WWN Travel: North Korea


WWN travelled to the decreasingly popular destination of North Korea, and we’re happy to report it’s a trip everyone should make at least once in their lives, as our travel correspondent Niall Tripp reports.

Greeted by a number of armed tour guides upon crossing over the demilitarised zone, I was shown unbelievable kindness and dedication.

Not once was I left on my own, for fear that I could potentially feel lonely if I explored certain hollow buildings by myself, I was held by my arm at all times. It was very reassuring.

Entertainment: I was taken to what I believe was the world’s largest stand up comedy gig, the language barrier made it difficult for the punchlines to land, but every word out of the comically obese man’s mouth on stage was greeted with enthusiastic applause.

Not only was the rotund gentleman with the awful haircut a comedian, he was also an illusionist who astonished us all by making it look like he was eating a worrying amount of cheese.

Food: the food was a testing experience, in fact, I didn’t eat at all and was instead taken to Pyongyang’s finest restaurant, which was experimental in nature. I was told at gunpoint to eat the imaginary food on my plate and enjoy it thoroughly. It took some getting used to, but I think my loud panicked gulps of air satisfied the chef.

Highlight: my tour guide, also known as the army servicemen who had kidnapped me, took me to what can only be described as the finest fireworks display I had ever seen.

“Look, blow up West with this” my guide explained, hinting I think at the fact North Korea desired to prove they, like all developed nations, can put on a fireworks display to rival any Western nation.

“Aim, America,” he added, signalling this display of black cats on steroids would put even America’s 4th of July fireworks to shame. And boy was he right, the firework took off like a rocket and subsequently turned upside down and crashed into the ground, as planned, and blew up creating a beautiful spectacle.

The fat comedian who had been on stage the previous night, was also at the fireworks display and quite frankly he wasn’t a fan of it at all. So much so he had 3 of the firework technicians shot on sight. While this was a shocking thing to see, it’s just one of those things you have to put down to the language barrier or some strange North Korean custom.

All in all, I would heartily recommend the trip to anyone. And if I can get 10 of my closest friends to sign up to visit, I may even be allowed out of my prison cell.