Lunch with Mr Noon and his family
Of course the main reason to visit Siem Reap is to see the temples of Angkor. But it’s possible to get ‘templed out’ so it’s good that there are alternative activities and places to explore between temple visits.
Celebrating childhood at the shrines of Japan
Nikko’s Futarasan shrine is only five minutes’ or so walk from its more famous neighbour, Toshogu, but it seemed to us that we were in a different world. The crowds had dissipated, leaving just a handful of tourists and some local families. We strolled around in a much more leisurely way than had been possible at Toshogu, taking photos and soaking up the tranquil atmosphere and the rich colours of the leaves just starting to take on their autumn hues.
Spending time with the children of Chongjin
Visit most countries and you will be shown their grand monuments, historic sites, beautiful landscapes. Visit North Korea and you will see those sights too. But they are also keen that you meet some of their people and see how they live. Carefully selected people, that is. In the city of Chongjin, where major sights are relatively few, we had the chance to visit two very different schools.
Why go to North Korea?
When I told people that we were going to North Korea, or the DPRK as they prefer us to call it, I got one of three reactions. From our traveller friends, ‘wow, that will be interesting’. From others, either ‘why on earth would anyone want to go there?’ or ‘gosh, you’re brave – hope you come home again!’