

Pyongyang Marathon (Fall Edition) - October 29, 2017
Registration Deadline is October 1st, 2017.

Pyongyang Marathon - April 8, 2018
Registration Deadline is January 1st, 2018

In this short tour, take a quick break from your day-to-day to run the Pyongyang Marathon while taking in the grand Pyongyang sights and crossing the border (well, in the blue houses) at the DMZ!

Seats are selling fast. Book Now! Registration begins NOW and seats are selling fast! (Standard cancellation terms apply)

Approximate registration fees (if fees change, the difference will be nominal)
RUN THE FULL MARATHON - separate registration fee of $150 USD (April) / $110 USD (October)
RUN A HALF MARATHON - separate registration fee of $100 USD (April) / $90 USD (October)
RUN A 10K - separate registration fee of $70 USD (April) / $80 USD (October)
RUN A 5K - separate registration fee of $70 USD (October only)

Almost anyone can run in the amateur marathon, half marathon, or 10K alongside professional runners. There are no official qualifying times for the amateur marathon. However, you must either FINISH or STOP within 5 hours for all lengths.

All participants will receive an official award certificate, an exclusive Pyongyang Marathon medal, Pyongyang Marathon branded t-shirt, timing chips, and other exclusive goodies. All winners will also receive an official souvenir.

More information on the Pyongyang Marathon HERE


Day 1:  Depart for Pyongyang

11 AM:  Meet the group at the Beijing Capital International Airport for check in at the Air China counter (Terminal 3).

Pyongyang Marathon 2014 participants in Kim Il Sung Stadium
PM: Kick-start your North Korea adventure by boarding an Air China flight. Arrive in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK and after clearing customs, your local Korean tour guides will greet you with a warm welcome. Our first stop in Pyongyang will be at the Arch of Triumph, the world’s largest triumphal arc, and the Mansudae Grand Monuments. Rest of the evening is at your leisure at the Koryo Hotel where we’ll have dinner.

Day 2:  Pyongyang City Tour

AM: Continue your Pyongyang city tour with a visit to 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. Get a dose of history (from a different perspective) at the newly renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo in its new spot (the “American Spy Ship” captured in 1968).

After lunch, stop at the Tower of Juche Idea to learn about the Juche philosophy that serves as the national ideology and get a panoramic view of Pyongyang from the top. Visit the Party Foundation Monument, then take a stroll through the park to Mangyongdae Native House, the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. Afterwards, we will check out the Mansudae Art Studio, the most prestigious fine arts studio in the country (we recommend the ink block paintings here). We will then have dinner with a view at the revolving restaurant in the Koryo Hotel where we will hand out runner bibs, t-shirts and timing chips.


Pyongyang Marathon 2015 runners entering Kim Il Sung Stadium
AM:  We’ll have an early start (approximately 7am) to get ready for the PYONGYANG MARATHON. This is the third year in all of history that foreign amateur runners will be allowed to run in the Pyongyang marathon. Stretch out, lace up and pound that Pyongyang pavement! Race starts at approximately 9am and is over no later than 1pm. There is a pre-race ceremony starting at 8am and a post-race award ceremony starting at 1pm. Spectators are welcome to join this tour, as there will be plenty to see at the Kim Il Sung Stadium - local soccer/football match and runners returning to the stadium in their last lap of the race.

Pyongyang Marathon 2015 runner in front of ArchPM: We’ll cool down at the hotel and give you time to shower and rest up after the race. After a well-deserved meal, we’ll do some easy sightseeing by visiting the Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia Flower Festival (a multi-floor display of the flowers named after each of the late leaders) and then taking a ride on the Pyongyang metro. Dinner will be at the banquet hall in the Koryo Hotel where we will have our awards ceremony. Afterwards, drink to a race well run at the Taedonggang Microbrewery No. 3

Day 4:  Kaesong/DMZ

DMZAM: Take a morning drive to the city of Kaesong. We will head for the DMZ where we’ll hear from our guides a perspective of the Korean War that oft gets discredited or unheard. At the DMZ, explore Panmunjom, shake hands at the exact place that the Armistice Agreement was signed between UN forces and the DPRK, and wave hello to the South at the blue houses. Learn about the Koryo Dynasty (where the name Korea originates) at the Koryo History Musuem, a UNESCO site. Pick up some of the best postcards in the country at the Koryo Stamp Shop.

PM: Enjoy Pansanggi, the traditional Kaesong cuisine for lunch. Stop at the original Sonjuk Bridge, a UNESCO site. Return to Pyongyang where we’ll gather our things and head to the airport for our Air China flight CA122 1720 1805 to Beijing. Please allow at least 2 hours for connecting flights for immigration/customs clearance, baggage claim and re-check-in.

This itinerary is subject to change at any time.


  • DPRK visa fees and handling
  • Round trip ticket from Beijing to Pyongyang on Air China
  • 3 nights’ DPRK hotel accommodations (double occupancy, 4 stars)
  • 3 meals per day
  • Coach transportation in DPRK
  • Two local DPRK guides
  • One local driver
  • Admission fees (except those listed below)

Not included

  • Marathon registration fee (detailed above) and Kim Il Sung Stadium festival for spectators ($28 USD)
  • Round-trip airfare to Beijing from home country
  • Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
  • Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance (required)
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
  • Souvenirs
  • Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
  • Tips for guides and drivers (please budget $10 per day per traveler)

Special Entrance Fees for Optional Events

(Some entrance fees are priced in Euros. We strongly recommend to bring exact change in Euros to pay at the door; USD is accepted, but may be subject to an unfavorable exchange rate)

  • Extra a la carte items incurred during meals (i.e., dog meat soup, Kaesong chicken soup, wine at the pizza/pasta restaurant, specialty restaurants such as the Okryu cold noodle restaurant, all roughly $5-10)
  • Elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 euros)
  • Beer at microbreweries ($1-3 per draft)

For more information on the booking process, see How to Travel To North Korea
See here for more information on Terms and Conditions.