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jorgesanchez P'yongyang - A travel report by jorge
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P'yongyang,  Korea, North - flag Korea, North -  P'y÷ngyang
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jorgesanchez's travel reports

the most hermetic country in the world

  23 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
North Korea is a bizarre country that will surprise you more than any other in the world, even more than Bhutan. But you should go as soon as possible, since the political situation might change in any moment.

Buddhist carving
Buddhist carving
I was in Beijing, just enjoying the city with my hired bicycle, when I saw the North Korean Embassy and went inside for curiosity to have information about this hermetic country. Then I was introduced to the chief of the travel agency RYOHAENGSA, who had his office in the same Embassy. Well, I expressed him my interest in visiting this country and then he offered my an individual tour for only 450 US Dollars! I accepted at once. The tour included air plane to Pyongyang, 3 days and 3 nights single room in the colossal PYONGYANG KORYO HOTEL, food, car with driver, plus a guide in any language I liked and a railway ticket the last day to the border with China. In Pyongyang airport, the car with driver and guide, both called Kim, were waiting for me and brought me to my splendid hotel, I think the best and most luxurious one where I have ever been during my travels, with about 45 floors. I asked for a high room and was given one with a number as long as a telephone number. The excursions I had included were: circus, mausoleum of former President Kim II Sung, palaces and factories. In the mausoleum they asked me money to buy flowers to put in the tomb of Kim II Sung, which I refused (the cost was about 10 US dollars, but I was travelling on the cheap and had only 50 US dollars left to get to Russia, and back to Spain). Then, they became angry with me and offered me instead another excursion. So I asked for a Buddhist temple, and was brought to a beautiful monastery (empty) from the XV century outside of Pyongyang. During the nights, when I used to walk alone, without the driver and the guide, I saw how the people were cutting grass in the parks for preparing soup. Yes, people are suffering from hunger in North Korea, and that made me feel guilty. I was there in an excellent hotel, and the local people dying from starvation. The last day, when I left the country, the emigration officials did not want to stamp my passport.

Favourite spots:
My fantastic KORYO Hotel
My fantastic KORYO Hotel
I liked the Buddhist monasteries, temples and the stone statues, like the one you can see in my picture representing the coming Buddha Maitreya.

What's really great:
After visiting North Korea I felt that I have been is a special place, in a country retro. One day, when the political situation will change, I will feel proud of having been there, like I was in the old Soviet Union, or in the Nicaragua in the times of the sandinistas, or having crossed the Check Point Charly between the two Berlin during the Cold War period.

I was in the KORYO Hotel. You can not go by yourself to North Korea, that is why the hotel will be booked beforehand.

Since I had full board in my tour, I did not go to any restaurant while in North Korea.

Published on Sunday June 19th, 2005

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Sat, Apr 26 2014 - 08:00 AM rating by mistybleu

This was an amazing experience and fairly cheap as well. Thanks for sharing

Sat, Aug 04 2007 - 02:43 AM rating by adampl

Lot's of interesting info about this insulated country. Well done!

Sun, Jan 15 2006 - 08:49 AM rating by frenchfrog

Wow, You have the thing to visit strange place, you luckuy you!
Well done vry informative for such a close country.

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 02:50 AM rating by rangutan

Another nice report Jorge, unusually places!

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