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Travel Directory / Asia / North Korea

North Korea Travel Guide

Officially known, as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK, North Korea is lies south of the two powered nations - China and Russia. North Korea is located in East Asia, surrounded by the Sea of Japan and occupying the northern part of the Korean peninsula. If you're in for a challenging travel and an eye-opening experience towards the realization of the social implications of a tightly controlled Asian community, then an educational tour to North Korea is just the right trip for you. Below is a list of some points you ought to think about prior to your travel to the restricted land.

You can only travel to North Korea as a part of a guided tour. Traveling is done by groups and independent traveling is strongly prohibited. Since the northern part of the Korean peninsula can only be toured through an organized tour, the places to visit are also limited and free exploration is really impossible. Usually, a tour to the country costs about 1000. This often covers the accommodation, meals, and transport fees fit for a five-day group tour. Some of the travel agencies that offer North Korean tours are Geographic Expeditions in San Francisco; the Korea Konsult in Stockholm; the Koryo Group in Beijing; the PRK Tours in London and the VNC Asia Travel in Netherlands.

The places included in guided tour often involve a quick trip to the key cities of North Korea, primarily its capital city, P'yŏngyang. Among the other must-see cities are NK's former capital, Kaesong; the east coast city popular for trade and tourism, Wonsan - East coast port city rarely visited by tourists; and the indutsrial center of NK- Nampo. Among the other popular destinations in the country is the Panmunjom known as the Cold war's last outpost. Also, an important and wonderful tourist spot you should check out is the Kumgangsan ("the scenic Diamond Mountains"), Myohyangsan ("the Mysterious Fragrant Mountain"), and the Paekdusan ("the tallest mountain in Korea").

North Korea is open to other cultures but the place does not cradle a lot of ethnic groups. The place is not multicultural so the society to be expected is not a mixture of distinct social cultures. Instead, it is a preserved local tradition. Majority of the North Korean population are Koreans and only a few groups of foreigners occupy the city- the majority of which are tourists.

If you want to o to North Korea, the best time are the months of may, june, september and october. This is because winter dries up in may and june, while spring and autumn welcomes september and october. However, if you are on for an ice-cold adventure, then visit the country during the months of december to march.

A visit to North Korea requires respect to the ruling government. Take note that the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in North Korea are highly reversed. Thus, insult and disrespect is very much not tolerated. Such acts are considered illegal and will yield very harsh punishments.

North Korea offers its visitors with a local drink- the insam-ju. This local specialty, which is said to be better than European beer, is Korean vodka infused with ginseng roots.