In the spirit of adventure, I packed my bags and headed out to tour the ramparts of the always mysterious Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, better known as, North Korea. I packed my current favorites: my men’s fleece hoodie, a few short sleeve Response shirts, and two KÜHL Radikl pants, thinking I would be better prepared to comfortably lean into this off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Yes, Americans you can get there, just not from here. You enter from Beijing, where you now can get a free 72-hour visa (as long as you show evidence that you’ve got a plan to leave the country). I hooked up with a British touring outfit, Koryo Tours, a group that really knows its stuff. Our group of about 20, mostly Europeans and Australians, curious about what lurks north of the 38th parallel, had a truly remarkable adventure.
The DPRK is a world of huge statues and billboards, giant, usually empty public squares and nice people—all. The North Koreans make great beer and like their neighbors to the south, also make very spicy food. As Winston Churchill once said when referring to Russia in 1939, “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” DPRK is the modern day equivalent, with an endless array of political issues relating to the North Korea’s government and its leaders. If adventuring to a country shrouded in mystery is your cup of tea, North Korea is an intriguing place to add to your bucket list. We visited the capital city, Pyongyang, toured the DMZ and the nearby city of Kaesang, took in the east coast cities of Hamhung and Wonsan and visited scenic Kumgang on the southeast coast.
North Korea is one unique and thought provoking adventure—one you will not soon forget. So, pack an open mind along with a sense of adventure.
Peaks Island, Maine & Gyeungsan, South Korea