Tuesday, April 20, 2010

destination: north korea, ghm hotel, the ananti, kumgang

a luxury resort chain has the following list of "pioneering destinations":


miami, USA
langkawi, malaysia
bali, indonesia
phuket, thailand
kamgong, north korea ??!

if you know your world affairs, you would easily pick out north korea as the odd man out. its not uncommon hearing someone going on a trip to bali, phuket or miami, but going to north korea is rather weird.

unlike iraq, you wuldnt worry about being killed by a suicide bomber in pyongyang. what makes the place unlikely to visit are its self imposed isolation, unpredictable behavior and absurd rules for visitors. who wuld like to go to a place known for its human rights violations? where cellphones are illegal? wer internet is inaccesible to its citizen? wer media is totaly controlled by the government for its propaganda? wer foreign journalis were detained for suspected spying? wer a south korean tourist was shot dead by a soldier for breaching a military zone? wer their head of state is reverred like an immortal? etc... just like their dear leader kim jong il, this totalitarian country is full of quirky and bizare facts.

theres not much freedom for a tourist in north korea, a lot of places are restricted. you are only allowed to visit certain areas with your guide. you cant even take pictures anytime and anywer you want.

so why would GHM, a high end resort developer put up a property in north korea? who are their clients? as far as i know, its really difficult for foerigners to gain entry to this country.

i did my homework. i found the answer. the luxury hotel by GHM called The Ananti is located in Mt. Kumgang, just a few minutes away from the tensions of the DMZ. the area is a special tourism zone wer south koreans are allowed entry. that probably explains why the Ananti's web page showcases a sprawling golf course - south koreans are golf savvy people right?!

so even if Ananti sits on a special zone with special rules, fact is, it is still in north korean soil! yes! the addres is freakin north korea! that place george bush once called as "the axis of evil". as they say, the location makes the difference. i wanna go there if given the chance. intriguing!

btw, GHM also runs a hotel in the junta ruled country of myanmar. another intriguing destination. thats another story.


  1. north korea should be banished from the map. mean, i know, but there's evil lurking out there. i don't want to be deceived by the isolation. something that may turn out dangerous could be brewing over there.

    one of the blogs i had to comment on for seo work was an interesting read: http://abytesgen01.securesites.net/ryan_murdock/2009/11/inside-the-north-korean-school.html

  2. hi a+f! murag abercrombie and fitch!

    i love reading travel accounts to nokor like the link above. thanks! all foreign trips to nokor tell us the same thing, going there is a carefully orchestrated event that creates a false impression of progress.

    nokor is indeed brainwashing on a massive scale! naloka ko sa mga drawings!!! creepy! shocking! sad! very disturbing how they allow expressions of brutality in primary schools! but honesly, i wanna go there given the chance. i wuldnt go there for political reasons heheh bacn di nata maka uli, i jus want to feed my curiosity. the more isolated the place, mas curious ko.