News / Asia

North Korea Offers Camping as New Tour Package

FILE - Part of Kumgang mountain is seen in this picture taken from Mount Kumgang hotel, Mt. Kumgang, North Korea.
FILE - Part of Kumgang mountain is seen in this picture taken from Mount Kumgang hotel, Mt. Kumgang, North Korea.
In an effort to attract more foreign tourists, North Korea is introducing a number of new tour packages, including camping trips in the scenic mountains of Myohyang and Kumgang.

Koryo Tours, which organized the first 10-day camping trip last month, claims this is the first time anyone has been allowed to set up a tent and stay in the mountains.

“This was as much a treat for the guides as they had never done this before either,” its website reads.

The group of about 10 westerners hiked 79 kilometers during the entire tour, or about 28 kilometers per day. The travelers also got to visit landmarks on both mountains, such as the Kumgang Waterfall and Lake Sam Il Po.

For the cash-strapped North, more foreign tourists equals more foreign currency.

Trips to the famed Mt. Kumgang were first introduced by South Korea’s Hyundai Asan, an arm of the conglomerate Hyundai Group. Hyundai Asan shut down its Mt. Kumgamg Tourist Region in 2008, but Pyongyang was able to utilize what was left of it to resume the area’s tourism business.

Koryo is not alone in churning out camping trips to the North’s unspoiled mountains.

New Jersey-based Uri Tours is planning a 13-day trip to a number of mountains including Mt. Kumgang and Mt. Myohyang. The company hopes to get at least seven travelers together by early next month.

The pro-Pyongyang Chosun Shinbo, which is published by ethnic Koreans living in Japan, says the North Korean government is trying to draw in more tourists by varying its tourism products.

Tourism products by Pyongyang include various fruit-picking activities at local farms and orchards, traveling via train, and even one where visitors can compete with North Korean athletes in the traditional martial arts of Taekwondo.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.

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Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
June 19, 2014 7:33 PM
BELIEVE IT? -- Kim Jong Un is a super Korean patriot, and Swiss educated, and believes in the western government economic economy, and wants the same for his North Korean country if the US lifts it's sanctions and embargos, but he needs nuclear weapons to defend the country against US aggression..... Kim Jong Un liked camping in Switzerland...

In Response

by: Jeff Gross from: Chula Vista
June 20, 2014 10:17 AM
What has he done that makes you believe Kim Jong Un believes in western economic economy? Do you think having gone to school in Switzerland means Kim believes in "western government economic economy." Who in their right mind would vacation in North Korea? I'll take Yosemite any day for camping. I might some day risk a tourist trip to Africa, but North Korea?

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