No, I didn’t visit North Korea – but I went pretty close to it recently. After our recent trip to Sokcho Beach, we headed north along the Gangwon-do coast. The rural highway bent and curved somewhat, which kept the ride bumpier than expected. Don’t eat a full meal before getting on the bus unless you like feeling queasy. Even after getting off the bus, it’s a two-kilometer walk to the first villa, and some more walking to the second. The reward, however, is a beautiful rural countryside, replete with a calm lake, an interesting beach, a modern marine museum, and quite a bit of history.