So I have decided to blog the whole north/south tour, or at least as much as I can. This is technically day 2 I guess, although day 1 “in country” in fact I’m currently sitting in my cabin waiting for Korean customs to give me the once over at Sinuiju station.
Last night I was lucky enough to have my own cabin, but alas the god of ying and yang has now put 5 Chinese people into my 4 berth cabin, my 4 guests have been placed together. I’m a nice guide! After the boring part finishes secret draft beer awaits!
Just had my fake Kim Jong Il badge taken from me, I would add it was a gift and not purchased by me. Other than that hassle free!
We were met at the station by one my favorite guides that we have frequently used and transferred to Kim Il Sung square for a little nighttime walk and pictures before dinner, drinks, a tour of the hotel, and just before sleep a beer under the moonlight looking at the river!
I quite like these short tours and the fact that we fit so much into quite a small time, but this also means an 8 am start…
Day one tends to go down the fairly standard Pyongyang city tour route, with us going to see the Mansundae Grand Monument, now also featuring Leader Kim Jong Il, closely followed by the monument to the party foundation, Korean hot pot for lunch, the metro, and Korean War Museum, which was to be extra special for us with regards to our trip to Dandong, and later the Southern side of the DMZ, history is not as they say written by the victor, more by anyone that happens to be writing at the time.
Then the 160 km march for our overnight in Kaesong, the only city to change hands during the Korean war.
Overnight in Kaesong is always a pleasant affair with us sleeping on the floor ala traditional style, with our private courtyard as always proving a great place to knock a few back!
The DMZ even after 30 times is a damn sexy affair, and the fact that is was raining only added to the tension. After the DMZ we did a little walk around the old town of Kaesong, a very pretty city and a real eye opener about life over there. As always we visited the Koryo Museum before taking the stroll back to Pyongyang for the spy ship Pueblo, and Paradise department store, and then to be the first ever guests at the new KITC restaurant in the new district of Pyongyang! We even managed to get on NK tv!!!! Food was just ok, but a good experience.
Our last night ended with us drinking 6 dollar bottles of Vodka in YPTs regular “the diplo” where according to the lonely planet you cannot visit….
Our last morning included hangovers and not being able to get a quick visa for one of our customers! Me being the great guy I am ended up upgrading him to the Air China flight, so that he could get it in time. We are nice people so we are! Just 3 of us on the slow trip to Dandong! I can literally smell the Internet already!
Have just seen the Dandong skyline! Being phone and net less in the DPRK is great, but coming back to it is like meeting an old friend!!! Also I have to say I quite like Sinuiju, and if my plans go right we could and should be able to offer this in the near future!!! I think for the southern part of the blog I may switch to my more risqué private blog style!.