There was a delay on our journey back form the Concrete wall near the DMZ. A loud 'bang' from under the bus, followed by unpleasant grinding noises. We stopped for an hour as curious local came through the fields to peer at the tourists. We observed ingenuity at work as the bu' suspension was fixed inside an hour with what seemed no more than a...more
Most of the people may think Nandemon can only found in South Korea, actually there is one in Kaesong North Korea. In Nandemon, one of the most famous buildings is this Ancient Bell Tower. This is one of the famous bell towers in North Korea. The bell was kept in one of the old temper in Kaesong, in 1563, the temper was burnt in fire, so they move...more
Coree Museum was built in Coree Era named as Songgyunguan University, the building is remain and now turns into Coree Museum, the remains indicating the way of development of Coree, the cultural assets, Buddhist image, metal craft, building model, stone art object were displaying in this building.more
Find a day, if you realize that there isn’t any spy around; try your luck to go around. The places I would definitely visit is local village. Here is one of the villages I’ve chosen near by Kaesong city. As you can see, the house is made of wood, with very think concrete. Very old design, oldies but goodies. I was told that usually few families...more
Some call this Grand General Hall as The Cultural Central or The Cultural Hall, but it really depends on the guide book. There is a cultural food court inside where can fit more than 500 people. When there are tourists visiting to this hall, they may have traffic control for the local people, that’s why we can meet no one local here.more
Like many other times in the DPRK when we stopped for lunch, the bus just pulled up in from of what looked otherwise like an apartment building. When we trooped inside we found tables set up with a multitude of little brass dishes. Always an odd number apparently. We got 13. At the rear of the room was a mural of Mt Paektu.The style of restaurant...more
All you can eat, variety choices of local spice and local home food. The most highlight of food was when the chicken soup (Sangettan) was served. Enjoy the soup before you have too many swallow into your stomach. The chicken was boiled with herb medicine for at least 3 to four hours. The chicken was soft as silk, the taste was just like heaven.more
The Crabs consider is one of the luxuries food here in North Korea, however, the price is about US8-US20 but it depends on weight. The waiter will shows you few crabs, pick up any sizes you want, they will cook for you, either with tomato eggs, sour source, chili peppers, or just boil. You even can order them to serve in raw as sashimi. I order...more
The only restaurant nearby to our hotel where the staffs could speak Chinese language for communication. US dollars is acceptable here in this restaurant and it opens from 9:00am till Mid-night. Such a great convenience to us. Popular Korean Icy Noodle topping with spice Kimchi and slices pork.Side dish was boiled firefly squid and salad.more
This restaurant was right opposite where we were staying at the Kaesong Folk Hotel and we came here for lunch after visiting Panmunjom. The meal we ate was a traditional Korean one called pansanggi which consisted of 13 small brass dishes, each containing different types of food such as kimchi, rice, pickles and vegetables. A pansanggi meal was...more
You won't be allowed out of the Kaesong Folk Hotel at night and the only thing really to do is to go to the hotels small bar. They had a TV on in the corner and it seemed to be showing a war film in black and white that looked like it could be from the 1940's or 50's but in fact, when I asked one of our guides, it dated from the 1980's! Bottles of beer and rice wine are available.
If you are capitalist roader who has got rich by exploiting the downtrodden masses, i.e. a foreign tourist, you'll be driven around North Korea in a comfortable bus or car. If you are a local, you will walk, or if you are lucky or have generous relatives over the border in China you may have a bicycle. And if you are really lucky, your bicycle may even have two wheels and brakes.
The Gift shop at the folk hotel had the usual array of souvenirs on offer - celadon pottery, books about the sights of old Kaesong, but the highlights for us were the selection of DVDs of North Korean film, and Korean Music.The music on offer was usually of a military or patriotic nature, full of stirring marches and more reminiscent of Russian...more
I was delighted to find some propaganda posters, and some delightfully incendiary postcards, complete with guns pointing at the evil USA, Japan etc.I was not lucky enough to secure the magnificently incongruous Princess Diana and other British Royal Family stamps. One was tempted to ask - Why?? Not muchmore
Every outdoor stand you see in tourist locations in Kaesong has pretty much the same few things for sale:A selection of North Korean booze, three flavours of two-years-past-the-sell-by-date cola, warm bottled water, ginseng products, and cookies.They charge in US$, and generally will not give you change. They'll tell you to buy untill you've spent...more
Being a foreigner in North Korea is a bit different than travelling to any other country. Having handlers, or people watching you 24-7 (whether you know they're there or not) is a bit weird, but has to be accepted to travel here. If somebody tells you to do something, do it! Or risk getting shot. A stubborn South Korean group-tourist was just shot...more
-Bring a digital camera, as opposed to film.
Your handlers like being able to see what you have taken pictures of, and being able to immediatly erase anything they don't like. All my cams are digital, so I had no problems at the border. However, I saw somebody having their film cam confiscated at the border entrance by customs, and held for them along with their cell phone until leaving the country.
(You can always keep a spare memory card in your pocket, and swap them for taking 'frowned upon' pics, then swap back to let them see nothing but safe pics...Just don't get caught!)
-Packable waterproof shell, to be carried inside your small waterproof backpack.
Weather changes abruptly during monsoon season. Sucks to get soaked, or have wet/ruined camera gear.
-cash, US$ in newer small bills is best.
I had some of my older bills refused, and many of the smaller shops will tell you to keep buying, instead of giving you change back. Having a wad of loose $1 and $5 bills for buying drinks and snacks on the fly is good.
May, the season for Wild Sakura in North Korea. Not just only focus on people, during the journey, sometimes every single scenery pass by can be very breathtaking. Just like this hill area outside the north of Kaesong city, the contras of Sakura Pink and the lawn green was really a beautiful scene. You can ask your drive to stop or a break to enjoy...more
The are definitely not the baggers, but they will ask food from you. Like ‘give me something to eat…’, or ‘give me some sweets…’, some even may ask ‘give me some banana…’, I don’t know do there have any money changes in the town, however I still prefer to give to the child some money like Chinese RMB.more