A Koryo Excursions Finish-Of-12 months Roundup – 2022
Its been one more 12 months during which most of our key markets for tourism have been utterly closed, so one more powerful one, however there are nonetheless some optimistic tales from 2022 to look again on, and a few of our workers are right here to share some updates with all our beautiful readers – so please investigate cross-check us beneath and see what we loved in 2022 and our hopes for 2023 and past!
There is no glossing over the truth that it has been a tricky 12 months each personally and workwise for us all, however the feeling now’s extra optimistic that we’re nearer to the tip that the start of this shutdown. The Koryo crew has been great, and though we’re all over it’s this teamwork that has saved me each upbeat and pondering we are going to come out of this mess smiling! While the excursions suffered by nonetheless being principally shutdown, Koryo Studio on-line gross sales saved some funds coming in and we had two great initiatives– the DesignAustria linocut exhibition in Vienna and a fully exceptional photographic undertaking which we’re nonetheless trying to exhibit Taking pictures Movie Stars With Love
Lastly, we’ve got established an area to deal with the Koryo artwork assortment of socialist realism and different DPRK artworks. We plan to open this to the general public and for educational analysis. ‘Onwards the Vanguard!’ because the Koreans would say – however extra like yet one more 12 months of arduous slog and together with your help we could be out of this mess and into the following adventures for Koryo Excursions & Studio – Comfortable New 12 months!
I spent the primary half of the 12 months in Beijing, answering emails (usually the identical one again and again: no, North Korea is just not open once more for tourism but!), and protecting issues ticking over, all whereas having fun with changing into a brand new dad (by far the very best factor to occur in 2022, in my humble opinion!). For the remainder of the 12 months I’ve been within the UK and Canada, visiting household, making journeys, and, after all, nonetheless answering the identical e-mail again and again (no, nonetheless not open, sorry!). Its been a making an attempt 12 months, on the tail of two different making an attempt years, and it’s after all troublesome to handle a journey firm when the locations that you simply take individuals to journey should not attainable to go to – and as the remainder of the world has been opening up it has turn into tougher in some ways as so many journey choices now exist, however not our core markets.
Nonetheless, we hope that 2023 is a turning level and that we might be again doing what we love and what we do finest quickly. Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan are open once more now and our excursions there in 2023 shall be taking place (wish to be on a tour with me? this journey to Kazakhstan is prone to be my subsequent one) – however Turkmenistan and the DPRK stay closed – there are some indicators that this may occasionally change however we await affirmation and actual information and can go that on as quickly because it is available in. Our Russia excursions….might resume someday, however that is out of our arms in the intervening time too. We hope that every one conditions get resolved peacefully and justly as early as attainable.
So we’re upbeat, and passionate about taking you together with us to new adventures earlier than too lengthy. A really Comfortable New 12 months to everybody who reads this weblog and our newsletters, and in addition to those that do not!
After having my wings clipped by the worldwide pandemic and being unable to journey on a airplane for nearly so long as I can bear in mind, 2022 introduced a glimmer of sunshine.
Admittedly I’ve been holed up in Mongolia, having fun with private adventures alone and with my household right here, however because the sky as soon as extra turned streaked with contrails, I itched to be on the transfer.
In the long run, I managed to get to Moscow (earlier than this turned not an choice) and Istanbul, and lead a few excursions deep into the Mongolian wilderness; I have been on horseback, camelback, up mountains, throughout glaciers, blended it up with eagle hunters, and been caught in snowy blizzards. However the actual spotlight for me was travelling to central Asia as soon as extra, working as an expedition chief following the Amu Darya river from the Aral sea to its supply excessive within the mountains of one in every of my favorite nations: Tajikistan.
I used to be in a position to get again to fulfill associates outdated and new, and even talked my approach into the UN water convention in Dushanbe – I crammed the empty seat of one of many Slovenian delegates, and I even received to fulfill with the president of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon (Simon as soon as ate a few of his leftover meals again in 2008, however that is one other story completely)
I’m penning this from a -30 snow-filled Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, as I plan extra adventures and hope to see a lot of you within the new 12 months.
(If you wish to be part of Wealthy on his subsequent journey with us, why not e book the Tajikistan Persian New 12 months Tour? Not solely will you catch the unbelievable sport of Buzkashi (horseback polo), you will see native festivities and find out about Tajik historical past, outdated and new, and Wealthy will be capable of let you recognize much more about this fascinating nation)
Hello everybody! Hope you’re all doing effectively. I’m again (lastly) in east Asia as I’ve moved to Taiwan to start PhD research in southern Taiwan (Tainan) – well-known for being Taiwan’s meals capital! After all, I’ve been learning and never simply consuming my approach by the tip of 2022. (Promise…). One other 12 months filled with issues I by no means noticed coming, I received awarded my second masters (MSc), went viral on TikTok (a number of instances), posted extra movies on my YouTube channel, and began a podcast… (whoops, that’s not formally introduced but – watch this house!). My spotlight of the 12 months has positively been getting again to Taiwan and getting all my stuff from Beijing despatched over to me after nearly three years..! Definitely a visit down reminiscence lane and a great deal of DPRK recollections making me all of the extra excited to have the ability to get again and dealing in North Korea as soon as once more.
Let’s hope the brand new 12 months brings some excellent news!
Merry Christmas and Comfortable New 12 months to everybody across the globe and I really hope to have the ability to see you all quickly!
The spotlight of 2022 for me was positively our North Korea From a Close to Distance: DMZ and Seoul Tour. After 2 and a half years of compelled “retirement” from tour main, I used to be as soon as once more in a position to do what I get pleasure from probably the most; main a Koryo Excursions group in Korea. In cooperation with NKNews we took our adventurous vacationers alongside the DMZ from Goseong on the East Coast to Yeonpyeong Island on the West Sea. We visited a complete of seven observatories overlooking the DPRK, we had particular entry to Panmunjom/the Joint Safety Space, and found among the extra touristy websites of Seoul.
I used to be additionally in a position to meet my household and go to Hungary after over 2 years (I spent the pandemic in Beijing and Seoul).
In 2023, I hope that the DPRK will lastly reopen its borders for tourism and that I might be part of restarting Koryo’s North Korea Excursions. If and when that occurs, I’m not solely wanting ahead to main excursions but in addition to reconnecting with our associates and colleagues in Pyongyang.
Might all our followers have a contented 2023 wealthy in travels together with a tour to the DPRK with us.
Keep in contact, and we look ahead to persevering with to convey extra information from North Korea and past into 2023 – hopefully extra optimistic information coming quickly as effectively.
Comfortable New 12 months from everybody at Koryo Excursions to all readers!