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Ask me about North Korea

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Cyrus
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Ask me about North Korea

Post by Cyrus » December 5th, 2012, 2:44 pm

Currently planning my second trip to Pyongyang next year. Thought it might be fun to make a thread on here if anyone's curious about the least visited Asian country in the world.

Some observations

- North Korea is not nearly as closed off or as anti-social as some documentaries make you think. Many people hype this part of the country up because it attracts a lot of attention.

- You won't find a girlfriend here. You can socialize with people but not beyond hanging out on the street or whatever bars / restaurants your guides take you to.

- You can't socialize with people if you're a dick. This includes insulting their country by calling out the Kim monarchy as huge fucktards. It's tempting, but don't do it. If your whole group is cool you can talk to people and meet locals and it's not a problem (usually).

- Beautiful countryside, good restaurants, a great new theme park. Pyongyang is very funky but it's a real city

- North Korean soldiers: I remember one of us was really hungover at the airport as we were trying to leave. He looked really sick. A female soldier who worked at the airport walked up and put her hand on his back and asked how she could help him. This sticks out in my mind really well. Most people in NK are really nice.

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xiongmao
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Post by xiongmao » December 5th, 2012, 8:57 pm

I'd sure like to visit NK as I'm aiming to do a clean sweep of Asian countries while Im out there. I don't know what my options are for a side visit to NK from China. Probably pretty good if they find out I have a PhD in Biotechnology I guess :)
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Voice of Reason
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Re: Ask me about North Korea

Post by Voice of Reason » December 5th, 2012, 9:36 pm

Cyrus wrote:- You won't find a girlfriend here. You can socialize with people but not beyond hanging out on the street or whatever bars / restaurants your guides take you to.
Do you ever meet girls that are flirtatious? Do you ever get the feeling that if it wasn't for the strictness of the regime, some of them wouldn't mind dating a foreigner?
Cyrus wrote:- You can't socialize with people if you're a dick. This includes insulting their country by calling out the Kim monarchy as huge fucktards. It's tempting, but don't do it. If your whole group is cool you can talk to people and meet locals and it's not a problem (usually).
What are the people like? Do they look like they're repressed, or do they just look like normal people? Does it look as though their every day lives are effected by the regime? IN other words, if you didn't know there was such a regime, would you notice that their was something up with the place?

Do the people LOVE the Kim monarchy?
Cyrus wrote:- Beautiful countryside, good restaurants, a great new theme park. Pyongyang is very funky but it's a real city
Are the restaurants run by the government, or are they individual businesses? Do they have brand names?

Cyrus
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Re: Ask me about North Korea

Post by Cyrus » December 6th, 2012, 10:44 am

Voice of Reason wrote:
Cyrus wrote:- You won't find a girlfriend here. You can socialize with people but not beyond hanging out on the street or whatever bars / restaurants your guides take you to.
Do you ever meet girls that are flirtatious? Do you ever get the feeling that if it wasn't for the strictness of the regime, some of them wouldn't mind dating a foreigner?
Cyrus wrote:- You can't socialize with people if you're a dick. This includes insulting their country by calling out the Kim monarchy as huge fucktards. It's tempting, but don't do it. If your whole group is cool you can talk to people and meet locals and it's not a problem (usually).
What are the people like? Do they look like they're repressed, or do they just look like normal people? Does it look as though their every day lives are effected by the regime? IN other words, if you didn't know there was such a regime, would you notice that their was something up with the place?

Do the people LOVE the Kim monarchy?
Cyrus wrote:- Beautiful countryside, good restaurants, a great new theme park. Pyongyang is very funky but it's a real city
Are the restaurants run by the government, or are they individual businesses? Do they have brand names?
1. Oh yeah, I met a girl who was a clerk at a mini mart in a hotel in Hamhung and she was in love with me. Also met a beautiful waitress in Pyongyang who was curious why I didn't have a wife. They flirt by blushing and turning away when they try to talk. Very sweet women sort of like Thailand, if no government restrictions could have a girlfriend easy.

2. I don't think their every day lives are that affected if you play by the rules. Pyongyang seemed like normal people. Just lots of stern faced Koreans. Check out pic: http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/1783/img1178wc.jpg It's not as bad as a place like Myanmar where the military is always shooting people. I saw a lot of the big city and there wasn't any problematic military involvement. The really bad stuff happens behind closed doors when families are taken away to gulags, but for most people such incidents are only dark rumors.

3. I doubt people love Kim Jong Il since many believe he is responsible for the famine in 90s, but they must pretend they do. But there is genuine reverence for the Kims because papa Kim built the country (with help of the USSR of course) and according to what they're taught they single handedly liberated Chosun from the Japanese. I can tell you they love Kim Jong Un however.

4. In Pyongyang especially they are trying to 'experiment' with more capitalism, and I think they are joint owned by both entrepreneurs and the government. There's a rich elite in Pyongyang that can do things like buy restaurants and work with the government and reap private profits mainly from tourists who can afford to eat at such places. But Pyongyang has a non-tourist infrastructure as well with small food shops, ice cream stands, street games, etc that private citizens can make. Nowadays there's even stuff like bowling alleys.

Voice of Reason
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Post by Voice of Reason » December 6th, 2012, 11:12 am

Okay, it sounds like an interesting place to visit.

You need to get a tour guide, right? Are all tour guides the same? Or are their different types of tours you can choose from? Are some tours less "restrictive" than others? Is their any way to choose, or is it a lottery?

Do your guide ever "break the rules"? So you get to see or do certain things that may be "forbidden"? Or is it strict and regimental?

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Post by Spicoli » December 8th, 2012, 9:11 am

Voice of Reason wrote:Okay, it sounds like an interesting place to visit.

You need to get a tour guide, right? Are all tour guides the same? Or are their different types of tours you can choose from? Are some tours less "restrictive" than others? Is their any way to choose, or is it a lottery?

Do your guide ever "break the rules"? So you get to see or do certain things that may be "forbidden"? Or is it strict and regimental?
It's not difficult to visit as long as you're not a journalist. You just need to go with a tour guide. Koryo Tours is the one I've heard recommended.

By breaking the rules you would be putting your guide at extreme risk. You will get to see what they want you to see and where they want you to go and there are rules on photography. Pyongyang is a showcase city by the way and is not reflective of NK as a country.

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Re: Ask me about North Korea

Post by Spicoli » December 8th, 2012, 9:21 am

Cyrus wrote:Currently planning my second trip to Pyongyang next year. Thought it might be fun to make a thread on here if anyone's curious about the least visited Asian country in the world.

Some observations

- North Korea is not nearly as closed off or as anti-social as some documentaries make you think. Many people hype this part of the country up because it attracts a lot of attention.

- You won't find a girlfriend here. You can socialize with people but not beyond hanging out on the street or whatever bars / restaurants your guides take you to.

- You can't socialize with people if you're a dick. This includes insulting their country by calling out the Kim monarchy as huge fucktards. It's tempting, but don't do it. If your whole group is cool you can talk to people and meet locals and it's not a problem (usually).

- Beautiful countryside, good restaurants, a great new theme park. Pyongyang is very funky but it's a real city

- North Korean soldiers: I remember one of us was really hungover at the airport as we were trying to leave. He looked really sick. A female soldier who worked at the airport walked up and put her hand on his back and asked how she could help him. This sticks out in my mind really well. Most people in NK are really nice.
That's cool you got to visit. Good restaurants? I heard the food was garbage. You must be joking about the theme park...that thing was all rusted out and was so lame. In what way is it a real city? You mean how everything is staged and you have guides following you around and you have to stay in a hotel that is bugged on an island?

It's not closed off? HUH? Do they allow the common person to travel to another city? Do they have a media that isn't state controlled? Do they allow any outside news? There is no country that is more restricted and closed off. The only other country I could think of is Myanmar and that is now opening up.

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Post by Dragon » December 9th, 2012, 1:22 pm

I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
I am a terrible person.

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Post by Jester » December 10th, 2012, 8:08 am

Dragon wrote:I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
Once again, you get the Opportunist Award.

+1

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Mr S
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Post by Mr S » December 10th, 2012, 11:39 am

Dragon wrote:I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
Most will be butt ugly from decades of malnutrition. You might as well have sex with a flat wooden board with a hole in it. They will be the equivalent of prepubescent boys, no tits or ass, height, etc.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.

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Post by Voice of Reason » December 10th, 2012, 11:48 am

Dragon wrote:I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind :D

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Post by Voice of Reason » December 10th, 2012, 11:50 am

Mr S wrote:
Dragon wrote:I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
Most will be butt ugly from decades of malnutrition. You might as well have sex with a flat wooden board with a hole in it. They will be the equivalent of prepubescent boys, no tits or a**, height, etc.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_JgWvG48E [/youtube]

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Mr S
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Post by Mr S » December 10th, 2012, 12:23 pm

Voice of Reason wrote:
Mr S wrote:
Dragon wrote:I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
Most will be butt ugly from decades of malnutrition. You might as well have sex with a flat wooden board with a hole in it. They will be the equivalent of prepubescent boys, no tits or a**, height, etc.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_JgWvG48E [/youtube]
If one were to think that is what the average North Korean female looks like then they are delusional or mental. Only selected families of the Communist party are allowed to live in the capital city and have sufficient food to survive on. If the NK government were to fall these families would not be the ones selling their bodies and looking to get out of the country cause they could afford to already leave or have sufficient means to take advantage of the new political order and stay where they are. The ones from the countryside who are extremely desperate would be the ones clamoring to find a way out of the country, and those don't look too pretty or promising.

That type of clip is just a perpetuation of the NK fantasy propaganda that everything is great over there and no problems whatsoever.

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.

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Post by Voice of Reason » December 10th, 2012, 8:32 pm

Mr S wrote:
Voice of Reason wrote:
Mr S wrote:
Dragon wrote:I'm calling it now. Once North Korea's government collapses and things start going really bad, NK is going to be the number one destination for foreign brides and possibly sex tourism. South Korea is incapable of handling the amount of refugees that NK is going to have, so this is the most likely scenario--as dark as it may seem.
Most will be butt ugly from decades of malnutrition. You might as well have sex with a flat wooden board with a hole in it. They will be the equivalent of prepubescent boys, no tits or a**, height, etc.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_JgWvG48E [/youtube]
If one were to think that is what the average North Korean female looks like then they are delusional or mental. Only selected families of the Communist party are allowed to live in the capital city and have sufficient food to survive on. If the NK government were to fall these families would not be the ones selling their bodies and looking to get out of the country cause they could afford to already leave or have sufficient means to take advantage of the new political order and stay where they are. The ones from the countryside who are extremely desperate would be the ones clamoring to find a way out of the country, and those don't look too pretty or promising.

That type of clip is just a perpetuation of the NK fantasy propaganda that everything is great over there and no problems whatsoever.


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Post by Cyrus » December 14th, 2012, 10:14 am

Hey guys, sorry if I neglected this thread. Had some really bad internet hijincks at a place I'm staying at in Thailand so I haven't been online hardly at all. I'll catch up now that things seem to be running again.

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