|Jackline and Elston Hill visit to the DPRK
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
(also referred to as North Korea)
This is an account of our trip to the DPRK. Click the first link (or picture) below to go to the first page. At the bottom of each page
is a link to the next page. Or, use the links below. Remember that if the pictures are too big or too small, you can adjust your
browser by simultaneously using the Control Minus or the Control Plus keys.
After the links below, I have some information for others who are interested in pursuing a trip to the DPRK. Contrary to what most
people believe, such a trip is easy to arrange, very reasonable as to cost, and is one of the safest countries to visit as a tourist.
The DPRK is an easy country for Americans to visit. All we had to do is wire funds to Koryo Tours in Beijing and they took care of
everything including our visa. It was a very safe country. I routinely left expensive cameras on the seat of the van while we went
into restaurants, museums, and other places. Most of the tours (whatever company you go with) are provided by Korea
International Tours in the DPRK. We were a tour of two people and had a roomy van for the whole week. Larger tours use luxury
buses and they are not crowded as is often the case when going on a tour. The three hotels we stayed at were very adequate.
Food was good and plentiful. Electricity can be unreliable outside Pyongyang. The price of our trip was very reasonable.
We booked our trip through Koryo Tours. We dealt with the owner Simon Cockerell. His is the largest company doing tours to the
DPRK. He has been providing tours since 1993 and has a very good record with respect to his guests having a good
uninterrupted trip. I highly recommend you use Koryo Tours for reasons that I can explain to you personally.
Our guides were some of the best guides we have had on any trip on the planet. They spoke very good English. They worked
very hard to please us and kept us busy for very long days. Pictured below are our two guides. Kim has been a guide for three
years. Pak is in his last year at the university and was guiding as a way to practice his English which was very good. I asked him
how long he had been speaking English and he said two years which surprised me as his English was not only very good but he
had American colloquialisms in his vocabulary.
Poor Kim. She wore high heels the whole time we were there, even hiking up a steep trail to a Buddhist Temple and another hike
up a steep trail to a waterfall! The Koreans in the DPRK dress smart, even the farmers at work. The only dowdy people I saw were
We spent seven nights in the DPRK. Three days were in the rural areas and we covered several hundred miles with good
opportunities to view the country.
Our flight into the DPRK was on Koryo Airlines. The plane was a Russian passenger jet built in the last seven years. It was a
single aisle plane with 180 seats. Service in economy was mediocre--in other words, it was comparable to flying economy on any
legacy US airline. Many visitors take the train one direction from Beijing, but that is not an option for US citizens.
And, finally, a typical meal not including the soup and rice. No deserts. Mostly lean people.