North Korea – Restrictions Unlimited!!!
I recently went for a travel exhibition, and happened to have a conversation with a South Korean travel agent by the name of Charles, who had come down for the exhibition. I asked him whether North Korea, a communist country, is as tourist-friendly or open to tourism development as South Korea.
He sighed…its not, it’s far more difficult to organize a trip to North Korea than South. The situation is not likely to change any soon, because of its pariah-like status within the international fraternity. Its highly communist, run by the government, there is high security everywhere with limited access for tourists.
Its mandatory that every tourist is accompanied by a local guide, and photography is strictly controlled. So if you don’t have permission to click pictures, you can get into loads of trouble.
In fact Charles also told me that interaction with locals is restricted, so if you don’t follow that you might end up getting into trouble. Did you know that Americans aren’t allowed or not given visas to visit North Korea?
Not many people travel to North Korea, fewer than 2000 Western tourists visit North Korea each year, along with larger numbers of Chinese and South Koreans. That’s less than even Bhutan. However, in June 2011, Chinese citizens were allowed on a self-drive tour in North Korea for the first time in history.
Tourists who are interested in visiting this place, should go to see the last bastion of communism. It would be a totally different experience, maybe a bit bizarre as well.
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