Always wanted to go behind the iron curtain and visit North Korea? Never thought you’d be able to? Well now you can… thanks to CONIFA’s official tour partners, Young Pioneer Tours – and here are 6 reasons why you should go!
1. Check out a football match in the 150,000-seater Rungrado May Day Stadium
North Korea takes its football very seriously – it’s the most popular sport in the country. In Pyongyang you can visit a football college, play a match against locals (see No2!) and watch either domestic, continental club or international matches in both men’s and women’s football. In June 2020, CONIFA’s official tour partners Young Pioneer Tours will be running a specialist Football Tour to watch North Korea take on Turkmenistan in a World Cup qualifier within the immense 150,000-seater Rungrado May Day Stadium – the perfect way to soak up the locals’ pride for their North Korean team.
And what’s more, if you sign up for this tour, just mention the code CONIFA-YPT when you do so and you’ll receive a special €50 discount!
2. Head to Pyongyang Football School, then play 5-a-side with the locals
One of the nicest things about Young Pioneer Tours’ trips to North Korea is that you get to hang out with the locals in Pyongyang. Not only will you go to Pyongyang Football School, which specialises in the sport, and chat to the students, but you’ll also see them playing football (class schedules allowing). In addition to that, you’ll get to pull on your football boots (don’t forget to pack them) and head out to play a 5-a-side match with locals in a park. It’s a great way to get to know the people who live in this mysterious city.
3. Run the Pyongyang Marathon
Yes, you read that right! Young Pioneer Tours can help you run the Pyongyang Marathon, a dream for any runner. You’ll finish the 26-mile course in the Kim II Sung Stadium, cheered home by the locals, and get a certificate once you’ve completed the run. And if you don’t fancy covering quite such a lot of ground, you can also apply to run in the half marathon, mini marathon or the 5km race – or just watch from the stands, if running really isn’t your thing.
4. Sample the local beer in Pyongyang’s micro breweries
If you’ve not associated North Korea with beer, then prepare to be surprised. Pyongyang is a real hub of microbrewery magic and Young Pioneer Tours will show you around the city’s watering holes. There are plenty of iconic bars where you can sample the different beers available, and wash down all that spicy bibimbap.
5. Be wowed by the Mass Games
Wow, this is a real spectacle – one definitely not to be missed. Over 100,000 people take part in the North Korean Mass Games, which feature synchronised dancing and gymnastics in the giant May Day Stadium. This colourful and stunning performance tells a stylised story of North Korea, with giant ‘mosaic’ style pictures being held up by the performers, and flowers and suns representing different parts of the country’s history.
The Mass Games are in the Guinness Book of Records for a reason – as the world’s largest gymnastic display – and will be a highlight of any tour to the country
6. Brush up on your Korean language skills
If you want to immerse yourself in North Korean life, this is the tour for you. You’ll spend a month in Pyongyang, studying Korean at a university school in the morning, before heading out in the afternoon on sightseeing trips. As you’re in the country for such a long time, you’ll also get under the skin of North Korean life, with the opportunity to visit locals’ homes, go to the cinema, and head to the beach for a swim. Oh, and you’ll be able to speak decent Korean by the end of your tour, too!
This is sponsored content, created in partnership with Young Pioneer Tours.