Welcome to the TravelPod forums
This is the place where TravelPod bloggers exchange travel tips with each other. Have a question? Ask one of our Local Experts by clicking "new topic" in any category.

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> North Korea, Has anyone ever been there?
Barrett
post Jun 12 2006, 10:21 PM
Post #1


Nomad
***

Group: Members
Posts: 157
Joined: 4-January 06
Member No.: 423
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Have you been to North Korea? If you have, how did you do it? How much did it cost? What was it like? N. Korea seems like one of the last places backpackers can't really get to so it would be great to hear from someone who has made it there.


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Jessica_CDN
post Jun 13 2006, 07:47 AM
Post #2


Commuter
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 698
Joined: 16-February 06
From: Kingston, Ontario Canada
Member No.: 519
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Barrett, what a great question! I was wondering the same thing the other day! Here's hoping someone can shed some light on the subject.... smile.gif


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Barrett
post Jul 3 2006, 07:33 PM
Post #3


Nomad
***

Group: Members
Posts: 157
Joined: 4-January 06
Member No.: 423
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Its been a while and no answers. Can anyone ask a friend who has been, or someone you ran into? This seems like the last frontier to me. I found a graphic novel by an American aid worker about his time there, which was pretty funny but didn't shed much light on the logistics.


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Jessica_CDN
post Jul 10 2006, 06:55 PM
Post #4


Commuter
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 698
Joined: 16-February 06
From: Kingston, Ontario Canada
Member No.: 519
Nominate me as a Local Expert



I found this blog....

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...80520/tpod.html


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
kacee
post Jan 19 2007, 04:20 PM
Post #5


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 6
Joined: 17-January 07
From: hella, iceland
Member No.: 34842
Nominate me as a Local Expert



i've been to the DMZ, and i can't imagine anyone actually going to the "other side"...

i heard, randomly, in my 7 years of living in seoul that you COULD travel to n. korea, but it was VERY regulated and you were within sight of a government official at all times. not much of a vacation... smile.gif but when i asked around later in life no one had any information and most thought i was crazy.

but there was a documentary done recently by an american reporter named lisa ling. she went there undercover as an aid worker and did a very good job i think of capturing life in n. korea...i think by the looks of it you can get the gist of what 'travel' there would be like... oi vey.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
samhoso
post Mar 6 2007, 06:28 AM
Post #6


Wanderer
*

Group: Members
Posts: 14
Joined: 5-March 07
Member No.: 42428
Nominate me as a Local Expert



i heard this crazy story, and honestly if anyone else would have told me this, there is no way i would have believed it. however, my source is a good friend, who has lived in asia for 35 years (not to mention africa 12 years). he says, that there is one border check-point where you can enter north korea from china without any visa and formalities. once you cross the border, you find yourself in a town full of casinos and 24/7 entertainment. he says, this is one of the best kept secrets in asia, and hardly any outsiders know about it - but if you have your connections in china, it's a peace of cake to get there. would be worth researching i think.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
rbisset
post Mar 6 2007, 08:11 AM
Post #7


Planet Pioneer
*******

Group: Local Expert
Posts: 2215
Joined: 3-May 06
From: Guildford, UK
Member No.: 692




Well you can take a train from Beijing to Pyongyang so I imagine its somewhere along the way.


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
peacefrog
post May 29 2007, 09:37 AM
Post #8


Pathfinder
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 476
Joined: 23-March 06
Member No.: 581
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Just after graduating, all of my jobsearch was concentrarted on NGOs.
I did find a position in Pyongyang, to install and commission centrifugal blood purifiers at the hospital. I was ready to go, we had numerous discussions, sorting out visas etc... and in the end it did not happen (one of their permanent staff got available and was relocated to that position).
From what they told me at the time, it would have been quite a restricted lifestyle.
I'm still gutted I did not go


--------------------
A day back around the world

« Sans curiosité on meurt et sans courage on ne vit pas. »
[ Hugo Pratt ]
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Paul
post May 29 2007, 09:47 AM
Post #9


Navigator
******

Group: Members
Posts: 1321
Joined: 9-November 04
From: Thailand
Member No.: 98
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Hmmm, Interesting. I want to go have a look also.

Hmmm, people posing as aid workers. That is extremely irresponsible. They may get a great story. But they will cause the next lot of aid workers to not be given permission to enter. Great next famine or natural disaster how many people will suffer / die and not get help for that persons story. Please try to use your brain if you are a journalist. If you don't have one, ask someone who does.

But anyway, North Korea - I want to know more. I want to go. Barrett, I reckon it is your task to go there and tell us all about it.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
battlemonkey
post May 29 2007, 10:55 AM
Post #10


Voyager
**

Group: Members
Posts: 73
Joined: 23-February 07
From: New York, NY
Member No.: 40839
Nominate me as a Local Expert



As of...maybe earlier this year, I think...North Korea started issuing visas for certain "outfitters," but this is hardly an everest base camp trek. You are allowed to visit Pyongyang, view the Arirang games, and look at a couple other "cultural gifts." It is all done in the company of two government guides. There is no deviation from the schedule allowed, and from what I hear, even talking to a North Korean could potentially get that person (and you) in a lot of trouble.

Outside magazine Article here: Outside on North Korea

Paying $6,000 plus the cost of travel to go look at a statue of Kim Il-sung and a big stuffed crocodile carrying a cocktail tray hardly seems like the deal of a lifetime.

That said, I sometimes amuse myself by using Google Earth to look at Pyongyang, while listening to Sublime Frequencies "Radio Pyongyang" CD. Take THAT, Kim Jung-il!


--------------------
Keith Allison
Teleport City...
Hitting you with the WHOLE loaf of kungfu!
www.teleport-city.com

Phantom Limb: We're not so different, you and I.
Brock Samson: Yeeeaah, I don't need another 'we're not so different' speech. I get those a lot.

"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future." -- Criswell
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ktje42
post Jun 18 2007, 11:37 PM
Post #11


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 2
Joined: 18-June 07
Member No.: 62831
Nominate me as a Local Expert



QUOTE(Barrett @ Jun 12 2006, 10:21 PM) *

Have you been to North Korea? If you have, how did you do it? How much did it cost? What was it like? N. Korea seems like one of the last places backpackers can't really get to so it would be great to hear from someone who has made it there.


I am a South Korean. I have been there to travel KUMKANG MOUNTAIN.
The Mt is sooooooooooo amazing !It is beautiful.
I counldn't go other city in N. Korea. cuases it was limited travel.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
oliveramber
post Aug 13 2007, 07:11 AM
Post #12


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 3
Joined: 31-July 07
Member No.: 75555
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Just in case you're still looking at going to North Korea the below website might be of some help.

http://www.seat61.com/Korea.htm
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
stevejames
post Aug 14 2007, 06:07 PM
Post #13


Tourist
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 503
Joined: 30-August 05
From: Bristol, UK
Member No.: 232
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Yes, Seat 61 is an excellent site for train travel. I can also recommend Koryo Tours - www.koryotours.com - a British company working out of Beijing who offer tours to N. Korea. I met up with one of the tourguides in Beijing when I was there two years ago, friendly chap. Apparently there are (were?) one of only two foreign companies permitted to offer tours to the North (the other being Norwegian I think).


--------------------
steve
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
rbisset
post Aug 15 2007, 03:40 AM
Post #14


Planet Pioneer
*******

Group: Local Expert
Posts: 2215
Joined: 3-May 06
From: Guildford, UK
Member No.: 692




Still considering going to North Korea on the next trip Steve?


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
stevejames
post Aug 15 2007, 12:07 PM
Post #15


Tourist
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 503
Joined: 30-August 05
From: Bristol, UK
Member No.: 232
Nominate me as a Local Expert



Absolutely! I can afford it this time round - although looking at my plans I'm likely to be in the area around February, and I don't know if they run tours then crying_anim.gif


--------------------
steve
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
rbisset
post Aug 15 2007, 12:25 PM
Post #16


Planet Pioneer
*******

Group: Local Expert
Posts: 2215
Joined: 3-May 06
From: Guildford, UK
Member No.: 692




I will definitely go there on the next trip but it would need to coincide with the Ariang which I don't think is on every year. I think every trip deserves at least one crazy splurge and 4 days in North Korea will definitely be the one on the next trip biggrin.gif

Edit: I just had a look at the tour link you provided and €1390 is far more than I expected!!!


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Jessica_CDN
post Aug 16 2007, 02:54 PM
Post #17


Commuter
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 698
Joined: 16-February 06
From: Kingston, Ontario Canada
Member No.: 519
Nominate me as a Local Expert



but to be able to say you'd been to North Korea.....

that's gotta be a small club!


--------------------
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
stereobread
post Feb 9 2009, 01:07 PM
Post #18


Wayfarer
**

Group: Members
Posts: 58
Joined: 7-February 09
Member No.: 269026
Nominate me as a Local Expert



I know this thread's been dead for quite a while but I thought I'd chime in since I've been reading about the subject for a while now. Citizens of most western countries can visit North Korea relatively easily through a pre-arranged tour from Beijing. You can do this either with a group or solo and at any time of the year but once you enter the country you will be accompanied by a government minder at all times, except at night when you will be in your (probably bugged) hotel room. The exception to this is US citizens who are only allowed in during the Arirang Mass Games in April.

Up until December of last year it was possible for citizens of most countries (including both the US and South Korea) to take three day bus tours from Seoul to Kumgangsan, a mountainous resort region on the northern side of the border, or day trips to Kaesong, an historic city on the northern side of the border. These trips could be done visa free and were organized by Hyundai Asan, a South Korean company that operates most Southern investment in the North, but they were shut down at the beginning of December due to worsening relations between the two sides, largely as a result of North Korean anger at South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak's reversals of his predecessors more conciliatory policies toward the North. Recently the president of Hyundai Asan said that he hopes to have the tours back up and running by April but he gave no explanation for his statement and didn't cite any changes in the situation so whether or not that happens is very much up in the air.

I'm really hoping the situation does improve and the cross border tours star up again since I'm an American teaching in South Korea and would love the opportunity to go but I won't be able to get time off work for the Arirang Mass Games which are currently the only time Americans are let in. I'd only do the daytrip to Kaesong to limit the amount of money being spent on government operated hotels since I don't really feel all that good about the idea of financially supporting the most repressive government on Earth.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
stereobread
post Aug 22 2009, 01:22 AM
Post #19


Wayfarer
**

Group: Members
Posts: 58
Joined: 7-February 09
Member No.: 269026
Nominate me as a Local Expert



There's been some pretty interesting developments on this topic lately. Shortly after Bill Clinton visited North Korea and secured the release of the two American journalists the president of Hyundai Asan, the South Korean company that controls inter-Korean business ties, visited Pyongyang, met with Kim Jong-il, secured the release of a South Korean hostage and reached an agreement with the North Koreans to restart the visa-free cross border tours to Kaesong and Kumgangsan!

The South Korean government said that the tours would only restart after a meeting between the two governments but I was reading today that a North Korean delegation sent to Seoul for the funeral of former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung has unexpectedly met with the South Korean Unification Minister. The results of that meeting haven't been announced yet but it seems entirely possible that I'll get to visit North Korea before I finish my teaching job here afterall hyper.gif !
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
taedongtravel
post Aug 23 2013, 12:50 AM
Post #20


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 1
Joined: 22-August 13
Member No.: 4180113
Nominate me as a Local Expert



QUOTE(Barrett @ Jul 3 2006, 07:33 PM) *

Its been a while and no answers. Can anyone ask a friend who has been, or someone you ran into? This seems like the last frontier to me. I found a graphic novel by an American aid worker about his time there, which was pretty funny but didn't shed much light on the logistics.



here is one of the travel agent who are based in Beijing, hope not too late to help you out.
www.taedongtravel.com
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic

 


- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 16th April 2014 - 05:25 AM
Top Hotel Destinations

Acapulco Hotels
Atlanta Hotels
Austin Hotels
Beijing Hotels
Cancun Hotels
Charlotte Hotels
Chicago Hotels
Dallas Hotels
Denver Hotels
Honolulu Hotels
Houston Hotels
Indianapolis Hotels
Kissimmee Hotels
Las Vegas Hotels
London Hotels
Los Angeles Hotels
Mexico City Hotels
Miami Hotels
Miami Beach Hotels
Montreal Hotels
Myrtle Beach Hotels
Nashville Hotels
Negril Hotels
New Orleans Hotels
New York City Hotels
Orlando Hotels
Paris Hotels
Phoenix Hotels
Playa del Carmen Hotels
Puerto Plata Hotels
Puerto Vallarta Hotels
Punta Cana Hotels
Rome Hotels
San Antonio Hotels
San Diego Hotels
San Francisco Hotels
Seattle Hotels
Tampa Hotels
Toronto Hotels
Washington DC Hotels



Copyright © 1997 - 2011 TravelPod.com, a proud founder of travel blogs on the web. All Rights Reserved.