North Korea vacation: can I take pictures?

With the latest deal from Koryo Tours on travel to Pyongyang for the amazing Arirang event, one commenter had a great question: “I’d love to go and take lots of pictures, but I wonder if they would allow that??”

Well, Kelso, you would definitely be allowed to take pictures.

Though there are “many restrictions on photography that have to be obeyed in the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea],” according to Koryo Tours, but you can take pictures of most of what you see. In fact, most guests take more pictures than they expect. If you’re planning to head out to North Korea, do bring extra memory cards for your camera, as you won’t be able to dash off to an electronics store while you’re there.

Of course, this is North Korea, so there are more rules.

You cannot sneak photos of unauthorized subjects, and keep in mind that the people over there are required to report such illicit photography. Get caught, and you will create an uncomfortable situation for you, your guide and anyone else around you. Also, you can’t take pictures while being driven around, and you can’t have a lens of more than 150 mm.

Video cameras are generally not permitted.

Finally, sources who have been there tell me that you can’t take pictures that cut off a statue, poster or other important attraction. Specifically, you need to get the whole statue, for example, in the shot.

Again, be prepared to follow the rules. It makes life a lot easier.

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