North Korea Travel and Tour Tips Safety, The appropriateness of tourism in North Korea has long been debated, but has become increasingly discussed in the past few months. Advocates argue that the local-to-tourist contact made possible by tourism helps improve citizens’ views of outsiders, which, following years of propaganda that paints the West as an evil enemy, is a step in the right direction.
1. The Tourists who possess a passport with validity of over 6 months are allowed to apply for a North Korean tourist visa.
2. North Korea only accepts group tourists. Visitors need to submit the visa application documents through the qualified travel agencies at least 15 days prior to their trip.
1. You will pay for most things during your tour. Most sights have shops for visitors to buy bottled water, souvenirs, and snacks. Products there are relatively expensive. For example, a bottle of coke costs USD 0.7~1.
2. North Korea Won, KPW for short, is the common currency of the country and is forbidden to exchange with other currencies. Foreign tourists can only use Chinese yuan, US dollars, or Euros in shops open to foreign visitors.
3. It is highly recommended tourists prepare enough cash for shopping because credit card cannot be used for payment.
4. Tourists do not need to give tips.
Hotels in North Korea are classified into special, first, and second grades. There are hotels only for foreigners, which have stores, sauna, bars, and other facilities. However, due to the short of hotel supplies and high frequency of black out, it is better for tourists to bring their own wash supplies and portable chargers.
North Korean people have a light diet featuring sour and spicy flavor. It has some specialties such as kimchi, glutinous rice cake, insam-ju, and cold noodles.
There are numerous souvenir shops at tourist sites and designated hotels. Interesting local products and specialties include insam-ju, chili sauce, bronze and stainless tableware, postcards, and postage stamps.
The tourist store at the Koryo Museum in Kaesong has the most variety of tourist commodities. The postcards sold in this store cost less than other shops of its kind. DVDs of the Arirang Performance is available at the Yanggakdo International Hotel. Each costs about $6 and is cheaper than those sold in other shops.
1. On February 16th, the birthday of Kim Jong-il, celebrations are held across the country to commemorate the great leader of North Korea, making the day the biggest festival throughout the year. Performance, recreational activities and sports are carried out in government institutions, enterprises, and schools. It’s a great opportunity to communicate with the local people and share happiness with them.
2. North Korea New Year falls on the first day of the lunar calendar. After ritual activities, people visit their relatives and friends, have delicious food, and play folks games.
3. The Dragon Boat Festival on May 5th in the lunar calendar marks the end of a period of busy farm work. People put on new clothes, make glutinous rice cakes and watch exciting cattle wrestling.
4. On Mid-Autumn’s Day on August 15th in the lunar calendar, North Korean people make delicious food with new grains to celebrate the harvest. They also play all kinds of folk games.
Do’s and Don’ts 10 Things Should Never Do While Travelling North Korea
1. Tourists are allowed to bring mobile phones, ipads, laptops, cameras, and telescopes.
2. Take photos of permitted objects in the permitted area.
3. Don’t talk about South Korea.
4. Don’t bring books, magazines, and CDs if the content is considered inappropriate, such as things with the national emblems of South Korea and the United States.
5. Don’t imitate the posture or be disrespectful to the statues of North Korean leaders.
6. Don’t give inappropriate comments to the national leaders or the economic and political situation of North Korea.
7. Tourists can bring food and fruits according to their own needs because products sold in North Korea might be lack of variety.
Type C or F sockets, voltage of 220V.
Access to the Internet
No access to the Internet.
North Korea provides SIM card for tourists at the airport and Koryolink, a communication company of the country. Each costs about 60$. It has no 3G service.
Call code: +850
1. Pyongyang Train Station：00850-2-3823162
2. Pyongyang Sunan Airport：00850-2-3823194
3. Pyongyang Friendship Hospital：00850-2-3827688
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