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North Korea Reddit AMA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MickeyFinns, 17 Jan 2019.

  1. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    Hey all,

    I guess this might be a little too self promo but I figured I'd post it as I know there's quite a few people on here who follow my travel blog and the like. I'm currently about to do an AMA on Reddit on the topic that I've now arranged tours to North Korea for close to 1,000 people for Lupine Travel who I work for. If you fancy asking any questions about NK feel free to join at the link :)...

    https://www.reddit.com/r/travel/comments/agynjg/i_have_arranged_tours_to_north_korea_for_nearly/
     
  2. Tek81

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Jul 2015

    Posts: 2,739

    Location: UK

    Do the hotel mini bars stock Orangina?
     
  3. robfosters

    Caporegime

    Joined: 1 Dec 2010

    Posts: 41,720

    Location: Welling, London

    Just reading through it. Lmao at the bloke who decided to defect to North Korea. What a guy!
     
  4. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    Nope but they've got quite a nice local peach soft drink :).

    One of the weirdest things I've ever had to deal with. I remember just getting the phone call and not believing it.
     
  5. daz.rathbone

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Sep 2006

    Posts: 1,009

    Good engaging read - would love to take one of these tours one day :)
     
  6. Megahurtz400

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Jun 2007

    Posts: 8,308

    Location: Colchester

    Me and a friend have been wanting to book a Chernobyl your for years and might do it this year!

    Do you know when more dates will be released?
     
  7. Johno please?

    Mobster

    Joined: 9 Jun 2005

    Posts: 4,323

    Location: Wiltshire

    lmfao what!?! I think he might regret that decision in the long term.
     
  8. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Jun 2011

    Posts: 5,468

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    Wow. This is fascinating. I have only one question currently - "is it expensive?" :)
     
  9. iamtheoneneo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Mar 2010

    Posts: 10,223

    Location: Bucks

    Not exactly the most impartial AMA is it. Your definitions of 'grey areas' are amusing.
    At the end of the day you work for a business that engages in sending people to very dangerous places in the world rife with corruption and abuse of any global humanitarian laws. How many people are suffering in NK due to that regime? Millions and yet you have become everything their propaganda machine wants when you say **** like 'oh but people in the capital are fine'
    You can sugar coat it as much as you want but ultimately thats what it is.
     
  10. Beansprout

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 31 Jan 2004

    Posts: 16,327

    Location: Plymouth

    What a sentence :)
     
  11. Johno please?

    Mobster

    Joined: 9 Jun 2005

    Posts: 4,323

    Location: Wiltshire

    Absolutley, I think Christopher Hitchens sumes it up pretty well in this short paragraph, his video about his visit to NK is worth a watch.

    "....There is no private life for a North Korean. There isn't a moment when you are not either on parade or when you're not on parade, told to stay indoors. You're not wanted, stay at home you're under curfew. Lights are out in Pyongyang and that's the capital city, at 8.30. You can't go out after dark, stay in. There's nothing to watch, there's nothing to see. All the television programs, when it's working, are all about the Dear Leader, as are all operas, all films, all concert performances and all public lectures. There's nothing else to talk about. The life of the human being, this is what I failed to convey in my article, is completely pointless."
     
  12. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    For the two days tours? We only run a couple a year, but if you've got 4 people or so a private trip becomes a similar price. If you just want a day tour these run every single day.

    NK? 2 night tours start at £399 and the 4 night trip which is the most popular is £799 from Beijing or £719 from the border. The sky is the limit though as we've had people stay as long as a month on private trips.
     
  13. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    Well of course it's not going to be impartial, it's pretty obvious that I'm going to have an opinion on this?

    We work extremely hard to make trips as safe as possible, can you detail which parts of trips are "very dangerous"? Some of the countries have an image of being high risk destinations but there's stable regions in all of them that with proper due diligence and security measures can be visited. For places like Baghdad, Afghanistan and Libya the clients joining these trips know what they are joining on to, most will have visited 150+ countries before joining such a trip.

    I don't recall saying people in the capital are fine? The standard of living in Pyongyang is certainly better than the countryside, but the people are still under a lot of oppression in the city and freedom of movement is heavily restricted.

    I don't believe I've sugar coated it, I've tried to give honest answers based on my 7 years of experience in the country.
     
  14. Megahurtz400

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Jun 2007

    Posts: 8,308

    Location: Colchester

    The two day tour worth it over the single dayer? Two of us at the moment but I’m sure we could wrangle two more.

    Also, any OcUK discount? :p
     
  15. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,942

    Location: London

    Honestly thought Kim Jong might have done an AMA. I am disappoint.
     
  16. Em3bbs

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Dec 2011

    Posts: 5,521

    Location: City of London

    Reading the first answer "It's not that controlled" - really? Are we being fed a pack of lies by the media here and people who have escaped?
     
  17. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Jun 2011

    Posts: 5,468

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    That's pretty good. So get to Beijing, holiday there, and then £400 for a two day trip to NK. Sounds quite good.

    Are you still doing trips to Libya? It's on your site but not on the application form. I'm curious what you'd see there. Of course that's probably a separate person to you.
     
  18. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    You'd need a couple nights on the trains as well for £80 or return flights to NK but yeah it's possible.

    We do a trip to Libya each month, dates are on request only as we don't them searchable online. 3 nights, 2 full days. 1 day in Tripoli and 1 in Leptis Magna. Group of 3 with no tour leader.
     
  19. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    It's a different type of tour. I've done the 2 dayer and the 1 dayer a couple of times. On the 2 day trip you get more like 3 times the time and staying in the hotel in the zone is a bit of fun. Also max. group size is 12 on the 2 dayer whereas it can be much larger on a single day trip.

    If you're into photography etc. that's a very common reason to do the 2 day trip, you get more time in each area. And a slightly higher chance of going inside the buildings, although this is officially forbidden.
     
  20. MickeyFinns

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,930

    Location: Tooting, London

    I can assure you I don't work for the Korean media :D I live in Tooting.

    The questions was is it controlled in regards to what tourists can see, which compared to what most people believe, it is not. It's more controlled then say a visit to Rome though by a country mile.