Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vacation to North Korea?

Jealous of the New York Philharmonic’s recent trip to North Korea? Well, don’t be. For about $8400, Abercrombie & Kent’s Marco Polo Club will send you to Beijing and Pyongyang for about a week in early September.

According to their promotional materials,

To most Westerners North Korea is a closed society, a "Hermit Kingdom" rarely visited and poorly understood. As a valued Marco Polo Club member you have the unique opportunity to visit this little-known country, meet its people and witness the Arirang Mass Games, a spectacle of athleticism and national pride unlike anything else in the world. Glimpse North Korea's daily life as you journey through Pyongyang to view the monuments and tributes to former leader Kim Il Sung. Travel to the Demilitarized Zone, the most heavily armed border in the world, and visit the site where the 1953 armistice was signed. Learn about the Korean War from a North Korean perspective when you explore the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. Begin and end your journey in exciting Beijing, a city bristling with preparations for the 2008 Olympics. Abercrombie & Kent Tour Director Bill Hurst accompanies you, along with Nick Bonner, an expert on North Korea and Beijing resident. Nick has produced three award-winning films about North Korea, and his other talents include experience as a painter, cartoonist and landscape artist. The combined expertise of Bonner and Hurst provides invaluable insight to this closed society.

As it turns out, the footage for the popular music video by Faithless is actually drawn from Bonner’s documentary, A State of Mind, which tells the “story of two North Korean schoolgirls and their families in the lead up to the Mass Games – the biggest and most elaborate human performance on earth.”

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