North of the border
Neil Gadling gives a virtual tour of North Korea. It starts in just that way that would be familiar to those who gone to places, here unnamed, with a similar reputation. "I had flown in on a Russian Tupolev jet from Shenyang, China on a very low trajectory that never took us above the cloud layer. The countryside below was gray, misty, and depressing--just as I had always imagined it would be--and occasionally intersected by random dirt roads with hardly any vehicles on them."
And later ...
There is no such thing as the internet in North Korea or cell phones. Anyone entering the country had to leave their cell phones with customs officials who kept them locked up and inaccessible for the entirety of our stay. And I certainly didn't get a copy of USA Today under my hotel room door.
Surprisingly, being cut off from the outside world was actually somewhat enjoyable for the five days I spent in North Korea. I quite liked the freedom of not being tied to my cell phone and email and relished in the ignorant bliss of not being exposed to troubling international news. This isolationist cocoon where the state controls everything you hear and see, however, would not have been fun for too long. Living an entire life under such conditions would be hell.
Read the whole thing.