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11 important instructions and recommendations when visiting North Korea


What should I know when I visit North Korea? What is indicated and recommended by travel agencies. What are the rules for staying in the country? I selected 11 important and interesting items.

1. It is allowed to import lenses with focal length up to 250 mm into the country. Often the import of lenses is allowed and up to 400 mm, but everything will depend on the particular responsible officer at the border.

2. North Korea has weakened the rules for the importation of cell phones and smartphones. Now they are allowed to take with them. However, SIM cards will not work.

3. Laptops, tablets, iPods, cameras without problems are allowed to take with them. However, you need to consider that they can be examined by customs officers. You need to make sure that they do not have articles and e-books with critical content regarding North Korea, as well as pornography.


4. While in North Korea, it is forbidden even to try to exchange any foreign currency for North Korean won. The attempt to export the local currency from the country is equated with a crime.


5. When visiting the Palace of the Sun (Mausoleum), you must follow the dress code. Men: trousers (not jeans) and a shirt with a collar. Women: hands and feet should be closed. Sneakers are not allowed.


6. It is necessary to respect the requests of the guides and to refrain from openly criticizing the North Korean regime. Debate is possible, but intrusive criticism is not welcome: it will not change the North Koreans’ opinion and may lead to deportation.


7. If there is a desire to present gifts to local guides (a good gesture before the tour starts), it is recommended to take Marlboro cigarettes or alcohol for a male guide, face cream and cosmetics, perfume, chocolate for a female guide.


8. It is forbidden to take with Korean literature, religious books, pornographic materials, the guide about North Korea, “Lonely Planet” or films like “Interview”.


9. It is recommended to bring fresh fruit and chocolate. Desserts are not served in restaurants of North Korea and for some travelers the local cuisine may seem fresh or monotonous.


10. Do not leave the hotel without a guide or try to leave the group during the tour. It is allowed to move freely inside the hotel, on the first or upper and own floor. Do not use fire stairs. Violation of these rules can be a problem for the traveler and responsible guides.


11. Travel agencies are asked not to publish any material on blogs or social networks without first checking. Negative articles in the past led to problems for local guides in North Korea (they, at least, lost their jobs).

On the truth and myths of North Korea read in the following entries.


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