March 11, 2010 10:57
A new train service is being offered in China for tours to North Korea. One news website based in China's Zhejiang Province reported on Wednesday that a large travel agency in the region will offer railway trips from Hangzhou to Sinuiju from April 20.
The trains have 14 sleeper carriages and can transport 800 passengers. They pass Beidahu in Hebei Province and Dandong, Liaoning Province before arriving in Sinuiju, where Chinese passengers will transfer to a North Korean train and embark on an 11-day tour that includes stops in the border truce village of Panmunjom, Mt. Myohyang and the childhood home of former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung. The tours will cost 5,280 yuan for first-class compartments and 4,680 yuan for regular ones.
"Until now, people in Zhejiang Province visited North Korea by flying from Hangzhou either to Beijing or Shenyang and transferring to trains," said a spokesman for the tour agency. "But the train tours are both cheaper than existing options and offer more sightseeing stops including Beidahu and Dandong, so more than 300 people have signed up already." China halted tours to North Korea in February of 2006 but decided to start them again this year.
Chinese tourists will not be able to bring mobile phones into North Korea and will also be banned from carrying cameras with zoom lenses and face restrictions on traveling alone in the communist country.
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