Short Weekly Newsletter 6 January 2012

A scene from the Arirang Mass Games. The scene is the background is formed by thousands of performers holding up picture cards.

Good morning

It has been a very busy week this week, but have I now got a surprise for you in return!

Last week I mentioned our planned tours this year; and at the time, I had in mind something that I wasn’t sure could be achieved, but which now seems to be possible.  I suspect this is a tour which will either fill up in a flash, or be a total disaster with no-one at all interested in, because it is so extraordinarily different to any other tour I’ve offered before.

So – what is it?  Where is it?  It is to (drum roll please) – DPRK.  And for those of you who don’t immediately recognize the acronym, I am referring to North Korea – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and in the centenary year commemorating the birth of modern Korea’s founder, Kim il Sung.

Wow.  Have you ever thought you might get a chance to conveniently visit there, in reasonable comfort and safety and with the blessing of the North Korean government?  (Talking about which, the US government has no prohibition on us visiting DPRK – Cuba is bizarrely the only place in the entire world we are not allowed to visit.)  I never thought I would or could go to North Korea, but after intensely working through the details and minutiae that make up planning and arranging a trip there with a group of Brits in China who are the leading coordinators of DPRK tours, I’ve put together a compelling itinerary that gives you an opportunity to experience this enigmatic country for yourself, and to form your own understandings of the country, its people, and its politics.

The tour is in early September, and has been timed so as to include one of their spectacular festivals – their National Day (equivalent of our Independence Day).  It is crammed full of inclusions and activities, and has us at what TripAdvisor rates as the best hotel in Pyongyang, all for a very reasonable price potentially as low as $2195, depending on the final group numbers.  (This price is from and back to Beijing – you have to get to Beijing first and will probably choose to spend a few nights in Beijing too.)

I’m leading the tour, and we’ll have two local escorts/guides and a maximum group size of 24 (and minimum of six), so we’re not going to be part of some mega-group.  Just a small collection of liked minded Travel Insiders, enjoying what will possibly be the most distinctive travel experience any of us have ever had (or will ever have).

I’m sorry, but it is 1am and I’ve been working solidly all day today (well, I guess I should say ‘yesterday’ now) on this tour as well as much of the rest of the week, with many very long phone calls and masses of emails so as to get this tour put together, and so there’s no time now for all the other stuff this week, but I’ll give you an extra measure of other goodies next week, and for those of you who get daily updates, I’ll dole out some things I have already half written between now and then too.

Until next week, please enjoy safe travels







1 thought on “Short Weekly Newsletter 6 January 2012”

  1. My wife and I have been visiting North Korea around 2 years ago. It is a fascinating country and completely different from what you would normally expect. Walking to the demarcation line from the north, entering into these blue buildings at the boarder which are very likely a familiar sight from the ‘wrong’ side and then on the way back waving at the Korean and western tourists on the south side was a bizarre experience.

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