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Thread: North Korea

  1. #1
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    Are you ready?



    .. probably one of the most interesting flights I've ever had.



    Very interesting trip indeed, more to follow. I have to get to my bigger screen with all the 1700 photos I took and rescue the few I was asked to delete..
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Grey is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2009 New York Posts: 2,006
    Asked to delete? Sounds interesting

  3. #3
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,291
    More intrigue when reading travels with Petri.

    Here's a line you can use, Petri : "I know nothing,"
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  4. #4
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,009
    Petri? Are you ok? I'm interested in details of your trip, but first and foremost concerned about you safety. Give us a word, please!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  5. #5
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    Just landed back home yesterday after a few more days in Beijing, finally with some blue skies! Already downloaded the photos to Aperture, now wondering where to start..

    North Korea was a very safe place, not only because there was most likely military only a yell away :-)

  6. #6
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,009
    Glad to hear, Petri.

    Really looking forward to your photographs!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  7. #7
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 604
    A very safe place unless you were born to some one who crossed the government. Then you get to spend your life in prison like your parents and their extended family did. It's always good to give your tourist dollars to a tolitarian regime.

  8. #8
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    That has nothing to do with safety.

    One can be as hypocritical as one wants about places like North Korea, Myanmar, half of African nations, Middle Easts, stans, and many others. Ignoring them? Right, they'll change to good by themselves. War against them? Right, that has worked pretty well, too.

    With North Korea a reason to visit can be pretty simple -- to learn and to show. If they have been told that westerners are imperialists that only want bad to them, what is better than showing them a person that is interested in their culture, polite, non-aggressive, and friendly -- especially with the children. Perhaps it will help to seed a change.

    One can bring magazines and newspapers to North Korea. If you read the Guardian and then Pyongyang Times and the latter tells a different story, you believe the Guardian -- of course. But if a north korean reads them, he will believe Pyongyang Times. Even you can't be 100% sure the Guardian is right, it's all about what you believe. Say Fox News had a story.. ok, let's not go there :) Just to say that we're inside propaganda as well, living in a bubble.

    One guy said, "the more I travel, the less I understand". Well said.

  9. #9
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,009
    Well said, Petri.
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  10. #10
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    Background

    L had booked a dancing trip to Cuba months ago and I wasn't really planning to go anywhere during the first two weeks of June.

    On 8th May a friend mentioned that one can book flights from Helsinki to Asia with British Airways frequent flyer miles quite cheaply, availability is good and they're great value. I looked around a bit and my first idea was to fly to Hong Kong, take a cheap JetStar Asia or something to Australia for a lunch and return. But the weather in that region is quite rainy this time of year. No Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok then.

    I noticed that the flights to Beijing are even less expensive and Beijing would have the advantage of Great Wall -- and, from some distant memory, North Korea. North Korea started growing appeal pretty fast. I sent e-mail to a few agencies asking what they have available and what are the options for an individual trip.

    Looks promising! L going to Cuba, what would be more appropriate place for me than North Korea then..

    On 14th May I checked at work that it's ok to go, I booked the North Korea trip and on 15th May I finally booked the Finnair flights from Helsinki to Beijing and back. The flight from Helsinki to Beijing is just 7 hours actually and shorter than e.g. from Helsinki to New York.

    The following days I booked the hotels in Beijing, did some research what to do etc, and the next week I finally applied for a double-entry visa to China. Also my payment for the North Korea trip had arrived in Hong Kong in just two days.

    10 days to book a trip to Beijing and North Korea, 10 days before the trip starts. Talk about planning in advance :laugh:

    One can visit North Korea as an individual trip where you have two guides and a driver for yourself. The other alternative is a bigger group. As the schedule is not very flexible, you can't just go anywhere you like, I eventually decided to join a group. That should be more fun especially in such a restricted country.

  11. #11
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    I'm still going through the final batch of the photos but there are a few random photos that just feel weird..







    .. very hard to explain.

  12. #12
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,291
    Maybe it's a theme. When we were in Switzerland a few years ago t hey had teddy bears in various costumes all over Zurich. In NYC they had artists paint cows and then auctioned them off. perhaps the same promo in North Koreca.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  13. #13
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,009
    I agree, Petri...weird.

    Amy...Austin has painted Longhorns around town. It may very well be a theme.
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  14. #14
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    yes, pretty weird! I would love to hear more about the trip!
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  15. #15
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    I really need to do the trip report one of these days..

    Meanwhile.. this Korean hit is going around like crazy. A friend said that the video is like my trip to North Korea :)


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