I’d heard about a Baba (guru/teacher) who resided in the jungle of Arambol, and who apparently welcomed tourists to go and meditate with him. Intrigued by this, Alan and I walked to the northern tip of Arambol beach and followed the market-filled cliffs until we came to a secluded beach. This secluded beach was backed by a sweet water lake and jungle and had only a few shacks on it. From here, we could see a large symbol in blue chalk etched into the rock. The symbol led to a trail through the jungle, which we followed until we came…

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After our time in North Korea, myself and a few others from the tour group decided to spend the day in the Chinese city of Dandong before heading our separate ways. Dandong is a city which lies right on the border of North Korea, with the two countries being separated only by the Yalu river. This is the main draw of tourists to the city; to be able to catch a small glimpse into the hermit state. Our Chinese guide Michelle who accompanied us in North Korea offered to show us around Dandong and take us to a few sights-…

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Is it ethical to visit North Korea? This is a question I asked myself over and over before finally deciding to take the plunge and book a trip to this secretive country. You see, tourism in North Korea is a topic of much debate and controversy- visiting the country is arguably putting money directly into the pocket of a regime that commits some horrific human rights offences. From alleged death camps, extreme poverty, public murder and harsh slave labour as a punishment for trivial crimes, the North Korean regime is certainly not humane. Not forgetting the idea of funding Pyongyang’s…

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Check out part 1 of this story first if you haven’t already: North Korea: My Visit to the World’s Most Secretive State (Part 1)   Day 3 – Mount Myohyang, Monument to Party Founding and The Korean War Museum We awoke early again and made the 3 hour drive to Mount Myohyang, a beautifully scenic area which is home to the International Friendship Exhibition. This is a large museum complex displaying a massive collection of gifts that were presented to Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il during their lifetime. Some of these gifts were incredibly lavish, such as a plane and…

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As my train travelled across the bridge separating China and North Korea, my stomach started to knot in apprehension. “Why am I doing this?” I thought to myself. The current tension between North Korea and the Western World had put doubt in my mind about whether this was safe. The train pulled to a stop and North Korean military flooded onto the train, where they took our passports and thoroughly searched our bags. We waited here at the border for 2 hours before the military got off the train and let us proceed towards Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city. After…

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