top of page
  • Writer's pictureKirk

Traveling to Communist Countries

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

There are only 5 remaining communist countries in the world. And no, Russia is not one of them, by name anyway, they're actually supposed to be a democracy since 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union.


The 5 remaining communist countries are:

China

Cuba

Laos

North Korea

Vietnam


Mao Zedong in Tianamen Square Communist China


I have visited 3 of these 5 countries. The two I have not visited are Cuba and North Korea. I hope to visit Cuba since it's so close to me, but doubt I'll ever make it to North Korea.


China, Vietnam, and Laos I have visited. I really have no issues visiting a country based on their political systems. There are many who see moral issues going to places where the people are oppressed (I'm not referring to communism here but any country that oppresses its people). But I personally would never boycott a country because of their government.


We change through interaction as I've stated in prior posts. Nothing changes if you leave it alone. If oppressed people see a better life through other people, perhaps they can change from within. But an isolated country like North Korea can never change.


But back to communism and travel. I will say visiting a communist country is no different than any other from a tourist perspective. After securing your visa, entry is quite simple. Laos and Vietnam make visas easy by offering a visa on arrival into the country. China is a bit more difficult but once secured it is good for 10 years (at least mine is).


Historically I've associated communism with socialism. From my experience visiting these countries they appear less socialist and more capitalistic than many western countries. They have fewer social programs than we have here and certainly less than Europe. There are many small businesses engaged in capitalism.


Although they don't get to elect their leaders in the communist countries I've visited, that's not any different than the sham democracies of many democratic countries. I don't know the statistics, but just how many democratic countries have fair elections?


I've enjoyed the people with whom I've come in contact in the communist countries. Especially China. I found the people there warm and caring. They've only extended politeness and good grace towards me (of course there are exceptions like the taxi scams I've documented).


Perhaps the most noticeable event in a communist country I encountered was in China. When in the country I kept trying to google places to see but it didn't work. Same with other things like google mail. I learned google was banned by the government in that country. Wow! I never knew how much I'd miss it.


I hope to visit Cuba someday, unfortunately travel to Cuba for tourism purposes is banned under current law. It is considered "trading with the enemy". However, travel for other purposes such as cultural exchange (whatever that means) is allowed.


I don't expect things to change in communist North Korea in my lifetime to allow travel. But I am going to South Korea next month. Hope I don't accidentally wander over the border!

5 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The Line for Senior Citizens and Special Needs

Ok I know I just wrote about my difficulty coping with traveling with an old person recently: https://www.kirkstravelstories.com/post/traveling-with-an-old-person I talked about my reluctance to give

2 Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Roger Wells
Roger Wells
Aug 17, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I don’t think I would want to visit these communists countries. I am a news watcher and my mind has been turned against them do to the way people are treated when they go against the government.

Like
Kirk
Kirk
Aug 18, 2023
Replying to

The news will do that.

Like
bottom of page