What Is It Like To Vacation In North Korea?

What Is It Like To Vacation In North Korea?


NARRATOR: This is a photo of
the North Korean military. It looks surprisingly
candid, given how secretive the North Korean
government is known to be about affairs of state. Then unsurprisingly, it is also
a photo that was planned out. Not so much by the photographer,
but by North Korea itself. [MUSIC PLAYING] MATT PAISH: Hi, my
name is Matt Paish. I’m a video producer
based in Bath, in the UK. The photo was taken on the
9th of September, 2012, which is actually National
Day in North Korea. So what we can see in
photo are some soldiers from the Korean People’s Army. Most of them are
facing away, towards a huge, huge, huge,
monument, which comprises two very big statues
of the leaders of North Korea. NARRATOR: Matt was visiting
North Korea while on vacation, which might come as a surprise. The hermit kingdom is not
known for it’s booming tourism industry. But still, Matt found
himself here, on a bus, trying to figure out
this strange country. MATT PAISH: The tour I
took lasted for eight days, and what’s most of the sites
we visited were in Pyongyang. Activities on the
itinerary included visiting many, many
statues and monuments. We went to a couple of farms,
we went to a fruit processing farm, an ostrich farm, we went
to an acrobatic show, a circus, we visited a maternity hospital,
a university, a music Academy, a museum of gifts
to the Great Leader. You did get the impression
that they’ve just been created purely for
tourists, to go to on a bus. There were no other
people around there. NARRATOR: But this
insanely regimented tour may not have been the most off
putting thing Matt experienced. MATT PAISH: One of the
things that people ask you when you go on holiday,
is usually, you know, how were the people. Well, in North Korea,
we didn’t really meet any of the people
so– Other countries that you go to, that
you may stand out, and you’re clearly a
foreigner, people are generally quite interested in you
and you can see people just staring at you perhaps. But in fact, that
didn’t happen at all in Pyongyang, which is
really quite a bizarre thing. People were walking past
you, but they’re not looking at you at all. So it’s really strange thing. NARRATOR: So this
picture of the soldiers was kind of emblematic
of the trip in general. A carefully managed
view of North Koreans, with no actual
interaction or information about them or their lives. It was a trip full
of moments like this. Matt, and North Koreans, at a
distance, hardly able to even acknowledge each
other’s existence. MATT PAISH: North Korea
is one of these places that you hear an awful lot about
in the news and in the media. So being able to
actually go to the place, and see real people walking
around in Pyongyang, was a real insight. And I consider
myself to be quite privileged to have seen it. NARRATOR: At This
Happened Here, we’re always coming up
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photographers can change your perceptions of war. A US Marine experiences
an extremely close call from a Taliban attack. The dirt wall protecting him,
exploding from an enemy bullet. We can see that the
soldier is in danger, but what about the person
who took the photo? And as always, don’t
forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “What Is It Like To Vacation In North Korea?

  1. Having traveled a lot, that was very interesting.  The only thing I am left wondering is:  how was the food?  When it comes to Southeast Asia, I am mostly interested in the cuisine.  Of the ASEAN countries, Cambodia wins the cuisine contest hands down.  I wish he could have confirmed if North Korea is the loser.  South Korea has good food now.  China is still serving lawnmower chicken and chewable rubber bands of jellyfish.  lol.

  2. A customer at work told me something similar about China. In Shanghai the buildings are all shiny and well maintained, but when you go inside it is like a poor village. That's all I know but it seems relevant to this

  3. find a show called Departures they have a 2 episode long trip to North Korea (DPRK) that's completely unfiltered from U.S. propaganda since it's a Canadian produced show. It really is a beautiful country!

  4. Damn, this is amazing. Even though you might not get to scratch the surface it's like being in a timecapsule back in to the 60-70s. I'd love to do a trip to North Korea although I'm not as experienced in Street Photography and my images would certainly not match his. But how exactly do you get to North Korea in the first place?

  5. You know the wierd thing is this:

    No matter how much people slate the leadership, the question is would you feel safer visiting somalia or north korea?

  6. they look nice people… im sure crime is very low here as is drug abuse.. have the Western world lost its way or north Korea??

  7. If you go in North Korea for vacation all you see is propaganda. You aren't allowed to go outside Pongyang were all the poor and reality is

  8. they probably are not acknowledging you or any foreigners because there is undercover informants and hardcore repercussions if they are caught acknowledging or talking to any foreigner at that kind of light isis…..

  9. Lets face the clear fact that if everyone in North Korea had a chance to leave, they would all flood out of there like freaking zombies, and thats if North Korea actually wants to let them go, maybe they just want to go hunting …..

  10. It's probable that all the people you met, were there because of orders of someone else. Actors trying to make you see what they want you to see.

  11. As a South Korean, I used to have problems with Western tourism to North Korea, but no longer. I'm now convinced that the only way to bring about positive change in North Korea is encouraging greater openness and engagement with the outside world.

  12. You know how you deal with N. korea? You ignore them in the media. The are actually enjoying the media coverage, fully aware that US cannot afford a offensive military operation in the region. They make outlandish threats and the media jumps onto reporting them.

  13. I wonder if north koreans even know about the great deals they can get on domain.com?!?! they need to know!

  14. as a foreigner, let me repeat, just as a foreigner I would rather live in North Korea than other south asian countries. People stare at you like you are animals walking past. and if we are talking to someone people will suddenly group around you and stare at you and talk about you and laugh at you. Its rather nice to mind your own business

  15. Why on earth would you go to a place like North Korea where a fat ugly guy can get you murdered for taking a picture at the wrong place!

  16. My youngest brother's female classmate's mother is currently in North Korea for lifetime employment. She can't go back to the States, so she had to see her family via Skype or FaceTime. She can't even visit one day at all. 🙁

  17. Hey!!! Don't call a Marine a soldier. It pisses them off. They are Marines. Army has soldiers, Navy has sailors, and Air Force has Airmen. The Coastguard isn't military, so nevermind them.

  18. Someone should use a UAV quad helicopter drone with a camera operated from China, South Korea, or off a boat in the ocean to take videos of the real North Korea outside of Pyongyang.

  19. I want to go to North Korea and take a picture flipping off a Kim Jung Un statue while wearing a US jersey so I can post it on Instagram. Will I be imprisoned?

  20. The problem with being in NK is that government is so arbitrary. Pyongyang is like that place in the miniseries, "The Prisoner". So why go? Those giant statues would not last in Baltimore. Junkies would cut them up and sell the results to metal dealers. There should be no statues.The metal should be used to make boats fot fishing.

  21. President Obama and former president bush said and I quote " we defeat every terrorist and their allies that threaten the safety of our country, yet Saddam , ghadafi and Assad haven't threatened the safety of America in anyway compared to North Korea.

  22. Stop the Propaganda!!! I've been to North Korea, it's fine. As long as you don't break their rules its cool. I would say Saudi Arabia has even stricter rules.

  23. Its weird…why tourists would want to visit this unique country. They are unintentionally supporting a horrible dictatorship and aiding in the development of weapons and supporting an unstable regime.

  24. in north Korea forced labour is practiced , so I don't think it's a good place to tour becuz you will see only pale and unhappy faces

  25. i want to go to north korea to get my hair cut .
    also eat a dog served tail on with a side of grass and be put in a concentration camp.
    come fly with come fly lets fly away.

  26. Aren't those soldiers human? Don't they deserve privacy? What have they done to be scrutinized and slandered?

  27. That is so sad. How can one man keep an entire world away from "his" country? Its very surreal. But yet, you know it's true. That I don't doubt. But wow..

  28. OMG I love this book called "My Holiday in North Korea, the Funniest Worst Place on Earth." It talked about that weird room with the giant boom boxes.

  29. I love you North Korea mainly because South Korea and Turkey are fuck buddies. I am Armenian and hope our two countries become allies ????

  30. If I had something like a super armor that wouldn't let me take any damage, I would go to North Korea, and shit on all the statues there are of all the leaders. It would take me a long time, since there are over 35,000 of those, but I would get it done. 😛

  31. Visiting North Korea is like going to your neighbor's house and he only shows you his living room, but in the basement and his closets are innocent people being starved and tortured.

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