This story now
IN Travel & Adventure ON 04 Nov, 2015
Justin and Anna Williams are a couple that loves to roam and vacation. But of the over 100 countries they have vacationed in, they say that their trip to North Korea was the most memorable! Read on to know why!
They were surprised by how strictly tourists are supervised and how little the people knew about their own country and history.
Before being taken to Korea, they were taken to Beijing to be briefed about the restriction there. They were told not to take pictures of militants, and that clicking pictures of statues of Kim Jong II was allowed only if his full body was used.
They traveled in a soviet-era plane, in which the entertainment was footage of North Korean soldiers defeating US GIs during the Korean war.
On landing, their passports were seized, and were not returned to them till the end of the trip. Anna says this was the scariest part of the trip, because now they could not go back even if they wanted to!
Government minders and drivers were always with them at all time. And what was surprising was that none of them had ever even heard of a pizza!
There were barely any vehicles on the roads of the capital Pyongyang. And it was a clear consequence of the high poverty rate in North Korea.
They were taken next to retire in the Yanggakdo Hotel. Foreigners were allowed to stay only on the 25th floor, and were not allowed to leave unless they were picked up each morning.
Anna and Justin claim two things to be always seen in North Korea: large monuments and militants!
Anna and Justin were made to bow down before the giant statues of Kim Jong II and his father Kim II Sung, and lay flowers before them.
The demilitarized zone along the South Korea border was filled with tanks and troop convoys, and no civilian vehicle.
Anna and Justin were able to talk the guys into letting them into one of the blue huts. South Korea starts right behind the two guards standing in the background!