Travel with Richard Bangs and Mountain Travel Sobek to North Korea
It doesn’t surprise me that Richard Bangs is leading the first adventure tour of North Korea, September 21-29, 2012. After all, it was Bangs who led the first tour to the People’s Republic of China back in 1977. He was also the man behind the first American tour to Libya in 2004. Best known as co-founder of Sobek Expeditions, Bangs almost single handedly put the sport of white water rafting on the map. Sobek was the first outfitter to descend Chile’s Bio Bio River and Zimbabwe’s Zambezi River, now considered classics. In 1991, Sobek merged with Mountain Travel to form one of the premier adventure travel companies in the world.
Bangs will co-lead the upcoming trip with his long-time friend, C. J. Wheeler, one of the very few people who have traveled in North Korea before. With a special permit, MTS has been awarded exclusive space for 24 travelers to participate in this intriguing jaunt. Once in Pyongyang, you’ll travel by private charter to Mount Baekdu, a stunning volcano near the Chinese border that few westerners have seen. Then it’s on to Mount Chilbo, one of North Korea’s most remote and scenic areas, and Kaesim Buddhist Temple, built in 826. For a finale, you’ll witness the Arirang Mass Games at May Day Stadium. The London Guardian calls the Mass Games “the greatest, strangest, most awe-inspiring political spectacle on earth.” 100,000 performers in every color of the rainbow move in perfectly choreographed unison.
While we’re on the subject of Richard Bangs, you should check out his five-part series on western Ireland, complete with video, at Huffington Post.