North Korea has been becoming an interesting yet still mysterious country for some people, especially for tourists. People tend to be curious and want to know more about the country since it is a communist nation. “Is that really true?” “How does it look to live inside that country?” “Are the citizens happy with all the rules which limit their life?” Those are some of the frequently asked questions from people who live outside North Korea. Maybe these photos from Adam Baidawi and the story behind them can answer your questions.
Last year, Adam Baidawi, a freelance photographer, went to North Korea to write and photograph the lives inside the country. It was a feature for GQ Magazine in Australia. He said that it was the most fascinating and depressing week of his life. Due to the country’s regulation which is a closed-door policy against outsiders, it isn’t easy for tourists to travel to North Korea, especially for journalists and photographers. While being there, tourists should be accompanied at all times by guides. As a tourist, you can’t be alone in North Korea.
“It’s not terribly difficult for most people to access a tourist visa. But professional journalists and photographers are blanket banned.”
When Mr. Baidawi booked his trip through an external tour company, he didn’t mention his profession, to make things easier.
The tour started by flying from Beijing to North Korea’s empty airport. It only had two scheduled flights that day.
Mr. Badawi told more about his experience in that country to MailOnline Travel. He explained that during the trip, two ‘tour guides’ will accompany you all the time. Those tour guides were meticulously trained to be eerily polite.He also explained more about the hotel where he stayed. It’s a tourist-only hotel where tourist are required to stay. Another thing that also makes this country different from other countries is that you can’t experience ‘the local life’. You can’t explore other places besides Pyongyang.
Tourists can’t walk outside the hotel alone without the guides. The rules are strict.
He added that you can’t call it ‘North Korea’, but instead, ‘the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’.
“This lady on a train was equally as fascinated to see tourists as the other way around”, he said.
These men are the workers building the towering bronze statues of North Korean leaders, past and present.
He also visited a number of schools in North Korea — only the best ones.
In that school, the country’s most talented children are taught subjects including music and dance.
Dance is very important since it is part of the country’s national identity.
The children are also taught history. It was plastered with violent illustrations of American soldiers referred to as villains.
In this country, there is an understanding that if you do actions against the law, it will have very serious consequences. The rules may restrain you but like it or not, tourists are guests in there. During the trip, he said, the tour guides kept telling the tourists about the rules. It is prohibited to photograph soldiers and construction sites. Tourists are only allowed to photograph beautiful things because they don’t want other countries to use that against North Korea.
North Korea’s daily newspaper is tightly regulated by the government, and that’s why it only shared good news. This one is printed in English.
Citizens regularly perform this choreographed mass dance to honor the country’s leaders. This dance will go on for more than an hour.
When you visit Pyongyang, you will see these hand-crafted mosaic monuments to the Kims shrouded in floral displays.
These photos were taken when people gathered and saw a lavish fireworks display for the former prime minister Kim II-sung’s birthday.
“At every given chance, it was, ‘Hey, see? We have that here too. We’re not as wildly different as your government might have you believe.'”
North Korea’s traffic ladies are apparently hand-picked for beauty to impress tourists and visitors.
So, would you add this country to your bucket list?
Source: Bored Panda, Daily Mail
Photos by: Adam Baidawi
Originally posted 2017-05-10 07:22:37.