New tours, the Nuclear Polygon, bomber bases, cloud monsters, and rock stars
· This last week we added a new destination to our yearly tours: Kazakhstan. Our first tour in May is already full, and we have added a second tour for September 19-28, 2018. Starting in Astana and ending in Almaty, the tours will visit abandoned gulags, old military and industrial infrastructure, like an old bomber base, and the ‘Nuclear Polygon’, the USSR’s first nuclear test site. Both Kazakhstan trips can be combined with our bi-annual Turkmenistan tours.
· We also added an ultra budget train option departing from Dandong to our January Koryo Budget Tour (January 9-13, 2018) and March Koryo Budget Tour (March 13-Marc 27, 2018). Both tours start from 750 EUR and are our cheapest tours of the year for those living or travelling in China already. If you do not hold or do not wish to apply for a Chinese visa, our concurrent budget tours option departing from Beijing (see here for January and here for March; from 990 EUR) may be a more economical option as you can make use of a 72-hour transit visa waiver. Beijing is also an easier option for those not accustomed to traveling in China.
· On Halloween we blogged about the Hamgyong Province Cloud Monster, a misty and deadly apparition that once roamed the northern frontiers of Korea preying on hapless county officials. We also took a more serious look at Soviet Military Memorial in the DPRK via the Russian Embassy (@RusEmbDPRK) in Pyongyang and an old graveyard from the ancient kingdom of Palhae. Simon Cockerell, just back from Kazakhstan, wrote about Soviet bad boy Victor Tsoi and Tsoi's connections to northern Korea and Kazakhstan. See below for Tsoi and KINO perform 'A Star Called Sun'.