Travelers Share Their Most Shocking Experiences After Visiting North Korea

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.28 - 2023 10:22 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Travelers Share Their Most Shocking Experiences After Visiting North Korea.

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Travelers who have ventured into the enigmatic North Korea have shared their most shocking experiences on a Reddit thread, revealing a glimpse into the isolated country. Their accounts range from bizarre encounters to unsettling observations, painting a picture of a nation shrouded in mystery and strict control.

Electrifying Hotel Experiences

One traveler recounted a literal shock in a hotel where wearing rubber slippers was necessary to avoid electric shocks from taps.

"A literal shock was in one of the hotels we stayed at where we had to wear rubber slippers if you used any of the taps because there was a good chance you got an electric shock from them."

What Is A Tampon?

Another traveler was surprised by the lack of familiarity with tampons among North Koreans, including a female translator.

"They have security search your luggage after you land in Pyongyang Airport. The guard pulled out my toiletries bag and rifled through it, pulling out a tampon. He inspected it. Felt it up and down. Opened the packaging and pulled it out. Showed it to another guard passing by, who furrowed his brows and shook his head. They both looked at me quizzically"

"They didn’t understand me so the first guard called a translator over. She was a woman! Great, she can handle this. But she didn’t recognize it either"

The Theme Park-Esque Town

A visitor described a town in the north as feeling very theme park-esque, where staged activities ceased as soon as tourists left.

The Enemy's Ice Cream Machine

A humorous yet telling moment occurred when a guide dramatically pointed out an antique soft-serve dispenser on the USS Pueblo, docked at a museum, as "the enemy's ice cream machine."

Innocent Questions with Deep Implications

One of the first questions asked to a traveler was, "Do they have music in other countries?"

Misconceptions and Publicity Concerns

A traveler working for a joint-venture company in 2017 noted North Korea's peculiar ideas about what constitutes good or bad publicity. The regime's efforts to control the narrative extend to trivializing normal activities like children fishing.

The Eerie Park Experience

The immediate departure of everyone from a park after a tour group's visit was described as chilling and eerie. This staged arrangement and its abrupt end once again highlight the controlled and artificial environment presented to outsiders.

These firsthand accounts from Reddit users offer a rare peek into the life and culture within North Korea, a country that remains largely inaccessible and mysterious to the outside world. The experiences shared range from the absurd to the unsettling, each shedding light on the unique reality of this isolated nation.

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