I know there was recently an AMA from a tourist who had also been to the DPRK but I figured some people may be interested in a second.

Here's a photo album as proof http://imgur.com/a/nP9Jy#0 but I can send my visa to the mods if necessary.

Edit: Here's a photo with my username and the date. http://i.imgur.com/1Djbs07.jpg

Comments: 695 • Responses: 88  • Date: 

Merrizon101 karma

would you agree that north korea is best korea?

wimpykid103 karma

Can't say I do.

Jusgeo83 karma

How/why were you allowed in? Did you have a chaperone the whole time? Was it creepy?

wimpykid226 karma

I applied for a visa a few months before visiting, basically had to prove that I wasn't a journalist. We were not allowed to leave our guides the entire time we were in the country and they seemed to keep a close eye on who we interacted with.

The creepiest thing I experienced were the loud speakers in the city of Kaesong, when we asked our guides to translate what it was saying, they explained that the speaker was talking about the life of Kim Il Sung and the great revolutionary struggle. It was like something straight out of an Orwell novel!

sinarb22 karma

I didn't have to do anything like that when I applied. I simply filled out a basic application form and sent over a scan of my passport and photo. I'm actually heading over on September 5th. It's my first time going into North Korea. Is there anything that you didn't bring along that you wish you had? I think I've got my grounds covered but I don't want to miss anything out just in case. Also, which tour company did you use for the tour?

wimpykid51 karma

It's my first time going into North Korea. Is there anything that you didn't bring along that you wish you had?

Bring clothes that wash easily and are quick to dry, think light cotton trousers. The weather was hot and sticky and I only had one opportunity to do laundry. I ended up wearing the same shorts for 3 days because they were the only pair I had and everything else was stinking.

I'd also recommend taking something for the guides as a gift that they can use practically. My wind up torches were received very well.

If you are particularly picky with food, take something like cereal bars or protein shake to keep you going during the day because at times I was unable to stomach the food (although other members of the tour group were entirely satisfied with what was provided).

escherbach9 karma

Nice tip about the gifts for the guides - I guess you're not allowed to tip them dollars?

LittleKey7 karma

Tipping isn't really done in East Asia or in many other parts of the world, it's seen as a way of saying you pity the person because you think they can't adequately provide for themselves.

Maybe North Korea is different (because lol North Korea) but it's not something I would try to test.

wimpykid9 karma

There is no culture of tipping in North Korea, our guide explained pretty much the same thing as stated above.

I once bought a can of Fanta and the lady didn't have the correct change to give me. She asked me if I wouldn't mind "donating it to the DPRK" but then gave me a small bag of sweet rice crackers instead.

anangrybeaver75 karma

What type of programming was on their telescreens-- I mean televisions? Was it all related to how North Korea is amazing and such?

wimpykid96 karma

I'm a software developer myself and was interested what they taught at their universities. I was told Kim Jong Un had visited the uni once and advised on "Visual Basic".

anangrybeaver41 karma

Sorry for the confusion, I meant Like TV shows and such. I guess programming is an outdated term for that.

wimpykid73 karma

Ahh, it was mostly just repeats of domestic revolutionary films and documentaries about the Kim family and industry.

dexter305 karma

Did you get to see the red star OS?

wimpykid5 karma

Unfortunately I never spotted this OS! I was looking out for it though, they mostly used XP and Windows 7 on the few machines I saw running.

Puzzles2175 karma

Would you go again?

wimpykid205 karma

Probably not, after 7 days it began to feel a bit oppressive and to be honest, I got really sick/bored of hearing about the Kim family every 10 minutes.

Puzzles2140 karma

How dare you tire of glorious leader.

Do you reckon it was worth going there once though, would you recommend it?

wimpykid38 karma

It was probably the most exciting thing I've done in my life so far. If you're even the slightest bit interested and have the opportunity to go I would take it!

flawless51864 karma

What surprised you the most during your visit?

wimpykid140 karma

I wasn't expecting to visit the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and actually see their preserved corpses. Upon walking out of the rooms, some of the Koreans were visibly upset and crying, it seemed pretty sincere.

Rainbow_D_Dash38 karma

Did you get any pictures of the glorious leaders' remains?

wimpykid141 karma

No, we had to hand in our cameras and were searched thoroughly before entering, several metal detectors upon approaching the rooms where they were held.

It's the first time I've ever seen a dead body in real life and it creeped me the fuck out big style.

Also, if you've ever experienced intrusive thoughts were you think "Just jump" when standing on a tall building/ledge you'll understand how I found myself thinking "Imagine if you just spat at or threw something at the bodies right now".

Habbekratz62 karma

How was the food?

wimpykid109 karma

Absolutely terrible, couldn't eat it for 3 days, made me very sick. I ended up losing about 10kg because I also got quite ill the first couple of days (brushed my teeth with the water accidentally).

wimpykid87 karma

Silly anecdote; I got diarrhea pretty badly and spent most of the third night on the loo, I ran out of toilet paper and went to use the newspaper with Kim Jong Un's face on. Suddenly realised what I was about to do and quickly stopped myself. I'm pretty sure I would've been detained immediately had they discovered what I'd done, you can't flush the toilet paper and they thoroughly checked our rooms upon leaving each hotel.

fluffyyummy62 karma

Were you able to interact with any non tour guide citizens? If so, did their responses seem scripted?

wimpykid150 karma

The only small time we were able to interact with citizens was during a walk in a large park in Pyongyang. The entire thing seemed orchestrated from the beginning, the whole scene reminded me of something out of "The Truman Show", seriously bizarre.

yes_no_yes_yes_yes50 karma

Were you allowed to hold conversations with the citizens during that walk or were you shooed along?

wimpykid58 karma

Shooed along.

bigboatfear57 karma

Because other angles are interesting: From the limited perspective that you had in a week...what was the most positive/pleasant thing you experienced there?

wimpykid220 karma

I'm actually queer and sort of accidentally alluded to the fact when my tour guide asked if I had a partner/wife. She said "I think it's good you have a best friend, I think it's even better you have a best friend for life". It was really sweet I thought, considering they don't have much in the way of LGBT rights over there.

it_was_my_raccoon56 karma

We read all about these stories of torture camps in North Korea.

1- Was anything ever mentioned about these camps.

2-Did you feel at any point that your guides or the police/guards were acting up as well in fear of their lives?

wimpykid71 karma

  1. Nope, the camps and famine were never talked about.

  2. The guides were pretty chill with us and didn't seem worried or scared about anything (except for getting a bad review from us when we left).

shenanigans3855 karma

What was something the people said or did that shocked you the most?

wimpykid112 karma

One of our guides in the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il got very upset and started crying when talking about the life of Kim Il Sung, it was awkward and I almost got the giggles.

yes_no_yes_yes_yes217 karma

I almost got the giggles.

Helluva way to die.

wimpykid95 karma

It was awful, I wanted to burst out laughing but at the same time I didn't want to spend another 15 years in the country. It's not the first time that kind of thing has happened to me at the worst possible opportunity (I'm sure there's a term for it).

casadeparadise54 karma

When you looked those people in the eyes, did it feel different? Knowing that even though you might be allowed to leave, that they were sadly trapped there for the rest of their lives?

wimpykid109 karma

When visiting the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, we encountered some Koreans who lived far out in the countryside, they were clearly thinner and smaller then the people in Pyongyang and stared (almost scowled) at us as we queued up. They didn't speak a word even amongst themselves. Our guide explained that they were likely staring at us/transfixed because they had never seen a Caucasian person before. Their expression were deadpan and sullen but it's difficult to say exactly what they were thinking.

partido52 karma

What's the biggest misinformation regarding the West that you witnessed?

wimpykid74 karma

Who started the "Father Land Liberation War" (Korean War).

OliStabilize52 karma

Is the propaganda as silly as it is made out to be. Does anyone believe in any of it?

wimpykid157 karma

I'm not sure if anyone actually believes the propaganda. It was pretty full on in the towns and cities we visited, with revolutionary slogans also posted on the motorways and roads we travelled on. I did ask my guide if Kim Jong Il really potted 8 "hole in 1"s on his first ever attempt at playing golf. He said that's exactly what happened with a pretty serious/sincere look on his face.

SD072945 karma

Do the people there have any idea how life really is outside of NK?

wimpykid62 karma

Our tour guides seemed to but I can't imagine anyone else did. As I understand it, North Koreans must request and receive permission even if they want to move around within their own country. Our guide explained that there are some people in the small villages we passed that had lived there their entire lives and had never left. It blew my mind a bit, couldn't imagine what that would be like.

Wosdl26 karma


wimpykid18 karma

Wow I wasn't aware of this. Is this actually still the case in China?

IthinkitsaDanny45 karma

Did you get a chance to stay in North Korea's only Hotel? If so how was it? Empty I'm assuming.

wimpykid69 karma

Almost every place we went to was completely empty. The hotel was full of other Western and Chinese tourists.

aesthetics_k40 karma

How much did the trip roughly cost you?

wimpykid47 karma

Between £3-4k, but that included everything (food, accommodation, souvenirs, nights in Beijing).

Trentington8840 karma

Have you been to South Korea? If so, what are the most notable differences?

wimpykid52 karma

I haven't been to South Korea but would love to go someday.

karmanaut39 karma

Here's a photo album as proof http://imgur.com/a/nP9Jy#0 but I can send my visa to the mods if necessary.

The photo album would be fine if you can just take a photo of yourself now with a sign that says your username, so that we know that you really are the person in the pictures. Thanks!

mikeoscarbravo32 karma

How strict were the "guides" on photography and filming? Could you bring your cellphone, and if so, did you get reception or internet on it?

wimpykid58 karma

We were allowed to bring a cell phone but no lenses over a certain size/length. After each stop, our guides were quick to collect our phones and delete pictures. Some of the tour group took pictures of some kids at a steel factory who were thin and unkempt (unwashed and their clothes were a bit tatty), he was upset with us for those pictures and explained that there'd recently been a couple of tourists who'd come and taken pictures and "wrote bad things about our country".

I think he was referring to these pictures http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2624164/North-Korea-Starving-people-child-labourers-dilapidated-homes-appear-harrowing-new-images-taken-inside-rogue-state.html (sorry for the Daily Mail link).

CasualTea16 karma

Did anyone refuse to hand over their phone?

wimpykid42 karma

Yes, the American we were with got very offended and refused at first, it was pretty awkward but was resolved in the end when he eventually agreed.

ten_thousand_hours6 karma

Very interesting pictures. I noticed the two women holding hands in the subway. Is that common for people who are friends in North or South Korea (assuming they are not a couple).

wimpykid6 karma

Yes, it seemed to be common in North Korea and in China.

araeos32 karma

What is the weirdest seeming food item you saw? And did you try it?

wimpykid57 karma

Dog meat, couldn't try it, I love my own dogs too much and I wondered what kind of personality the dog had that was now swimming in the soup.

SorryIamFromCanada27 karma

Why did you choose to go to North Korea?

wimpykid56 karma

I have read and love a lot of dystopian novels and I am fascinated with totalitarian states. From a young age I was interested in and have studied Nazi Germany and the old Soviet Union. I have read almost everything I can find about North Korea and when I eventually realised you could travel there, it's the first thing I wanted to do. It'll likely be the most expensive/weirdest trip I'll ever go on in my life.

Puevlo26 karma

Were you executed?

wimpykid93 karma

Yes but only a little bit.

fishingbdiddy23 karma

I have to imagine it feels as though you're playing out some sort of script while you're over there.

Were the locals welcoming at all, or did you get weird looks the whole time you were there?

wimpykid28 karma

The people who were actually responsible for interacting with us were incredibly polite, friendly and accommodating. As for the general public, they tried their best to avoid and not interact with us, if we waved, they immediately broke eye contact and walked away quickly. I tried to speak to a guy carrying his bicycle near us (Korean greeting for nice to meet you) but he just put his head down and quickly moved on.

dubsdownd23 karma

What was the best/worst thing you ate while there?

wimpykid28 karma

The best thing I ate was this egg omelette thing with spring onions, it was simple and easy to eat. Can't say I actually tried anything that was particularly bad, I avoided anything that smelled terrible.

Wosdl18 karma


wimpykid15 karma

I think they understood I was unwell. When my appetite finally did return I think I surprised them by how much I was able to put away.

craftBK22 karma


wimpykid30 karma

Spent sometime in the hotel bar and stayed up pretty late. We ended up dancing with some guests of the hotel (but I figured they were in on the tour sort of thin). I could upload a video if anyone is interested. It was kind of awkward because I had no clue what I was doing.

craftBK17 karma


wimpykid45 karma

I also thought the dancing of one our guides was rather fabulous in this vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3uVvhe1s7Q&list=UUB0MAoXjGTkKjBEtNIskH9g

craftBK30 karma


wimpykid15 karma

Yeah, can't say anyone was really enjoying it lol.

RichieBooth21 karma

You are, by far, the most awkward.

wimpykid13 karma


Wosdl7 karma


wimpykid4 karma

Never heard them comment on it.

Tigerdyret22 karma

What was your biggest concern before leaving?

wimpykid53 karma

If we did/said anything that would later get our guides in trouble. They were both lovely people.

shmeed_lives19 karma

Where did you return to? Is the United States reddits default country of residence in your opinion?

wimpykid30 karma

Where did you return to?


Is the United States reddits default country of residence in your opinion?

Yeah, and everyone is a white guy in their 20s until I find out differently. It's not a concious decision.

very_disappointed18 karma

What were your flight/travel arrangements like? Did you have to fly to China first?

wimpykid28 karma

Flew from Newcastle upon Tyne UK, then Amsterdam, then Beijing (where I spent 2 nights) and then Pyongyang. The flight to the DPRK was with the state owned Koryo Airlines, the air craft was basic but the "Koryo burger" was delicious (was some kind of veggie burger) and I actually asked if I could have my sleeping partner's on the way back.

tsurotu15 karma

Did you wear a toon strip?

wimpykid6 karma

Ner, kinda wish I had now though.

TheChurchOfSagan18 karma

Was it difficult to get your visa or could the average person obtain one if they wanted a unique trip? How much did it cost to go?

wimpykid19 karma

Visa was included in the price of the trip. It wasn't difficult to get, just had to prove I wasn't a journalist. I believe anyone could get one.

rlisboa18 karma

Were you at any point afraid for your life?

wimpykid24 karma

I've only ever been close to guns a few times in my life and I'm always extremely anxious around them, I can't say I feared for my life but I was definitely on edge around those weapons.

Tru3Gamer18 karma

Where did you stay during your time there?

wimpykid24 karma

A few different places, Pyongyang, Kaesong, Nampo and Myohyangsang.


silentarc18 karma

Were there any other tourists with you?

wimpykid49 karma

Yep, I was in a group with 7 other men. 5 from England, one Irishman, one guy from Texas.

movesthetasty17 karma

Have you read Guy Delisle's Pyongyang? Was your experience similar?

wimpykid13 karma

I wasn't actually aware of that comic, thank you so much for posting about it, do you know where I can buy a copy?

NDoilworker17 karma

If during the visit you told them you were going to do an AMA after returning, what do you think their reaction should be? Do you think they would try harder to give you a good time? Would they just truncate the visit or go as far to detain you?

wimpykid32 karma

I'm not sure if I would have received a visa.

harrychronicjr42017 karma

Is it true marijuana is legal there?

wimpykid30 karma

I'm pretty sure you could buy meth in one of the shops we visited but I'm not 100% sure (I believe it is legal there), they also sold syringes with a liquid in them (not sure what it was).

andrewskdr15 karma

Did you do anything illegal there? Or would that be impossible because nearly 24/7 surveillance?

wimpykid49 karma

I wore my Amnesty International tie and boxer shorts when visiting the mausoleum but I don't think that's actually illegal.

OpheliaCoxx9 karma

You had to wear formalwear to it?

wimpykid26 karma

Yes, we were visiting the resting place of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and we were told we must wear smart clothing in order to enter.

friedpikmin14 karma

How do you prove you are not a journalist?

wimpykid19 karma

Had to provide details of my employer and information about my own career.

TrollingMcDerps13 karma

What was the scariest point of the 7 days you were there?

wimpykid17 karma

I can't say I was ever in a position where I felt truly scared or in danger for my life/freedom. We did nearly hit a woman on a motorbike while travelling on the motorway and that was pretty terrifying.

Also, while travelling on the very long motorways where there was literally nothing for miles, it did cross my mind and concern me about what the hell we would do if the mini bus broke down. We were literally the only people on the road at times and I believe our guide did not have cell phone signal in those areas either.

bolognahead13 karma

were you able to visit the Ryugyong Hotel? if so what was it like?

wimpykid15 karma

We weren't allowed to visit it and only ever saw it from the side that wasn't under construction. It was admittedly a very impressive site.

escherbach12 karma

Which languages are understood? Were you able to communicate with any residents? Were you able to connect to the internet or pick up a radio station from outside NK? How do you phone home from NK?

(Sorry for 4 questions, just quick answers will do if you don't have time)

wimpykid23 karma

Which languages are understood?

Our guides spoke incredible English. It was amazing. They also spoke some Chinese, Russian and German I believe.

Were you able to communicate with any residents?

Very occasionally but I believe these interactions were not spontaneous but rather planned in advance.

How do you phone home from NK?

I was put through to an operator who I read my mothers telephone number to and I was connected, the quality of the call was loud and clear.

preggit12 karma

What would you say is the most peculiar custom you noticed while you were there?

wimpykid16 karma

I had a pretty upset stomach so had to end up using a public toilet. They are all squat toilets (similar to Beijing) and there is zero privacy, it was pretty awkward and I was unsteady on my feet having never used one before but it certainly beat shitting my pants.

Not sure if that's really a custom but I could never imagine such an experience in the west.

Plyngntrffc11 karma

Did you have to pay for your guides time while you were there? Were they compensated at all? Is that their full time profession, or are they volunteers?

wimpykid23 karma

It was their full time profession. It was suggested that we tip them each 30 Euros and provide them with a gift. I tipped them both and the driver and also gave them a wind up torch due to all the power cuts they experience. I wasn't sure whether the wind up torch would seem a bit condescending but they were both thrilled and said it would come in very useful while travelling (and save them money on batteries).

Pweuy11 karma

Did you in some way have to show respect to the Kim dynasty? I've watched a German documentary where the reporters had to bow in front of a Kim Il-sung statue, was there anything similar you had to do?

wimpykid12 karma

Yep, pretty much every major statue we visited we were instructed to line up and bow in unison. The American in our group had a really problem with that and would only lean forward a few inches. On our first visit to the major monument in Pyongyang, we were each asked to buy a wreath of flowers to lay at the statue. I am aware that tourists bowing and laying of flowers is used by the regime as examples of fawning tourists who have come to pay respect to the Kim family so it did make me feel a little uncomfortable.

hitchhikeress10 karma

I had watched a documentary (shot very discreetly) of a humanitarian visit to North Korea. The scenes, the people, and the government all reminded me very much of Orwell's 1984; the whole Big Brother feel. What was the way of life like there? Also, were you even slightly afraid that they might not allow you to return, for whatever flimsy reason?

wimpykid22 karma

were you even slightly afraid that they might not allow you to return

Yes, the thought of not been able to leave the country did enter my head several times before and during the trip. They took our passports off us during the entire trip and we only got them back upon leaving at the airport which was particularly unnerving.

carancib10 karma

How developed you would say is NK compared to poor countries?

wimpykid15 karma

This is the first developing country I have visited so I can't really offer an opinion, however it did make me feel very lucky to be able to live where I do.

bernoit10 karma

How is the "normal life" there as you experienced? Did you have a schedule when visiting or were you able to just go walk around spontaneously?

Did you perceive any dominant brands there? Were these brands any you and me would recognize?

wimpykid20 karma

How is the "normal life" there as you experienced? Did you have a schedule when visiting or were you able to just go walk around spontaneously?

Well, it's difficult to really say, I wasn't able to communicate with the average citizen but there seemed to be quite a bit to do in Pyongyang. However, further out in to the country side there seemed to be a lot of people just sitting round doing nothing besides talking amongst themselves.

While travelling on the roads, the locals seemed to love swimming/playing in the lakes. Which looked like a lot of fun considering how hot it was.

Did you perceive any dominant brands there? Were these brands any you and me would recognize?

Absolutely no advertising anywhere, it was really weird not seeing Coca-cola and Starbucks logos plastered everywhere in a major city. In the hotels they had imported beers and soft drink brands that I recognised. No energy drinks though, which I really struggled with.

StormyJMaster9 karma

Did you "see" Kim Jong Un, or do they have him in a sort of lockdown?

wimpykid17 karma

We weren't even told where he resides while in Pyongyang.

nickimbro7 karma

How tall guy?

wimpykid13 karma

6'4", while visiting Beijing, I would stand for five minutes to get my bearings and then suddenly find myself stood between two kids who were posing for a photo with me by their parents. I guess it was a novelty for them to see someone so tall.

I met a couple of black girls from America who said they experienced people just taking pictures of them as they were walking down the street!

euclid476 karma

What did you eat while you were there? I thought most people there are starving.

Were you ever able to just walk around Pyongyang, or were you forced to stay with government appointed "tour guides" the entire time?

Also, if you don't mind, what is your citizenship? I thought Westerners were banned from North Korea.

wimpykid8 karma

What did you eat while you were there? I thought most people there are starving.

Really awful food that at times I found completely un-edible, others on our tour however found the food suitable and actually quite nice. Every time we ate, they would bring out a ridiculous amount of food that they knew would be wasted. There was 8 of us and they'd just keep bringing out courses even when we were done. Every meal could've fed at least 15 people! My understanding of this is that they wanted us to go away feeling that there was an absolute abundance of food in the country.

Were you ever able to just walk around Pyongyang, or were you forced to stay with government appointed "tour guides" the entire time?

We had to stay with our guides the entire time, we weren't allowed to walk or go anywhere ourselves. They were quick to break things up if they thought we were interacting with people we weren't supposed to.

Also, if you don't mind, what is your citizenship? I thought Westerners were banned from North Korea.

I am British, as far as I understand it, only South Koreans are not allowed to visit. We even had a guy from Texas in our tour group.

SquashySquished6 karma

What's there any moment when you were all like "Oh shit, I'm about to be detained by One True Security Guard", and if so, what happened?

wimpykid7 karma

I had to ask a member of the hotel staff to open my door as I was having trouble working the lock. When I handed her the key, I folded the newspaper I was holding over the photograph of Kim Jong Un's face and she got pretty pissed off with me. Didn't really feel like I was about to be carted away but I did panic a little.

Bezzy52665 karma

Is it true that there's a radio in every room that can't be turned off? Any good stuff on TV?

wimpykid7 karma

I'm not sure about the radio thing, they were certainly off in the hotel rooms I visited.

The TV was only repeats of revolutionary films and documentaries about the leaders and industry (a lot of tractor and fishing documentaries).

OpheliaCoxx5 karma

What passport did you travel on? I always assumed the West was banned.

wimpykid9 karma

I travelled on a UK passport.

daveonline1235 karma

What was the best thing about visiting NK? Do the people seem happy generally?

wimpykid8 karma

Do the people seem happy generally?

It's hard to say, a lot of the locals we had "chance" encounters with seemed staged.

What was the best thing about visiting NK?

After having read so much about the country and been so excited for months about visiting, when we first arrived in Pyongyang and I saw the big pyramid Ryugyong Hotel I got chills and it all felt really surreal.

yes_no_yes_yes_yes4 karma

Do you feel that the people there are more brainwashed or forced into the love of their government?

And who is the man in the last picture? Just a random soldier?

wimpykid6 karma

An army officer at the DMZ, we were at a viewing point with lots of telescopes/binoculars used to make prevent people from defecting to the other side.

WHO-AM_I4 karma

Do they have free WiFi hotspots over there? Ya know, like in Tim Horton's and malls. If so, were you able to use them?

wimpykid15 karma

No email or Internet access at all. I didn't realise Robin Williams had died until a week later when I arrived in Beijing :(.

drcorndog4 karma

What made you decide to go to NK as a tourist? Was it pretty much as you expected?

wimpykid4 karma

I answered that question here, I had done a lot of reading about the country before I went and I experienced a lot of what I expected.

sam217214 karma

How long was the process to actually get into North Korea and did you visit their Korean War Museum?

wimpykid9 karma

The process of entering the country was surprisingly simple and quick. I had to declare the publications I had (a BBC science magazine) and I had to register my phone/sim card.

I went to the Korean War museum. It was very interesting, I enjoy Warhammer and they had this massive display of a battle that reminded me a lot of it.

awesomecanadian3 karma

What was the saddest thing you witnessed during your time there?

wimpykid6 karma

The total waste of food I experienced at every meal. They would bring us out course after course even after we were done eating and said we didn't want any more. I understand it was done in order to give the impression that food was available in abundance but it made me feel incredibly guilty and was totally unnecessary. I just hope it was put to some use afterwards.

bigtime8003 karma

Why would you go to North Korea?

Don't you feel that you are a tourist oogling the pain and misery of an entire nation just so you can get a photo op and a "unique experience"?

Aren't you inadvertently legitimizing the regime by paying money for their state tour services?

wimpykid5 karma

Don't you feel that you are a tourist oogling the pain and misery of an entire nation just so you can get a photo op and a "unique experience"?

I'd thought a lot about this before I went and it certainly is a grey area. Some defectors have said they believe tourist should not visit and by doing so they are funding and legitimising the regime, others have said they believe it is very important because it is literally the only window out onto the rest of the world for the majority of North Koreans (stories and discussions with tour guides have been reported to have filtered down to the general population).

I want to learn as much as I can about the country and it's history and I believe visiting has been a huge part of that.

Stelio_Kontos_3 karma

That's a sick jacket! What brand is it and where did ya get it at?

wimpykid6 karma

Next in the UK. Here's a link if you'd like to buy one.

Indydegrees22 karma

What was the coolest thing you seen?

wimpykid7 karma

A small theatre production by some kids at the Children's Palace, they were seriously talented.