You can go to DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) or commonly known as North Korea by train or air.
You can take a train from Beijing to Pyongyang, which takes about 27 hours! The station closest to DPRK is Dandong.
I took Koryo Air from Beijing to Pyongyang; it seems the most popular way to go to Pyongyang.
I was quite surprised with the long queue at the check-in counter of Koryo Air. Other than the artists coming for the 31st April Spring festival, there is a football team on this full flight too.
The plane was better than I expected. I should rely on media!!! I was expecting like Russian-made propeller planes; in actual fact, the plane is like any other airlines.
The air stewardess are pretty!
Food served is….. BURGER, and surprisingly delicious!
When filling up the form, the Russian beside me who was that I am going for the same festival asked what I was doing. As usual, after knowing that I am a magician, he and his friends asked to see some magic. I did. They hardly spoke English so I am happy that they understood and were impressed. In fact, the Koreans who were sitting 1 row behind saw it too and reacted to it! First positive sign that magic transience language and culture.
I can officially say that I have performed magic on all major public transport; in the air (Koryo Air, not just any airline), on land (Eastern Oriental Express train and the Singapore Parties Bus) as well in the sea (Superstar Virgo cruise ship.).
The Russians do traditional folk dance; I should have asked them to dance too. 🙂
Security at the Airport:
Airport security takes a LONG time! They check everyone’s bags for banned items and pat you down too.
In immigration form, you have to declare all your communication devices, publication as well as amount of each currency. (they didn’t check the amount though.)
You are allowed to bring handphone, laptop and ipad BUT there is no network. Your devices will be recorded, i think in case you leave them behind, they can track you down. You can buy a local sim card to call home. (You can also call in the hotel too: US$3/min.) Apparently, you can buy a 3G sim card to access internet.
The lady officer, when patting me down, felt a magic prop and asked me what it was in Chinese. I told her truthfully that it’s magic. She laughed and asked if she can see it. Then she added that if she sees it, does it mean that the secret is out? I laughed too and said yes. She said she is very curious but in the end, she didn’t push to see it. She is much friendlier than one of the security immigrations I have experienced in USA. (In Memphis America, a custom officer scolded me for smiling! Probably an isolated case, but it was rather unpleasant! Most of my American are great people!)
Magazines are checked for propaganda messages. You have to take out to show and an officer will flip through to see the content. I brought 3 magazines in there, 2 are still wrapped, I offered to open them up, he said, ‘no need’.
Yes, there is a time difference of 30min! (30min ahead of Beijing time)
Finally, I am in Pyongyang!!