Deciding On Easy Strategies In Tour Korea

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Will American Travelers Be Able to Return to North Korea?

But a perceived thaw in relations after the release of three Americans imprisoned in North Korea and news of negotiations for talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has revived industry hopes for a corresponding travel rapprochement. The ban followed the death in June of Otto F. Warmbier , an American student who was jailed in North Korea for trying to steal a political propaganda poster from his hotel in Pyongyang. Since then, tour operators that specialize in North Korea including Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours stopped taking Americans to the country. Before that, Americans made up 20 percent of the western visitors that Koryo took to North Korea, according to Simon Cockerell, the general manager of the company, who has visited the country 169 times. “The fact that it is a place endlessly reported on and so little-known is the attraction for most visitors,” Mr. Cockerell wrote in an email. The Seattle-based tour operator Mir Corporation has led North Korea trips in the past, but through a spokesman said that until the government rescinds the ban, the company will be “waiting and watching.” Before the ban, Americans were required to travel in a group with North Korean guides and very detailed itineraries with no chance of exploring independently. Those restrictions make it very hard to do what most global travel operators promise: authentic immersion. “Our approach to travel, which is focused on immersing travelers into the people and culture of a country in order to provide meaningful engagement with locals, matches very well with a ‘Voice of America, boots on the ground’ sort of diplomacy that could be possible in the wake of a possible thaw in relations between the U.S. and North Korea,” Edward Piegza, the president and founder of Classic Journeys , said in an email.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/travel/north-korea-travel.html

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Visiting South Korea? Rent an 'oppa' to show you around

Rent an 'oppa' to show you around If you’ve swooned over oppas in your favorite Korean drama or K-Pop group, wishing for him to magically whisk you underneath a cherry blossom tree, you may be one step closer to your dream. Tour service “Oh My Oppa” rents out “a hot Korean Oppa” to take you around South Korean haunts that “only locals know.” "Oppa" is a term that girls use to call a man older than she is or an attractive man she wants to flirt with. The tour operator's website lists eight oppas who each have their own special itineraries. The itineraries list the meet-up points, activities and costs of the tour. For instance, Ryan Oppa "understands history and architecture," while Raymond Oppa is a foodie who will make sure you're well fed in the Gwangjang Market. Ryan Oppa gives a tour while you wear a Hanbok, a traditional Korean attire. Photo: Oh My Oppa Jake Oppa, on the other hand, loves games and will show you the playful side of Gangnam, as seen in the following video. Besides the eye candy and an instant Instagram boyfriend, another plus to having an oppa around is that they can speak English and teach you local activities. Raymond Oppa gives a food tour. Photo: Oh My Oppa According to a review left by Emma, who had Raymond Oppa as a tour guide, he was "very friendly and fun" and introduced her to "delicious (possibly terrifying) traditional Korean foods." He also introduced her to a drinking game and toured her around a university. However, it's not quite a date: A two-hour tour costs US$40 (approximately S$53). Renters will also need to cover their own expenses during the tour besides the rental fee.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.asiaone.com/travel/visiting-south-korea-rent-oppa-show-you-around

I ran into a group of schoolboys heading to a picnic and they were very curious about me. All it took was a smile to break the ice and they were waving and all smiles, too. Pyongyang, North Korea #travel

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