Pack Your Bags: If you like set itineraries and traveling in groups then North Korea is the place for you. North Korea bans independent travel so every site you visit will be arranged by the government guide. Pyongyang, the capital city, is full of over-sized monuments, brutal Communist office buildings and the image of the omnipresent dictator Kim Jong II. Examples include the Juche Tower, a reminder to the North Koreans of Kim's philosophy of Juce which means self-reliance. But perhaps the biggest attraction is just being able to boast you've been there.
Rain Check: The regime of Kim Jong II is among the world's most repressive. Opposition is crushed and basic services such as access to health care and education allocated to families based on their political loyalty. As a tourist you would be privy to the "best" hotels, food and hospitals, none of which the majority of locals will ever see.
Tourist Blurb: "There are only around 2,000 Western tourists who visit each year... our advice is visit very, very soon," says Koryo Tours, one of the most popular group tour organizers outside North Korea.
by Patrice Poltzer