Blogs from North Korea, Asia - page 2


Asia » North Korea » Pyongyang February 4th 2014

Everybody deserves a happy lunar new year of the horse. Even one of the most suspiciously enigmatic countries in the world, namely the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (known by us commoners as North Korea). I do believe that all of you readers will be sufficiently aware of the political situation in the country and so I can skip this part. There are plenty of websites discussing issues related to North Korea and I think I should just focus on my personal experience in Pyongyang.. politics aside as far as this is possible. I was curious about the "land of whispers" since quite some time and finally I got over my inner demons and just booked a new years tour to North Korea (group travels are the most common way of visiting the country, as you ... read more

Asia » North Korea » Panmunjom August 24th 2012

So.....that was intense! I'd read in a few reviews that the atmosphere at the border was supposed to be quite tense but it is definitely one of those things that you have to experience in person. And on a plus it turns out I'm the perfect height for tunnel warfare. We travelled by coach from the USO office in Seoul, based next to the US base, and drove for about an hour and a half to the DMZ (Demiliterized Zone) to begin the tour. There was no mistaking that we were in the right place. The road is a mass of wire fences, barbed wire, road blocks and is heavily armed by South Korean soldiers. Once through the checkpoint we drove over a bridge known as 'Reunification Bridge'. There was a lot of perhaps over optimistical ... read more

Asia » North Korea » Pyongyang October 25th 2011

"Early up and you go early to bed, that's the way for a little farmer boy". Those are some words from a Danish song and that one sure goes for North Koreans as well. Maybe it is a kind of shock treatment, to keep us in a drouse through our stay as the hotel phone alarm goes off at 6:30 like South Korea just invaded Pyongyang. But no, it's the Chinese's time to get up and get in the bus. I ate breakfast alone in an almost empty restaurant no.1, which is the restaurant, where western people eat. This is where I saw a buffet, so this is where I eat. But where was everybody? In this buffet there was pancakes, toast, butter, jam, porridge, twisty donut bread and a guy only to make omelettes. And ... read more

Asia » North Korea » Pyongyang October 24th 2011

North Korea. I am going to fucking North Korea. It immediately dawns on me that had I not paid the 1000 dollars for this trip, there would have been a lot of regretting to do. The feeling of being in North Korea is just fantastic. Sure I contribute money to some people, who will probably not do any good with those money, but don't we all sometimes, when we buy all our burgers and bananas n'shit? This is my conclusion for now as the train rolls over Yalu river from the Chinese border city of Dandong to its North Korean sister city Sinouji on the other side of the river. There is propaganda, there is brown uniformed soldiers with AK-47's stopping people to check their documents. There is buildings, not in the best shape, but not ... read more

Asia » North Korea » Kumgangsan September 2nd 2011

I was happy to be back in Erbil. The chance of being blown up was much less, but that was only part of its attraction. The people are friendly and the city has the feel of a place and economy on the move. The Kurds, spread over Iraq, Syrian, Turkey and Iran, have a tough time retaining their culture. Perhaps as a result, they value it greatly, and there’s an easily detected pride in their historic and more recent achievements. Erbil’s Citadel is a testament to the Kurds’ resilience. We drove from Erbil to Suliamaniyah through beautifully rugged countryside. There were bare mountains, few trees and even fewer shrubs. That became an issue when I had to stop for a leak. It was over 40 degrees. Nothing was stirring, and there was that delightful blur of ... read more
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Asia » North Korea » Pyongyang June 25th 2011

I have opened my first Flickr account and here's the link Philip Gray on flickr It covers St Pancras through to leaving Moscow. It seems to loaded them backwards. Sorry about that! Philip... read more

Asia » North Korea » Pyongyang May 3rd 2011

I have always been curious about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or commonly known as DPRK or “North” Korea. All DPRK maps show only “Korea” as if a border and a southern country didn’t exist and it was just one big happy country. A lot of what we hear and read about the DPRK is negative. In general when there are differing opinions, side A says one thing and side B says another thing. Often the truth lies somewhere in between. It is with an open mind I approached my 5 day trip to the DPRK. The first day we flew into an almost empty airport and were obliged to surrender our phones almost immediately. They were wrapped in cellophane and stored at the airport for us to collect on our way out. As far ... read more

Asia » North Korea » Panmunjom April 2nd 2011

Last weekend I went to North Korea! It was probably the coolest thing I've ever done. First we took a bus up from one of the military bases in Seoul up to the Panmunjom, which is the area between North Korea and South Korea. We had to watch a short video that was both informative and funny, in that it was a sort of propaganda. I already knew North Korea is messed up. I didn't need to be constantly reminded. Then we went to the Joint Security Area, which is the only area where North Korean and South Korean soldiers look directly at each other. While we were taking pictures of North Korea and their buildings, some North Korean soldiers started filing out of their building, which made our security escort nervous, which made ME nervous. ... read more
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Asia » North Korea » Pyongyang March 21st 2011

That would be a better name than the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Of course any country that feels the need to shore up its credentials by affixing such prefixes as 'democratic' and 'peoples' is bound to be dubious. As a rule the more a regime emphasizes its democratic values through the amount of adjectives in its name the more ruthless and undemocratic it is. As such the D.P.R.K is the worst of the lot, as it not only claims to be democratic, but also to be governed by its people. The reality is much more bleak, it is governed by a ruthless tyrant and his cronnies, all belonging in one way or another to the Kim-clan. North Korea is in effect Kim's personal playground, a fiefdom if you will. It is ruled with an iron ... read more

Asia » North Korea December 31st 2010

I am curious as to what might intrigue the interest of my journal readers most. Will it be my internal growth and development as an individual along the way or will it be my bloopers and blunders as I as an American foreigner forge my way in this unfamiliar territory?? Yes I am definitely the foreigner here in this beautiful country. As many have already seen on my FB postings my journey has been both challenging and funny all at the same time. My stories to be told may bring tears of joy to some and tears of sadness to others. The hopes are that you will grow with me along the way. I believe that God takes each of us on a variety of adventures so that we may expand beyond our capacity of understanding. ... read more

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