“I’m very sorry” he says, with a deep bow, as the door swings open. “This is all is left.” I look down at my bed for the night – five-feet long, two-feet wide and three-feet deep – and smile. “It’s perfect” I reply, as I unfold my blanket on the tiled floor. “Just knock if you need the toilet.” Continue reading
I nod. My guide licks her lips anxiously. “Not-the-head,” she reiterates, pointing a perfectly-manicured finger at her temple. “Very disrespectful.” I nod the same nod, and she replies with an uncertain smile. “Then let’s go meet him.”
It’s my third day in North Korea and we’re outside Kumsusan Memorial Palace: the once-residence and now mausoleum of ‘eternal president’ Kim Il-sung. A colossal white-brick cathedral to the revolutionary leader, its reputation as the country’s most important pilgrimage site is cemented by the long queue of personally-invited, immaculately-turned-out Koreans eagerly awaiting a glimpse of their Great Leader. Continue reading
Since the beginning of 2011 I have written dozens of guides, itineraries and reviews on everywhere from Cardiff to Cancun – with particular focus on my joint residences of the UK and the Czech Republic – and they are now available for everyone to see!