Dah, cukup pasal sejarah Korea Utara dengan Korea Selatan. Kalau nak tau lebih lanjut, rajin-rajinkan diri search dalam Google. Apa yang aku nak cerita sekarang pasal mamat dari US yang pergi melancong ke Korea Utara ni. Kenapa kisah dia femes? sebab tak ramai pun sebenarnya yang nak melancong ke Korea Utara ni lebih-lebih lagi kalau pelancong dari barat. Mungkin sebab takut atau urusan yang rumit dan ketat untuk memasuki negara Korea Utara ni. Macam si Taylor ni, dari US dia kena masuk China dulu. Pastu amik flight dari Beijing ke Pyongyang. Takde flight direct dari US ke Korea Utara. Bila dah sampai, dia kena declare semua benda yang dia bawak termasuklah makanan. Semua pelancong yang sampai ke Korea Utara ni, mesti diiringi oleh sorang atau dua orang ‘pemandu pelancong’. Amacam? Tu baru permulaan.
Si Taylor ni ada jugak bercerita – aku quote kat bawah,Before I go any further, I feel it’s important to preface the content I’m about to share. With a country/topic like North Korea, I’d like to be as honest with my observations as possible. Many people have asked me how you gain access to a country that is so restricted. It’s pretty easy, even as an American. What you’ll need is simply time and money. This image is the visa that I was granted about a week before my flight. I flew from Beijing to Pyongyang, while non-Americans were able to cross the border from Dandong by rail. I got this visa because I applied via the various tourism companies that service North Korea. My trip was 4 days, and we had two guides: one male, one female. It’s also important to note that you are NOT able to roam free at any given time. You follow a strict itinerary and you are on a tight schedule to see what North Korea allows. You stay in a hotel that is isolated on an island, and you are strictly informed when it is okay/not okay to take photos. However! with thousands of visitors each year, the fabric loosens, and that’s where things start to get interesting. You’re able to witness the the imperfections, the infinite nuances… the hiccups that reveal why some foreigners have become so obsessed and return year after year to live with what exists behind the curtain. I’ll admit, it was a tough decision to fork over the money to travel to North Korea. There are serious things to consider, not all of which I’m comfortable supporting. I’ve been debating this trip for over 9 months, and it wasn’t until 4 weeks ago that I finally pulled the trigger. The flight in from Beijing was short, and when we touched down in Pyongyang, I was nervous. In fact, I don’t think I was ever fully at ease. I’m not by any means the first to visit North Korea. There were other foreigners all visiting Pyongyang when I was there. I was lucky to get paired with an insightful and intelligent group of 6 other travelers, ranging from 25 to 71 years old. My family was worried, so were my friends, but I went because the DPRK is so complicated. It was ultimately a tough decision, but one that was so so worth it. #contrateur
“My cameras, memory cards, and phones were screened on entry,” he told Newsbeat.
“ You are told when to wake up, when meals are available, and when your day is coming to an end,” Taylor explained.“
You’re also strictly informed when it’s OK/not OK to take photos. “Each night you’re granted ‘leisure time’ but you’re limited to roaming inside your hotel that’s strategically placed on an island.”Maksudnya, kamera kau, telefon & memori kad, semuanya kena check. Kena scan beb. Kau akan dihantar ke hotel dimana hotel tersebut ada kat satu pulau. Kau akan dikawal. Waktu bila boleh bangun tidur, waktu untuk makan, pastu ada waktu-waktu tertentu untuk amik gambar. Ada yang boleh, ada yang tak boleh. Jap, ini pergi melancong ke masuk penjara? Lagi satu kau kena paham dengan Korea Utara, depa ni memang hormat habis la kat pemimpin depa. Pelancong pun wajib hormat tau.
On the flight over to North Korea, you’re able to already sense the extreme devotion and dedication to the late Kim Il-Sung. Even though Il-Sung hasn’t been alive since the 90s, the DPRK inhabitants consider him their president and outright great leader. When traveling through various cities, his presence and lineage is on constant display, with many residents proudly displaying pins on their clothing and with various monuments at popular transit points. It’s difficult to find a representation of Il-Sung or his family that hasn’t been artificially fabricated, and most of the history we discussed contained precomposed images to support various historical references. It was clear that no matter what, you pay respect to the great leader and to his rich family history that exists in North Korea today. #contrateur A photo posted by Taylor Pemberton (@pemberton) on
Lagi satu, rakyat tempatan kat sana juga kurang mesra dengan pelancong. Nak bercakap dengan rakyat tempatan tu, agak mustahil untuk mendapat respon. Mereka memang diajar begitu ke?One of the first things you do in North Korea is go pay respect to the great Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. These bronze statues are 22 meters high and part of a monument complex that was constructed in downtown Pyongyang. You could argue that the two figures depicted here are North Korea’s equivalent of Jesus, the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and Gandhi combined (which still may not even communicate the importance these two hold in North Korean lives). Paying respect here is pretty simple: patrons purchase flowers, lay them at the base of the monument, make a bow, and go on their way. It’s mandatory to do so. #contrateur
“I felt ignored when trying to wave, smile, or interact with locals. Some people reciprocate but it was nothing like other far away cultures.”
North Korea considers itself a self-reliant socialist state. One of the benefits, they proclaim, is the subsidizing of core necessities: housing, healthcare, education, food, general commodities, etc. One of the things I noticed right away is that clothing choices appear standardized. Men generally wear slacks, dress shoes, and collared shirts. There are no consumer brands, no logos, no advertisements. There is most definitely nothing provocative or alluring worn or presented in public. It reminded me of simpler times, perhaps the early 20th century (minus the hats). After asking about this, I was told there are very few options to choose from, almost a ’rationing’ of sorts. It was tough to get a clear answer, and I think the mere curiosity seemed confusing to begin with. One thing you can always expect to see, however, is the pin displayed near the breast pocket… this time, a dual representation of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. #contrateur A photo posted by Taylor Pemberton (@pemberton) on
Typical scenes in North Korea happen just like everywhere else in the world. People tease each other, they trip up the stairs, they try to fix their hair in the reflection. I’m inspired by all this because it brings a sense of relation to a society that is alienated for obvious reasons. We were crossing underneath the main road when I saw this. I chose to take this photo (and now post) because it makes me know those things are real, even if it’s just for a moment. #contrateur A photo posted by Taylor Pemberton (@pemberton) on
Lagi satu, kalau kau nak tau, kat Korea Utara ni takde internet, takde TV dan kalau nak tahu sebarang maklumat, kau kena harapkan kerajaan yang bagi. Itu yang berlaku kat negara ni.
North Korea has no internet, no television, no free information. This is the only public news I saw in Pyongyang, where each headline and each image is a tribute to the DPRK and great leader. It’s difficult to wrap your head around the sheer magnitude this imposes for an ecosystem and it’s people. Want to openly make art? Want to freely listen to music, or watch films? Want to create or learn anything outside the constructs of formal structure? Sorry, not possible. Even something as trivial as Instagram has had a huge impact on my ability to grow creatively. I’m able to practice the art of photography and documentary. I can be inspired by people I’ve never met. I feel the competition, the pressure to keep growing and exploring. I don’t know where I’d be without the accessibility of free information. I grew up on the Internet. I’ve formed my own conclusions. And for that, I feel very grateful. #contrateur
The Pyongyang Times. This just in: BROCCOLI 🙊 📰 (edit: for everyone asking why english? they made a translated copy for guests at the hotel) #extraextra #contrateur A photo posted by Taylor Pemberton (@pemberton) on
Amacam kisah melancong ke Korea Utara ni? Best ke tak best? Rasa-rasa nak gi melancong ke sana tak? Banyak lagi yang diceritakan oleh si Taylor ni. Kalau kau nak tau lagi, kau follow je ig dia, @pemberton.