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Travelling 'by oneself' to North Korea?

by BhimB Online Now Feb 3, 2006 at 3:42 AM

Hi,

I may want to go to North Korea from Beijing when I'm travelling Asia this spring. I am far from sure yet, but would like to ask some questions about it nonetheless.

- Is it possible to enter the country without a group?
- Should I go to NK, I plan on going only 3 days (from wednesday to saturday, P'yongyang only). How much would this cost approximately? I assume everybody more or less spends the same amount of money... Would travelling 'alone' mean I have a personal guide (which I have to pay for myself)?
- Should i go, I would decide this only about a few days in advance, when I'm in Beijing. Is this enough time to get a visa for NK? How long does it usually take?
- I will have been to South Korea before visiting NK, so I will have a South Korean Visa in my passport as well. Could this be a problem?

I hope anyone can enlighten me.
Thanks!

Bhim

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  • olddude's Profile Photo

    RE: Travelling 'by oneself' to North Korea?

    by olddude Online Now Feb 3, 2006 at 7:19 AM

    You can't just up and go to the DPRK on a whim for 3 days and leave when you feel like it. They are very picky (***) about that. Also, your ROK visa is going to give them (the North Koreans) fits. You will have to go with a tour group from Beijing and the visa wil have to be prearranged. They will decide how long you have to stay in the DPRK. You really need to research what is involved with going into North Korea well in advance of doing so.

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  • BhimB's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Travelling 'by oneself' to North Korea?

    by BhimB Online Now Feb 4, 2006 at 2:01 AM

    I was afraid of that.
    Although I hate tour groups it did seem best in this case. It's just that most organised tours cost quite an amount of money I'd rather spend on other things. Also, they spend more time in North Korea than I intend on spending there.
    So I hoped there'd be any chance to go there for a shorter length as an individual (I once read about someone getting in as a 'group of 1')

    I may still go there another time. When I've got a new, clean passport and get over my tourgroup-o-fobia n_n
    And I guess I will just have more time to spend in Beijing.

    Thanks for your answer.


    Bhim

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  • olddude's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Travelling 'by oneself' to North Korea?

    by olddude Online Now Feb 4, 2006 at 2:11 AM

    Well, I hope you understand that NK is not a place that a single tourist can just aimlessless visit by themselves without guidance. The tours are all "canned" so you can be "handled" and see what they want you to see...period.

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  • BhimB's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Travelling 'by oneself' to North Korea?

    by BhimB Online Now Feb 4, 2006 at 2:57 AM

    U-huh, I do understand. I did do research and I think I more or less know what to expect when it comes to being 'guided'/watched all around the place. I read about what to do and what not, and what things to bring and, more importantly, leave at home, mostly info from the DPRK official website.
    I wasn't planning to aimlessly visit the place by myself and I actually don't mind being told what to see... for a limited amount of days that is. Most tours I've seen are about 2 weeks and that just seems way to long (and expensive). That's why I hoped there would be a possibility to be a one-man group. According to the FAQ of the DPRK is seems possible:

    "8. Can I travel to North Korea as a backpacker? (Independant travel)
    No. You must travel as a group only, even if you are the only participant you must be with Korean guides at all times."

    I will look into the matter further.
    Thank you for your time and answer!

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