Unfortunately, the island prison of Cuba is not the only zoo that Americans like to visit to view the wildlife in their cages.
Next Hot Vacation Spot: North Korea
Go before an influx of American tourists ruins the place!
I have always found North Korea to be one of the most fascinating countries on earth. From the creepy cult of personality that surrounded Kim Jong-il to the traffic girls of Pyongyang to the fact that it is one of the last bastions of true socialism, this nation has always seemed to be almost of another planet.
Recently, I talked to Ray Cunningham—one of the few Americans to visit North Korea annually—and asked him about North Korean bars, Kim Jong-il, and what it’s like visiting North Korea as an American.
What are the dining options in North Korea? Are there any bars there?
Korean food is well known worldwide and in the north there are dishes that are native to that region. Perhaps the most famous is Pyongyang cold noodles. Rice and vegetables make up much of what you are served in the north, with portions of duck, fish, squid, and other seafoods. The fermented red chili paste (Gochujang) is also found on the table. Bibimbap is also prepared with a variety of vegetables. Tourists are well fed. For a treat you can ask the guides to take you to one of the two Italian restaurants in town.
Pyongyang has most of the well-known bars. The Paradise Brewery, where there’s beer on tap, is adjacent to the Paradise department store. The Diplomatic Club is another local bar. You can mix with diplomats from the few nations who are stationed in Pyongyang. Every hotel has a bar that is well equipped and Euros and U.S. dollars are accepted.
Untold thousands of North Koreans have died of starvation, but that did not seem to trouble this American tourist while he enjoyed his “duck, fish, squid, and other seafoods.”