Friday Fun: DPRK Bike Tour

Koryo Tours plans to launch the first ever bicycle tour of the the DPRK in September 2011.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Korea Real Time:

North Korea may not be at the top of most vacation destination planning lists, but it’s relatively easy to visit and safe. A number of tour companies run trips through much of the year, including for the Mass Games during late summer. There are no limitations on US citizens joining tours inside the country.

One of the tour operators, Koryo Tours, has lined up something a little different for 2011: a cycling trip through the country in September.

According to Koryo, this will be the first ever cycling tour around the communist nation. Participants on the trip will be in the saddle for around 4-8 hours a day over the course of a week, pedaling to Nampo on the west coast, through the ancient capital of Kaesong and with an option to head up into the mountains around Mt. Paekdu.

The company is planning to bring in mountain bikes from Beijing for the trip and will carry spare parts in a support vehicle, where the saddle-sore can take a break. All the cycling will be on tarmac roads.

As with all trips to North Korea, the group will be chaperoned by local guides. Hannah Barraclough at Koryo says the guides have been in training for the trip and have been cutting back on smoking in preparation. While there will be limitations on where photographs can be taken, regular stops for picture-taking are planned.

Ms. Barraclough says Koryo is planning to take around 20 people on the trip and initial interest has been good.

At the end of the trip, the company plans to donate the bikes to the local people.

The Koryo Tours web page is here.

Read the full story here:
Tour De Corée du Nord
Wall Street Journal Korea Real Time
Alastair Gale
12/3/2010

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