After browsing and lot of thinking, I decided to go to North Korea, or officially called DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) in Summer 2014. This trip is not cheap, but for once life time travel experience, it’s worth it. Personally, I was excited to feel the atmosphere of the country rather than only visiting tourist attractions.
To visit this country, you have to go on tour which I know most of the travel agencies base in Beijing, China, but I heard there is company managing this trip from Russia as well. At the time I went with Koryo Tours, an experienced company organizing trip to DPRK. The person in charged was very nice to answer my non-stop emails about the trip before I confidently sent my application.
I recommend you to pay as soon as possible once you have sent your application to go to DPRK. The agency needs the money to prepare your documents and accommodation during in this country. I was quite nervous for about two weeks waiting for confirmation of my payment, since I didn’t have any experience transferring money abroad. Then, I was so relieved when I got email telling it’s received.
A day before leaving, there was a briefing about do’s and don’ts during in the country. Surprisingly, nothing to worry at all. You may bring whatever gadgets you have, except stuff has to do with religion and jurnalism. At this day you will see people who are going to be with you as a group, and they can be from different countries. Besides leaving as a group with random people, you may take private tour by yourself or with your own buddies. Its price is definitely different, you can choose which place you wanna go though.
One more thing! Except tons of photos, there will be not any evidence on your passport telling you have been in DPRK. They don’t stamp your passport and take your visa out. So, no worries!
To visit DPRK, you need to prepare amount of money for:
- the tour itself, is about 1400 euro for six days, but you can have 10% discount if you are student, like I was;
- visa to DPRK (around 50 EUR). It’s excluding the tour package, and will be arranged by the agency;
- cash (EUR, USD, or RMB) for your own expenses: souvenirs, karaoke, beers, or games. FYI, you will have tourist price when you go shopping as you don’t have any access to local currency;
- travel insurance. If you don’t have any, ask the agency to issue it (mine was about 40 EUR);
- tip for the guides and driver. It’s not only to show your appreciation for their work but also to financially help them as they don’t make much money from this job. Aside of that you are suggested to give them a gift such as chocolate, sweets, or drink.
- ticket from wherever you depart to Beijing and from Beijing to wherever you plan to go;
- double entry visa to China, except you use 72 hours free visa;
- cash during in Beijing;
Feel free to ask me more!