Sitting at Beijing Airport waiting for our flight, it dawned upon me that some of the people dotted around the departure lounge wore matching red pin badges. That was when it finally sunk in that I was on the way to North Korea.
Pyongyang was as I imagined, with tower blocks and huge communist statues, best viewed from the 31st floor of our hotel on an island (which also boasted a revolving restaurant). I found the DMZ not nearly as tense as I expected and the countryside beautiful and mountainous - travelling through it involved many tunnels and bridges. A fascinating tour, topped off with brilliant tour leader and lovely, knowledgable local guides. However many guide books you read, this trip will surprise you, so just go with an open mind and open eyes, and respect for the local people. (KO -19th September 2011)