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by Tran Thu Ha | Dec 25, 2018

North Korea Tour - Facts you should know

You want to visit the North Korean peninsula but do not know what to prepare? Today’s article will show some facts that you need to take note for your North Korea tour.

1. Photography and international calls

Visitors in North Korea tours are allowed to carry their cameras, electronic devices and cell phones.

You can take pictures but some lenses can be restricted mostly professional long zoom lenses. You are also requested to take the full frames pictures when the objects are the leaders, and not to take the pictures related to the soldiers. Your guides will tell you when you are not allowed to take pictures. Please do respect what the guides tell you to do and restrain yourself from taking pictures of places/scenes they ask you not to. Your pictures will more than likely be checked upon your departure and your guides may get into trouble if you take pictures you should have not taken.

For international calls, upon arrival at the airport in Pyongyang, you will be able to purchase a Koryolink SIM card. This will allow you call abroad, including the US and Japan, and local hotels in North Korea as well as foreign embassies in Pyongyang. Calls to South Korea cannot be made. Please note that although you will be allowed to take in your mobile phones into North Korea, these will not be able to be used as there will be no network coverage for foreign cards.

You can also make international calls from your hotel. Please check the rate always as this will vary depending on where you call and rates can vary from 0.70 Euros per minute to 6 Euros per minute.

2. Escort tour is the only way to enter North Korea

According to the regulations of the North Korean government, all tourists taking North Korea tours are required to have booked escort tours if they want to visit the country. North Korea says no to free travel.

3. Get into North Korea

Train and plane are the two most popular ways to get into North Korea. If you choose to take the train, the familiar route will usually go through Dandong (China), Sinuiju (North Korea) and then onto Pyongyang. And planes will fly directly from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenyang (China) to Pyongyang Airport.

4. Money

DPRK’s currency is called the Won. There are 100 chon in 1 won. There are different currencies in use: one type of Won exists for DPRK citizens, which tourists are forbidden to use, one type of Won exists for visitors from capitalist and Western countries, and one type of Won exists for visitors from communist, formerly-communist, and friendly nations. Euro are commonly accepted and preferred for use by tourists, and US dollars are sometimes, but not always, accepted in tourist shops, venues, and hotels.

5. Health and Medical

Medical facilities in the country are very basic, particularly in the rural areas, and offer only minimum care. Clinical hygiene is poor, and anesthetics are rare. Electricity supply to hospitals in the capital can be intermittent. You should make an extra effort to avoid serious injury while in the DPRK, and we require that you obtain evacuation insurance before you travel. Every hotel has a doctor on site, and some tourist sites may have modest medical facilities. Tourists will be taken to the Pyongyang International Friendship Hospital. Take with you any medication you need or think you may need.

6. Safety

Contrary to information such as nuclear missiles, North Korean tour is still considered to be a relatively safe because the possibility that you are in trouble is almost zero. It is important to remember to observe and abide by the rules above.

Crime against tourists visiting the DPRK is essentially unheard of. Because of the closed, tightly-controlled nature of guided tour groups, it is very unlikely there would ever be a chance for you to fall victim to someone who’s not a part of your group. Though exceedingly rare, some petty theft may occur from hotels, so be sure to keep your passport, cash, and any valuables on your person or in safe keeping at all times. Travelers’ cheques in Euros are a safe way to handle money, but you will also need to bring plenty of cash. Also make sure that you have some valid form of identification on your person at all times.

7. Vaccines

There aren’t any required vaccinations for travel to North Korea, but as always, it’s sensible to get checked out before your trip, and take any advice given by your doctor.

8. Plugs the North Koreans use

Average voltage electricity in Pyongyang is at 220V - 245V, and the plug sizes are the same ones used in Western Europe. If you have different plugs, your hotel can provide adapters for you.

With all of the information provided here, Asia Senses Travel expect you to prepare well for your trip to North Korea. Asia Senses Travel also hope we can be your reliable companion. Our travel specialists with unrivalled experiences and knowledge are always pleased to help you design a lifetime trip to North Korea.