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North Korea

When to go

The best time to plan a trip is during the Arirang Mass Games (mid-August until mid-October most years) or during a national holiday. Special performances, which have been rehearsed for months, can be included in the itinerary. During these periods train and plane tickets are harder to obtain, so ensure that you have booked well in advance. In general, the most pleasant months for a visit are April, May, June, September and October. July and August are often unpleasantly humid and overcast. Tours don’t usually run in the winter: they finish in November, then start again in March. The month of February sees the Great Leader’s birthday and foreigners are particularly unwelcome at this time of year. Those finding themselves in North Korea in winter will find power shortages common (although not usually in hotels) and it’s generally a cold and miserable time to visit.