Posts tagged “photo

Fall 2013 Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Latest round of Pyongyang traffic girl pics from my October trip:

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Gift Photos To The Girls Of The Rason Foreign Language Institute

I spent some time last spring practicing conversational English with the girls of the Rason Foreign Language Institute. On my return I gifted them photos from the first visit:

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The girls checking out the photos.

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The girls checking out the photos.

Rason Foreign Language School North Korea

Gift photo from my first visit.

Rason Foreign Language School North Korea

Gift photo from my first visit.

The children we interact with at the Rason Foreign Language Institute are aged 13-15, and are chosen to converse with us because they rank the top of their class. Shy at first, the girls quickly warm up by asking questions about family life in the United States, asking about our favorite colors, sports, hobbies, and animals. I keep it simple and ask them similar questions, learning that they enjoy swimming, reading, piano, and watching cartoons. Most of the girls want to be teachers when the grow up; they all hope to someday live in Pyongyang.


Back From Rason Special Economic Zone, North Korea

I just returned from the Rason SEZ of North Korea on a private business trip, and although it was mainly meetings with officials, I still had time to visit some sites and get some great pics!

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Girl swinging at the Rason sea park – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Pyongyang Zoo

Located at the base of the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery, next to the Botanical Gardens, and serviced by the Rakwon Metro stop, the Pyongyang Zoo makes for a lovely visit. The Zoo is open daily, but weekends are an especially good time to visit as the zoo will be busy with locals on their day off, providing tourists with lots of relaxed opportunities to interact.

The zoo is nice by Asian standards. It is well stocked with most animals you would expect, and some surprises, such as sections for domestic cats and domestic dogs. Commonly found on most pens are signs describing how the animal on display was donated by Kim Jong Il. Opportunities to trot around the grounds on ponies and camels are available for those daring enough. The Pyongyang Zoo is not included on most itineraries, but a visit can be easily arranged provided available time in your itinerary.

Pyongyang Zoo Dog Pen

A lonly St. Bernard.

Pyongyang Zoo Dog Pen

Dalmatians donated by Kim Jong Il.

Pyongyang Zoo Dog Pen

Dalmatians donated by Kim Jong Il.

Pyongyang Zoo

Young Pioneers at bird cages.

Pyongyang Zoo

Pony cart rides.

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Pyongyang Zoo duck pond.

Pyongyang Vendor

Ice cream vendor.

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Pony rides.

North Korean Propaganda

Zoo construction site propaganda art.

Photos by Joseph A Ferris III


North Korean Graffiti

Graffiti that I found under a bridge at Inner Mt. Chilbo, North Korea.

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Pyongyang Viennese Coffee Shop

Getting your caffeine fix in North Korea can be quite a challenge. A tasteless cup of instant coffee is usually provided with hotel breakfasts, and a cup of instant can be mixed up for a Euro at the various rest stops and lunch/dinner restaurants. But coffee lovers don’t despair; a proper latte or cappuccino can be had at the Viennese Coffee Shop located off Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung square. The coffee shop is open for tourists and doesn’t require a prearranged permit, just ask your guides if there is time to stop by.

Pyongyang Viennese Coffee Shop

While located in Pyongyang, a latte at the Viennese Coffee Shop will cost as much as one goes for in the Austrian capital!

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Not only does this lovely North Korea barista whip up a great cappuccino, she is also a champion foosball (table football) player. Ask her to play a couple games; an hour of foosball at the table in the back room goes for a Euro.


Late September Rason SEZ Trip

Join Young Pioneer Tours founder Gareth Johnson and I for a late September VIP business interests trip to the Rason Special Economic Zone of North Korea.

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Jets, missiles, and tanks at a Rason SEZ kindergarten playground.

We are still finalizing itinerary details and dates, but in addition to planned meetings with officials (perfect for those interested in the opening up of the DPRK economy), we will visit the Triangle Bank, the only place in North Korea where it is permitted for tourists to change the Korean Won at the “street” rate, and visit the Rason public market, the only place where you can legally spend your newly acquired Won – truly unique experiences!

We are only taking a limited amount of travelers on this trip, but spaces are available.  I will post the dates (probably heading there around Sept 23rd), price, and itinerary as soon as I get them confirmed by the North Koreans.  Email me at joseph@youngpioneertours.com for more info.

Pics from my May 2013 trip to Rason SEZ:

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With kindergarten students after a performance.

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A hike to revolutionary sites on Musk Dear Mountain.

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A close look at North Korean ships at the Rason port.

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Seafood I bought with local currency at the Rason public market.

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With North Korean guide Mr. Moon at the monument to Ri Song Sin – builder of the Turtle Boat.


Military Fashion

If Looks Could Kill

Female soldier wearing high heels – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Super Cute Kindergarten Performance

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Chongjin City kindergarten performance – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Pyongyang Military Circus Trapeze

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A trapeze artist prepares for the Pyongyang Military Circus finale – the inspiration for the film Comrade Kim Goes Flying?

Comrade Kim Yong Mi is a North Korean coal miner. Her dream of becoming a trapeze artist is crushed by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air.

My friends at the Koryo Group continue showing the film around the world at select film festivals.  Don’t miss it at the Sydney Film Festival, June 5th – 16th, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, June 19th – 30th.

With all the action just a blur I put my camera down to concentrate on enjoying the show; readers will just have to be content with more pics of the finale setup:

Pyongyang Military Circus, North Korea

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Pyongyang Traffic Girl

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Pyongyang traffic girl at the  intersection near the foreign language bookshop – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Kindergarten Missile

Kindergarten Missile Chongjin, North Korea

Painting of the North Korea’s recent successful missile launch at a Chongjin Kindergarten.

Propaganda? Or a celerbrarion of a milestone in North Korea’s technological advancement?

photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I really like the traffic girls of Pyongyang.

When we asked our North Korean guides if the traffic girls are aware of their world wide fame we were told they do but don’t really like the notoriety.  Some of the girls fear the fame will go to their heads and distract them from their job of keeping the streets of Pyongyang safe.

Photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Water Skiing in Pyongyang

Water Skiing in Pyongyang, North Korea

As the western media whips up fear of a North Korean nuclear armageddon, people in Pyongyang are water skiing the Taedong River – photo by Joseph A Ferris III


Rare Images Show A Side Of North Korea That Outsiders Rarely See

North Korean Guide "Crazy" Kim

A nice write up about me in Business Insider:

Joseph Ferris doesn’t want to settle down.

Ferris earned himself a US Coast Guard 3rd Mate Unlimited license from Maine Maritime Academy, and took a job on a global class research ship.

There was just one problem: the job was seven months on with five months vacation.

“While on the ship, room and board goes with the job; I found keeping an apartment and all the trappings of a settled life is a waste of money,” Ferris told Business Insider.

So he took another job, as a tour guide … in North Korea.

Read more and check out a slideshow of my photos at Business Insider.

I leave for my first spring trip out of a possible 5 visits to North Korea on March 30th; I will be live blogging there on the new Koryolink 3G network.  Remember to not only follow me here on WordPress, but also live from North Korea on Twitter @JosephFerrisIII, Facebook, and Instagram (coming soon).