Not everyone on this planet knows that since 1993 Koryo Tours, a British run company, has been escorting groups of tourists on a regular basis to DPRK (North Korea).
We provide a one stop shop tackling the all too often impenetrable maze of visa formalities. The experience of the last ten years and one year's residence in Pyongyang prior to that allow us to pass on a familiarity with the country that is impossible to glean for a first time visitor.
Above all, we endeavour to make what is a very intense experience of an unashamedly different society as much fun as possible. Here are comments from some of the tourists we have escorted thus far (independent and group travellers)...some good and some not so good!!! We can put you in contact with tourists who have travelled with us for their own comments - not bribed, honest!
Just to reiterate Mike's appreciation of Koryo's excellent work, we had a really great time in the DPRK. The guides did an outstanding job. We'll treasure the memories for a very long time.
thanks so much
Brilliant thanks for that! Honestly it's been one of the best trips of our life and you guys have done a brilliant job with the entire organization of the trip. Thanks again.
Just a quick note to thank everyone at Koryo Tours for the wonderful eye-opening tour I just came back from in the DPRK. Everything was just fantastic. Hannah was simply a gracious, knowledgeable and resourceful tour leader always looking for the best interest of her guests. our local guides during the first week, very friendly, entertaining and simply perfect and available during the whole stay. our local guides during the second week, very caring and knowledgeable.
All that to say, I had a wonderful time that permitted me to discover a people very eager to great us and welcome us in their country rich of history and unique sites. The celebrations around Kim Il Sung’s 100th anniversary were simply breathtaking and for sure memorable and unique. All the places you took us to and the restaurants we savored were perfect. I can’t wait to go back on another of your tours to experience a Mass Game.
See you soon and thanks again for everything.
we have just came back home after DPRK and China trip. I would like to thank you for arranging the trip. We are extremely happy about how it was organized and how many sights we have managed to see during this short time.
About our guides - I have no words to express how great they were. We were extremelly please with their assistance, care and willingness to show us as many sights as possible. We have spent a lot of time together and now we consider them as good friends. Please say hello to them and tell them it was so hard to leave the country we had tears in our eyes when departuring.
This holidays were one of the best in my life.Please find attached some pictures (of our guides and us). Please pass them to our guides if possibe. Also, please let me know any feedback from their side.
Bartek & Dominik
Thank you for following up with this nice e-mail. I will sort out the best photos and certainly send them to you. As I told Nick the other evening, I had an absolutely fantastick time. My guides were terrific and the entire experience was quite rewarding. I will say, however, that the quality of the trip began with your very efficient management of my itinerary, the promptness with which you answered my questions, and the overall professionalism I experienced in working with you on setting up this trip. So Thank You Cornelia.
Back to the States tomorrow!
First off, I'd like to say how lucky I feel to have gone on such an
amazing trip! It surpassed my wildest dreams, and I can't thank you
enough for facilitating what is the most memorable travel experience
I've ever had.Since I've returned, I've had an awesome time sharing my stories and
photos. As I mentioned before, I did a video podcast for the website I
work for, and our users have requested that I post the pictures. I've
put a group of them on Facebook
Thanks again for all you did for us! I'll never forget it.
Sorry it’s taken so long to get these pics to you.The trip was unbelievable. Were exceptionally friendly and helpful and we couldn't have asked for better guides. knowledge of every monument to the finest detail was astounding and whilst there were clearly some different beliefs to ours, we were never really made to feel uncomfortable. It really changed our view of the place.
Lil and I learnt far more about the people than we ever expected and we really enjoyed our time there. We are now talking about our second trip back and visiting different places outside Pyongyang. If we did do another tour, is it likely that we can arrange for the same guides? Or is that not allowed?.
Thanks again for your help with organising this trip. It’s certainly been the topic of many discussions back home.
I am writing to thank you, Nicholas, Chris and all the Koryo group for
an exciting and interesting visit to the DPRK. Tourism is a great tool
for enhancing understanding and goodwill between people and nations.
The Koryo group brings experience and skill to the art of travel
I am back in China... Waiting at chengdu airport for next leg of trip.
What an incredible trip! I loved every minute. It was different and unusual! The guides were so nice! When I have a computer and a better Internet connection I will email you more and send you pics. I told them you will bring pics with you when you go in march.
I just wanted to shoot you a quick email while have Internet at airport to
let you know I had an amazing time and would def recommend. Of course this
trip is not for everyone but for anyone that is curious and seeks an
adventure I def recommend! If you ever need to use me for a reference feel
few to give my email to anyone interested in going!
Thank you again and I'll email you soon
I just wanted to take a moment to drop you all a note with my heartfelt thanks for all the effort that went into planning my recent independent tour. A special shout out to Cornelia, who patiently answered my many questions and always kept me extremely well informed.
This trip was completely different than the other two. Instead of watching the events, I was right in the middle of them. From driving the barricaded parade route and waving to the cheering Koreans to being street level for the parade to being on DPRK TV to ... well, you get the idea, I hope. It was not merely beyond what I expected, it was beyond even what I imagined. I will always count April 15 of this year as one of the truly great days of my life.
Thank you all again for the effort I know goes into pulling this off. I am sure I am a low-margin client given the amount of work you have to do, but just know it is noticed and greatly appreciated.
Just wanted to say a big big thank you for your fantastic service and help when I visited North Korea 1,5 weeks ago. I hope that you had a great trip too! Attached are two photos. really friendly and nice people, we had lots of good talk.
I have two more collegues who got so curious they might contact you for future visits.
Again: you were really world class serviceminded!
Dear Amanda and Hannah,
last night I got back safely from Beijing!!! I had an amazing trip to North Corea, thanks to your excellent organization and the great (very good german speaking) guides.
It all went well and I learned so much about a country I had no idea about before I came.
I really didn't think that I would say this after a trip to the DPRK, but I had an absolutely amazing time and much of that was due to the preparation briefing meeting as well as Nancy's relationships with the DPRK guides that I felt we were able to have such a wonderful experience in such a mysterious country.
I'm speaking for my entire family when I say THANK YOU!! You, and the Koryo team, made the trip the most memorable adventure any of us have ever been on. Even when the itinerary had changes, we were able to see everything we wanted and got an insight into a country not many have the opportunity to visit. Everything was exactly as you described, the good and not so good, and we wouldn't have changed much.
Thank you again, and I hope all is well in Beijing and in the DPRK, Jesse Small
I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you again for leading such a wonderful trip to the DPRK for our group. Every aspect of the trip was outstanding, starting with the pre-trip support from Koryo Tours, to the tour guides in Korea, the daily activities, the accommodations, the members of our group, and of course, your support and guidance as our group leader!
You did an outstanding job of keeping us organized and on-track each day, as well as negotiating a few extras for us whenever the opportunities arose. I really appreciate everything you did to help make things run smoothly for us. My expectations were exceeded in every way. Not that I had low expectations about Koryo or about the trip itself. It is just that almost everything was better than I could have hoped for.
Beyond the mechanics of the tour, such as the hotels, guides, etc, this was by far the most interesting and eye opening trip I have ever taken. I had done a bit of reading about the DPRK before joining this trip. However, nothing could have prepared me for the reality of the place. Some of what I saw was unsettling, like the eerie emptiness driving around town, while other things were quite uplifting, like the generous and happy people we met at Moran Park on May Day. I know we just barely touched the surface of the country, and were sheltered from seeing some (most?) of the harsher realities, but I still felt that I came away with a deeper appreciation of the the situation and understanding of the challenges faced by the people. I gathered more from gazing out my hotel window at night, looking at the dimly lit city in front of me, smelling the coal plants burning in the distance, and hearing the spooky silence of a capital city, seemingly on the verge of extinction, than I ever could get from a reading a book or watching a documentary film. I know our guides, Mr. Kim and Mrs. Che, were somewhat restricted in what they were able to show us. But, I'm quite grateful for the few extra glimpses they let us take here and there, the occasional small "unauthorized" excursions they took us on, and the frankness in which they were willing to discuss the situation with us when they were able to speak a little more freely.
On the last night of the trip, back at the hotel, Mr. Kim asked me how I liked the trip. I told him that the entire trip was outstanding and that I liked everything about it. He seemed to be a bit incredulous about my response, as if I was was just telling him what he wanted to hear to be polite. I tried to assure him that I, and the other members of the group, felt the same way. He asked me to be frank and tell him what things about the trip could be improved. I told him that really, everything far exceeded my expectations. I'm not sure he believed me, but it truly is the way I feel about the trip.
Thanks again to you and the rest of the Koryo team for helping create such a rewarding experience for myself and the rest of the group! It certainly is a trip I will never forget. I feel there is so much to explore in the DPRK that I expect I will return again in the future. I'd still like to see the Mass Games, or perhaps even take an individual tour so I can explore some things, like the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (which I found fascinating), in more depth. I'll keep you posted if I start making plans to travel to that region again!
Take care and thanks again for everything.
Hi Simon, Nick and the rest of the Koryo group-
We wanted to let you know that we had an amazing tour. The entire visit was remarkable. We're still processing and thinking about everything we saw. The hospital tour was particularly interesting.
Our guides were great and survived their first tour with American kids! Though challenged by the different tempo the 14-and-under set places on a tour, Kim and Lee managed wonderfully and now know the location of every bathroom within 20 meters of every site visited and have mastered the art of answering the same questions 20 times a day (yes, we're almost there; no, we'll get water at the next stop; etc).
Going to the DPRK was one of the BEST trips I've ever been on!! (and like my fellow tour members, I'm well traveled).
I'll be back again someday for a second timers tour.
Thanks- Ian Hoffer
The trip was absolutely amazing!
Thanks for the organisation, it was great traveling with Koryo.
I truly appreciate everything you and Koryo Tours did to make my recent travel in DPRK such an outstanding experience. In addition to the obvious extraordinary opportunity you offer for the traveler to explore North Korea, what also makes Koryo Tours and the trip unique included the following:
1. For those who cringe at the concept of a "group tour," i.e. an irritating, noisy gaggle of folks wearing identical baseball caps with the tour operator's logo all squashed onto a bus, Koryo doesn't have that gestalt. You're no-nonsense, down-to-earth. The briefing was extremely well-done. Expectations were communicated and met.
2. Re aforementioned "irritating noisy gaggle of folks wearing identical baseball caps," it appears that your trips attract a relatively intelligent, well-educated market. Great group.
3. Everyone connected with the visit and your company demonstrated tremendous respect for the people and culture. This is an amazing opportunity to learn how other people think. If someone gets his knickers in a knot when he's referred to as a "US Imperialist," he's missing the whole point of the trip. Many tourists bought flowers; no one seemed to think that bowing was a big deal. Nor should it be.
4. You ensured that we didn't simply meander around museums and monuments. The ride on the subway, visit to a local bar, department store, other opportunities to interact with locals was terrific.
5. Nancy was fabulous. Can't imagine how difficult it must be to herd 15 people around, stick to a schedule, follow the rules and keep the guides happy simultaneously, but she did it with panache. Her relationship with the guides was clearly one established on mutual respect and caring. They really adored her. In addition to her background and interests, she has the ideal personality to be doing this sort of work and dealt effectively and efficiently with any logistical or personality issues that arose without ruffling feathers. She also seemed genuinely interested in working with Koryo Tours to further promote its visibility in the US, and from both a personal and professional perspective would be excellent.
Thank you again for a marvellous experience,
Thank you for all the work you did to put together a great trip for me, Kelli, and Daniel. This was a unique opportunity to see a country few know much about, and we all felt that things went very well. Our guides (Hyon-A and Mr. Lee), along with the driver (Mr. Kim) were all great. Please pass along our gratitude to them if you have a chance. We experienced no problems and were well taken care of. All of the time and attention you devoted to answering my questions while we were planning was greatly appreciated.
Just to say thanks a million, really enjoyed the tour in every way. Was a fascinating place, a real eye opener. The guides were as informative as they could be and all logistics, hotel and food really good. Was lucky too to be with such a sound and diverse group. Good luck with all future ventures there. Lets hope the country will gradually begin to open up further and to prosper.
All the best, Seánie
Dear Hannah: My excuses for the late contact. I had a very splendid trip to dprk, thanks to you, and koryogroup. I also had excellent guides and driver, it will forever be a very good memory to me. I became very much enchanted with Korea, North and South!
This has been, perhaps, the most memorable trip I made (out of visiting over 30 countries in the course of some 30 years). "Chapeau", as they say in French.
We came back from China at the end of last week there and i just wanted to let you know we had the best time in DPRK. Every part of the trip was a highlight and our guides were fantastic. I am so glad we took an independent tour as we got to know them and were able to fit the itinery around what we wanted to do, which was great. Thanks for all your help in arranging such an amazing trip, we have been raving about it since we came back.
Definitely the best trip I have ever had and I was very impressed how smoothly it all went. Also our guides were pretty liberal in letting us take pics. I thought they would be watching all the time, but they seemed very cool and laid back about it and let everyone just go ahead. I got some great people pics at the park, which was a definite highlight of the trip as we really could mix and mingle with the locals. I got invited for beer, water melon and sushi at three different picnics, so did really well in our 45 mins of free mingling. On the whole people were very happy to pose for pictures and got a real kick out of being shown it from the camera. The kids enjoyed the lollipops I brought with me and I got lots of very cute bows. The only guideline the guides drew was taking pics of soldiers.
best regards, A
Thanks for one of the most stunning weeks of my life....trully epic,or should I say 'glorious'
Will be back in 2012 to get away from the London Olympics...and thanks for your efficient service. It is pretty trusting to allow punters to pay the bal just before departure!
Best Wishes, Julian, Devon Democratic Depublic,UK
As I`m sure you have heard from nearly all the others in the minibreak group: A BIG thank you to you, your Koryo Tours colleagues and all the DPRK/KITC staff and guides who made this not only possible, but also an unbelievably smooth running trip! I was most impressed with the professionalism in all and every aspect of the tour. Having travelled rather extensively throughout the former Soviet Union and Russia, this was almost the complete opposite in the way of organisation. No waiting and messing, food lined up and ready in all the restaurants, guides and buses in place on time, and so on... Please pass a big thank you to all in the office and all the Koreans involved next time you go.
All the best regards
from Knut W
Just would like to say thank you for organising a wonderful tour. Special mention has to go to the guides, Choe Sok Nam and Kim Hyon Ey and our driver Lim Jong Hun, for making my stay so comfortable.
Many thanks for this so well organized tour. Pilar and I fully enjoyed the –very interesting- experience. This has provided us with conversation subjects with friends and relatives for the many months to come.
We hope we will see you again for a longer tour.
Dear Koryo Tours,
In May I took part in your May Day Short Tour and I just wanted to pass along my sincerest thanks for one of the best trips I have ever been on.
Every aspect fo the trip was organised in the most professional manner possible. From arranging a shuttle bus that took us to the airport, accommodating unusual luggage and travel requests, to excellent pre-trip and post-trip follow up communication, you really do run a first class show.
It has been my experience while participating in group tours like this that the right tour group can either make or break an experience. While my fellow travellers were outstanding on their own accord I felt the entire staff went out of their way to ensure the group bonded with each other, the gudis, and the Korean people. My deepest gratitude goes out to Simon who did everything from having everyone's names memorised before we even met, sitting with us in the bar every night and giving us the backstage scoop on North Korea, to wrestling with the border guards for a confiscated map (he, of course, won the battle and got the map back ;-)).
Making the trip to North Korea is a big investement for most of us. I debated going with other companies to save a marginal amount of money but I have no regret spending a bit more to go with you guys. I have no doubt that when it comes to traveling to North Korea, you really do get what you pay for.
Annyonghasimnikga from Norway !
Khamsahmnida for a superb service .. and a very interesting tour of DPRK in march !!
And also bring my thanks to our guides Lee and Song Sim.
They did an excellent job. And I discover there are so many questions
I should have asked ... I suppose I have to go back ... perhaps there are discounts for
second time visitors ... ;-)
Thanks again for arranging the North Korea trip! It was a new life experience for myself and I will never forget about what I have seen and witnessed.
Hannah, Simon, and Nick:
Having now been to 82 countries, I can say that the DPRK trip was one of the highlights of my travel life.
The guides -- Kim Won Ik and Chae Gum Hyee -- were fantastic. They were highly professional, but also put a very human touch on the trip and went the extra mile (literally, in the case of our strenuous 3-hour mountain hike).
Equally impressive was the service from Koryo before, during, and after the trip. I really appreciated Simon's very prompt, answers to all the questions I had and his efforts to customize the trip as much as possible within the confines of DPRK travel. (We did, in the end, get a pretty decent hike. And we also got a middle school visit, even though it was the summer break -- a bunch of kids were hauled in to put on a music and dance performance.)
Hannah was great in her pre-trip logistical support and I greatly appreciated her checking in with us during the trip -- she was there with a group -- and her follow-up afterwards.
And I much enjoyed Nick's pre-departure briefing in Beijing.
It is a great travel experience and I can't imagine a better way to do it than through Koryo.
Just a quick email to say thank you so much for the trip.
We had a fantastic time, an amazing experience, and so much of that was down to you guys and all your hard work, and for that I am eternally grateful.
It honestly was really great to meet the three of you, to be able to pester you all with countless questions... enlightening discussions...You are quite an infectious trio to be around you know!
Hope to stay in touch.
Hi Mark and Nick,
I just wanted to say thanks for the excellent vacation. My only regret is that I may never find anything to top it.
The Korean guides were absolutely terrific and the service from Koryo Tours was fantastic. Clearly you have won the trust of the local people and are able to open many doors to this fascinating place. If you ever need a reference or recommendation please let me know.
I hope those who stayed on for the football and/or Dandong had great experiences. The highlight of our train trip back was perhaps the North Korean guard confiscating my (admittedly pink) lip balm because 'it's for girl'.
Keep in touch,
[To see David's fantastic photos from the trip please click here]
Just returned from an amazing week in the DPRK and am already boring people senseless as we're finding it hard to talk about anything else. Backing up what I read elsewhere, it's difficult to appreciate the otherworldliness of the DPRK until you've seen it for yourself, right from embarking on the '60s style kitsch-decorated Russian jet of Air Koryo at Beijing airport, with splendid in-flight service (although I think we were all glad when it landed...), to leaving, slightly wistfully, by train across the Amnok river back into noisy, bustling China.
Of course we didn't really get to see how the average DPRK person really lives, but did get a feeling that just seeing us there helps them engage with the world just a little. Our guides were excellent, both Mr Pak and Mrs Lee spoke superb English and once they'd got to know us, relaxed and were warm, interesting and surprisingly open. Mrs Lee also has an excellent singing voice! As well as the guides, everyone we met, in restaurants, hotels etc was helpful and courteous.Everything was an experience, be it the Stalinist grandeur of Pyongyang, the surprisingly smiley military at the DMZ, trying dog soup, playing volleyball with the locals in Wonsan, to the Egyptian nightclub and casino in the hotel. Now I can't wait to go back, hopefully for a Mass Games, and can't praise Simon and Koryo Tours enough for organizing everything so well. The itinerary was varied and interesting, and obtaining the visa almost felt easy...
Our trip to the DPRK was really great - it was among the most interesting travels I've done so far (if not THE most interesting). I'd like to thank you again for the good organisation, everything went more than well. About the rain: it was no problem for us at all, I was only so sorry for the poor people there. On the contrary: countries like these tend to reveal their more interesting facettes especially in "challenging times" (I still vividly remember 2003's SARS crisis in China which I had the "honour" to experience first-hand - but I guess you remember too ;-)). It was thus extremely interesting to see how the DPRK dealt with the situation. And as the rain didn't last the entire week we had some wonderful sunny days too, so no problem there. And, as I said, everything was well organised and went perfectly fine. Hope you are well, and best greetings to Beijing!
A million thanks for the tour to the most fascinating country in the world! It was all I dreamt it would be and much more. I really appreciate your time and patience in making the trip truly enjoyable, memorable and educational. I hope to travel with Koryo Tours again in the future.
Thanks for the great trip to DPRK! It was very well organised and extremely interesting. We were very happy with our guides as well. And Arirang - that was unforgettable!!!
Hope to see you soon,
Lea & Teemu
Just a quick note to say thanks once again for all your help with my recent tour. I have just returned home and am reflecting on what has truly been the trip of a lifetime. I greatly appreciate the help from all the folks there at Koryo Tours...if I may ever be of assistance or if you ever need a testimonial, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thanks Again and with best Regards,
I just returned from the DPRK, and still cannot imagine what a fantastic trip I had. I would especially like to thank Pak, who accompanied me on an unscheduled walk in Kaesong, and 2 in Pyongyang. She also let me photograph some North Koreans, of course with their permission! It helped me see the real DPRK.
What a fantastic trip. Thanks to Simon and his partners in crime for having the cojones not just to go to the axis of evil's most wanted but to bring a tourload of foreigners along with you. Kudos for being so enterprising and thanks for putting your faith in us, it must be nerve-wracking but you showed good humour throughout and only tried to have us killed once. Speaking of which, BBC World reported the Down with Imperialism Union founding day parade as 'an ominous parade of unknown intentions'. What an eye opening trip this has been, I'd never realised how one-sided news and history can be. We're fortunate in our countries to be able to hear all points of view and from now on I'll exercise that right more vigourously - http://news.google.com is a good starting point. You can select several newspapers from which to read a particular story.
Thanks again to all for good company and good times. Definitely the most interesting trip of my life.
Slán agus go néirí an bóthar leat
I would just like to say thanks for running such a great tour, every aspect of it was fantastic! Our guides were Mr Kim and Mr Che and they were brilliant, so much more relaxed than I had anticipated, they let us see and understand so much. Both the group and myself had a truly memorable experience. Good luck with future film projects.
Good to hear the film festival went well and that Mr. Bean's appeal is universal.
Thanks a bunch for arranging a wonderful trip. Your presence definitely helped us see things we might not have been able to see and get a point of view that others who write without contact with 'that world' can't give us.
Just writing to thank you again for organising what was certainly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I'm not normally a group tour person, but yourself, Koryo and KITC provided what was a fascinating and enjoyable trip within the obvious confines of the DPRK's red tape and the karaoke and beer tasting sidelines were much enjoyed!
I will certainly recommend Koryo to my friends who showed an interest in going to DRPK at some point! I'll never be able to listen to House of the Rising Sun again in quite the same way.... I'll try and get a few of my pics online and will let you know when I do.
a quick thank you from Thailand, it was definitely one of the most amazing trips of my life which it wouldn't have been without such an amazing group and your professional leadership style, especially at the North-Korean no-go zone in the hotel. Will catch up as soon as I get back to the UK, all the best
Firstly, thanks so much for a great tour - I think it is really important to have the right person to be the organiser for such a trip - managing a bunch of independent, intelligent, very inquisitive travellers in such a way as to ensure that both the travellers get what they want and the North Koreans are kept happy can never be easy - you did it extremely well!! Very knowledgeable, and more importantly, balanced (as in opinions....) and fun. Thanks. I hope the Dandong leg went well - sorry that I couldn't make it. I managed to get my flights re-booked, so no worries!!
Thanks and thanks again for a great visit to North Korea.
I would like to say big thanks to you and Nick for every aspect of the tour. Both myself and Zdenek we felt it "a tour once in a lifetime" and did appreciate the perfect organization and everything around. You both are great people and we enjoyed the week with you. If there would be another place like this on this planet we would definitely go there with you. We have been to many strange places but never have people been so interested in listening to us like when we came back from North Korea. We had to tell everyone again and again and show the photos and DVD. It is nice (and funny) to be considered by our friends "experts" on North Korea.Wish you all the best and if, by chance, we get sometimes to Beijing we will definitely stop in your office. Btw, our DVD is ok and we watch the latest reports on nuclear tests with more interest than before.
Vlado and Zdenek
I would just like to say a huge thanks to all at Koryo Tours in general, and to yourself in particular, for a wonderful tour to DPRK. It was certainly a great experience and a unique opportunity to see something of the world's most mysterious country. Wendy and myself had the added interest of later seeing the DMZ from the opposite side at Panmunjom. It was a surreal experience but presented in an extremely Americanised hyped-up way. No photos, no standing in the bus, no pointing, no touching etc. etc. We did get close to the South Korean guards though, including some photos, but we certainly much preferred the visit from the North. A huge thanks also to our guides Mr. Li and Miss Choe, and Mr. Kim and Miss Kim when we were joined to Group B. They were all great. I will certainly be sending some prints for forwarding on to them. Highlights for me were - Kumsusan Memorial Palace (awesome), Mt. Paekdu (with the lucky weather break obviously arranged by Mr. Li), the show at the Children's Palace (unbelievably good), the impromptu dancing with the local gathering near to Juche Tower (great fun and I believe appreciated and enjoyed by the local gathering), the visit to the DMZ with the singing Colonel and to Panmunjom (very interesting), 4 euro bottles of Napolian Orange Brandy (no comment). Thanks again Hannah and for your follow-up emails. No doubt you enjoyed a very large G & T once you had got rid of the rabble. Very glad to see that you are running a special tour for the games in April. I will very likely be booking for it in the near future.
Best wishes to you all,
This was my third trip and I discovered again amazing things ! Thanks to you for all (Nick, Simon, and you)
Hi Nick and Simon, just a quick note to say a big thank you for such a fab trip to the DPRK. I really didn't know what to expect (as the others would agree) and it exceeded my expectations. It was a real privilege to have visited and it was a fascinating insight to a fascinating country. Above all it dispelled many myths that surround the country and having visited, albeit it seen the surface, I can now talk more knowledgeably about it and the situation. You've got a great little company there. Hope one day soon to return on another of your trips. Good luck for this year and future trips.
Thanks again Stel
Got all the pics safely on my computer now, so you can delete them. Thanks a lot again for taking care of these and going through all the download-hassle. Thanks also for the wonderful tour. I really enjoyed it and as I said before "I did more in five days in North Korea than in several years' worth of holidays before that" which either makes for a nice credential for you or makes me look rather sad!
that was far and away the best holiday I've had, thanks to you all for organising it so well. I'll definitely come back for the mass games next year and will drag friends along , sadly I cant really afford another trip this year.
I'm putting together a website about the trip www.dprk2006.com so we can all share our photos etc. I can let you see the content before it is widely available on the web if you want to make sure there is nothing that would be detrimental to our guides.
As for feedback the whole trip was so well organised, it went much more smoothly than I was expecting, I felt very well looked after the whole time, it was good of the guides to be flexible , for example letting us visit the metro, the only improvement i could suggest is that your website is a bit confusing when initially booking the tour, confirmation of booking would be useful, but thats really a small point.
Many thanks for the e-mail, addresses and info, and, of course, for organising such a memorable trip! It surpassed expectations (when some travel destinations can disappoint!), and I have just spoken about it in Sixth Form Assembly here at School this morning!
As I said to Nick, I would warmly recommend Koryo to anyone (well, anyone whom I felt would enjoy and benefit from a visit to the DPRK!), and I really do hope to return sometime. I had a word with him about the feasibility of taking a group of sixthformers, and I’ll be having a word with the Head as soon as I can to see what she thinks. We’ll give the Wheel of Death a miss, though!
It’s hard to know how to improve on the trip, when so much is up to the guides and things at the time. Ideally not nearly missing two trains – though Danny had something to do with the delay in Pyongyang! I’ve already suggested that Dandong might be refined, with perhaps only one restaurant meal, allowing time to wander (free!) and barter for badges etc, with a supper box on the train.
But I have no complaints, but rather huge gratitude to all at Koryo and unforgettable memories of the week! I’m not digital yet, but I’ll see what I get in the way of photos etc. Do keep me in touch with Koryo’s progress, poster deliveries, etc, and make sure that you sort out a Turkmenistan tour in school holidays, please – you need the teachers and students to be able to participate!
We're back in Beijing and we'd like to tell you that every moment in the DPRK was magical and awe-inspiring. Plans are in the works for Dad and Sean to return with their wives in the future. We'd like to take this moment to thank you for everything you did to get us into and around in DPRK. Thanks much.
Brent, Sean and Dad
Thanks so much for putting on the tour of a lifetime. I've returned to New Zealand to attempt to convert the masses! The days were full and the highlights came thick and fast. Even the apparently small or trivial things
stick in my mind.....like seeing my first North Korean person, the decayed fun park that we first saw as we crossed the border into the DPRK, or the kids at the train stations who stood and waved at us enthusiastically as we headed into Pyongyang. For cold war enthusiasts the DMZ is a must see, the dog soup at the Folk Hotel was sensational....compliments to the chef. Folk dancing in the streets was a massive hit with the group, and a source of great amusement for the locals. We did nothing to change the notion that white men can't dance! Luckily it was only I, as the sole New Zealand representative on board, who was able to bring a sense of style and sophistication to the proceedings. The grandeur of the monuments was something to behold, while the visit to the USS Pueblo, complete with a video history, and a chance to meet one of the heroes who captured the imperialists, was a great incentive for me not to sail my luxury cruise liner into the Sea of Japan (or, should I say East Sea of Korea). It has been difficult to describe to others just what a trip to the DPRK is about. Of course, it is best for them simply to contact Simon and Nick (they didn't ask or pay me to say this) and do it themselves. Not only have Simon and Nick been superb, I was very thankful that we had such an excellent group of travellers. Despite the fact there were a few poms and Dutchies, it was a bloody great group of guys. Our North Korean guides and driver were great people who did their best to make our tour informative and comfortable, while also satisfying our desire for 'kodak moments!'
Widaehan ryongdoja Kim Jong Il tongi-ui mansumugang-ul samga chugwon hamnida.
Just a quick note to thank you for organising a superb trip to North Korea last week. I would appreciate it if you would pass on my thanks to Honey and Mr Lee as well who were excellent hosts. It was far more powerful in
terms of the impression it made on me than I thought it would be but also a lot more fun. Whether it is the lack of cars/bicycles/adverts/river traffic/brands/shops/cafes I don't think I will ever visit anywhere like it ever again. Other highlights were:
- Enjoying a conversation with Lieutenant General Kim at the DMZ which required my entire Korean revolutionary vocabulary ("Down with US Imperialism", "Yankees go home" and "Korea is one")
- Getting a wave and a smile from a Traffic Lady
- Chollima speed soju drinking
- The line in "Tales of the Forest" from the boyfriend to the girlfriend "If you really loved me you'd take this kerosene and dynamite and destroy the Japanese compound"
All the best Thomas