Thursday, April 22, 2010

A tour in North Korea (Part II)

Shopping in North

The North Korea’s wealth gap between cities and rural areas is very large. The Capital Pyongyang is the best one for living. People there also have the highest average income. The incomes of the tour guides mingling with foreigners daily are the most enviable to the other North Koreans.

My tour guide told me her salary per month was more than 500 won, which equals RMB 30. What I feel doubtful is another tour guide told me his income was RMB 600 per month. If a person can earn RMB 600 per month in North Korea, I think it is very good, because many people living in remote areas of China earn much less than RMB600 per month! Is it really possible that there are 20 times of salary-difference between the two tour guides who do the same job daily? Did I hear wrong or someone lie to me? Hope my readers can also figure it out a bit for me.

As why North Korea do not allow foreigners to go into local shops, except that it does not want the tourists know how cheap the prices are for local people, the other reason I was told is the shops for local people lack of commodities. The glass cabinets there are always empty. The light-industrial goods they only have in local shops are mostly made in China. This would let North Korea lose face if foreigners had seen it.

The commodities in the shops for foreigners are not various either. They are mainly cigarettes and alcohols, art crafts, and small packages of ginseng skin-cream. Many Chinese tourists crazily snapped these small packages of ginseng skin-cream up as if they were free of charge. The shop women were deeply surprised by looking at this.