back to china

And… safely back in Beijing. I’m not sure how to precisely relate the experiences of the last few days in North Korea, except to say that I doubt I’ll ever spend time again so removed from reality as I understand it, at least until Easyjet start offering cheap flights to Mars. The place is extraordinary; brilliantly colourful, often moving, and utterly, utterly bonkers. Highlights included a night spectating at the country’s largest ever Mass Games, a deeply solemn procession through giant marble corridors to the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung, and the weirdest three minutes of karaoke you’re ever likely to stumble across. On any continent. It’s just nuts. Oh, and dog meat soup.

Photographs and full story will follow my return to Blighty, assuming I can figure out a way to do the experience justice.


  1. Woo! You’re alive. When come back bring pie photos

  2. So good to hear you’re not dead. Was wondering whether you were at the Mass games after I saw it on BBC. Did you see Kim Jong Il? More to the point did you eat any burgers? Look forward to seeing and hearing all about it soon.

  3. Did you escape indoctrination?

  4. Moral of the story?

    Don’t go on holiday.



  5. Kim Jong Il attended the Mass Games on a different night to us. No luck on the burger front, although since being back in Beijing I’ve had scorpion and seahorse (I do know I’m not supposed to eat seahorses, but it was dead. And on a stick). And yes, I think I escaped the indoctrination.

  6. isn’t it great that they have such pretty costumes? and they seem so happy! must take the edge off the slow starvation.

    they’re so backwards it’s spelled sdrawkcab.

  7. was my mate Kate Beck on the same tour as you?

  8. No Kates on our tour, but there were four different groups going in the week I was there…