Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Discovering North Korea by train

Travel to North Korea?

Anyone from the West would be insane to travel to North Korea given the impression which is made to belittle people who live in a beautiful country - but those who do visit have a different view point. And if the journey is by train, the travel offers a unique glimpse of the most closed country in the world.

Although one can take a flight from Beijing to Pyongyang, true travelers prefer taking a train from the Chinese border to the North Korean capital. Read below the travel by train to North Korea by western tourists:

It is 9:30 am when we leave Dandong, the last Chinese town before crossing the Yalu river that separates the two countries. We are the only Westerners on board the train which takes more than 10 hours to cover the 240 kilometres (150 miles) to Pyongyang.

Dandong is booming, thanks to the border trade that has flourished since North Korea came under international sanctions.

Chinese of Korean descent board the two white and blue sleeping cars, stamped with the emblem of the People's Republic of China. Luggage and packages are piled on the top bunks and in the vestibules at the ends of the carriages.

The contrast between Dandong with its skyscrapers and Sinuiju, the first North Korean town, is striking: the buildings are decrepit, the streets dusty, a small amusement park with rides and a Ferris wheel seems abandoned.

There we see the first statue of North Korea's founding father Kim Il-Sung, who died in 1994 after ruling the country since 1948.....

Read more if you love traveling, that too by train and not by air: France24