We’ve all heard how North Korea is a backward, stunted country, where the people are deprived of conveniences that we would find essential anywhere else, but it’s hard to comprehend such a place when all we have are anecdotes from former residents.
That’s why Jacob Laukaitis at 22-years-old decided to visit the country a year ago. As a travel blogger, he makes his living wandering around the globe and writing about his travels. With over 50 countries under the Lithuania native’s belt, he admits that “North Korea was definitely the weirdest country I had ever visited”.
After his visit to the North, he vowed to also visit the South in order to have a point of comparison for two countries that up until a mere 60 years ago were one in the same. The differences, as you will see here, are stark, to say the least.
The differences between North and South Korea can best be seen by looking at their traffic. Here we see the South has a bustling modern city street while the North has an eerily empty road.
The countryside between the two countries seems just as different as the roads. The South is verdant and green, with well-irrigated fields and lone cattle easily grazing. The North, in contrast, seems barren, dusty, and fallow.
Parking can be seen in varying perspectives. South Korea has jam packed parking lots filled with sedans and buses, but on the other hand, North Korean parking lots are completely empty. This is one case where the North may actually have it over the South.
There's no greater difference between these countries than their public transit. The South has modern electrically powered trains along with flat screens that show what time the trains depart. Meanwhile, the North is still using gas-powered trains that look like they're still from the Soviet Union era.
The differences in education are less about technology and more about tone. The South is open, inviting, relaxed, while the North is stifling, with student's heads bowed in somber studies.
Similar to their education systems, the way each country's youth act in public makes a strong message. South Korean ladies pose for selfies in colorful attire, while North Korean youths are segregated and wear dull gray uniforms.
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Again, while at work or at play, the South seems far more relaxed and leisurely, while the North is regimented and dull.
For more from Jacob, check out his Instagram, @jacoblaukaitis.