Part 1: Building An Asian Experience Around A(nother) Mistake Fare
Part 2: First Stop – Japan
Part 3: Off To The Chaos of China and North Korea
Part 4: Air Koryo Flight 252, PEK – FNJ
Part 5: DPRK The Arrival
Part 6: Statues And Souvenirs
Part 7: Homeward Bound
Part 8: Xi’an and Terra Cotta Warriors
Part 9: Myanmar, Land Of A Thousand Pagodas
On our final day in Pyongyang, we boarded buses that would take us back to the airport for our flight back to Beijing. Customs was again painless and though some in our group had phones briefly confiscated and searched, for the most part everyone made it through without incident. I would later learn that others (Americans) on different tours had a very different experiences (bags being searched, laptops and cameras confiscated and reviewed, hostile immigration officers, etc.) It may well have been because some of those tours had journalists in them, though I think we just got lucky.
Once we boarded, newspapers were again distributed and after a short safety video, we were shown a documentary about the Kim Il -sung Orchid, a flower specially created in The Great One’s honor. This went on for the entire 1.5 hour flight, with no option not to listen (no headsets.) I too wouldn’t have thought it possible to create a 1.5+ hour video about a single flower (it was still running as we deplaned,) but I am now a believer.
I was feeling a little bolder on the return and managed to sneak a few photos of the interior. Despite there being empty rows on the plane, I found myself yet again in a middle seat.
We landed safely, and we all let out a sigh of relief.
Upon exiting immigration, there were several reporters asking for on air commentary from anyone (especially Americans) returning from Pyongyang. I politely declined, and though still in a bit of a daze from everything I had just experienced, made my way over to the domestic terminal to catch my Air China flight to Xi’an.