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.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora