Countryside

Dongbong Co-Operative Farm

A few days ago I shared some pictures of The Cutest North Korean Soldier  taken during our visit to the Dongbong Co-Operative Farm outside Hamhung, North Korea.  Below are more photos from that visit showing how farmers and their families live and work under the Juche-communist style of cooperative farming:

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm Sign

Info on the North Korean co-operative farm system is hard to find online, web searches on the subject bring up this blog as a top hit, but I do remember learning from books I read for my pre-trip background studies that those who live and work on co-operative farms have a fantastic standard of living (by North Korean standards), with the farms being profitable enough that the workers and families living within the cooperative system typically have more material goods and higher savings compared to average workers from Pyongyang.


Traditional Fishing Boat Wonsan, North Korea and Vacation!

The view of the Pacific Ocean from my stateroom porthole this morning reminded me of the calm seas off the city of Wonsan where this traditional North Korean fishing boat works.

Wonsan Boat North Korea

Photo by Joseph A Ferris III

After 4 months of duty as a Chief Mate on a scientific research ship voyaging on expeditions from Chile, Galapagos, and out of Southern California, I made my final arrival this morning and have officially started 3 months of vacation!  I fly back to Maine to visit my family for two weeks, and then start the real adventure: two and a half months traveling around the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Malta, Iran, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, Turkey, and Lebanon.

North Korea isn’t in the itinerary this time around, maybe in 2013, but I’m excited to make a visit to Iran.  A little less strict than the DPRK, Americans are still required to have a guide there.  I’m going with the owner of Young Pioneers, a tour company that specializes in trips to the DPRK and other hard to reach places.  This is their 2nd trip into Iran, and after hearing stories about their first trip over beers at the Pyongyang micro brewery, I decided this trip was a must if my schedule could work it.

Expect a page here in the future with pics and a travel log from this Fall 2012 adventure!


Working for a Strong and Prosperous North Korea

More rare photos from the North Korean countryside:  road construction, transportation, industry, and farming in Hamhung/Wonsan region.

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Hamhung Countryside

Hamhung Countryside

Tram Repairs North Korea

North Korean Rail Service

Hamhung Countryside

Industry Hamhung, North Korea

Working for the Bumper Harvest

Working for the Bumper Harvest

Working for the Bumper Harvest

Please note that tourists are not generally permitted to take photos such as these due to the government’s fear that they could be used to portray the country in a negative manner. Our guides gracilcly permitted me to take photos of the “beautiful countryside”, which I post here with total respect and in appreciation for the DPRK rural way of life.

All photos by Joseph A Ferris III


Working for a Bountiful Harvest in the North Korean Countryside

Rare photos of farmers in the North Korean countryside (between Hamhung and Wonsan) preparing fields and working for the upcoming planting season.

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Wonsan - Hamhung Countryside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Pyongyang - Wonsan Countyside North Korea

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Please note that tourists are not generally permitted to take photos such as these due to the government’s fear that they could be used to portray the country in a negative manner. Our guides gracilcly permitted me to take photos of the “beautiful countryside”, which I post here with total respect and in appreciation for the DPRK rural way of life.

All photos by Joseph A Ferris III


North Korean Panda Bears Dance on Kim Il Sung’s Birthday

Young girls dressed in panda bear costumes relax between performances for foreigners at a folk fair held on the Day of the Sun, the April 15th, 2012 celebrations to honor the 100th year birthday of ‘Eternal President‘ Kim Il Sung.

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

On this day there were many military parades and Kim Jong-un appearances throughout Pyongyang.  Unfortunately visiting foreign friends were not invited to these events, and to keep us out of the way, western tourists, dignitaries, and cultural delegations were bused to the city outskirts and conveniently sequestered at a park in the Mangyongdae district.  To keep everyone entertained, folk games and competitions (tug of war, three legged race, ect) had been arranged for the visiting cultural delegations.  Having traveled so far, and with expectations of seeing military parades, many of the tourists did not appreciate the situation – watching Eastern European and Russian delegations bob for apples was a big disappointment for most, but I really enjoyed the experience – not the international folk competitions, but all the interactions I had with the North Korean children who were at the event and enjoying themselves in such a relaxed atmosphere.  On arrival, little girls in traditional chosŏn-ot dresses grabbed us by the hand and led us into the park (they were fascinated with our bellies – notice the pokes!).  Hanging out, dancing, playing, and taking photographs with the North Korean children who were participating in the cultural dance performances made this event a cherished experience from the trip.

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

Pyongyang 100th Year Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebrations

Photos by Joseph A Ferris III


A Load of Firewood in the North Korean Countryside

Wonson - Pyongyang Countryside

A rare photo from the North Korean countryside – on the road between Wonsan and Pyongyang, a troop of soldiers return to base with a truck load of firewood.   I love some of the small details I captured here: the girl in the back holding a branch with flower blossoms, a smile on the man in front, and girls curiously checking out the tourist bus as it passes.