Yesterday, I went to Kaesong in North Korea. I have no evidence that I visited North Korea; no visa, passport stamp, tourist card or photos that you wouldn’t find outside a tourist pamphlet.
I only have insight and words. Eights hours may sound a short time, but to someone who lives in freedom, it’s an oppressively long time.
Kaesong is North Korea’s southern most city, an ancient capital of the once unified Korea. A city full of historic relics; and crumbling buildings. Historically Kaesong was a city for learned scholars, religion and I guess wealth. In an odd way it probably still is compared with other places in North Korea. But to the outsider, it’s a city of worn out buildings, dirt laden paths, bicycles, and an eery quiet. Kaesong has to be the epitomy of a poverty stricken communist country.
The last time I experienced communism on this scale was Yugoslavia (a long time ago). When I went through Kaesong, the images of rural towns in Yugoslavia came flooding back. A patina of sadness, an era of dilapidation, all in the name of paranoic-communism.
Kaesong has potential
Surrounding the town there is beauty, peaceful, non-industrial, smogfree beauty. The small mountains and rocky outcrops are smothered in forest, which I could picture as being gloriously colourful in autumn, and lush in summer.
There are also waterfalls and mountain paths that have potential, that is, if the country opened up. Being on a strictly controlled (escorted) tour group from South Korea, I was taken to one of the region’s famous waterfalls -Bakyeon.
There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?
Like many people I'm an amateur discoverer, explorer, a person with an appetite for travel and good coffee. I've spent some tim…
With WHO about to announce Swine Flu at the pandemic stage, I thought it was a good idea to repost this topic.
The idea of train travel abroad can be daunting and if you add the words China, crowded stations, and limited english facilities, it’s enough to bring on an anxiety attack even to the hardcore traveller.
Xi’an’s Muslim Quarters is where tourists walk around eyes wide in delight; or mouths closed in discomfort. It is active, busy and raw.
Tropical Malaysia may not conjure up images of highlands and mountainous terrain to most travellers. Instead it’s the country’s golden sandy beaches, coconut trees and crystal clear sea that first come to mind.
Three days on Isla del Sol, in Lake Titicaca; natural beauty and Inca legends
Differences in daily life between Canada and Peru
Iquitos: the largest and most popular jungle destination in Peru
Madrid's Festival of San Isidro has morphed from a religious procession to a full scale arts festival