Entering North Korea with a clear mind…
North Korea is a country that has always fascinated the Western world, seemingly sheltered from our way of life, and ultimately existing in a cloud of mystique that only serves to make us want to learn more about their culture.
Master Travel aims to create bespoke, carefully curated tours which you will not be able to find anywhere else. In no other tour does this sentence ring as true than when it comes to North Korea. Travellers were invited to leave their bias at the departure lounge, and undertake an inspiring tour around the country, learning more about their culture, whilst also partaking in professional visits which allowed them to understand more about the country's medical practices and processes.
From London to Beijing...
The flight from London to Beijing allowed the group to visit the most famous destinations within the capital, before carrying on their journey to North Korea. The Forbidden Palace and Tiananmen Square were amongst a few places seen by the group. This short pit stop allowed a quick glimpse into China and the chance to witness these acclaimed destinations in the flesh, which are of great importance in Chinese history, was a valued experience.
>> Did you know that outside China, the square is more famous for the 1989 crackdown, an armed suppression of a pro-democracy movement? <<
Beijing to Pyongyang...
From Beijing, three and a half days were spent in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. With soaring skyscrapers and looming, majestic buildings of precise symmetry, Pyongyang allowed our travellers to gain an understanding of Korean heritage within the most prosperous city in North Korea. These next couple of days were jam-packed, and with excursions, visits and professional medical meetings handpicked by our tours operator, one was confident in taking part in an activity of high personal interest!
The itinerary included many destinations, including seeing statues, an art studio, museums and towers to name a few. Whilst the cultural visits were enjoyed thoroughly by many, the integration of these excursions alongside professional visits to medical institutions and practices was a unique aspect of the trip that catered towards our healthcare professionals.
The third city that was shown to our avid explorers.
Were you aware that it is the only major city that changed hands between North and South Korea as a result of the Korean war?
Indeed, in the present day, it is more commonly known as a ‘special economic zone’, with technology developed in association with Hyundai Asan. The visitors were invited to witness cooking demonstrations in the evening. The preparation of traditional Korean food such as Kimchi and rice cakes provided them with a delicious taste of Korean culture! One of the most interesting visits was to the DMZ, an abbreviation for the Korean ‘Demilitarised Zone’. Here, a strip of land running across the Korean peninsula served to act as a buffer zone between the North and South during the end of the Korean war. Nowadays, it serves as a destination for tourists to understand more about the war and it vividly caputes the scars and wounds, suffered on both sides.
Continuing the tour, the group went on to Wonsan. This city is famous for being a port city, resting beside the East Sea. Here, the visitors could see an important educational centre which contains no less than 10 universities
Mount Kumgang, waterfalls and landscapes...
One of the final, new desinations for the group included the hugely picturesque region around Mount Kumgang. They visited a beautiful Buddhist temple, went on a stunning hike through region, before viewing an awe inspiring lake located in a granite landscape!
Throughout the whole tour, the group were guided by Harry. Harry offers over twenty years of travel guide experience and his knowledge and expertise showed. In a place like North Korea, where the regulations on tourists within the country may be different to to those that our group was accustomed to, the on-hand wisdom provided from Harry proved to be a massive comfort and relief, allowing them to relax and bathe in the rich history that North Korea offered.
Overall, the trip was another resounding success. North Korea is a country that continues to surprise us at every opportunity, and the chance to experience their culture first hand was a unique opportunity that visitors greatly treasured. Whilst the media, press and opinion leaders may depict one view of this country, there is no better evidence that visiting it for yourself and developing your own opinion, as our travellers can attest to!