While North Korea itself may seem to many like untrodden territory, I’m fortunate to have had the chance to cross its borders several times. I’ve been to all the major tourism hotspots (if you can call them that?), and even some that were off-the-beaten-path. So on this – my most recent trip to the DPRK – I decided to embark on a road trip unseen by most outside of the country, from Pyongyang to Hamhung and Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast.

I set off in the late afternoon from Pyongyang on the 107-mile-long “Pyongyang-Wonsan Tourist Motorway” – an odd name for a road that leads in the direction of mostly untouristed spots, but hey, this is North Korea. The road was built in 1978, and looked at first to be a nice wide, open road. But in this part of the world, looks can be deceiving, and I was soon to discover that it was built in a most unusual way, using large concrete paving slabs. The result was a rather bumpy, uncomfortable drive.


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