Tourism in North Korea: A Special Feature

A North Korea tourism podcast by Korean Kontext

Ever wondered why someone might be motivated to spend their summer vacation in the DPRK, or interested to learn about the guides that accompany visitors during a stay in North Korea? Perhaps you’d like to know more about the legalities of visiting Mount Kumgang, a resort originally developed by South Korea’s Hyundai Asan, expropriated by DPRK authorities earlier this year. If so, then this special-length podcast is definitely for you!

Children of North Korea

Young children wave hello from North Korea – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

7 responses

  1. Rob

    Hey man, cool site and sounds like a never forgetable experience. One thing I gotta ask though. Is it possible to hook up with any chicks while you are there? I know you said you had a girl in Taiwan, but is it possible for a single dude to do something like that?

    You never see any photos of North Koreans out having fun, or partying and wondered if something like that is exceptable. Then would it be exceptable if the guy was American. Know what I mean?

    December 1, 2011 at 11:05 am

    • So I’m going to be totally honest here –

      Many of the North Korean girls we came in contact with, such as waitresses and guides, were actually very flirtations, in an innocent way, and the girls are very cute, in a natural way…..but don’t get your hope up – there is NO chance of anything happening.

      North Korea is the most racist country in the world – their pride in their racial purity is the secret to how the regime survives in the face of their poverty – when the going gets tough the leaders just resort to whipping up nationalistic outrage by showing footage of their ethnic brothers and sisters to the south fraternizing with the US occupation troops.

      I went to North Korea with the world’s most famous pick up artist, Neil Strauss. Thing is Neil was on a vacation and not there as a journalist or a PUA, but he did bring along some of his “students” to help fill out our group so we could have an independent tour. The trip to North Korea was suppose to have nothing to do with “pickup” (even though my buddy Jordan is another big industry name) – so I found myself frustrated and even angry when some of the guys were focused on trying to get a North Korean girl – because it would be an epic accomplishment and to impress Neil- or they just didn’t know better.

      Just go and enjoy the 1950’s style flirting, but don’t make a fool of yourself by asking the guides if “we can have a party at their house” or to “give me a little kiss” – that kind of shit just is NOT going to happen and makes the rest of us who are trying to be good westerners look bad.

      That said, you might get lucky with a Chinese girl at the Casino or the massage parlor at the big hotel in Pyongyang, and you do have to fly out of Beijing – lots of fun to be had there – just check out Maggies bar!

      I will invite my buddy Jordan to comment on the the topic here also.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    • Hey Rob,

      Although the women are super cute in North Korea, I think we can pretty much forget about hooking up with locals. For one, contact with them is ULTRA-limited, and the only North Korean women you really interact with are the tour guides. We also met waitresses here and there, but the truth is, as Joe says below, North Korea is nearly fascist in nature. Does that mean they aren’t fascinated by Westerners? No. Does it mean they’d ever take the risk of making anything happen? Also no.

      I spoke with a LOT of the tour company people (both the locals and English) very frankly about this and everyone was pretty clear that such a thing just isn’t worth the potential trouble. Even when guides were drinking with us at the hotel and the women were flirty, there were other people there to keep them in-check. Last but not least, even if all parties wanted something to happen, the logistics are impossible -no Koreas are allowed on the same hotel floors as tourists, and no tourists are allowed on the Korean hotel floors.

      You get the idea…

      December 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm

  2. Greg Huh

    Wow! very cool site! How did you arrange a visit N. Korea? I’ve not heard of N. Korea promoting tourism. :o)

    December 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    • Actually a lot of press about tourism in North Korea lately – but maybe because I have had an eye out for it.

      Trips are easy to arrange! Go to the source and check out Koryo Tours

      December 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

  3. Kelly

    Just listened to your podcast “reflections upon returning” and really enjoyed your observations and honesty. I can’t even imagine! I did recognize some familiar thoughts and themes from having been to Russia in ’98. I was able to travel far outside of Moscow and stay in a “real” town for about a week. Many of the things you noted were in sync with my experience. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    January 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm

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