How hard and risky is it to travel to North Korea? Is there any internet?

How hard and risky is it to travel to North Korea? Is there any internet? Will I get shot for being a Westerner? What am I allowed to carry?

Top Answer:

I went a few years ago. Make sure you visit the countryside. Absolutely breathtaking. I only wanted to go to witness the isolation. It's a really surreal experience, and one I'd recommend you check out. The entire trip will stay with me forever.

It's entirely safe. They're very accommodating; if a bit insistent at times, by which I mean, they want you to do what they want, how they want. Expect to have at least one person with you AT ALL TIMES, unless you're in your hotel room.

I had an odd moment with one of the security liasons. We were at the DMZ and he told me about 7 ways to get through, pointing to each way. It just seemed to me that he's put immense thought and genuine want into escaping. I wonder what happened to him. Lovely chap too. He admitted to me that he was a Christian. Of course I never told anyone else, he'd be put in one of those terrible camps.

Other Answers:

vice guides went a little overboard in their descriptions. We were allowed to bring in LP Guidebooks for China, Ipods, Comps, just no phones. There is no internet but the hotels have a lot of modcons. TVs have foreign news and movies (BBC, etc) It is relatively easy to get in from China. Cost me about 800 bucks from Shenyang. We did the same route as the vice guide guys did by fluke. We couldn't get visas through Dandong so we were sent there. You need to make sure to book ahead though as there is a lot of info they need to process the visa.

Not hard, not unsafe. Just kind of expensive. North Korea wants people (especially Westerns) to see the glorious People's Republic so they'll think highly of it. Internet is obviously out of the question. They don't have real internet in North Korea, just an incredibly censored deal that only government people and university students even have access too. Like far more censored than China's internet.

No cybercafes. Your hotel might get email but that's it. Embassies have internets but you won't be going to those.

And stuff like cell phones and gps are not allowed. They will just take them from you and give them back when you leave. Laptops are no problem.

Here's how to get you started:

All you need to arrange yourself is getting to Beijing.

those and the ones from Beijing cost three or four times as other places from Shenyang or Dandong and have huge waiting lists.

But doesn't give an accurate image of what to expect since it tries to oversensationalize everything and make the douchebag look like some tough guy. In reality it's much more relaxed.

go in through china obviously, 100% impossible to come in from the south, although the DMZ is pretty sweet, they do tours on the nork side as well.

Are you american?

Surely there must be one or two cybercafes in Pyongyang, right?

I heard some electronic devices (e.g. computers) are not allowed. What other items are prohibited?

It's not risky at all, and it's not really hard... just spend a couple thousand dollars. Yes, but you won't have access to it.

google vices guide to North Korea, small doco about going there...

It's very easy and very safe. Just sign up for a guided tour.

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