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N178UA
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North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:24 pm

North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Day 1-3 (Tu-204/IL18)




http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/207.JPG



HIGHLY RECOMMENDED



This trip report can be seen in Youtube video format from below link. It is highly recommended and work as a substitute from reading this trip report.

Flying Air Koryo Tu-204 in Business Class
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scjHAu1I8fQ

Flying IL-18 North to Samjiyon and Mount Paektu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v-DfONncdc


BACKGROUND



Japan’s colonial possessions, including Korea, were divided among the victors of World War 2, creating a US-sponsored South Korea and a Soviet-sponsored communist North Korea, formally the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (DPRK).

The Korean War broke out after five years of partition. After three years of battle with major participation by the USA and China and the loss of over two million lives, the only result was a ceasefire back at the 38th Parallel, where the border had been at the start of the war. A peace treaty has never been signed and a state of war continues to exist, over sixty years later.

The politics of this stalemate has made the DPRK one of the least visited and least understood countries in the world. However it is possible to travel there through a small number of tour operators who work in co-operation with the Korean International Travel Company (KITC), the state-owned organisation based in Pyongyang who make all local arrangements and provide guides.

One such tour operator is Juche Travel Services, with offices in London and Beijing; it’s leader, David Thompson-Rowlands, was sufficiently aviation-literate to know that Air Koryo operates hardware unique in the world, and would be of interest to enthusiasts. After months of planning with the KITC, the first aviation-themed tour of the DPRK was announced for May 2012.

The DPRK is now the only country in the world where you can reliably fly on all major Soviet era aircraft in one place. The week-long tour itineraries allow enthusiasts to fly on up to 8 different aircraft types on both scheduled international and internal charter flights. Once is not enough, so I decided to go again. I am curious to see any changes in the country and of course flying the Soviet Classic again. With that ambition I embarked on my 2nd DPRK Aviation Tour in this September.


INTRODUCTION TO AIR KORYO



North Korea’s national airline started life in 1945 as SOKAO (Soviet-North Korean Airline), flying to Vladivostok, Beijing and Chita with Li-2 and An-2. It was taken over by the DPRK’s Ministry Of Communications in 1954 and renamed UKAMPS, adding the Il-12, Il-14 and Il-18 in the 1960s. In 1975 the airline was renamed Chosonminhang, aka CAAK (Civil Aviation Authority of Korea, in the style of China’s CAAC) in time to receive it’s first jetliner, a Tu-154, opening service to Europe for the first time – to Moscow, Prague, and East Berlin with stops in Irkutsk and Novosibirsk.

The first Il-62 was delivered in 1979, opening non-stop service to Moscow and adding Sofia and Belgrade, and Tu-134s joined in the 80s for regional flights. In 1993 the airline was given it’s current name, Air Koryo, and in 2008 received a pair of Tupolev Tu-204s – one -100 and one short body -300 “SP”. Today the airline flies to Beijing and Shenyang in China, Vladivostok in Russia and operates long-haul routes to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Kuwait.



MY PREVIOUS TRIP REPORT ON NORTH KOREA (October 2012)



The Grand Aviation Tour Of North Korea Oct 2012 (by N178UA Dec 3 2012 in Trip Reports)



DAY 0 BEIJING BRIEFING



All tour members collected their visa (tourist paper) to DPRK and we enjoyed a great show as usual at Haitunghwa restaurant. Teaming up with Skyshirts, we’ve made a special t-shirt of Air Koryo for the tour and was sold out instantly. http://www.skyshirts.com/koryo-p-643.html

My latest book features North Korea on the cover was also sold out on the spot.
http://SamChuiPhotos.com/Air3

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DAY 1 BEIJING TO PYONGYANG



Flying Air Koryo Tu-204-100B in Business Class

Business Class Red Carpet Welcome



Long queue but orderly check-in

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Air Koryo Business Class customer use Air China lounge in T2.

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Station Manager Mr Kim received my latest book features North Korea from my last trip in 2012.

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Our plane, reg P-633 await.

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Seating at 3F, last row of Business Class. Total 12 seats.

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Seat Pitch is 42”. Not bad for a 1.5 hours flight.

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Economy Class. Total capacity on the Tu-204-100B is C12Y164 =176

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Takeoff video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scjHAu1I8fQ


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Much anticipated in-flight service started after takeoff. Cabin crew spotted wearing new blue uniform (Old one was red) advised by new leader Marshall Kim. They took their jacket off to start the service.

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Korean Cider (Peach Soda)
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Beer and Nuts
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Sandwich for the main course. Rather disappointing as in 2012 we had a 5 course meal. This sandwich came from Pyongyang, it seems Air Koryo did not load catering from Beijing anymore.

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A sandwich is surely not enough, so I asked a Koryo Burger brought up from economy class. The burger maintained consistency in taste from 2 years ago. 

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An unidentified airfield in North Korea during descend. We have a mid air scare onboard the Tu-204. Throughout the flight, we can feel many manual turning and follow by correction like a fighter jet, perhaps it was a training flight? At one instance the plane start to fall to the right and we can feel it is falling out of horizon, the next second a steep left correction came in resulted in some dramatic cabin movements. It was very bad but luckily that was the last turn. To this day, I still felt the trauma of those large steep turns. That was the hot topic on the dinner table that night but nobody knew what the exact cause was and what happened inside the cockpit.

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Arriving at Pyongyang Sunan Airport recovering from a bad bumpy landing (very un-Air Koryo, usually their landing is perfect)

Landing Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scjHAu1I8fQ


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The airport main apron is undergoing construction so active Air Koryo planes are parked on the taxiway.

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I am glad to set foot in North Korea again, hoping things will be better and for good this time.

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The service was polite and attentive on Air Koryo Business Class. Seat was fine for 1.5 hour flight. The only disappointment was there wasn’t much food for an international flight. Two years ago, a full multi course lunch was served on fine bone China. They have cut down the food now perhaps in line with US carriers 



Our hotel: Koryo Hotel (4 star standard)

Very clean bathroom
http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/29.JPG

Nice room (minus the carpet) with LCD TV
http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/30.JPG



DAY 2 Visit DMZ



This is the only non-aviation day out of our 8 days schedule. Our group split into three went South to the 38th parallel line (border of North and South Korea) call DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).

Our KITC guide Ms Peng Un Mee
http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/31.JPG

Bumpy roads enroute to DMZ through a series of tunnels on straight road. Perhaps the military tank can also use these roads.

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Yours Truly wearing an oversized Soviet cap.

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South Korea is just opposite and Seoul is within an hour of reach.

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Viva Iran Air at DMZ  http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/38.JPG

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You can take photo with North Korean soldier.
http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/40.JPG

Royal lunch (Korean cuisine)
http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/41.JPG

Beautiful colours of field enroute.
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This is how do you take photos of the scenery fighting with bumpy roads.
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So few traffic we can lay on the roads!
http://samchuiphotos.com/DPRK2014/44.JPG

With my friend CK at the Reunification Monument on our way back to Pyongyang.


DAY 3 FLYING IL-18 UP NORTH TO SAMJIYON, VISITING MT PAEKTU

Highly recommended video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v-DfONncdc






The immaculate Il-18 four-engined propliner, built in 1969 and registered P-835 (c/n 185008601) is always a highlight, usually flying up to Samjiyon (YJS), near Mount Paektu, considered a sacred mountain and the place of Korea’s ancestral origin, from the kingdom of Gojoseon (2,300 BC) to the present day – it is even said that Kim Jong-Il was born there under a double rainbow. On the late 2012 trip, Mount Paektu was inaccessible due to snowfall, so Samjiyon was replaced by Orang (Chongjin) in the Northeast of DPRK where few foreigners have ever set foot.

On one tour, an American tour group shared our IL-18 ride and gave the group a good laugh when one member was overheard observing, ‘Gee – this is a really smooth flight!’ Their neighbour replied, ‘Honey – we haven’t taken off yet!’

Take off is in classic turboprop style, with a shallow but sure climb. The cabin crew, no doubt unused to passengers walking around inflight taking pictures, did their best to work around camera-toting enthusiasts to serve refreshing local Taedonggang beer.


Two charter flights (one IL-18 and one An-24) operate to Samjiyon that morning.

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Takeoff and landing video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v-DfONncdc

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No pollution, literally no houses but just pure nature, wood. The weather was gorgeous and improved greatly from Pyongyang.

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After landing, the group were allowed to look around the cabin, cockpit and take as many photos as one would like.

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Crowd gather for An-24 arrival photo/video.
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After disembarking, the group is given delicious picnic lunches to enjoy while photographing P-835 from every angle on the otherwise deserted ramp. The gold standard for aviation photography is loading doors closed and steps off, and local ramp crew are happy to oblige – indeed, the steps are free for anyone who wants to use them to get a better vantage point.


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I presented my latest book to the operating crew. The same captain and translator remember my visit 2 years ago.

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There are no scheduled domestic flights in North Korea and hence no need for terminals at their provincial airports but provincial airports have a small reception facility for VIP flights and tourist charters that occasionally fly in, where it is possible to enjoy a Q&A with the crew, always hosted by the Il-18’s radio operator, who speaks excellent English, before leaving in a flotilla of old buses. Even after flying to Samjiyon, to visit the summit of Mount Paektu, on occasion the translation of it’s name, “ever-white”, is sometimes all too accurate, as a ice and snow even as late as May can block the route, resulting in an early turnback for the hotel. The view of the massive lake in the crater of the volcano is worth the trip when conditions allow


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Unfortunately, the power has been cut so we have to walk up (and down) to the peak of Mount Paektu. This took more than an hour on the way up.

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Crater Lake at the top.

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Walking down the cable car track to the base.

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Amazing view of the plain.
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We also visited Rimyongsu waterfall.
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We reached hotel pitch dark due to power shortage. Later on the light came back at 8pm. For many, this was their first time using candle to walk to their room.
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Simple 3 star accommodation with good floor heating.

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Great Leaders over Mt Paektu, sacred mountain where Kim Jong Il was born.

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Dinner Banquet.
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TO BE CONTINUED




Comments and Feedback are always welcome.

Sam Chui
www.SamChuiPhotos.com
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:39 pm

Well done Sam   

You really do some very interesting trips. Looks like the weather was kind to you,and an hour to walk up a cable car track just to take pictures for us.Must say that mattress in the hotel looked a little thin.  
And that Il-18 looked Fab,fun way to fly, look forward to the next part.
Thank you !
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
A388CC
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:10 pm

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:59 pm

Great Report! looking forward to part 2
 
The777Man
Posts: 6140
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:45 pm

Very nice report Sam!

Too bad to see Air Koryo cut down on the meal service and that they got more food in Y than in C!

Great pictures !

Looking forward to the next report !

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
joeytaffy93
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:25 pm

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:00 pm

Hi Sam,

So far a brilliant trip report. They seem really welcoming and friendly.

This is a trip I'd like to do at some point in my life.
 
faucett
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:18 pm

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:56 pm

Fantastic report

Great places i woud like to visit some day, and the aircrafts are stunning.

Thanks for sharing

Dan
faucett
 
moby147
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:30 am

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:26 pm

Another great report Sam

Very well done

Looking forward to the next one

Regards

Moby147
 
AA737-823
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:18 am

Sam,
You always get to do such interesting and unique trips, into "forbidden" aviation zones!
One question: do you travel on a US passport? If not, do you think that a US citizen would invite unwarranted detainment if he were to travel to some of these places?
I'd love to go to Iran, North Korea, China, etc etc etc, but not if it meant that the US CBP wouldn't let me come back home!
Or is that an unwarranted concern?
 
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lesfalls
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:53 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):

I also would like to know about that.


Great trip report Sam.Cant wait to see your next part   .
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen besser.
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:38 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):

Sam,
You always get to do such interesting and unique trips, into "forbidden" aviation zones!
One question: do you travel on a US passport? If not, do you think that a US citizen would invite unwarranted detainment if he were to travel to some of these places?
I'd love to go to Iran, North Korea, China, etc etc etc, but not if it meant that the US CBP wouldn't let me come back home!
Or is that an unwarranted concern?
Quoting lesfalls (Reply 8):

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):

I also would like to know about that.

Thanks for raising this. This is an unwarranted concern. We have several Americans on our tour to North Korea and there were always a few on the previous tours. Americans are welcomed to Iran or North Korea anyday on a guided tour. (package tour). I have never heard they faced any issue going back home. On top of that, you don't get visa stamp on your passport, they stamp on a piece of paper and take away on exiting the country. I am NOT trying to convince you to go, the decision will have to come from you. But you will certainly see a different side of the world, living on the same planet as you do.

For China, I think you know the answer by looking how many direct flights from all US/Chinese carriers flying a day between US and China.  

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
bennator
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:20 pm

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:43 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
Sam,
You always get to do such interesting and unique trips, into "forbidden" aviation zones!
One question: do you travel on a US passport? If not, do you think that a US citizen would invite unwarranted detainment if he were to travel to some of these places?
I'd love to go to Iran, North Korea, China, etc etc etc, but not if it meant that the US CBP wouldn't let me come back home!
Or is that an unwarranted concern?

The only country that is somewhat restricted for US passport holders is Cuba (technically, it's a ban on spending money there without prior permission, but by entering the country you are presumed to have spent money).
 
G-CIVP
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 6:38 am

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:05 pm

A couple of observations.

Personally, I would find it very difficult to visit a country with a strong authoritarian regime (and a large military-industrial complex) dominates at the expense of the civilian population. You could argue that the hard foreign currency provided by the tour participants may assist the civilian populous, albeit indirectly, but it wouldn't be substantial. Second, the actual aviation content of the tour seems a little thin. Yes, you've had the IL-18 flight but there seems to be an awful lot of government sponsored visits as well. I wouldn't like being a used as stooge for propaganda purposes, i.e. being told that North Korea is wonderful place to reside, when in the truth it's pretty dire.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8899
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:03 pm

Nice report Sam. Some great memories there.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
One question: do you travel on a US passport? If not, do you think that a US citizen would invite unwarranted detainment if he were to travel to some of these places?

Americans have been on every one of the 10+ aviation tours of North Korea and they are treated exactly the same as any other nationality. Same also in Iran.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
I'd love to go to Iran, North Korea, China, etc etc etc, but not if it meant that the US CBP wouldn't let me come back home! Or is that an unwarranted concern?

No issues at all, it's a free country isn't it? And China, well as Sam said there are dozens of wide bodies a day between the US and China. There are actually hundreds of pax flying every day between IKA and LAX (100s of 1,000s of Iranians in LA, they call it Tehrangeles).

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 11):
Personally, I would find it very difficult to visit a country with a strong authoritarian regime (and a large military-industrial complex) dominates at the expense of the civilian population.

A quarter of all prisoners in the world and half of all military spending in the world is in the US even though the US is only 5% of the world's population (meanwhile Americans have no state-provided healthcare (until they hit 65 anyway), terrible education, and failing infrastructure). This will not stop me from going there next week and having a great time in their wonderful cities and enjoying their hospitality. I suggest you don't let their authoritarian policies or the inequality of their military spending put you off either.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 11):
You could argue that the hard foreign currency provided by the tour participants may assist the civilian populous, albeit indirectly, but it wouldn't be substantial.

It is pretty well established that DPRK doesn't make any money at all out of tourism, they allow it simply to manage curiosity in their country. If that helps you at all.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 11):
Second, the actual aviation content of the tour seems a little thin.

Are you kidding? 2x Il-18, Il-62, Il-76, An-24, An-148, Tu-134, 2x Tu-154, 2x Tu-204, and a Mi-17 all in a week is A LITTLE THIN? Sorry the Tu-144 is in a D-check otherwise you'd be happy?!

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 11):
there seems to be an awful lot of government sponsored visits as well. I wouldn't like being a used as stooge for propaganda purposes

I have no idea what a "government-sponsored visit" is. Non-av attractions in DPRK are sites of natural beauty, museums (Korean War, Pyongyang Metro, various art galleries), the Pyongyang film studios, a couple of big statues, a ride on the metro, bowling, fun fair, and a trip to the top of the Tower Of The Juche Idea.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 11):
being told that North Korea is wonderful place to reside, when in the truth it's pretty dire

I have been to DPRK for various reasons ten times (inc av tours) and have never been told it's a wonderful place to reside. While the guides are proud of their country, they are quite frank about some of the difficulties they face, although some benefits of the system are also discussed of course. While some aspects of life in the DPRK are difficult, and I am no apologist for it's shortcomings, by no means is everything about it undesirable. To say so is like saying everything in the UK is perfect. Both statements are palpably ridiculous. Why don't you get off your high horse and see some of the world for yourself?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
G-CIVP
Posts: 1561
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:54 pm

cedarjet

Seems like I've hit a raw nerve with your replies. Of course, every country has there issues and problems, there isn't utopia. However, North Korea has horrendous problems with famines and food shortages, restrictions on the freedom of association, information and movement, concentration camps for dissenters and political prisoners. And you want to go there, be escorted around by official tour guides who have been primed to provide 'politically correct answers' and photograph aircraft of a regime which is off the scale in terms of economic stagnation and political abuses? Your choice but certainly not mine.
 
visualapproach
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:09 pm

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:13 pm

Great report. Those Air Koryo flight attendants are gorgeous!
 
767747
Posts: 2225
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:41 pm

Great report, Sam! Wow, you certainly fly on some very unique routes! Looks like you had a good time, and the photos were great, as usual.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8899
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:59 pm

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 13):
Seems like I've hit a raw nerve with your replies.

Yes.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 13):
concentration camps for dissenters and political prisoners

A quarter of black Americans are in prison or in the justice system in some way. I still like America and I don't use loaded terms like "concentration camps" - you're showing a lot of bias.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 13):
And you want to go there, be escorted around by official tour guides who have been primed to provide 'politically correct answers'

I already told you the guides are quite frank about the problems the country faces. Perhaps not totally transparent but they are not politically correct robots. I don't know where you're getting this cos you clearly haven't been there.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 13):
Your choice but certainly not mine.

It is a nation of 20m people who would be better off with more outside contact. If you think it's a bad place, you should reach out, not vilify them. We're all humans in this together for god's sake. So once again - get off your high horse.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
N178UA
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:09 am

G-CIVP,

Why does Politics have to come in to play with a focused Aviation Tour and Trip Report here?

While you can express freely of your view, personally I feel your comment is invalid, biased, and unjustified. Where are you getting these comments from? How do you know where the money goes to? Where's the evidence?

We have never been taught any propaganda during the tour, nor have we been told North Korea is a nice place to live. The aviation content on the tour is so rich that blows your mind.

I can't tell you enough how much the group have enjoyed the aviation tour and the hospitality.

[Edited 2014-10-12 22:12:28]
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
a19901213
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:58 am

Incredible report! thanks for sharing it.

For a long time my friends keep telling me how good looking North Korea girls are. Apparently they didn't lie to me haha.
 
QANTAS077
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:36 pm

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 13):
And you want to go there,

it's precisely what you mentioned that makes DPRK so attractive to people seeking something different...well done Sam.
 
MEA-707
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:31 pm

Great report Sam ! Loved my trips there as well, wish they'd do a 3 day 'best of' version and I'd go again.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
At one instance the plane start to fall to the right and we can feel it is falling out of horizon, the next second a steep left correction came in resulted in some dramatic cabin movements. It was very bad but luckily that was the last turn. To this day, I still felt the trauma of those large steep turns. That was the hot topic on the dinner table that night but nobody knew what the exact cause was and what happened inside the cockpit.

On my first visit to North Korea in 2010, our short Tu-204-300 had exactly this as well on the way back to Beijing ! We all looked at eachother like, wtf was THAT? I forgot it since but it came back reading this. Weird as the flying on all the classics I flew on (the same as you) in 2012 felt solid and controlled.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
N178UA
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:07 am

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 20):
On my first visit to North Korea in 2010, our short Tu-204-300 had exactly this as well on the way back to Beijing ! We all looked at eachother like, wtf was THAT? I forgot it since but it came back reading this. Weird as the flying on all the classics I flew on (the same as you) in 2012 felt solid and controlled.

Hi Servaas, yes that is really strange, like you said all the classic are rock solid and stable, only on the Tu-204 this strange manual turn happened. I wonder any expert can point this out what exactly is happening?

A 3 day "best of" series is a great idea. I would love to do it again!

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
trijetsonly
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:26 pm

Great report, Sam.

I've been in the other Juche September Aviation Tour, during the first week of September, and it looks like we were the first groups having a great weather!

Seeing your pictures and reading you comments is a great feeling, also to see that you had a powercut on Mt.Paektu as well  Luckily, our powercut was on the way down only.

I'm looking forward to your upcoming trip report!


And to all of you who have never been there:
Do it! Go there and enjoy aviation! For me, it was completely different than expected, very easy-going, so much fun and I've heard so interesting stories from other group members about their aviation experiences - that alone would have made this trip worth doing. But flying those Soviet beauties in a perfect shape was even better!
Happy Landings
 
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Flying Belgian
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:39 am

Hi Sam,

When I visited DMZ from the South side two years ago, I could not take as many photos as you did !

Incredible !
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
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Vio
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:28 pm

Great report Sam. I always love NK trip reports, especially the ones made by you.

On a side note (for Sam and everyone else here). Take a look at this link on a Romanian site. It's about Air Koryo and I believe they're using these photos illegally (they have been known to do that). Do any of you know the author?


http://www.mediafax.ro/externe/cea-m...bor-a-coreei-de-nord-foto-13390308

Regards

Vio
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
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pvjin
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:51 pm

Great report, these from North Korea are always so incredibly interesting to read. Hopefully some day I'll get to visit the country myself.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
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zolagola
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:29 am

Great trip report as always, Sam. I hope you found your picture of an earlier tour in the North Korean tourism book.

Whilst I do not agree with G-CIVP in general I would like to contest one of your replies to him:

Quoting N178UA (Reply 17):
We have never been taught any propaganda during the tour,

Unless you skipped the military museum, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun or the Kim statues during your tour, you would have to admit that there is a lot of propaganda one is exposed to - apparent as well as hidden. One just needs to put it into perspective and not consider the DPRK to be heaven on earth. But I guess this is what most educated visitors to the country will do anyways. This doesn´t mean however that one cannot enjoy and acknowledge the hospitality which truly was fantastic.
 
N178UA
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:49 am

Quoting zolagola (Reply 26):

Great trip report as always, Sam. I hope you found your picture of an earlier tour in the North Korean tourism book.

Oh wow, I didn't see my picture in the DPRK book! Do you have a record of it?

Quoting zolagola (Reply 26):
Unless you skipped the military museum, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun or the Kim statues during your tour, you would have to admit that there is a lot of propaganda one is exposed to - apparent as well as hidden. One just needs to put it into perspective and not consider the DPRK to be heaven on earth. But I guess this is what most educated visitors to the country will do anyways. This doesn´t mean however that one cannot enjoy and acknowledge the hospitality which truly was fantastic.

They have never taught us the propaganda in words explicitly. By visiting to those places, it may be showing off their achievements in various forms understandably. It is entirely up to how the person perceiving them as, some think they're propaganda, some others like me just think these are tourist sites. It is similar stuff in Soviet Union or China in the past. I enjoyed visiting all those places they showed us. (didn't go to military museum though, as I am not fond of any military). I don't get why people in the West think they are teaching propaganda on the aviation tour while nothing has been said explicitly. Entirely up to your own interpretation and wisdom. You mentioned the importance is to take on a perspective. Thanks for your comment.

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
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zolagola
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:00 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 27):
Oh wow, I didn't see my picture in the DPRK book! Do you have a record of it?

Here we go:



Quoting N178UA (Reply 27):
They have never taught us the propaganda in words explicitly. By visiting to those places, it may be showing off their achievements in various forms understandably. It is entirely up to how the person perceiving them as, some think they're propaganda, some others like me just think these are tourist sites. It is similar stuff in Soviet Union or China in the past. I enjoyed visiting all those places they showed us. (didn't go to military museum though, as I am not fond of any military). I don't get why people in the West think they are teaching propaganda on the aviation tour while nothing has been said explicitly. Entirely up to your own interpretation and wisdom. You mentioned the importance is to take on a perspective.

Without wanting to turn this into a political discussion, for me 'propaganda' is the active effort of the sender not the passive perception of the receiver (or as Wiki says 'a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of a population toward some cause or position'). And with that in mind, it was clear to me that we had been exposed to propaganda, visibly (e.g. as seen in my trip report the postcards sold at the DMZ or also the videos shown at the war museum) as well as hidden. But again, this is not the right place to plunge into such a discussion, I guess we are in far more agreement on the Aviation only part of the trip.
 
N104UA
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 am

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Soviet-sponsored communist North Korea, formally the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (DPRK).

DPRK is still the official name of North Korea (as the official name of China is People's Republic of China) it is just easier to say DPRK

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
I'd love to go to Iran, North Korea, China, etc etc etc, but not if it meant that the US CBP wouldn't let me come back home!
Or is that an unwarranted concern?
Quoting lesfalls (Reply 8):

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):

I also would like to know about that.

As an American citizen CBP can not deny you entry into the United States (you can be detained and arrested if you committed a crime) but they will not be able to send you back. It is a fundamental right as a U.S. Citizen to enter the United States

Quoting N178UA (Reply 9):
Thanks for raising this. This is an unwarranted concern. We have several Americans on our tour to North Korea and there were always a few on the previous tours. Americans are welcomed to Iran or North Korea anyday on a guided tour. (package tour). I have never heard they faced any issue going back home. On top of that, you don't get visa stamp on your passport, they stamp on a piece of paper and take away on exiting the country. I am NOT trying to convince you to go, the decision will have to come from you. But you will certainly see a different side of the world, living on the same planet as you do.

It is not technically illegal to travel anywhere in the world (Cuba requires preauthorization) just make sure to list it on your entry form and be ready for extra questions (not listing it could be considered perjury)

Quoting zolagola (Reply 28):

Without wanting to turn this into a political discussion, for me 'propaganda' is the active effort of the sender not the passive perception of the receiver (or as Wiki says 'a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of a population toward some cause or position'). And with that in mind, it was clear to me that we had been exposed to propaganda, visibly (e.g. as seen in my trip report the postcards sold at the DMZ or also the videos shown at the war museum) as well as hidden. But again, this is not the right place to plunge into such a discussion, I guess we are in far more agreement on the Aviation only part of the trip.

Well put
"Learn the rules, so you know how to break them properly." -H.H. The Dalai Lama
 
N178UA
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:08 pm

Part 2 is now up and running
North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Part 2 (Day 4-7) (by N178UA Oct 24 2014 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2014-10-24 10:43:20]
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
celestar
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RE: North Korea Aviation Tour 2014 Best Tour Day 1-3

Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:26 am

Once again, a fantastc TR. Really enjoy reading it.
BTW, the uniform of the female Air Crew looks really sharp. Love it! Not to mention, they look stunningly pretty, in my personal opinion, much better than their cousin Korean Air or Asiana!

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