Rason is famous for being the first, and largest, of North Koreaâs special economic zones. Let's get to it! In August 2012, North Korea and Chinaâs Jirin provincial government launched a DPRK-China Rajin-Sonbong management committee for full-fledged development of the zone, according to the source. Rason has its own center too where you can see how both flowers are cultivated and where seeds are sold (the cost is 20 RMB, around 2.50 Euros). It is possible to go to one of the ports in Rajin. The Epoch Times has recently obtained internal government documents from a trusted source that revealed more information about Chinaâs financial and agricultural aid â¦ Authorities in cash-strapped North Korea are easing entry requirements for foreigners seeking access to a special economic zone (SEZ) in the countryâs far northeast, with wait times for visas now reduced in the hope of attracting further investment, sources in the region say. A good analogy for the aim of Rason is to compare it with how things work in China and its Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The most popular currency is the US dollar, followed by the Euro Dollar, then the Chinese Renminbi. Wait, you can obtain a North Korean bank card? Just to add to the uniqueness of this area, this area borders both China and Russia and it is possible for you to end your tour in either country! Rason is the first and largest Special Economic Zone in North Korea. can be visited in the DPRK other than this Special Economic Zone of North Korea. Nothing like some fresh North Korean seafood with local North Korean beer to wash it down! A newly renovated orphanage offering children excellent conditions. Visit the trade fair and head further to Chongjin and Mt. They also have seafood here such as sea urchin and crabs. Quite a sight! This is the only bank in the DPRK where non-Koreans can open a bank card and obtain Korean Won. Rason is the main Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of North Korea. Please click on North Nevertheless, the paintings are beautiful and having a look around as well as seeing what messages they convey is a more than worthwhile experience. While Rason strives to become a bustling hub of business in this self-proclaimed ‘Tuman Triangle’, where China, Russia and the DPRK meet along the Tuman River, it is, in reality, a sleepy and picturesque corner of the country, with some of North Korea’s best sandy beaches, photogenic lagoons and green hills, all of which can be visited with relative ease. They serve imported draught beer and have tables outside in the summer. The Rason Special Economic Zone in North Korea's North Hamgyong province is shown in an undated photo from an investment brochure. KTG® Tours | The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture is located in Jilin province, Northeast China, bordering North Korea (DPRK) and Russia. Visiting educational facilities in DPRK gives one a great insight into what values are taught to North Koreans. The 746 km2Rason Special Economic Zone is on the western side of the Tumen Riverin North Korea. The state too now affords Rajin with more importance than it may have had in the past; the bustling Rajin Market and showcase foreign-language school highlight that Pyongyang may not be completely closed to the idea of rolling out wider economic reforms. The market has different departments, each selling products related to each other. We usually have some seafood in the area and can have a stroll around. Of course, little came. Locate in the far northeastern part of the country, this is where the DPRK flirts with economic reform. More than a year after construction began, the road from China to North Korea's special economic zone in Rason is paved. Rason is home to some of North Korea’s finest lagoons, beaches and hills © Carl Meadows. Rason Special Economic Zone is an area carved out of North Hamgyong Province in the far Northeast of the Democratic Peopleâs Republic of Korea, bordering both China and Russia. Because Rason is a âSpecial Economic Zoneâ, youâll find Chinese and Russians businessmen making transactions here. In the background, the Chujin Tourism Hotel. Fancy a North Korean suit? A wide assortment of fresh fish and seafood; from giant crabs to juicy prawns, you can pick and choose and for a low fee have a local chef at the restaurant cook what you purchased for dinner. To get straight to the point: Rason is simply mind-boggling. Right by the sea, it has a waterpark and is very popular amongst locals. Rason, North Koreaâs Special Economic Zone located in the far Northeast of the country, is undergoing change at a pace unseen in its twenty-year existence. Since 1996, Rason has allowed certain trade from foreign investment to help boost the national economy. But this changed dramatically in September 2014 when I travelled to the Northeast and visited the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Rason (formerly referred to as Rajin-Sonbong). All Rights Reserved. Northeastern Chinese businesses far from the sea used to be major clients as it was cheaper for them to buy seafood from DPRK and have it transported to them vs buying more expensive seafood from other areas in China, have it transported frozen to them. The twin cities of Rajin and Sonbong are situated in this area in the extreme far north of the country near the border with Russia. We have visited many orphanages in the DPRK over the years and have noticed a considerable improvement. You can see the fish in different sizes. Chinese goods tend to be more expensive. Probably not something you expect to do when going to North Korea. Last Updated January 2014The Kaesong Industrial Complex, via Wikimedia CommonsThis issue brief covers the history and recent upsurge of interest in special economic zones (SEZ) in the DPRK. It is common to see children having fun and skating in the park. KTG's Ranhyang, a Chinese Korean from Yanbian, trying some food at the Rason Taehung Trading Corporation. Rajin and Sonbong together make up a special economic zone created in the early 1990s to attract foreign investment in the DPRK and usually used as an "economic experimental area" in North Korea. There are several casinos in Rason but this is without any doubt the king of them all. Rason International Communications Building - This region is full of signs that it is a Special Economic Zone. Currently trains from Rason to Khasan are on specific dates. At this point the towns of â¦ That Rason appears much like other parts of North Korea stands in stark contrast to the Special Economic Zone at Kaesong, near the South Korean border. It is between 42 08'-42 38'N and 130 07'-130 42'E.This location is in the easternmost end of the country, bordering Russiaand China. Foreign speculators would be taking major risks by investing here, and the majority of the ‘businessmen’ that can be found here today would be called ‘traders’ by most. The town develops from one year to the next as money, particularly from China, comes in. It is impossible for you to be a VIP guest to all of them!". An interesting, and quite random feature of the park is that there is a Czech Beer Bar. 3 The plan would also mean that Rason would become a transportation hub for the countries in North East Asia, to what Mr. Kim, in utter surprise, replied "You are VIP guests to me and to our travel company, but you see all these people buying and selling? Rajin-Sonbong - follow KTG on our two day adventure in this special economic zone of North Korea called Rason bordering Russia & China. The train is full of people going to the eastern part of the DPRK and the far northeastern part as well as of workers going to Russia. Made up of two cities â Rajin and Sonbong â Rason is the North Koreansâ answer to having a unique economic zone away from Pyongyang, similar to how Shenzhen operates in relation to Beijing. Yanji in China | KTG® Tours | is the capital of Yanbian, a Korean autonomous region in Jilin province, China. Life here may still be hard, but on the face of it few North Koreans will have seen such an improvement in their lives over the last 30 years or so as those of Rajin have done, as it has transformed from being a remote backwater to being admired, somewhat begrudgingly, by the top-of-the-pile Pyongyangites. The areâ¦ You can obtain Korean won when going to the Kwangbok store in Pyongyang, in fact we regularly arrange a visit there, but you need to exchange it back when leaving the store. It is in the Kwanbuk region and location of the Rason Special Economic Zone. You will see many local fishermen's boats there. It is handy to stop by here if you plan to go to the Rason market; an enormous market where you can pretty much buy anything, though foreign currency can be used there too. It is otherwise known as Rason SEZ (Rason Special Economic Zone). âRason,â comprised of the two towns of Rajin and Sonbong, as well as their hinterlands, has been some form of economic zone since 1991. Separated from the rest of the country, a country within a country almost (with a border fence to prove it), Rason opened for investment. The district has been developed since Jang visited China in August 2012. The homes are by the sea which is right behind the home with red doors in the picture above. Mr. Kim, please tell me the truth. Rason, in the far northeast of North Korea, is a Special Economic Zone which borders Russia, China, and the East Sea of Korea (Sea of Japan). For many businesses it also meant that it was much fresher. Surprisingly though, there are some US companies too, though because of the travel ban imposed by the US their personnel cannot go there for the time being. La zone économique spéciale de RasÅn est une zone administrative spéciale de Corée du Nord créée en 1992, située à la zone frontalière chinoise (province de Jilin) et russe ( kraï du Primorié) entre le Tumen et la mer du Japon . After around 20 minutes we arrive at a point with rocks and full of seals. Soldiers greeting locals at a military parade, Description & Pictures of Hotels in Pyongyang, We accept PayPal and credit/debit card payments. Pyongyang to Rason with KTG - exploring the DPRK by train with locals. A curious and attractive corner of a bizarre nation, where North Korea borders both China and Russia and the government is slowly trialling a more open economic system. Rason Special Economic Zone. You can purchase one here for as little as 200 RMB (around 25 Euros) whereas in the capital it will be over 100 Euros! Please check our Youtube video below to have a glimpse: These joint ventures have been closed on our last few visits, but definitely worth a visit if you would like to see how a DPRK factory in a Special Economic Zone operates. These include guide books on how to invest in Rason and the policies of the country regarding foreign investment in the area. While many of these former communist nations went through an economic ‘hard landing’ in the 1990s, the DPRK, as with nearly all things, decided to try and usher in these much-needed changes under draconian controls. Rather than roll out nationwide reforms it was decided that a litmus test was required, something that the old guard in Pyongyang would be able to swallow – and where better to trial a more open system than in the remote northeast. Chilbo from Namyang, Rason Tour | KTG ® Tours | visit the special economic zone in North Korea Rajin and Sonbong at a low cost budget rate. While three or so days is more than enough time for most visitors, the relaxed nature of the zone does allow for the possibility of longer leisurely trips – perhaps to soak up the summer sun or to focus on special interests, such as cycling and fishing. If you visit Pyongyang you may see thousands of people gather at the exhibition centre in the capital on major holidays, such as the birthdays of the leaders. Apart from being the most influential Special Economic Zone of the country and a potential trade hot spot in northeast Asia, Rason is a natural home to seals. Products here are either from China or local Korean ones. This curious corner of an already bizarre nation came into existence in 1991 when Pyongyang, in reaction to the economic reforms that were taking place in China, decided to flirt with trials of a more openfinancial system. The locals told me the Russian Ruble â¦ As global communism essentially collapsed and economic chaos was unleashed from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Strait and beyond, Pyongyang’s main trading partners fell, one by one, by the wayside. Rason Special Economic Zone July 26, 2018 Saving North Korea's Wetlands By Bryan Betts An economic development push could spell doom for some of â¦ You can get a DPRK national football team jersey in Pyongyang at the souvenir shop by the Arch of Triumph but it is not an official one. On paper, Rason offered everything to seemingly keep all parties happy: a distance from Pyongyang; a rail link with Russia; an ice-free port; and a border with China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. We cannot take pictures at Rason Market itself unfortunately. This is a unique part of North Korea and one of the least visited places in one of the least visited countries in the world. Rason has plenty to offer to return visitors and those interested in the DPRKâs unique economy. Please read below to see what there is to see and do there. ICBM missile test on November 29, things are unlikely to get easier for traders involved with the country's Rason Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Â© Copyright 2008-2021 www.north-Korea-travel.com. We can now start our tours to Rason from Pyongyang or from Yanbian in China (more information below) or Pyongyang itself by train. You can see China, Russia and the DPRK meeting in the picture above. A luxurious hotel located right by the seafront near Pipha Islet, it has anything you can ask for; deluxe rooms, fantastic sea views and the best indoor facilities in the region. The 746km 2 Rason Special Economic Zone lies in the extreme northeast of â¦ Where President Kim Il Sung re-entered Korea after the Liberation from Japanese colonial rule. Created after Deng Xiaopingâs economic reforms were implemented in China in 1979, Special Economic Zones are areas where market-driven capitalist policies are implemented to entice foreign businesses to invest in China. It was very common to see North Korean seafood and fish, still alive, coming directly from Rason. Rajin-Sonbong Special Economic Zone - 2 Day Adventure in the far Northeast of North Korea Rajin-Sonbong, aka Rason, is a Special Economic Zone located in the far northeast of the DPRK, bordering Russia and China. By unique we mean that it is the first Special Economic Zone in the DPRK and has a particular location, bordering Northeast China and the remote area of eastern Russia. Also located by Pipha islet, this area breeds, as you may have guessed, Salmon. Compte tenu de sa localisation privilégiée à la frontière entre trois États (la Corée du Nord , la Chine et la Russie ), la région de Rajin-SÅnbong a obtenu le statut de zone économique spéciale pour attirer des investissements étrangers. Before mobile phones were launched nationwide for example they were used here. © 2021 Bradt Guides. The Rason Special Economic Zone is one of the most ambitious attempts by North Korea at limited economic reforms. On the border to Russia and China, it is one of North Korea's least visited areas, and more difficult to access than other areas in North Korea. Ok, so what is there to see and do in Rason? Take from example Yanji in the Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Yanbian in Jilin Province, China. Lee-Jay Cho and Glyn Ford during August 31âSeptember 2, 2014 Following on from the conference, a small group of participants made a field trip to Yanji and Rason, to look at this critical area of Northeast Asia first hand. According to North Korean Economy Watch, the area is surrounded by a 56-kilometre (35 mi) long electrified fence. These are truly impressive. The managers there have told us that the fishing and seafood industry has suffered a lot as a result of UN sanctions which do not allow the country to export these goods. New Delhi 30 â¦ I can count those few moments, when I did not feel like an isolated odd man out, on the fingers of my hands. Entrance of the Flower Exhibition Centre in Rason. We hop on a boat at Pipha Islet and set off to sea, seagulls following us all the way! Before mobile phones were launched nationwide for example they were used here. It therefore made a lot more sense for businesses in this area or those further inland which are still ever further away from Dalian to purchase their goods from Rason. A beautiful part of Rason, this islet is connected to the "mainland" by a narrow stretch of land. A monument for Admiral Ri Sun Sin, the famous general who devised the turtle battle ships, is located here. Locate in the far northeastern part of the country, this is where the DPRK flirts with economic reform. The field visit to the Rason Special Economic Zone, Rajin-Sonbong, was organized by the NEAEF and the Delegation was led by Drs. The counties of Rajin and Sonbong (the name Rason deriving from the ‘Ra’ of Rajin and ‘Son’ of Sonbong) were part of the economic basket case that was North Hamgyong until this special zone came into existence. It is the area of the DPRK where economic experimentation takes place and functions somewhat differently to the rest of the country. The name Rason comes from a combination of the names of Rajin city and Sonbong county. So whereas you can obtain a North Korean football jersey it will be one belonging to no team, basically just used to have some fun. The gallery is basically a store as you can purchase any of the paintings shown, except for any with the images of the leaders. The name usually used for this area is the combination of the cities Rajin and Songbong i.e. Please note that although this is a remote area of the DPRK that many Chinese tourists, especially from landlocked areas in the Dongbei (northeast) region of China go to Rason. Yes, some business has come; the Russians have been trickling money into developing the rail infrastructure and the aforementioned ice-free ports, while China, Mongolia and others have dipped their toes into certain other waters, but most of the business is still small scale and speculative, with many of those who have decided to try their luck in Rason having political or ethnic ties to the DPRK. Staying here will allow you to enjoy a swim in the sea and we strongly recommend you to get up early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise. This eventually saw all tourism banned and all other visitors required to spend 21 days in quarantine. Flights from Vladivostok to Pyongyang are on Fridays and Mondays but these schedules vary so please contact us beforehand if interested in any of these options. We will be able to visit for example a local bank, the Golden Triangle Bank, and a private market where locals sell and buy goods. Korean Language Summer Course in Pyongyang, Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin, China | KTG® Travel guide, Yanji China | KTG® Tours | capital of the Korean Autonomous region, Yanbian, Rajin North Korea Tour | KTG® Tours | trip to Rason, 4 days tour, Rason Tour | KTG® Tours | short budget trip to Rajin and Sonbong in North Korea, Rajin-Sonbong - KTG - a Northeastern adventure in North Koreaâs Special Economic Zone. As you may know, these flowers were named after the Leaders of the DPRK. KTG splashing out on a fancy advertisement in North Korea! It also raised Rason city to the status of special city on January 4, 2010 and agreed with China on the issue of joint development and management of Rason Economic and Trade Zone and Hwanggumphyong-Wihwado Economic Zone in May 2010. The drive from Rason to Yanji takes around 3 hours whereas going to Dalian, the other main option to obtaining fresh seafood takes over 11 hours non-stop. So you have a floor with food, another with clothes, a section with electric goods, instruments, etc. With the gift of hindsight, we now know that the attempt at these reforms in the wake of communism’s global collapse was too little, too late: North Korea went through the hardest landing of all in the 1990s, decimating the country. Rason Special Economic Zone sees production slowdown in wake of sanctions By Kim Song Il - 2018.11.12 12:22pm A photo of the Wonjong-ri International Market located near Wonjong-ri Customs House in Rason City. Article détaillé : Zone économique spéciale de Rason. KTG are experts in trips to North Korea. A curious and attractive corner of a bizarre nation, where North Korea borders both China and Russia and the government is slowly trialling a more open economic system. Situated next to Tumangang railway bridge, it is visited by Chairman Kim Il Sung when going to Russia. Apart from business and investment, the sea, fresh & cheap seafood and perhaps for one or two people the fact that there are several casinos in Rason, attract many Chinese travellers to the area. We offer trips to this peculiar area of the DPRK. Rason Special Economic Zone: A North Korean Development Vehicle North Korea has attempted three times to establish special economic zones, where foreign companies can establish production facilities and enjoy special benefits and concessions, in order to attract foreign investment and kick-start its flagging manufacturing sector. Several international businesses are based here and there is definitely a different feeling to this part of North Korea when compared to other areas of the country. Great chance to interact with the local students and teachers in English! You may stumble into Russian sailors, it is also common to see them in the market. There is information here regarding the Leader's visits to the neighbouring country. The water here is unpolluted and crystal clear. The islet is probably best known for being right next to the Imperial Hotel & Casino. Football kits, electric fans, fresh seafood, bicycles, motorbikes, kayagums (traditional Korean instrument), fruit... you name it, this market has it! Accordingly, Rajin is the logical base for exploring the region, as any corner of Rason can be visited from here on a day trip. A unique region where Chinese, Korean and Russian cultures meet. You can see the Imperial Hotel & Casino to the right of the islet. Korea Places of Interest page for more information on areas that For over twenty years, North Korea has periodically attempted to bolster its economy through the creation of SEZs, starting with the establishment of the Rason Special Economic Zone in the far â¦ He looked at Mr. Kim straight in the eye and said "Mr. Kim, I hear a lot on the news that people are very poor in Korea and that they cannot buy anything. One of the travellers could not believe that there were thousands of people buying goods nor the sheer amount of different goods that were being sold. More of a town than the city it strives to be, central Rajin is quite walkable, although you will likely be obliged to drive from point to point. Is this is all fake and just a show for us?" Rason was original founded as the Rajin-Sonbong Economic Special Zone in the mid 80âs although the âLaw of the Democratic Peopleâs Republic of Korea on the Rason Economic and Trade Zoneâ was not formally put into place until 1993. There are several ways to access this corner of North Korea: On the Russian side it is possible to exit the DPRK via Khasan and then from there you can move to Vladivostok and fly to Pyongyang. Most of the JV in Rason involve Chinese or Russian companies. Yes, the minimum deposit is 25 RMB (around 3 Euros). Handy tip: like in the rest of the DPRK they do not accept any torn foreign bank notes and they do not accept old USD bills. We meet here before going to Rason North Korea and eat at the DPRK Ryugyong hotel, not the one in Pyongyang, Rajin North Korea and Sonbong tours | KTG® Tours | Travel to Rason, special economic zone located in Northeast DPRK. North Korea designated Rason as a special economic zone in 1991 with the aim of developing it into a regional transportation hub. Most books are in Chinese but they do have them in English too. In late October, 2014, the DPRK phased in a quarantine to prevent the spread of Ebola. But now you bring us here to this busy market. Photo courtesy of Yonhap News UPDATED at â¦ You will be able to see the kindergarten facilities and at the end the children usually put on a show for visitors. It's a pity that we are not allowed to take pictures here because the place is thriving, fascinating and packed with all kinds of goods and people. We actually took this from Fangchuan, near Hunchun city on the Chinese side. Theoretically at least this means it is not under the same constraints as the rest of the DPRK and is more open to capitalist, market-socialist, or joint-venture enterprises. While Rason may be rooted to its two namesake counties, both of which having a town of the same name, Sonbong is a lethargic underling compared with Rajin, which is the only town of real note. So the name itself may not sound too exciting, but this is a fish food processing factory which not only gives you the chance to see how this coastal factory operates, but you will be able to sample the local seafood and fish processed here which will be cooked for you on the spot! Rason is a North Korean city and ice-free port in the Sea of Japan in the North Pacific Ocean on the northeast tip of North Korea. The process is much quicker than in other countries. Rason, like Hong Kong, has, on paper, some form of semi-autonomy with different laws, rules, regulations, customs and visa requirements from the rest of the country which all, purportedly, make it more open for business with the outside world than the rest of the country. You will also be able to enjoy a bird's eye view of where DPRK, China and Russia meet. Discover this remote corner of the DPRK and Yanbian. You will be asked to enter a 4 digit pin and voilÃ the card is yours. 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