You knew it had to happen.
If Castrogonia is promoted as a very happy place and a tourist destination, why not also North Korea?
Yes, of course, North Korea is a very happy place. So happy, in fact, that it makes Castrogonia look sad.
I don’t know about you, but the way I see it, our world becomes more and more like that of Orwell’s 1984 with each passing day.
Either the world is getting dumber and easier to fool or the propaganda experts are getting smarter.
Any way you look at it, we’re screwed.
From The Daily Mail, the very best in tabloid journalism:
Tourist who took a camera inside North Korea and expected to find ‘really, really sad people’ was shocked to find a happy country
Unlike other tourists who have visited the country, Mr Pan did not have to hide the photos and video he was taking from inside the country – he simply asked for permission.
‘I have been curious about North Korea for many years. The average person has probably seen more photos about outer space than of North Korea. It’s one of those great mysteries that I wanted to discover for myself and I figured it might just be possible,’ Mr Pan told MailOnline.
He decided to set about planning a trip in 2012, by writing and asking permission to do a photographic project.
‘It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I didn’t want to do a sneaky, undercover project as I didn’t want to get into any trouble,’ he said.
Explaining how he got inside the secretive state, he explained: ‘I sent several mails and faxes to multiple North Korean contacts, all of which are easily available online if you do a search. Then one day someone actually replied and I met their representative. It was a lot easier than I expected.’
Mr Pan, a commercial photographer by day who specialises in 360 degree panoramic virtual tours for real estate, hotels and automobiles, has now been on two visits to North Korea and plans to go on a third this autumn.
‘Coming back from my second trip, many things still puzzle me. I’ve travelled from Pyongyang to Hyangsan to Wonsan to Kumgangsan, to Kaesong and back. The things I’ve seen and photographed tell me that the situation isn’t as bad as I thought,’ he said.
‘People seem to go about their daily lives and everything looks so incredibly normal. Some of my friends tell me that everything I’ve seen must be fake and all that I’ve photographed are a massive mock up.
‘But the more I think about that logic, the more it doesn’t make any sense… would anyone mock up miles and miles of crops as far as my eyes can see and orchestrate thousands of people to seemingly go about their daily lives?’
Mr Pan believes that to fake everything on such a massive scale would mean North Korea’s organisation skills are ‘far beyond that of any developed country’.
He was escorted throughout his time in the country but said he had no schedule to follow and was given the ability to move around ‘quite freely’.
Continue reading and being delighted by Mr. Pan’s happy photographs HERE.