by Debbie Pappyn

Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of KoreaStep with an open mind into one of the most closed and unknown countries in the world. North Korea is not only wonderfully interesting, but also surprisingly accessible. In 2013, the curious traveller who wants to experience one of the last Communist dynasties should book a ticket to Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) aka North Korea. Exclusive travel is an understatement here because less than 5000 western tourists visit this little known Asian country annually. If you are the kind of traveller who likes to come home with original stories and photos that nobody else could have taken then put this destination high on your hotlist. We answer five questions on how to do it.
guide with Kim Il Sung pinsoldier, north korea, subway, metroat Mansudae Grand Monument statue, North Koreaat Mansudae Grand Monument statue, North Koreaat Mansudae Grand Monument statue, North Koreaat Mansudae Grand Monument statue, North Korea

1.How do you get to North Korea?

Probably the most surprising thing about visiting North Korea is that anyone can do it (even American Traveler’s). Traveling there is neither complicated nor dangerous and it’s even relatively affordable. Just book a trip with the English, Beijing-based tour operator Koryo Tours, which has been taking curious tourists to North Korea for more than fifteen years. In 2012  Koryo Tours took around 2,500-plus tourists to DPRK of which a third were Americans. Koryo Tours arranges your visa, books your flight or train from Beijing to Pyongyang and also makes sure that you discover this country in a fascinating way. It starts with a 1,5 hour flight from Beijing to Pyongyang in a Tupolev aircraft of Air Koryo, the national airline. A vintage chic first class, beautiful stewardesses wearing white gloves and red lipstick, a meal that rivals many American carriers and the Pyongyang Times, a North Korean newspaper translated into English. If your flight is at night (which is highly unlikely) the views are spectacular: the Yalu River that separates China from North Korea, on the Chinese side, brightly lit and bustling and on the North Korean side, complete darkness. Onboard there are mainly visitors and tourists but also some North Koreans who are easily identifiable by the de rigueur badge of the Great Leader they wear. The same Kim Il Sung observes the Tupolev as it lands at Pyongyang’s international airport. The group of international tourists know in advance what to expect, thanks to a briefing in Beijing the previous day. Laptops, cameras, lenses, video cameras are all allowed. In 2009 we still had to hand-in our cell phone at the airport, but nowadays you can take your phone inside the country and buy a local sim card too from which you can make and receive international phone calls. There are internet connections in most big hotels since 2008, plus the western guides have internet on their smart phones.
Our British guide Hannah Barraclough from Koryo Tours shares her adventures via InstaGram, live from North Korea.


Pyongyang, DPRK, North Koreafather with sons in the park on liberation daykids in the park on liberation daypicnic in the park on liberation daydancing in the park on liberation daykids playing in the street in Pyongyang dressed up for liberation daya night of bowling in pyongyangrestaurant North Koreafood in North Korea

2.Are you free during a trip to North Korea?

Yes and no. Exploring alone is a no-no. Either you book an individual trip to North Korea and have two local guides and a driver in a stylish vintage Mercedes assigned to you, or you go in an international group. In the case of the latter, two local guides, a Western guide and a driver also accompany you. Requests can be made but because the program is so tightly organized you are kind of restricted as a tourist. In other words, you get to see the North Korea that the government wants you to see. This in itself is already fascinating. Of course there are limitations. It is strictly forbidden to take photographs of military installations (but isn’t this the case in any country?), such as the border with South Korea. Bowing to statues of the Great Leader is requisite. But however well orchestrated the trip tries to be (which is equally true of many Western packages where the tourist only sees and experiences the things the tour operator shows them) you still get a glimpse of the real North Korea. In the capital, Pyongyang, with its empty streets (only the happy few drive cars) stunningly dolled up girls in blue and white uniforms, work the middle of intersections. Between the official visits to museums, monuments and mausoleums, you get a remarkable insight into the daily life of the North Korean. On August 15, Liberation Day, everyone sits in the park. There is picnicking, dancing, singing, playing… Families sit on the grass beneath the trees and most ladies wear sumptuous dresses. It’s a good moment to sit down with the locals and have a great and relaxing time.

Pyongyang city Pyongyang city Pyongyang city Dolled up in blue and white uniforms, pretty girls work the middle of intersections.Dolled up in blue and white uniforms, pretty girls work the middle of intersections.Dolled up in blue and white uniforms, pretty girls work the middle of intersections.propaganda North Korea

3.What’s on the program?

A week in North Korea is a mixture of visits, tastes and experiences. From going bowling in a very rigid, Communist looking bowling alley (balls made in USA), and a ride on the Pyongyang subway, to visiting a school library and a local music school where accordion, piano and guitar are taught with collective zeal. The male members of the group have already been told to pack a tie for the visit to the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung. Also included in the excursion package is a visit to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between North and South Korea. On the way there, you pass several border controls on a motorway where almost no cars drive. As a tourist you can stand close to the actual and fragile line between the two foes. A photo of the blue sentry box and resident guard with South Korea just five meters away, serves as a souvenir. Less official is the beautiful North Korean landscape, to be enjoyed from your window on the many bus trips: green paddy fields, abundant space and the occasional farm or village. One of these visits takes us to the North Korean coast, heavily guarded by the military. You immediately notice Japan looming across the water on the other side. Despite this detail, a relaxing gourmet lunch follows at a small restaurant on the beach with freshly grilled fish, duck and seafood.

colonel North KoreaFemale soldiers at subway station, PyongyangSoldiers North KoreaThe great leader, Kim Il Sung Subway ride in Pyongyangstudying in Pyongyangstudying in Pyongyang

4.Is visiting North Korea something for everyone?

Some tourists may wonder whether travelling to a country like North Korea is ethically correct. No doubt, everyone decides for himself or herself but the same equally applies to other countries that are not 100% politically correct or corruption free. Tourism is a source of income for the North Koreans. Another important aspect of tourism is the interaction between the foreigner and the North Korean. At least the visitor gets to see the inhabitant as he really is and vice versa. Travelling to the DPRK raises a corner of the veil for both sides. Perhaps this interaction will pave the way for more freedom and peace for everybody. All you need as a tourist (apart from a chic tie) is an open mind and the belief that something human lies behind a country like North Korea, despite negative reporting in the West. Discovering one of the most secretive countries in the world does have its own strange aspects and rules. As a true and seasoned traveller you now have everything in perspective.

PyongyangPyongyangPyongyangPyongyangPyongyang Pyongyang Kim Il Sung's MausoleumKim Il Sung's MausoleumMonument to Party Foundation

5.Are the Mass Games really so spectacular?

Yes, yes and yes! There are only a few words to describe an event of this size and impact. This is DPRK’s main attraction and quite simply the most amazing thing you will ever see! Mass Games can basically be described as a synchronized socialist-realist spectacular, featuring over 100,000 participants in a 90 minute display of gymnastics & dance, accompanied by music, all wrapped in a highly politicized package. Literally no other place on Earth has anything comparable and it has to be seen with your own two eyes to truly appreciate the scale on display. The Arirang or Mass Games run weekly each year from July/August and continue until mid September. 80.000 dancers and gymnasts train throughout the year to perform for their compatriots and especially for their leader. The backdrop is made by over 20,000 cardholders who sit in the audience and make patterns appear through the synchronized turning of colored cards. As a tourist, attending and taking photos of these events is absolutely no problem. Prices for an evening range from 130 dollar for third class seats to 450 dollar for VIP seats. Want to see yourself?
Check out the “I want more” video from the music band Faithless, filming made possible by Koryo Tours.

Arirang Massgames North Korea - huge mosaic pictures created by more than 20,000 peopleArirang - Mass GamesArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingArirang - Mass Games, a spectacle with around 100.000 people performingDMZ

THE VERDICT We totally loved traveling to North Korea with Koryo Tours. It was one of the most surprising trips we ever did in last years. From the interesting group of travellers we met during the trip to singing karaoke and socializing with the locals while having a drink and rolling a cigarette together. The highlight? The Mass Games, a mind-blowing event (we went two times) that can only be witnessed here in the DPRK. If we would go back to North Korea? Yes, in a flash.

The British travel company Koryo Tours organizes excellent! trips into the DPRK out of Beijing. Trips can be made in a group or individually, according to your own budget and wishes. For travellers with less time, you can book a Mass Game Break that lets you witness the Mass Games and discover Pyongyang in a couple of days. Departure is always out of Beijing and depending on the type of trip you have booked this is either by flight or by train. Flying is with Air Koryo, which has 3 flights a week to Beijing. The flight only takes 1,5 hours in a comfortable airplane in economy and business class configuration.


Lodging in the DPRK is very straightforward. In Pyongyang we stayed in the super cool 47-storey Yanggakdo Hotel. It is a western 3 star (Chinese 4 star) equivalent and equipped with a revolving restaurant on the top floor, bars, shops, swimming pool, bowling, casino, and other entertainment facilities such as Karaoke. The hotel has reliable electricity, heating, air conditioning, hot water with even foreign TV channels including BBC World and Japanese and Chinese TV, and internet access is available. In a small café beside the hotel, bottled beer is served at 0,40 euro a throw.

A visa for North Korea is easily obtained with the help of Koryo Tours. They will apply the visum for you, so there is no need to organize it yourself. The official exchange currency in DPRK is now Euros (USD were taken out of circulation in 2003). We recommend you bring Euros however Chinese Yuan, USD, and Japanese Yen can be used in most cases. It is best to bring small bills/coins as change can be a problem. Travellers’ cheques are impossible to cash in the DPRK. The official currency, the DPRK Won is now valued at roughly 170 won to 1 Euro. It may be possible to get hold of real DPRK money in the hotel but this is for a souvenir only and cannot be used to purchase goods. The best currency to use when buying goods remains the Euro but keep in mind that all goods sold to visitors are rather expensive.Tipping is appreciated in North Korea. For example 5 euro per day for the guide is a good amount. In restaurants or bars, it is at your own discretion if you want to tip the waitresses or not.

We highly recommend to go during the summer months, when the Mass Games take place. Summer however is fairly hot and humid during the day and cooler at night.

Pyongyang at sunset


  • NL

    Amazing article! I’ve always been fascinated by North Korea and your photos show daily life there in a new, interesting way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen photos of people just smiling and relaxing there.

  • Vicky Mohieddeen

    Wonderful photos! May we also recommend this short video showing some behind-the-scenes footage of the mass games:


    Great article – the Massive Games look really impressive.

  • Wendy Parthoens

    Great article. Somehow I always imagined North Korea to be gray, dull and concrete jungle, full of sad people but your pictures are so colorful and the people look happy!

    I honestly believe that tourism can make the world a better place, if the tourist and the receiving country look toward each other with an open mind and without the intention of forcing their values on one another or take advantage of one another.

  • Rajiv Krishnaswamy

    Fascinating. One of those places which will give someone bragging rights if nothing else 🙂

  • Annie Kruse

    Truly fascinating! Another example of how adaptable we are as human beings. As always I LOVE the photography and in this case particularly the communist mass art.

  • wibisanaud

    One of my favourite articles from you guys yet! It will be great if you could maybe write a post of how you guys manage to take such great pictures! I’ve never seen anyone ever showing a different side of North Korea. Picturing it in such a bright image, despite what we normally see in the western media. The Mass Games looks amazing by the way.

    Great post! Looking forward to more~ 🙂
    Regards, your unofficial biggest fan… haha

  • samdanckert


  • Jacob Marlfoyle

    Superb reporting — I haven’t read anything this informative on North Korea in a long, long time. Thank you one more time and I wish that more people will read it .

  • KC


    My name is KC Owens; I’m a college student who loves to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. Personally, I think traveling is a necessary part of life as you’re exposed to all sorts of new cultures and experiences. While enjoying time abroad, I’ve found it’s crucial to fully understand the dangers that you might encounter along the way. These mishaps are part of life and certainly part of travel but it’s always a great idea to take preventive measures to help ensure your safety while abroad.

    I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my travel safety tips with your readers? I put a lot of time and passion into my traveling and I would love to help others by offering safety advice as a result of the mistakes and triumphs I’ve had. I look forward to hearing from you!


    KC Owens

  • BD

    Great information-beautiful photos. I never really considered N. Korea as a travel destination until now.

  • Becky Mutrux

    You have a nice, crisp reporting-style, but I’d like to know some of your thoughts and emotions from what you experienced, especially since you brought up the ethics of visiting North Korea. Did you feel that the North Korean people actually benefit from tourist dollars, or does it go directly to the government?

  • wfrankv

    You actually can not see Japan from North Korea as it is at least 1000 kms away. Looking at any map should make this plainly obvious even to a North Korean

  • SJ

    Love this post. As a South Korean, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to step foot in the neighbor’s borders (they’re so close and yet so distant!) – so I like to get snippets of information and thoughts from those who have access to the place. For those who are interested in learning more about what it’s like to visit one of the most mysterious and isolated place in the world, search for “what is it like to visit North Korea?” on Quora (may require log-in).

  • roe

    love how there’s absolutely no advertisements.

  • Bartz A Johnson Jr.

    A nerdy, middle-aged American who enjoys exploring photography…These images are so stunning in their quality that I am literally blown away. I can’t profess to be an expert but since I work hard on my images, I know when someone else has worked hard on theirs. I may have to consider a trip to DPRK someday, but just on the images alone I am stunned, inspired, and celebratory of work well done. I read the words of this content but honestly felt much more from the imagery work. If there is any chance the photographer(s) can hear my words, I would be honored.

  • Christoffer Moen

    Fascinating, and so much different from what Western normally portrays North Korea. I have been following Hanna’s IG for some time now and her reportage of the events leading up to the recent Mass Games was an eye-opener for me. A trip to North Korea in the near future is definitely on my bucket list.

  • Peter Santenello

    Stunning photography! You must have gone color correct crazy, but it looks so good. Interesting writing also. My girlfriend and I are planing to go to the DPRK this winter. I heard there is a ski resort that might be opening. I just came across your blog; great info.


  • ddevleeschauwer

    dear Peter, great to hear your feedback. About the skiing, I am not sure if the construction of the ski resort will have delays or not. Maybe contact Koryo Tours. They will know the latest status about it. Best. David

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Nice to hear Christoffer.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    dear Bartz, thanks again for you positive comment!

  • ddevleeschauwer


  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks Jacob!

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks again Wibi!

  • Alicia Dede

    All of you who go to North Korea, will be accomplice of this oppressive regime, that starves millions, conveniently hidden from the visitors. Decades ago South Africa was banned and condemned for Appartheid, why then double standard, double morality about this regime? Wth your money you will be not only supporting this regime but making it last longer than it should. You will all be accomplices for every starved child, every starved young, every disident tortured and killed in prison and heavyduty fields. All of you! Do not support this regime.

  • moonkeh

    Or perhaps the money brought into the country by tourists can go some way to helping feed those who are starving.

  • Peter Santenello

    Okay I will. Thank for the info. I’m guessing Koryo Tours paid for your trip; I checked them out and they look pretty legitimate.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    dear Peter, great, let me know how you wintery trips goes. The founder Nick Bonner of Koryo Tours is responsible for some great stuff. And no, I paid for the trip.

  • Peter Santenello


    Sounds good. I will definitely hit them up soon to get more details. If Koryo Tours didn’t pay for your trip they should have. You did a great job of capturing this unique country. Thanks again for the information and your responses.


  • TreadingDarkHalls

    Stunning photos. My interest to visit North Korea peaked after being in South Korea and learning about the complicated history between both (arguably one) nations.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks. It is complicated indeed.

  • Luxury Thailand Vacation

    This is very amazing post to reveal the beauty of North Korea and useful information to travel in this Country.The photography is also amazing.

  • Sarah

    Love these photos!

  • Lucas Pirandello

    It’s a fantastic voyage! Maybe, someday…

  • Erin

    This is an absolutely fantastic post on a stunning blog! Ten out of ten. I’ll be back often. The photography is amazing. The subject matter is intriguing. Bravo!

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks Erin!

  • ddevleeschauwer

    You should Lucas!

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks Sarah.

  • Pingback: Classetouriste: "Een quick fix van gezonde berglucht doet wonderen!" | Steps

  • Ashley Johnson

    Fantastic post.Thumbs Up for all the pictures shared.It seems you are perfect photographer.Also would like to say thanks to you , got lot of information about the North Korea.

  • Sheena

    Nothing has ever made me want to visit anywhere as much as this post. The photos are stupendous.

  • Rod Austin

    What an absolutely fascinating photo blog.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Nice to hear.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks Sheena.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Thanks Rod.

  • Sussan Morris

    Breathtaking pictures. Its unbelievable how you achieved this without the conventional “locale” pics ..! great work…:)

  • Catherine

    Wow, the Mass Games look so surreal! I’ve always been fascinated by North Korea, but thought it would be to difficult to actually get in there, but it’s great to find out that it is possible. Will definitely be looking into this in more detail, thanks for such an informative post.

  • Catherine

    Just thought of a question that I was wondering if you could help me with…would visiting North Korea affect your ability to visit other countries? Would South Korea allow entry, if they can see in your passport that you have been to the North?

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Dear Catherine, you do NOT get a stamp in your passport. So you have no problems at all to visit other countries with your passport. Enjoy the trip!

  • Hannah

    Awesome experience in North Korea! Would definitely love to be there, unfortunately we haven’t really put into much thought into going there. The photos look incredible!

  • Never Stop Traveling

    These pictures changed my mind about North Korea. Awesome shots, I suddenly forgot about their prime minister.

  • Joel Stephenson

    North Korea is fascinating. Despite the obvious problems, the people within are still humans. They still have personalities and the same needs as the rest of the world. An oppressive government certainly doesn’t mean that everybody is brain-washed and lacking personality!

  • ddevleeschauwer

    Spot on!

  • ddevleeschauwer


  • Erin Bogar

    Your photography is amazing. Do you guys teach photography workshops?

  • Michael Rangel

    I am about to embark on an around the world trip with a one-way ticket to Tokyo on April 8th! (very excited and building a blog around it too!) Looking to fully explore japan, south korea, china, and then try to hit most of the spots in SE Asia before moving west. North Korea wasn’t an item on my list, but should it be?

    I am all about the adventure and I live by the motto of ‘Do it for the story’ — so let me know whether you would pick spending time in north korea, or just allocating those funds somewhere else.

    Thank you so much, and great post!!! 🙂

    Onwards and Upwards!

  • Justin Kopepasah

    Very interesting article. Ever since meeting my wife (from South Korea) in 2009, my interest for Korea has grown immensely. I remember the first time I mentioned North Korea and my wife referred to them as a lost brother. Very eye opening.

  • Justin Kopepasah

    That is a great point.

  • Adam

    Wow. It’s just wow.
    North Korea is really beautiful. I have always thought it was impossible to visit it, but now this I know the answer to it.
    Thanks for sharing this post. It was such a breathtaking journey you got there. 😀

  • Nicky Bi

    North Korea is a mysterious country because it
    seems never want to open to the world. One of my friends told me that people
    from national security agency of North Korea followed her all the time when she
    travelled around its capital Pyongyang. However, it is why people eager to look
    into North Korea. The mystery of North Korea makes it fascinating. You captured
    its people’s portrait, life that made me look closely into the country. I don’t
    know how you may define North Korea’s problem. However, as to me, I’m trying to
    understand that the problems must have in the process of its development.

  • ER

    You are correct they all have blood on their hands no matter what vacuous terms they use to describe their “experiences”

  • Corkboard Smith

    The vast, vast majority of that money is spent on the national military – the one thing which above all else stops the world from helping North Korea’s people.

    The regime is 100% psychotic, deluded to the point of criminal insanity and doesn’t care if 95% of its people starve. I don’t think they even significantly changed food policies when they were forced to lower the minimum height of soldiers (because most 16 year old boys hadn’t reached 4’9″ due to severe malnutrition).

    The suffering of those people outweighs any fascination we might have with the country, I’m afraid. If you visit this country you are funding the most brutal regime in the world.

  • Corkboard Smith

    The capital city is filled with people whose families have supported and proven loyalty to the Kim dynasty every step of the way, as well as being from the right social class to start with. The countryside (mass starvation, no transport or amenities) and the prison camps (torture, rape, murder) are home to everyone else. If your grandad or great grandad fought against the forced of Kim Il-Sung, there is every chance you will be born and live your entire life inside a prison camp.

    Not that Pyongyang citizens are THAT much better off, mind you. Those happy looking people in the photos would be thrown in jail or publicly executed in a heartbeat if they spoke so much as one word of complaint against the regime.

    You can get a better feel for the life of an average North Korean by reading the accounts of those who have escaped the country.

  • Maria Ades

    North Korea is not fascinating or exotic right now. It’s worrying and terrible that North Koreans are living like slaves. We have a responsibility to them and should be more critical and assume a stronger position against corrupted oppresive regimes. We have a similar situation in Venezuela and I can assure you, visiting North Korea is just washing the government’s image by pretending that the situation there is acceptable and eligible for tourism. Let’s not leave them alone. Don’t think that this situation can’t happen to you. Venezuelans never imagined 20 years ago that the country would be so screwed up under a dictatorship. Wake up!

  • Kristina

    I really enjoy this article. I like how you point out that
    anyone traveling to North Korea needs to do so with an open mind, because that
    is the truth! I am always fascinated when people travel to other countries with
    preconceived notions and realize they are all wrong. This happened to me when I
    traveled to Amsterdam. But I never even considered travelling to North Korea
    for many reasons. One being that I always assumed it was too dangerous and not
    accepting of American tourists. I
    also never realized what a beautiful country North Korea was. The photos
    accompanying this post are breathtaking and show something completely different
    than what I was expecting. After reading this I would be very interested in
    traveling to North Korea!

  • Matt Meshey

    This is ridiculous. Just because I visit a country does not mean that I am directly supporting them and prolonging their government. Of course part of my money will be funneled towards the government but that happens any place that you visit. Isn’t that the purpose of countries opening up to tourism? North Korea will not change simply because I do or do not visit. It looks like a beautiful country and I hope to travel there in the near future.
    These pictures are absolutely amazing and the article was very helpful!

  • Neil

    All i have to say is this constant complaint about north Korea is because you believe the almost 1 sided argument shouted out by the “News” which doesn’t lie??? on top of this i must ask if its your business at all, if the people of that country starve but they still WANT to be that way let them it is their country not mine nor yours. I find it fascinating as it shows a whole culture that denies itself the outside influence which is in my opinion a rather backward yet interesting way of life.

  • Zrcalo Sveta

    Just a quick thing…
    Lets see.. a country where 90% of it’s money goes to the military..
    Many of it’s residents are starving and in poverty..
    Everyone is a slave…
    Government is highly corrupt and threatening war with other nations…

    Yeah, I will NEVER visit the US, ever. I dont ever want to support their bloodlust agenda, oppressive regime, and their unwillingness to give their citizens the most basic of human needs like medicine.

    On the other flipside…
    North Korea is the only self sustaining nation in the world. It’s ecology supports its people. You dont have overpopulation issues or waste. That’s why it’s beautiful.
    Terrible as it might sound, these people have found a way to coexist with nature instead of destroying it.

    It’s all about population control.

  • wakeUpNow

    you’re a foolish psychotic!

  • Anna Sima

    I love your blog and the stunning photographs. This is lots of inspiration to travel to North Corea myself. I did not even know that you can go there as a tourist. The mass games must be quite unique. I love to see streets with almost no cars, but I am surprised that there are no bicycles.

  • ddevleeschauwer

    I would recommend you to go next summer. Mass games tend to take place month of August & September. And it’s definitely something not to miss!

  • Joe

    I hope I see you on CNN as the next stupid fuk to be in some labor camp in this country. Smug morons like you deserve to be captured. Do me a favor though, please don’t go on global tv crying like a little bitch like the last couple idiots did begging for someone to come negotiate their release. You have to be an idiot to voluntarily go to this place.


    Not only all that but there’s always the possibility you’d end up sitting next to The Worm on the way over. No thanks.

  • Greg Mathews

    Saying that visiting a country and buying a couple of things is unethical is the same as not eating potatoes, because some unfortunate farmer cut his leg while harvesting them. It’s not gonna make a difference whether we go there or not. There are countless interests involved in this country, profits to be made from the suffering of millions. The Chinese, Russians and, perhaps, the USA are heavily involved… Why not intervene in force, as the Americans have done is every single conflict where gold, oil or diamonds were involved? Because there is no real profit for them!

  • Greg Mathews

    I don’t mean any disrespect, but it’s naive, to say at least, for you to think that money from 2,500 tourists can be used to feed starving people. First of all, it wouldn’t even be sufficient for 2,500 North Koreans, let alone the entire syarving population. Secondly, that money is put aside to be used for political purposes… Come on! You know how this works!

  • Greg Mathews

    Putting aside the whole ‘starving people, death-camps, oppressive regime’ discussion… the country is full of monuments that attest the political, culture, economy of the country. I believe this is worth seeing!

  • Clara Towett

    So true. I looked at the photos of the picnics, the pretty soldiers and giggling kids and I suddenly wanted to visit. Such an awesome people!


    I went to North Korea back in 2012. It was truly one of the best trips I have ever taken. I learned so much from the experience and it is always a great conversation starter no matter where I go.

  • Jean Credoz

    Thank you for the well written post and the surreal photos,
    I can’t help but to react to some of the comments I have read here.
    Picture yourself as a citizen of North Korea would you prefer living your life in a country so completely shut from the world that no foreign soul can enter, simply living blind in autarky, not knowing what the outside and its inhabitants are like, having no other choice but to buy the lies of the regime and live in fear. Or would you rather take the sign of visitors as a sign of curiosity from the outside, a depiction of interest in you and your family, an open hand that reaches out in curiosity, willing to understand, willing to learn ? For a human soul there is hardly something worse than being ignored, sure the traveler does not control the use by the regime of the money he spends (or the image he displays, for that matter), but one of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.

  • Kef Rental

    So curious about visiting this country… I do realize that it is not so scary and dangerous as you might expect. Nevertheless, the constant fear of ‘DOING SOMETHING WRONG’ during my trip kepps me away from this idea ;(



Sign up for our newsletter.