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North Korea officially known as The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) - is seen as the most closed country in the world. Although situated in the bustling East Asia region, any form of independent travel here remains impossible. Its land bordering
South Korea, China and Russia remains off limits, and no general access for travel is granted.
The only way in which to visit “The Hermit Kingdom” is via guided tours only. Many companies offer a variety of excursions, which start and end in China. North Korean guides will accompany you on the ground at all times, restrictions on movement are heavy
and any misbehavior can result in immediate deportation and your guides suffering the consequences of your actions.
All guides speak English and all transport and accommodations are set. Mobile phones are now allowed, although SIM cards are incredibly expensive. Local currency is not used in tourist transactions, but US dollars and Euros are accepted. It’s rare you
will be in contact with local people as you would in any other travel situation – it’s highly likely that whoever you meet is part of the tourism set up. However, the rules and regulations on tourism continue to change here, with many new areas of
the country starting to open up for visits.
Following the ceasefire that ended the Korean War in 1953 and Kim II-Sung self-imposed communist rule, failed agricultural efforts leading to widespread famine and funds focused purely on building a huge army have resulted in North Korea remaining an
incredibly impoverished nation. While much of this is hidden to tourists passing through, be prepared to see glimpses outside of the show city that is the Pyongyang. Don't expect to see much ‘real life’ here.
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