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North Korea day 4

Pyongyang to Beijing train

Day 4 was the final day and just a travel day north back to China. The train left Pyongyang around 10am so there was no need for a 5am start again. After breakfast the group headed to the train station and said goodbye to the tour guides and jumped on the train.

Pyongyang train station was super busy every time I went past and I assume this is mostly tourists. North Korea must get a lot of money from tourism and the guide said that they are planning on increasing the tourism into the country to 1 million people each year.

As we reached Sinuiju, the city on the northern border of North Korea and left the country, it almost felt like heading back to freedom. As I walked out of Dandong train station into China, I felt like I was free. That must be how North Korean defectors feel; only to realise they are in China, one of the most oppressive countries in the world.

Pyongyang to Beijing train
Pyongyang to Beijing train
Typical buildings in PyongyangPyongyang train stationLadies outside of Pyongyang train stationLoading up a trainNorth Korean countryside town - Photo shot out of the train window
North Korean apartment building
North Korean apartment building

Thoughts

North Korea is a very interesting place; like a glimpse into another world. I was sad that there wasn't any chance to explore more of the city but that is just an excuse to go again.

My tour was from a mainland Chinese tour agency and tailored to the way that mainland Chinese like to travel. Mainland tours are all about sitting on a bus, getting out to take photo and then straight back on the bus. They didn't seem interested in the place at all. Some tourist sites we went to they didn't even want to get off the bus and just sat there taking photos out of the window. It was frustrating because I would have preferred to see less and not rush so much.

It was a struggle to get any usable photos because we spent so much time on a bus. Trying to take photos out of a bus window on bumpy roads and the reflection in the window is almost impossible.

I would love to go again but stay in Pyongyang and just see the city; sitting in a bus for 8 hours is a waste of time and money. Tours like that are convenient for some people but I hated it. No chance to get any really great photos, no chance to really see much at all.

I don't think the children approve of the train
I don't think the children approve of the train
Traffic police in Dandong, China
Traffic police in Dandong, China

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