New off the beaten path tour in North Korea comes with big price tag

Mount Chilbo North Korea


North Korea is by far one of the most reclusive countries in the world where very few travelers manage to go. One could say the entire country is off the beaten path, but a new tour, scheduled for late September, promises the first ever adventure trip in North Korea. Organized by Mountain Travel Sobek, the tour will take travelers to unique and worthwhile remote attractions such as the scenic Mount Chilbo, and industrial Chongjin, North Korea’s third-largest city. The price tag for the trip is of close to 9,000 US dollars, airfare excluded.

Sounds pricey? To us too. According to USA Today that is about 5 times the annual income of a North Korean. Behind the shiny marketing promise and the exclusive price, is this trip really worth you spending so much money? Apparently, another tour organizing company in North Korea is offering similar adventures since 1993 – that’s about it for the “first ever’ promise of MTS! Koryo Tours organizes the National Day long tour in September as well and their offer comes at a third of the MTS price.


If you decide to take any of the tours, remember they both happen during the North Korea’s annual Arirang Mass Games, a worldwide renowned event described as the “greatest, strangest, most awe-inspiring political spectacle on Earth.”

I have a question for our readers out there: is being part of tours to secluded attractions, or making an effort to stay off the beaten part worth the enormous price tags some adventure tours organizers ask travelers to pay? Share your opinions in the comment box!

1 Comment to “New off the beaten path tour in North Korea comes with big price tag”

  1. Catharine says:

    Mountain Travel Sobek use the term “adventure tour” on their website, which to me inspires images of abseiling, rock-climbing etc etc, however when you read the trip description it just sounds like a normal trip to North Korea (‘normal’ applied to the DPRK is relative of course!). I suppose they mean the fact of going to North Korea is an adventure in itself.
    I went to the DPRK in 2010 with Koryo Tours, and while the trip was relatively expensive it was nowhere near the price Mountain Travel are asking. It seems extortionate, and I’d be interested to know how they can justify it.

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