Introducing North Korea of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Travel opens up all sorts of possibilities to experience different cultures and become acquainted with a variety of lifestyles. This North Korea travel guide is designed to introduce you to North Korea and acquaint you with the country’s sites and attractions.
North Koreas is located next to the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea, and China. Also referred to as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the country is separated from South Korea (Republic of Korea) by a heavily armed border known as the demilitarized zone or DMZ.,
The Capital City: Pyongyang
The capital of North Korea is Pyongyang and it’s here that you can see a number of impressive buildings and sites, including The Arch of Triumph, the Gates of Pyongyang , the Grand Theatre and the Juche Tower.
The Juche Tower
The Juche Tower is a remarkable structure that sits next to the River Taedong. The tower is topped with a long torch that glows throughout the night. The landmark is significant as it represents the country’s political ideals, and symbolizes the concept of autonomy or self-reliance.
The Mount Kumgang Tourist Region
Mount Kumgang, also referred to as Diamond Mountain, is a well-known natural icon. The mountain, which has been distinguished for its beauty over the centuries, has been used as the focus in a number of pieces of art. In the Korean language, the mountain’s name changes with the seasons, but, generally, for tourists, it is referred to as Mount Kumgang.
When you visit the area, you’ll be able to see a variety of interesting stone formations. Made up mainly of igneous rocks, such as diorite and granite, the incline’s natural sculptures are indeed picturesque creations. One of the popular attractions, the Manpok Ravine, is located in the Inner Kumgang section of the area and is a favorite attraction among tourists. The Sea Kumgang section of the tourist region is noted for its pillars and scenic lagoons while Outer Kumgang is recognized for its numerous cascades.
You Can’t Travel through the Country on Your Own
However, you can’t hike up Mount Kumgang or visit the natural reserve on your own. In order to see the aforementioned wonders, you must be accompanied by a guide or take a group tour. The country also imposes this rule on any other places or sites you may want to see in the country too. So, if you are looking for things to do in North Korea, you’ll have to follow a hosted itinerary.
Review the Tour Companies Online
Therefore, if your goal is to see North Korea, you’ll want to check out the guided tours that are listed on the web. That’s the first step you’ll need to take if you plan to embark on a journey to this fascinating country.
Survey Places of Interest on the Internet
The following sites are some of the attractions you’re bound to see on a guided tour. It’s best to go online and review some of the locales you may want to visit first and make sure those places are included on your tour’s itinerary. If not, some tour companies can adjust their schedules to accommodate your travel requests.
Some of the Notable Sites and Attractions:
Here are some of the sites that tour companies generally include as part of their travel plans.
The Grand Monument
Within the capital of Pyongyang itself, towers the Grand Monument. This large piece of statuary replicates North Korea’s leader Kim II Sung, who was the country’s leader until his passing in 1994.
The demilitarized zone or DMZ is the armed border that separates South and North Korea. Historically and politically relevant, this border, one of the remaining reminders of the Cold War, is the heaviest armed boundary in the world today.
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum
Located in the capital of Pyongyang, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum is another attraction of note that is often seen on guided tours. Exhibits include the weaponry used during the Korean conflict in the early 50s.
The Children’s Palace
Tourists are also often guided to see the entertainment at the Children’s Palace, where children play instruments and sing and dance for the audience. You’re sure to be impressed by the sheer talent of these exceptionally young thespians, vocalists, and musicians.
Other Attractions that are Seen on Tours of the Country
Other featured sites on a Korean tour include such notable attractions as the:
• Kimilsungia-Kimjungilia Flower Exhibition Center – which highlights two stories of flowering plants, including rare species.
• Pyongyang Metro – which showcases chandeliers, marbled pillars, and murals of mosaics. The underground subways which make up the city metro system are some of the most impressive you’ll ever see anywhere.
• Mangyondae – The birthplace of the well-loved former leader of North Korea Kim II Sung, who led the country from the time the DPRK was established in 1948 until his death in 1994.
• The Korean Film Studio – where North Korean films are made.
• Sariwon Folk Village in Sariwon – Here you can discover how village people lived in ancient times.
• Nampho Dam, also called the West Sea Barrage – Eight kilometers long, this dam is a national site that was built to close off the salt water of the Yellow Sea from the Taedong River. It is often used as a backdrop for the broadcasts of the Korean Central News Agency (KNCA).
Picture-taking and Cell Phone Use in North Korea is Limited
As travel is restricted to guided tours, there are also some rules tourists must follow on their trips as well. For example, you won’t be able to take pictures randomly. You can only take pictures where guides say the practice is allowed. In addition, you’re not permitted to rely on your cell phone. Any international calls you make must be made from your hotel.
The U.S. Dollar Spends as Well in North Korea as the North Korean Won
One area where you’ll enjoy some leniency is in paying for your purchases. Currency does not have to be exchanged as visitors can use U.S. money, Euros, or the Chinese Yuan.
A Couple of the Companies that Provide Tours to the DPRK
Tour Companies that lead travel groups to North Korea can be found on the Internet. Some of the well-known companies include Koryo Tours and New Korea Tours. You’ll need to work with one of the companies to ensure that you have all the required documentation for your trip. Make advanced plans as scheduling a trip to the country takes some time to arrange.