FAQ for North Korea

6 Sep 2017 – In view of the recent developments at North Korea and in line with MFA’s travel advisory, we will be suspending all tours to North Korea until further notice.

1. When is the best time to visit North Korea?
North Korea can now be visited all year round. For moderate weather, August to November and March to June would be the recommended months.  Most visitors, however, try to coincide their visits with national holidays or celebrations.

2. Do I need a VISA to visit North Korea?
A VISA is required to visit North Korea except if you are traveling on a Malaysian passport or a member of the Singaporean Business Association. As these rules change from time to time, check with us before the trip. We can help travellers organise the VISA. All we need is a filled up application form and a clear coloured soft copy of your passport. You need not submit your physical passport to us.

3. Is visiting North Korea safe?
Despite what has been portrayed in the media, North Korea is probably one of the safest countries to visit with one of the lowest crime rates. Even during times of international political tensions, tourism remains unaffected. Tourists are warmly welcomed and well taken care of. As long as you listened to the guides, you would be fine. Take the chance to get to know the country and you will be surprised!

4. What is the time difference between North Korea and Singapore?
North Korea’s on UTC +8:30, 30 minutes faster compared to Singapore. This means when it is 11am in Singapore, it is 1130am in North Korea. China has the same timezone as Singapore.

5. What vaccination is required for North Korea?
As far as we are aware, no vaccination is necessary. But it is always a good idea to seek advice from your doctor.

6. What currency should I bring to North Korea?
You should bring EUR and RMB as prices are usually set in both currencies. We suggest bringing a mixture of both and use one which is more favourable for the purchase. Credit cards and ATM cash withdrawal will not be available.

7. How much money should I bring to North Korea?
You will not be expected to spend much money. For the average traveller, EUR 300 or RMB equivalent will be enough for expenses such as tips, drinks and souvenirs.

8. What is the tipping culture in North Korea?
Yes, tipping is expected for your North Korean guides and driver. We recommend giving a gift when you first arrive at your hotel during the sit-down with your guides. Suitable gifts will be cigarettes and liquor for male guides and chocolates and perfume for female guides. A suitable place to buy these gifts will be from Beijing airport. This gesture helps to pave the way for your trip and your guides will more likely try their best to accommodate to the group’s request. At the end of the trip, a cash tip of around EUR 7 per day to the shared by the guides and driver will be much appreciated. As with any service industry, these tips will greatly help to supplement their income.  Tips to service staff at the hotels and restaurants are generally not necessary. Of course, if you are feeling generous, it doesn’t hurt to give a small tip.

9. What plugs and voltages do North Korea uses?
Please see http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/north-korea/. Most hotels will be able to provide adaptors for you. However, it is definitely more convenient to bring your own international travel adaptor.

10. Can I bring my mobile phone, tablet and laptop into North Korea?
Tourists are now allowed to bring all these into North Korea. But do note that tourists will not be able to buy a local sim card. Limited international calls and internet access can be had at certain hotels. For internet access, many sites are restricted and connection is not the most reliable.

11. Is there any dress code in North Korea?
Jeans used to be frowned upon in North Korea. But these days, you can basically dress in any way as long as it is not disrespectful. However, if you are visiting Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (Mausoleum), please dress in smart casual. Pants with shirt or blouse with covered shoes will be appropriate.

12. Which nationalities are not allowed into North Korea?
South Koreans traveling on a Korea (ROK, South Korea) passport are restricted from visiting DPRK. Americans are no longer allowed to visit DPRK. Japanese passport holders are allowed into North Korea but as there is a monopoly agreement between KITC and Chugai Travel, Japanese has to travel via Chugai Travel based in Japan.

13. How advance should I book a trip to North Korea
We need at least 2 months notice to apply for visa and submit the necessary documentations.

14. Where does the tour starts?
The tour starts and end at Beijing. Beijing is the most convenient place because of the frequent flights to Pyongyang and overnight train option. Customers would have to arrange their flight and visa arrangements (double entry) to Beijing.  Be sure to arrive a day before the trip for pre-trip briefing and in case of travel delays.

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