NORTH KOREA - IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION: 1
WONSAN AIR FESTIVAL: WHAT’S ON
Korean People’s Army Air Force and Air Koryo Displays
Taking place in the morning and afternoon of the first day of the Festival, the KPA Air Force and Air Koryo will perform two x 2-hour flying displays, with the former also doing aerobatics. Single aircraft as well as formation flying will be included.
A number of aircraft types are anticipated to take part, including Mig-21, Mig-29, Sukhoi Su-25 jets and Hughes MD-500 helicopters. When not flying, they will be parked up at Kalma during the day as a static display for photography.
The DPRK’s national airline, Air Koryo, will take to the skies and perform a full aerobatic display featuring low passes and touch and go manoeuvres. Aircraft types planned to take part will include the Ilyushin Il-18, Il-62, Il-76, Tupolev Tu-134, Tu-154, Antonov An-24 airliners plus Mil Mi-17 helicopters. When not flying, they will be parked up at Kalma during the day as a static display for photography.
The second day of the show will feature “Farewell KPAAF” whereby each aircraft will take-off in stream, one by one. Another opportunity for fabulous filming and/or photography.
Air Koryo Scenic Pleasure Flights
On the second day of the Festival, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy optional 30 minute scenic pleasure flights on a range of classic aircraft in the Air Koryo fleet, including the Ilyushin IL-18, IL-62, IL-76, Tupolev Tu-134, Tu-154, Antonov An-24 airlines plus Mil Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters and some of Air Koryo’s light training aircraft.
Prices are as follows:
Il-18 - €150.00
Il-62 - €250.00
Tu-134 - €150.00
Tu-154 - €250.00
Il-76 - €250.00
An-24 - €100.00
Mi-17/MI-8 - €150.00
AN-2 - €100.00
Parachute Jump - €100.00 per jump
Light Aircraft : Alpi P400 (3x pax) - €250; Piper Matrix (6 pax) - €175
You MUST indicate on your booking form if you are interested in any of these flights. Those not taking the flights will be allowed to take photos from the edge of the runway.
For the first time ever, the DPRK will welcome foreign jumpers to their country in the spirit of international peace and friendship through air sports. Professionally qualified parachutists are invited to participate in the inaugural ‘International Friendship Skydive’, in which Korean and foreign skydivers will jump together over the Kalma Peninsula. Should you wish to take part in this unique, first time parachuting event, please let us know and we will be pleased to provide more information about how to join. As well as the above, parachutists from the Pyongyang Air Club will be performing several demonstration jumps from various heights onto the runway.
Model Aircraft Aerobatic Display
Taking place on the second day of the Festival in between the pleasure flights, Pyongyang Air Club will perform an aerobatic flying display with a range of model aircraft. We are promised a colourful and lively display that will rival that of their bigger brothers – albeit in miniature!
As well as aviation and air sports events, the Festival will host a wide range of additional cultural activities for participants to enjoy between the flying, including:
Song and Dance show performed by Kangwon Province Art Troupe
Taekwando martial arts demonstrations
Folk dancing, tug of war and kite flying
Korean film viewing at Songdowon amphitheatre
Grand finale Mass Dance by Wonsan youth and students in Haean Square
Food and Drink
The Festival will provide a showcase of Korean national cuisine for all participants to enjoy.
Furthermore, we are delighted that the Air Festival will be hosting the first ever DPRK National Beer Festival, during which visitors will be allowed to sample a wide array of beers from across the country whilst enjoying the thrilling aerobatic feats taking place above them.
The tour price includes all breakfasts, lunches and evening meals in the DPRK and China.
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 personnel.
Ordinary tourists may have their photographs checked by the Korean customs when they leave the DPRK and some pictures might be deleted (if on a digital camera). However, our group has special permission to take photographs of aircraft at the airports and we do not anticipate any problems. (For information, Ian Allan Aviation Tours’ tour managers, when visiting previously had the same permission, and were not stopped).
We are not aware of any restrictions at Wonsan during the airshow. Any information about Media passes will follow as details emerge.
Obeying Instructions from the DPRK Authorities:
We have been advised that any member of the group who disregards any instruction from the DPRK security personnel or local guides which accompany the group, for example, goes off somewhere when told not to, or photographs a certain background, building or aircraft when advised it is forbidden, will be sent back to the hotel immediately AND WILL REMAIN THERE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE TOUR. The DPRK authorities also have the right to deport you if they wish.
North Korea does not allow foreigners to travel around the country without tour guides. Even if you go to the DPRK individually, 2 guides will accompany you everywhere. They are very friendly, they don’t bite!
Stamps in Your Passport:
When entering North Korea, you will be issued with a visa card and your passport will NOT be stamped – unless you ask for it to be. If your passport contains stamps from visits to South Korea or the United States it will NOT create any problems when entering North Korea.
Your passport must have 2 clean, facing pages: i.e., no stamps or markings on them.
Citizens of the United States of America and Israel:
Are allowed to visit the DPRK, however, US tourists must enter and exit the DPRK by air.
Where to Join/Leave the Group:
Everyone on our tour must join/leave the group either at London’s Heathrow Airport, or in Beijing, at the airport or hotel.
Korean Traditions and Way of Life:
You must show respect at all times for Korean traditions and their unique way of life – even when you think you are not being watched or overheard! When visiting religious places or monuments appropriate clothing must be worn, especially when visiting places associated with the country’s eternal leader, Kim Il Sung. T-shirts, blue jeans, shorts or mini-skirts are not generally accepted.
We ask that all persons booking on this Ian Allan tour are to be dressed casual, but smart, at all times as we will be returning to North Korea with other groups and wish to present a good impression at all times.
Leaving the Hotel:
You are not allowed to leave the hotels on your own. But if you are craving for a stroll around the block or have any other special requests (not included in the itinerary), please contact our tour manager who will ask our local 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 usually only available during 1 hour in the morning before breakfast and 1 hour in the evening before or after dinner. Our hotel in Pyongyang has hot water 24 hours a day.
Telephone Calls and E-mails:
From the hotel in Pyongyang you can make phone calls; it can however be expensive and calls to Europe currently cost between €4.00 - €5.00 per minute. Always check at the reception the exact ‘by the minute’ cost to your country.
There is no access to the Internet from the DPRK.
Mobile Phones, Sat Navs and GPS
The use of mobile phones whilst in the DPRK is now possible. You have to purchase a special SIM card on arrival at the Pyongyang Airport; each card costs €50.00 and provides approximately 30 minutes of international dialling. ALL calls into and out of the DPRK are monitored – so be very careful what you say!
Mobile phones and cameras that have a satnav or GPS system are NO LONGER forbidden in the DPRK.
Calls of an urgent nature, from your family or next of kin, will be possible through our travel colleagues in Pyongyang. Contact details will be included in the final travel documentation.
Laptops, MP-3 Players and E-Book Readers:
Can be taken in with you. Kindly note that such items may be subject to spot checks by Customs on arrival, therefore, you should make absolutely certain you do not possess any media/books – or any other materials – which could be deemed in ay way to be critical of the DPRK. Failure to comply with this can result in very serious consequences and delay you leaving the country.
The type of electrical sockets that you will encounter in North Korea are the same as those found in the USA and Canada: two pin, flat.
The electricity supply is between 220 and 240 volts AC.
Can occur from time to time, so you might want to consider bringing a pocket lamp with batteries
Can be purchased in plastic bottles at all our hotels. Do not drink the local tap water.
Special Dietary Requests or Food Allergies:
Please inform us when booking so we can see if it is possible for you to have special meals.
Foreigners are not allowed to pay with, or buy, the local currency: the North Korean Won. All transactions are made in Euros (preferred), US Dollars, or Chinese Yuan. It is recommended you 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 are done in cash. There are no cash machines/ATMs in North Korea.
Take with you all medicines that you normally use. It is a good idea to have some ‘stomach upset’ medicine.
Gifts for Our Guides, Local Children and Coach Drivers:
Tourists are expected to bring with them some little presents/souvenirs for the local guides, coach drivers and children. Men appreciate cigarettes (most Chinese and Korean men smoke) and women like inexpensive cosmetics. Children like chocolate, ball-point pens, etc.
The tour price includes a gratuity for our tour guides (there are always 2 of them in the DPRK).
For coach drivers, we suggest you consider giving them a small gift before departing each city: e.g. a packet of cigarettes. Even if you don’t smoke we recommend you buy a duty-free pack of 200 to hand out on tour as you go along.
Payment for COAP EW8: North Korea:
A deposit of £500.00 per person should accompany your Booking Form, with the balance due 10 weeks prior to the tour’s departure. Please see your Booking Confirmation/Invoice for the exact date. Please note that a reminder of the payment date will not be sent.
Passports and Visas:
Citizens of the UK are required to be in possession of a Full UK Passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your return. You may also refer to the World Travel Guide website: www.wtgonline.com for general information on passports, visas and health requirements.
China: From 2013 the Chinese authorities have allowed a waiver to their visa regulations and you can now transit through Beijing, or stay within the city limits, for up to 72 hours without a visa, so long as you can provide proof of onward travel (and a visa for your final destination) upon arrival in Beijing. We will be able to provide proof of the onward travel to the DPRK in the form of an Air Koryo e-ticket. We will also be able to provide proof of your DPRK visa in the form of a scanned colour copy. These documents will be sent to you prior to the start of the tour, and you can print copies to show the relevant authorities. Such an arrangement now saves you the cost of a Chinese double entry visa.
Those travelling in our last group who elected to enter under the transit option experienced no problems; and in fact, they passed through Immigration a lot quicker than those with a visa. We therefore recommend entering China, at Beijing Airport, under the transit visa option.
If however you plan to spend more than 72 hours, either before and/or after the tour, then you will still need to obtain a double entry visa, and for these people we can provide the necessary letter of invitation on KITC letterhead. Please let us know if you require such documentation.
This new visa free rule applies to 45 nationalities. The information from the Chinese visa centre in London can be viewed at: http://visaforchina.org/
All other nationalities should check with the Chinese Embassy in their country of residence.
North Korea: A Tourist Visa to enter North Korea is required by everyone.
For UK/EU citizens a Visa Card will be handed to you following your arrival in Beijing. The cost of this visa is €50.00 and is included in the tour price. You will be sent a visa application form once your booking is confirmed.All other nationalities should go on to the internet for details of their nearest North Korean Embassy or representative.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Consular Advice:
The FCO's consular service is a major operation. Every hour of every day consular staff around the world are advising and helping British nationals.
For up-to-date information on China we suggest you visit: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/china/
For North Korea specifically: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/korea-dpr-north-korea/
In addition, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) provide an Information Line for UK callers only, telephone: 020 3117 0599. This line is open between the hours 10:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
Please see page earlier. Should anyone fail to heed the information, or instructions given by the DPRK authorities, and as a result are detained and/or deported, Ian Allan Aviation Tours will not be responsible for any additional expense incurred.
Baggage Regulations – Finnair – Heathrow Departures:
Hold baggage – Finnair’s baggage rules, for Economy Class, currently allow 1 piece in the aircraft’s hold, up to a maximum weight of 51lbs (23kgs), with maximum dimensions of 62ins (158cms) including the handle, pockets and wheels. Please note Air Koryo’s weight allowance which is less at 44lbs.
Hand baggage - Passengers departing from or transferring through Heathrow can take 1 standard-sized bags no bigger than 22” x 18” x 10” (56cm x 45cm x 25cm), including wheels, pockets and handles and 1 small personal item. There is a combined weight limit of 17.5lbs (8kgs) for both cabin bags. Please note Air Koryo’s smaller allowance.
If flying from any other airport on Finnair, i.e. on connecting services to/from Heathrow, the allowance differs depending on the airport and you are advised to check beforehand.
Baggage Regulations – Air Koryo
Hold baggage – Economy Class passengers are allowed one piece of checked baggage which must not exceed 44lbs (20 kg). The length, width and height of each piece of checked baggage must not exceed 39in x 24in x 16in (100cm x 60cm x 40cm).
Hand baggage - Economy Class passengers may carry one small bag or other personal item weighing no more than 11lbs (5 kg), and suitable for placing in the closed overhead rack or under the seat provided that the total sum of its three dimensions does not exceed 45in (115cm).
Remain in place for the carriage of liquids, gels, and creams in hand baggage for all passengers departing from and transferring through all EU airports. Some other airports around the world operate their own restrictions. Customers are advised to check before they travel.
Baggage Restrictions (continued)
Limited quantities of liquids (individual containers must not exceed 3.5fl oz (100ml)), are allowed as hand baggage but must be carried separately through security in a clear plastic, zip-top or re-sealable bag that does not exceed 8in x 8in (20cm x 20cm), or quart size. Items must fit in the bag comfortably and the bag must be completely closed.
The bag can only contain liquids such as shampoo, suntan lotions, creams, toothpaste, hair gel and hair spray, perfumes, cosmetics such as mascara and lip gloss, water and other drinks, soups and syrups and other items of a similar consistency.
Cigarette lighters are NOT permitted in hold baggage or through the security search. These may be purchased airside.
Hand baggage can also include electronic equipment such as mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players (such as i-Pods). Laptops must be removed from the bag for x-ray.
Prescription medicines in liquid form, e.g. diabetic kit can also be included.
At security all remaining items should be placed in the tray provided for screening, e.g. car keys and fobs, cash, solid food, books, newspapers, cigarettes and tobacco, belts and shoes. Pushchairs and walking aids are permitted but must be x-ray screened. All wheelchairs will be subject to search. Please note: you may be subject to a hand search by the security team and required to remove footwear to be x-ray screened.
Baggage Weight Restrictions – UK Airports
Since 1st June 2004, any single piece of checked baggage weighing more than 70lbs (32kgs) has not been accepted at check-in by any airline operating from London’s Heathrow Airport. The BAA may introduce this limit at their other airports in the UK (and so might non-BAA airports), in an attempt to reduce manual handling injuries amongst airport staff. Please bear this in mind when packing your suitcase.
On this tour we stay on a Full Board Basis throughout: breakfast, lunch (some may be of the packed variety or onboard with Air Koryo) and evening meal.
There are no known mandatory precautions for visiting China or North Korea; however, we recommend you consult your local doctor or health centre for the latest information.
The most pleasant months for visiting North Korea are April, May, June, September and October. The average temperature in Pyongyang during our visit should be around 70⁰F/20⁰C, low humidity with very little, if any, rainfall. There are 12 hours of daylight and usually 7+ hours of sunshine. We recommend you take summer clothing with a jacket.
All persons booking on this COAP trip are requested to be dressed casual, but smart, at all times as a mark of respect, and out of courtesy, to our North Korean hosts.
For citizens of the United Kingdom, Ian Allan Aviation Tours are able to offer competitive and comprehensive insurance cover. However, if you do not wish to take out our insurance, you must ensure that comparable or greater cover is taken. The number of your Insurance Policy should be written, if known, on your Booking Form at the time of making the reservation, but no later than the date when final payment is due. A copy of the policy must be forwarded to Ian Allan Aviation Tours.
Individual insurance policies are arranged through CoverMore Insurance Services Limited; the premiums for which will vary according to your circumstances. Full details are available on request.
These policies also include cover for non-scheduled flights, i.e. pleasure flights, where the aircraft is licensed and insured to undertake such flights, and where a payment is made.
In Beijing we are very happy for enthusiasts to take time away from the printed itinerary to pursue their own interests so long as they inform the Tour Manager. It will be the individual’s responsibility to ensure that they re-join the group at the hotel at the stated time on the day of departure.
In North Korea, there is no flexibility! You cannot wander off on your own – unless you are accompanied by 2 North Korean guides which can be arranged.
Land Only Price:
This is for those that would prefer to join the tour at the hotel in Beijing on Day 2, instead of flying from the UK with the main group, and leave the group on Day 7.
This Land Only price will INCLUDE everything as stated, EXCEPT your long haul international flights to/from Beijing.
You are strongly advised to contact us before making your own flight arrangements in the event that there has been a change to the published itinerary.
Flight Timings & Connecting Travel Arrangements to Departure Airport:
All flight departure and arrival times are correct at the time of preparing each itinerary; however, airlines may change these times with little or no prior warning. In practice such changes are only a few minutes either way and the final itinerary will show the actual times. Clients making their own arrangements to get to the departure airport by air, rail, coach etc., should bare the above in mind if purchasing non-refundable or non-changeable tickets. Ian Allan Aviation Tours cannot be held responsible for any changes to flight times and any privately arranged travel tickets to the airport becoming invalid.
For connecting flights from UK regional airports - please call Ian Allan on 01932 255625 for the latest special offers available.
‘Meet & Greet’ Car Parking, London’s Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5:
From your home or overnight hotel, simply drive to the terminal and meet the Purple Parking agent in one of the Pick Up/Drop Off Valet Parking lanes. Your car will then be taken to an off-airport, secure, car park 5 miles away. On your return, the car will be waiting for you in the same location. Simple and very convenient. Recommended by our Tour Managers. Please call for details.
Please call IAAT for details.
Pleasure Flights – Disclaimer:
Should you decide to undertake any pleasure/sightseeing flights which have not been offered or sanctioned by us; COAP & Ian Allan Aviation Tours will not be held liable for any injuries or death resulting thereon.
Aircraft Participation – Disclaimer:
Whilst the event advertises military and civil participation, and even states aircraft types, this is by no means guaranteed, nor are the levels of restriction around them. Neither COAP nor Ian Allan Aviation Tours will be held responsible for any element of the flying or static programme not being as advertised or changes to the restrictions.
Tours Affected by World Events or Unforeseen/Unplanned Circumstances:
In an ever-changing world, events may occur immediately before or during a tour that result in cancellations or changes to the tour itinerary. For example, an increase in security may result in an approved visit being cancelled by the authorities in the DPRK. Ian Allan Travel Ltd cannot be held responsible for any part of the tour being cancelled or changed, the DPRK and Chinese authorities; or due to world events or circumstances beyond our control.
available through COAP this year!
available through COAP this year!
available through COAP this year!