“Hey, where are you going on your next trip?”
“ARE YOU CRAZY?!?”
I’ve had various versions of this conversation quite a few times ever since I announced that North Korea was going to be a big part of my next adventure.
Obviously it’s a perfectly apt response as North Korea has not really been shone in a positive light.
What with missile tests, oppressed citizens, overzealous laws and, of course, the supreme leader, it’s natural to see North Korea in only a negative light.
And while that’s true, my response is always the same when I’m asked why I’m going to North Korea.
Because it’s unique. Because in your lifetime you will probably only meet one person who has visited North Korea and that person is me.
I like adventures. I like unique places that are off the beaten path.
It’s why my desire to visit Russia was so strong and why a trip to Chernobyl was on the top of my list of things to do when I visited Ukraine a couple of years ago.
Is it safe?
Ironically, North Korea is actually one of the safest places in the world to visit.
There is no crime and no one trying to scam you.
You can only visit the country by being part of a very controlled tour group.
Before you visit you are given a set of rules to adbide by including what you can and can’t take photos of. Photos of the military is a big no-no but taking photos of almost everything else is no problem.
There are other common sense rules as well – basically act respectful and don’t do anything stupid.
You’re also chaperoned everywhere so there’s really not much chance of doing something wrong.
Now, of course, there’s been stories in the news of some Americans who have been jailed with inordinately long prison sentences for what we would perceive as minor infractions back home but, again, it comes down to being respectful and following the rules.
So, I’m gonna follow the rules and I’m going to have an amazing time!