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Letters: Two takes on N. Korea article

November 22, 2009|From The Los Angeles Times | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Two takes on N. Korea article

I couldn't help but be shocked that the Travel section would run a piece on tourism in North Korea ["A Rare Glimpse Offers Plenty of Curious Sights," Nov. 15].

The North Korean government is possibly the most oppressive of any industrialized country in the world. A huge number of its people live in poverty, there is not enough food available, and the lack of proper medical care has reached crisis levels. The Kim Jong Il regime puts a great effort into keeping this harsh reality at a distance from any foreign visitors, including the author of the article.

The politics of a country shouldn't necessarily influence where one decides to travel, but in this case, I would make an exception.

If readers are interested in North Korea, I suggest that instead they contact UNICEF or the World Health Organization and find out how they can help improve life there.

-- Alan Deremo, San Juan Capistrano

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The past couple of weeks of the Travel section have been a breath of fresh air. I was ready to stop reading your section if I saw one more romanticized article about Italy or France. It's nice to see you going the extra mile with pieces on Mexico, North Korea and Niihau. I challenge you to continue thinking outside the box, highlighting parts of the world that few people are familiar with.

-- Lauren Taylor, Hermosa Beach

'Twilight' world is a beautiful place

My 15-year-old daughter and I visited Forks, Wash., last summer, and Krista Simmons is right on when she suggests visiting the Hoi Rain Forest ["In Their Lairs," Nov. 15]. At every turn in our trip to the location of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, we were pleasantly surprised.

We stayed at the Miller Tree Inn, where the innkeepers have decorated the living room with a tasteful "Twilight" theme. And we weren't scared one bit staying at what the Chamber of Commerce had dubbed "The Cullen House," not even with the swarms of tourist teenagers on the front deck.

I would recommend following the Chamber of Commerce's free tour guide. You can explore Forks in one day, but the Hoi Rain Forest and the Olympic National Forest should be explored as well. We didn't see any vampires, but you never know.

-- Annet Arakelian, Glendale

Some feedback on Mexico violence

Reporting that crime and danger are "regional" and urging Americans to vacation in Mexico is naive and dangerous ["For Quality Familia Time" by Amanda Jones, Nov. 8]. Does she not read the articles by Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson that the paper publishes? The violence in Mexico is in every state, north to south and east to west. I have lived in central Mexico since 1999 and follow the spiraling chaos in Mexico.

Jones' article was ill-informed and encourages travel to Mexico when it should be avoided. Just because she has vacationed a few times without mishap does not give her the right to write such a misleading article. Get the "real" facts and write meaningful articles about my Mexico.

-- Wilson Beck, Guanajuato, Mexico

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