Travel Questions, Answers, and Solutions
Since their first published book in 1973 and growth in the 1980s, Lonely Planet has become the “Travelers’ Bible” and their website is a rich (re)source for any travels or anything related to travel.
They have been covering the current COVID-19 Outbreak and a few of their blogs have struck our attention.
They have published one addressing what they think the most pressing travel questions are and what can an avid traveller do to satisfy their travel appetite.
Here are our reflections.
Our position has changed a lot (as has the situation) and it might be strange coming from avid travellers like us, but our answer is: probably not.
Here at Koryo, we believe in responsible tourism. Although we don’t support any restrictions on travel and travel bans per se don’t stop the spread of the virus, social distancing is a key factor.
What we have learned here in China that staying at home and limiting our contacts – amongst other measures – is the best way to contain the virus.
This is a sacrifice we all must make in order to get back to normal as fast as possible. And then tourism can resume.
To be honest, travelling is becoming less and less possible each day, anyway.
All our North Korea tours, as well as international tours departing before June 1st, are now cancelled.
Koryo Tours is offering a full refund (less relevant bank fees) on all cancelled tours or alternatively you can rebook to a later tour and transfer your deposit.
If your tour is after June 1st all we can suggest is to wait and monitor the situation.
Koryo Tours is in contact with our local partners in every country that we operate in and analyzing the situation on a daily bases. We make our decisions in a timely manner and notify our customers affected immediately.
Most actors in the travel industry are also offering greater flexibility amid the COVID-19 crisis allowing their customers to make travel-related decisions in a timely manner.
Definitely. Here at Koryo Tours, we continue working on new tours and in the midst of finalizing our tours plan for 2021.
As soon as travel restrictions are eased and DPRK tourism resumes we are ready to run our tours.
We are also eager to visit our favourite countries and see our colleagues and friends in North Korea, Central Asia, and beyond as soon as possible.
We expect this autumn to be special in North Korea.
Mass Games will be back once again this year, however, no details are shared yet.
Pyongyang watchers believe that the period between September 28th and October 10th will be an eventful time in North Korea.
The former date marks the 10th anniversary of Marshal Kim Jong Un’s first public appearance.
The latter is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Party Foundation Day, as with all jubilees in North Korea, will be remembered with high-scale celebrations. Apart from the usual mass dance and the already announced Mass Games, we expect a Military Parade as well.
We will run our second One Korea Tour during Party Foundation Day to give you an insight to both Koreas, see the similarities and differences.
We are also introducing two new destinations this year: Bhutan in August and Uzbekistan in late September.
We expect to announce the dates for the 2021 Pyongyang Marathon and publish our Marathon tours this month.
We have something new in store for you in 2021 as well;
The longest tour of the winter season, our Winter Deluxe Tour that will visit North Korea for two national holidays – Lunar New Year and the Day of the Shining Star – stay at the best hotels and dine at the best restaurants.
Our train tour across the North Korean countryside will have a revised and even more interesting itinerary in Russia.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, you can secure your spot on our tours without paying the deposit until the tour is confirmed to go ahead.
The Lonely Planet blog argues that travelling with our minds “a world of possibilities opens up” when we can’t travel with our bodies.
Here are some suggestions from Koryo Tours;
We took Michael Palin and his crew to North Korea in 2018. Palin has toured Pyongyang, the Korean countryside and sacred Mt. Paekdu and had many conversations with local North Koreans giving a personal insight to how Koreans live, work, celebrate, and think.
Departures, filmed in 2010, on the other hand, is more like a documentation of a tourist experience and an ultimate answer to the question if travelling to North Korea is ethical. It shows how tourism and interaction with local North Koreans can tear down walls, change mindsets about how we think about each other, and reminds you that there is more that connects us than what separates us.
Our picks here are Michal Palin’s North Korea Journal, Travis Jeppesens’ See You Again in Pyongyang, and Nick Bonner’s Made in North Korea.
Palin’s book is the print version of his 2018 travel adventures in North Korea. We guess, there is no need to explain why you should read it.
See You Again in Pyongyang is the author’s non-fiction novel about his experience in North Korea during a three-week-long Korean language study tour. It’s a mixture of a travel journal and essay-style introduction to North Korean culture, society, and politics.
Our Founder-Directors album is a collection of North Korean everyday design based on his extensive collection of 25 years. The book was translated to Korean and published in South Korea along with an exhibition in Seoul.
Our Tour Leader Greg has been grounded in Beijing since February 3rd and his long-awaited journey back home was cancelled last minute as things escalated quickly in Europe.
He decided to go on a mental journey in his apartment.
Read more about where he travelled to in the comfort of his own home here.
Being grounded in Beijing and not able to visit Korea and Hungary, Greg has decided to make up for the cancelled trip by travelling with his taste buds.
Korean-style dinner with bean paste soup, kimchi, rice, and seaweed.
Hungarian gulyás soup and crepes with Nutella, marmalade, and “fake” cottage cheese.