A couple of years ago I went on a trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka DPRK / North Korea). It was probably one of the most unique trips I have ever been on due to the nature of travel in the country – only a select number of people can visit each year and visitors follow an itinerary that has been authorised in advance, must stay with their guides and are not allowed to leave their hotel unescorted.
This may not seem like the type of trip I would enjoy, due to my love of getting off of the tourist trail and getting under the skin of a country on adventure tours, but I found it a very worthwhile trip. When I travel I like to learn as much as I can and open myself up to new ideas and I thought it was very important to see the country for myself instead of just read and accept what the media tell us. I also like to visit unique destinations that nobody else I know has visited, that are off of the usual tourist trail, and the DPRK definitely fits that. I am glad I went on the trip and feel that I was able to learn a lot.
Until now my travel blog has been kept private on here to respect the privacy of my guides. I was given permission by my tour company to post information about the trip on my blog as long as I did not talk about the guides or show them in my photos to respect their privacy. I decided, on my own, to initially keep the blog password protected to add an additional level of privacy for my guides. However now that two years have passed, and the country is now under the guidance of Kim Jong-Un after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il who was the leader during my visit, I feel that it is important to share my experiences with others so they can make an informed decision if they are thinking about travelling to this unique destination.
I highly recommend a trip to the DPRK if you are looking for a unique, cultural trip to a country with a lot of history as long as you are willing to respect the culture of Korea and the rules of the trip. If you book a trip to the country you will be told a little about the DPRK and given a few rules about conduct during your visit and please follow these not only to respect the culture of the country but also to respect your guides.
The blog can be found by clicking here, or by clicking the “2010 China & North Korea” link in the menu, but to get you started here is a photo from my trip.
Some of the things that I saw on my trip (for the benefit of search engines) were:
- Kim il-Sung Statue
- Juche Tower
- Taedong River
- USS Pueblo
- Yanggakdo Hotel
- Arirang Mass Games
- West Sea Barrage at Nampo
- International Friendship Exhibition at Mount Myohyang
- DMZ (De-Militarized Zone) at Panmunjeon
- South Korea
- Train to Beijing
(Please note – I have been given permission to include details of my trip on my blog by the tour company but the names of my guides as well as photos of them have left out to respect their privacy. It is forbidden for journalists to visit The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on a tourist visa and it is forbidden for us to publish information about our trip in any capacity without permission. As a result I do NOT give permission for anything I write about North Korea in this blog, or any photos I upload of North Korea, to be used anywhere for any purpose other than reading directly on my blog if you are considering travelling to North Korea as a tourist. In addition I do NOT give permission for my name, my blog’s address, or any photos of me to be used or quoted anywhere for any purpose related to The DPRK. If you breach this notice you will be subject to legal action from the tour company. Thank you for your understanding.
If you feel that the post / page containing this notice breaches any regulations or if it contains any information or photos which should be changed or removed to respect the rules of the tour company or the traditions of The DPRK please let me know ASAP so I can fix the problem.)