It’s already over a year ago that I visited the DPRK or North Korea. I still have a few stories left and now I will share with you the daily life in Pyongyang and the Pyongyang metro. I will do this through the eyes of a child, a photo journal. Some photos are made in not the best conditions, digital zoom or quickly shot due to some restrictions. I have tried to update them to the best possible quality. Enjoy this journey through life in North Korea in 38 photos. Childhood of a boy in Pyongyang Let’s first introduce the boy in this story. I met him while walking through the Moranbong Park in Pyongyang. This is him. The eternal president Kim Il-Sung and the great leaders Kim Il-sung and now Kim Jong-un provide to him education. They promised education to “their” kids. Everyday he has to go to school. As there are actually no cars available he will go by bus and metro. He will be reminded by the billboards about the fact that the North Korean people are strong. … [Read more...] about DPRK NORTH KOREA – A photo journal of a child growing up in Pyongyang & the Pyongyang metro
I Bow in North Korea to the great leader and eternal president Kim Il-sung as I would respect anywhere any local customs. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for many brings up the thought “do I survive?”. From many friends I got questions like “Are you sure?”, “Let’s make a goodbye party we won’t see you again”, “Are you not afraid of getting imprisoned?” etc. etc. It’s not the first travel destination for many. So why in the hell would I go there? It started long ago but got itchy some years back with a documentary on television in the Netherlands about the DPR North Korea. My goal is to travel the world and not miss any country and due to the political situation I put DPR North Korea at the top of my bucket list as anything can change any day; so better now than never. But there was one problem: I prefer to have control over my travels and plan them myself: NOT POSSIBLE. After … [Read more...] about DPRK NORTH KOREA – To bow or not to bow; Pyongyang explored [part 1]
North Korea is a destination unlike any other. A visit to North Korea will probably also bring you to Mount Myohyang as this is standard in any tour. It is a nice day trip from Pyongyang and I also did it a year ago during my North Korea trip. I take you to this national park where you find a beautiful temple, nature and an exhibition of all the gifts the great leaders ever received. Mount Myohyang Mount Myohyang or Myohyangsan translates to Mysterious Fragrant Mountain. The area is now a national park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. For the Koreans it’s a sacred place as their ancestor King Tangun supposed to live there. He is said to be the grandson of heaven and has founded the Gojoseon Kingdom over 5 centuries ago. The nature in the area is unspoiled with endless stretches of mixed forest. If you visit in autumn as I did, you will see the leafs turn to a variety of yellow, red and brown colors. The air is fresh as there is basically no pollution which is very pleasant when … [Read more...] about DPRK NORTH KOREA – A day trip from Pyongyang to Mt. Myohyang, Pohyonsa Temple & International Friendship Exhibition
My trip to the DPRK or North Korea has been already almost a half year ago but there is so much more to write about this trip (read other posts here). In this post I will take you to the five most important monuments in Pyongyang. Each of them is devoted to the great leader or the party. Each one is a must to see and you WILL see them if you book a trip to North Korea. No schedule is without these magnificent North Korea monuments 🙂 Arch of Triumph The Arch of Triumph is in most tours the first monument you will see in Pyongyang directly after your arrival by plane. If you have flexibility in your trip I suggest visiting Mansu Hill Grand Monument directly after the Arch of Triumph on the day of arrival to safe time on the next days. As I booked the trip as a private tour I had a lot of flexibility to fill my days with my wishes. This does need advance planning with the tour operator and the North Korean tourism authority to get all the permissions. Read about my planning here. … [Read more...] about DPRK NORTH KOREA – 5 great North Korea monuments; Pyongyang explored [part 2]
Home Advice Is It Safe to Attend the 2018 Olympics in South Korea?Is It Safe to Attend the 2018 Olympics in South Korea? January 29, 2018 by Tim Winship Would I have qualms about attending the games in South Korea? I was recently asked that seemingly simple question, a question that would appear to fall well within my professional area of expertise. My initial response, with nary a hint of hesitation, was: No qualms at all. South Korea is a safe and stable country, with a robust economy, operating under the rule of law. Neither street crime (which was a concern surrounding the Rio Olympics) nor political unrest (a concern during the Beijing games) would be factors. It gradually dawned on me, however, that I was missing the point of the query. The 2018 Olympics (February 9 – 25) aren’t just taking place in South Korea; they’re taking place in Pyeongchang, a city just 50 miles from the border with North Korea. And therein lies the nub of the question: … [Read more...] about Is It Safe to Attend the 2018 Olympics in South Korea?
Increasing concerns over the risk of being arrested and detained in North Korea have led the U.S. Department of State to restrict Americans from traveling there. The ban is expected to go into effect on September 1. North Korea Travel Ban The announcement came after an American traveler died earlier this summer, days after being released from incarceration in North Korea. Arrested during a tour in January 2016 for trying to steal a poster, university student Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment with hard labor; he died days after being returned to the U.S. in a coma in June. Tour companies operating in North Korea had been weighing restrictions on Americans since Warmbier’s death. Young Pioneer Tours, the outfit Warmbier traveled with, stated it would not accept Americans any longer. Uri Tours was in the process of reviewing its policy on Americans, tour manager Elliott Davies said, when the new ban was announced. The restriction is unfortunate, said Brian … [Read more...] about State Department Bans Americans from Traveling to North Korea
The food that’s just waiting to become a fart. Kimchi may indeed be “the cabbage you can ravage with the chilli paste taste,” but, honestly, it just isn’t that great. Sure, taste is subjective and all but kimchi in Korea is an obsession. Even in America people vary their fast-food diets. One day it’s fried chicken and the next it’s hamburgers, and sometimes it’s a pizza. But in Korea, kmchi is on the table every day. I’d never even heard of the stuff until I came to Korea, and when I was presented with a side dish of it at dinner, I thought, Hmm, this is ok. It was palatable, but nothing special. The next day I was given it for lunch, then dinner. And the next day. And the next. But kimchi is everywhere in Korea and ignoring it won’t make it go away. I teach kids English and we often end up discussing food, always an easy subject: “What did you have for breakfast?” “Kimchi.” “Lunch?” … [Read more...] about Kimchi in Korea
My first, indirect impression of South Korea goes back to 1988, when a Moscow-based journalist colleague became one of the very few Soviet reporters to be sent to Seoul to cover that year’s summer Olympics. On his return, he was unusually taciturn and withdrawn. When I asked him how he liked South Korea, he pondered for a minute, as if mesmerised, and then said: ‘It was amazing: all those cars, buildings, people... It was like a funfair of life!’On the day of my own Korean Air flight from London to Seoul, nearly 30 years later, North Korea launched its most powerful ever ballistic missile into the skies. On the same day, a North Korean soldier escaped to the South by dashing across the border. He was shot at by North Korean border guards, but somehow survived. Probably not the best of times to begin my own search for the ‘funfair of life’. OLYMPIC DREAMSIt is an astounding fact, but the annual per capita GDP in South Korea, a nation that has no mineral … [Read more...] about South Korea – The funfair of life
I was recently asked a seemingly simple question, that would appear to fall well within my professional area of expertise: Is it safe to attend the 2018 Olympics in South Korea? My initial response, with nary a hint of hesitation, was: Of course, South Korea is a safe and stable country, with a robust economy, operating under the rule of law. Neither street crime, which was a concern surrounding the 2016 Rio Olympics, nor political unrest, which could be a concern during the 2022 Beijing games, are safety issues for the 2018 Olympics. It gradually dawned on me, however, that the question is more complicated than those facts. Why? The 2018 Olympics (February 9 – 25) aren’t just taking place in South Korea; they’re taking place in Pyeongchang, a city just 50 miles from the border with North Korea. Related:Winter Olympics 2018: Here’s What Travelers Need to Know That’s the question: Could North Korea impact the 2018 Olympics’ safety? Might that … [Read more...] about 2018 Olympics Travel: Is South Korea Safe to Visit for the Games?
Tokyo Metropolitan Government is holding a campaign to promote Tokyo's charms overseas and also in a broad scope in South Korea using the logo and slogan "Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New."Every Moment Is History. Where Will You Find Yourself Next?" has been spread in airports, buses, and various media such as magazines since January 1, 2018, as part of this promotion campaign. Also, along with promoting Tokyo's charms effectively to travelers around the world, it is spreading the image of Tokyo as a tourist destination worldwide.Traditions passed on from the Edo period coexist with cutting-edge culture … [Read more...] about “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New” campaign promotes Tokyo’s charms in South Korea as well