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The borderlands of North Korea and Street Food

Street Food Dandong

The borderlands of North Korea, or rather the borderlands between North Korea and China is probably one of my favorite places to travel and travel it I have done many a time!

I’m going to do a series on each place and of course of their street food, but this article will be a large catch-all one just saying why I like the trip so much and of course the great street food!

North Korea Borderlands
Literally in North Korea

The borderlands of North Korea part 1 Yanji and Tumen

A borderlands trip can be started in in the far North-East, or in Dandong, I prefer the former, but in some respects starting either way has its merits. Yanji is famously the Korean town of China and is officially at least the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, with Yanji as the capital.

Yanji is like North Korea and South Korea had a baby that was brought in China. K-Pop and dog meat! A great place to travel.

You can read about eating dog-meat here.

Is eating dog meat ethical? I have literally had death threats about this, but regardless of the ethics, Koreans love it and it tastes good.

Borderlands of North Korea
Weird Titanic Hotel

Tumen does not have much going on except for missionaries – the Christians rather than the boring sex position you understand, but there is a cool border where you can buy things that cannot e gotten anywhere else.

Mt Peaektu and Changbai Town and Village

Changbaishan, or as we prefer to say Mt Paektu is a site to behold whether you visit from the North Korean, or Chinese side. In the winter though it can bollocks are cold, -30 with windchill is not all that fun.

Swimming in the Yalu - Street Food Guy
Street Food Guy in the North Korean Borderlands

To read about Mt Paekdu click here. The street food seen for most of the area is dominated by Chinese BBQ and Korean fare. Steer clear of the tourists traps! There is also a weird Titanic hotel here, which I might cover in my hotel blog.

Borderlands of North Korea – Linjiang like Vegas, but really not….

Linjiang is one of my favorite towns on earth. Driving in it looks like Vegas, on arrival it is not like Vegas at all, well apart from the hookers. Greats street food market here and the first time I tried Balut in China.

You can read about Balut here.

A highlight of the borderlands of North Korea? Most definitely. You can also see where Pu Yi used too live when he was head of Manchukou!

To read about Manchukou click here.

Ji’an Street Food

Jinan is a full on city, but with North Korean characteristics! There is a whole seafront, or rather riverfront with BBQ and North Korean restaurants. It is also the place you go for day trips to Manpo, currently not available to foreigners.

To read about Manpo tours click here.

Huanren?

Not actually a bordering town, but it is on the way to Dandong, which is what led us here. Supposedly a Manchu town, but good luck finding any. Worth  stop if not just for the weird hotel.

You can read about street food in Huanren here.

The borderlands of North Korea, it is all about Dandong

Whether you start or finish here Dandong is THE borderlands place. We start and finish our Ultra-Budget tours here, have great friends here and dare I say many memories with people that are dearly departed.

The Borderlands of North Korea
The Borderlands of North Korea = Gareth Johnson and Troy Collings

To read about street food in Dandong click here

To read about YPT Ultra-Budget Tours click here

Dandong is epic in the summer and many a day has been spent swimming in Yalu, while my night has been spent drinking beer with great BBQ before finishing at the YPT pad.

And that is the borderlands of North Korea and its street food in a nutshell, one day I will see you all again…

Written by Gareth

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.

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