North Korea, known as the Hermit Kingdom, is a tough country to get into. So naturally, my curiosity was piqued when I read people describing what North Korea was like firsthand. Marco Frissen writes:
The people are friendly, but in Pyongyang I always had the feeling they were instructed. We were able to talk with quite a few people, and they upheld quite an interesting opinion on 9/11 which was just two months earlier.. it’s fair to say they are almost brainwashed by all the censored news they get to see.
Marc van der Chijs adds:
Pyongyang itself was a bit different, people seemed to be a bit more affluent, but even there we saw people trying to scrape bark off trees (for food?) and wearing old dirty clothes. Of course you were not allowed to travel freely, there was always a guide with us, likely to avoid us seeing things we should not see. Our hotel was on an island in the river and the only place you walk freely was on the island itself (there was nothing else there anyway). I quickly feel at home in most places in the world, but in Pyongyang it was different. I felt like an alien visitor to a large prison. You were constantly observed, probably even in your hotel room: one day I noticed that the door of the hotel room opposite us was slightly open and when I looked in there were several TV monitors with black and white feeds on it. I couldn’t see what it was, but it’s unlikely that the security would watch the outdoor or lobby feeds on the 20th floor of the hotel. Scary.
You can read all the answers on this Quora thread: http://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-visit-North-Korea