the documentary faces not only one case study, but various people. most of the stowaways are working at the near provinces of China to make a living. some goes to the extent of selling their bodies as sex workers, posing a Chinese-Korean so that no will know that they are illegally settling in China. the documentary also shows the struggles of North Korean just to go to South Korea. there are two ways of getting to South Korea illegally from North Korea, first is if you have money, you can make a fake Chinese passport, go to Bangkok and go to the South Korean Embassy. or if you don’t have money, you can take the train to the boarder of Laos and China, then take a 3 days hike up on the mountains going to the Mekong river (the boarder of Laos and Thailand) and cross the river and go to the South Korean Embassy. a grueling 10 days.
vory Coast was once the economic miracle of Africa and a role model for stability on the continent. Never completely breaking from their colonial masters, the post-independence leaders wooed French capital to build a modern infrastructure and considerable prosperity. The long-serving and charismatic first president, Houphouët-Boigny, promoted the notion of a happy amalgam of pragmatic Western capitalism with benign African values. The society he presided over, however, was far from liberal and the dream ended with his death. A consequent string of coups and popular insurgencies shook the country, and northern-led rebellion in 2002 violently split it in half. Most of the huge French-expat community jumped ship, and the economy has since crumbled. However, the country abounds in some of the best natural attractions in West Africa, such as Parc National de Taï’s vast patch of rainforest and the string of beaches along the Atlantic coast. It’s also a land rich in tradition due to a diverse tribal mix that includes Dan, Lobi, Baoulé and Senoufo peoples.
But it’s really the modernity that sets Côte d’Ivoire apart from other West African nations. Abidjan is decidedly dog-eared these days, but its shimmering skyscrapers will still astound. Yamoussoukro in the Centre is famous for its basilica, an astonishing replica of Rome’s St Peter’s, which epitomises the Houphouët-Boigny era and, in a way, Africa’s current place in today’s world, since the Big Man philosophy shows few signs of fading.
ore a geographical concept than a fully fledged nation, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly Zaïre) is a bubbling cauldron of untamed wilderness carpeted by swathes of rainforest and punctuated by gushing rivers and smoking volcanoes. Rendered almost ungovernable by the central administration in Kinshasa, the country remains closed to all but the most brave-hearted travellers. The nation’s history reads like something out of Dante’s Inferno – from the brazen political folly of King Leopold of Belgium to the hideously corrupt ‘kleptocracy’ of maverick megalomaniac Mobutu Sese Seko, and the blood-stained battlegrounds of Africa’s first ‘world war’. The DRC isn’t all failed politics and wasted natural resources, however. Somewhere in the midst of this proverbial heart of darkness lies a lumbering African giant. With ground-breaking national elections in July 2006 giving voice to 60 million shell-shocked inhabitants, a corner may have been turned. Despite early post-election violence in Kinshasa, incumbent president Joseph Kabila took office in October 2006 under the watchful eye of the world’s largest UN peacekeeping force. In some senses, the future can only get better. With five Unesco biospheres, whole ecosystems of teeming wildlife and an estimated US$24 trillion of untapped mineral capacity lying underneath the ground, it goes without saying that the country’s potential is breathtaking.
e shouldn’t beat about the bush: Nigeria has an image problem. It dominates West Africa economically and politically, and has produced music and literature whose influence spreads far beyond the continent. But for all this clout, mention the country’s name to the person on the street and they’re more likely to come up with a litany of woe: corruption, ethnic violence and email scams. As a travel destination, Nigeria seems more a place to avoid than to book a flight to. And yet, Nigeria is a country we’re coming to love. Getting around can sometimes be a little tough, and it’s certainly a challenging destination for first-timers to Africa, but you shouldn’t believe all the scare stories. Lagos is one of the most exuberant cities in Africa, while port city Calabar makes for an enjoyable stopover for travellers on their way to Cameroon. Across Southern Nigeria, old kingdoms carry on their customs, from creating elaborate brass sculptures to venerating the ancient gods. More modern traditions include one of the world’s pioneering primate conservation organisations. In the north, where the land dries out as it stretches towards the desert, Muslim Nigeria thrives in dusty trade cities where memories of the Saharan trade routes still linger. Don’t miss West Africa’s oldest city Kano, and Yankari National Park, the best in the country. Nigeria is a country of extremes. Great wealth and great poverty sit cheek by jowl, and tensions between different communities can boil over into civil strife. While a few parts of the country remain problematic, the vast majority is as warm and welcoming to visitors as anywhere in Africa. Challenging yet exuberant, this is Africa in the raw – there’s nowhere quite like it on the continent.
fter a violent end to the most recent protests, Thailand, a country of over 60 million people, is facing its worst political crisis in decades. For two months since March of 2010, anti-government protestors, the so-called red shirts, had taken over key parts of downtown Bangkok, demanding for Abhisit Vejjajiva, the country’s current prime minister, to step down, dissolve parliament, and call fresh elections. The sit-ins had paralysed Bangkok and threatened to rock the Thai economy, which is the second largest in Southeast Asia. The red shirts have been calling for Abhisit’s resignation since he came to power in 2009 – after Thaksin Shinawatra, the country’s populist prime minister, was ousted in a bloodless military coup in 2006. In 2008 Thaksin was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail after being found guilty of abuse of power in a land acquisition deal during his time in office. He was charged with corruption, and subsequent governments also fell under fraud charges. Abhisit came to power through a parliamentary vote, rather than a popular vote. And that is the major bone of contention for the red shirts, largely rural and working class people from Thailand’s north and northeast. They are staunch supporters of Thaksin, and feel robbed of their vote ever since he was removed from power.