Background Information on North Korea
North Korea is a nation located in northeast Asia, bordered by China and Russia. It is ruled by an authoritarian, single-party government known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). North Korea is home to over 25 million people, most of whom live in poverty and lack access to basic social services and educational opportunities. North Korea is also known for its nuclear weapons program and its human rights abuses against its own citizens. Despite these issues, North Korea remains an isolated and mysterious country, and many visitors find it fascinating.
Planning Your Trip
The first step in planning a visit to North Korea is to obtain a visa from the country’s embassy. This can be accomplished through a travel agency who specializes in North Korea travel. Many countries also have special travel restrictions for North Korea, so it is important to check your government’s website for up-to-date information before traveling. Once you have a visa, there are a few other things you should consider before embarking on your trip.
Where to Stay in North Korea
Accommodation can be a bit tricky in North Korea. There are a handful of state-run hotels designed for foreign visitors, but these are very expensive and often not in the most desirable locations. Your best bet is to find a private guesthouse or homestay, but these can be hard to come by. If you are lucky enough to stay with a local family, you may find that the experience is one of the most memorable parts of your trip.
Getting Around in North Korea
Public transportation in North Korea is very limited. Locals typically take buses or rideshare in converted trucks. However, as a foreigner, you may want to hire a taxi or a private car. This is the best way to explore the country, as you will have the freedom to go wherever you want and explore sights at your own pace.
Safety and Security in North Korea
Travelling to North Korea can be a daunting experience. There are restrictions and rules you must follow when visiting the country, like no photography of certain buildings or no discussing politics or religion. It is also important to remember that North Korea is a closed society and many things you may be used to in other countries will be unavailable – like access to the internet. You should also carry your passport and any necessary travel documents with you at all times. Finally, be aware that the security situation in North Korea may change quickly, so it is best to check your government’s website for up-to-date information before travelling.
Know the Rules of North Korea
Visiting North Korea requires a great deal of respect for the country and its people. You must follow all of the rules and regulations set by the government, such as no photographing of military or government buildings, no discussing sensitive subjects or politics, and no displaying of any foreign flags or insignias. Additionally, you should be aware that bribery and corruption may be commonplace in North Korea and it is important to stay vigilant in order to avoid compromising your safety.
Power and Money in North Korea
A trip to North Korea can be expensive. Prices for hotels, taxis and private cars are often high, so it is important to save money wherever possible. Additionally, electricity and money can be difficult to obtain in North Korea, so make sure you bring enough cash and a converter with you. In order to access your money, you should also consider bringing credit or debit cards, as ATM machines are rare in North Korea.
Expectations of North Korea
It is important to have realistic expectations about the country before you visit. Many visitors have the wrong idea about North Korea, expecting it to be a paradise or a land of mystic and wonder. In reality, life is extremely hard for many of the people who live there and it is important to be mindful of this fact when travelling. Be respectful and don’t assume that life is better or worse than it is in other nations.
Perks of Going to North Korea
A trip to North Korea is an amazing experience. Although you may face restrictions on what you can and can’t do in the country, there are still plenty of unique sights to see and experiences to be had. Visiting North Korea will give you a unique insight into a country that remains largely shrouded in mystery and is frequently misunderstood. It will also give you the opportunity to connect with North Korea’s people and discover their warm hospitality.