Tourists complete cycle tour of North Korea

North Korea is a country rarely visited by tourists. It’s not exactly top of peoples ‘places to see’, nor is it a part of any tour around South East Asia or the Far East. In fact, it’s one of the most isolated countries on the planet and visas are strictly monitored, yet its tourism industry has had a little boost recently.

A group of 24 tourists have become the first to complete a cycle tour of North Korea. The tourists, from 10 different nations, have completed a 10-day-tour of the communist country, cycling up to 30 miles a day. They rode some of the remotest parts of the country as well as travelling along the 10-lane Youth Hero Highway from Pyongyang to Nampo on the west coast.

The tour group, Koryo, based in Beijing, has hailed the tour as a “massive success.”

Hannah Barraclough, the tour leader, said: “'We got quite a lot of bemused looks from local people when they saw a group of foreigners cycling past them, but they always smiled when we waved or said ‘hello’ to them in Korean.

“There were groups of soldiers waving to us and we had a lot more interaction with local people than I had expected. On one occasion, a North Korean on a bike challenged one of our cyclists to a race.”

North Korea launched its first cruise ship earlier this month, a further indication that the country is looking to develop its potentially lucrative tourism market.

If North Korea made it easier for travellers to visit the country, would you go? What do you think are the attractions of North Korea? As always, post your comments below.

Quotes taken from The Mail.