(Photo by Gabriel Prehn Britto)
Tumen City, in Jilin province, has recently opened up a bicycle-tour program that will allow curious Chinese citizens to bike across the border and spend a few hours cycling about in the North Korean city of Namyang. Tourists can gawk at quaint communism/totalitarianism, grab some snacks, and be home before dinner.
North Korea is vying for Chinese tourist dollars, as the whole nuclear-pariah-state enterprise has not yielded significant financial returns. A group of Chinese bikers recently completed the trip and spoke to Xinhua:
Amid high spirits, Zhao, a travel agent from Yanbian, was among thirty-five Chinese tourists in the DPRK, visiting the Namyang Railway Station, Kim Il-sun’ s statue, and enjoying local delicacies in a famous downtown street during a one-day visit.
“The city is quite unique and full of energy,” Zhao told Xinhua, hoping that more DPRK cities would join the list of the travel-by-bicycle initiative so that he could enjoy more sightseeing as well as the local gastronomical culture.
For Chen Boyi, taking a train is a splendid choice to tour the neighboring country. Chen said that her excursion during the Workers’ Day holiday helped unravel some mysteries of DPRK.
“Namyang is very clean and the local people warm-hearted,” Chen, 21, said.
The trip is apparently quite inexpensive for Chinese citizens, although any foreigners seeking to hop aboard are unlikely to be able to do so anytime soon.