My trip led to performing for 5,000 music fans in Dandong, China. Right on the border of North Korea
My travel last year took me to some wild places, but this trip probably took the cake for funnest and craziest. I was invited for a little visit to FAR Northern China to a small city named Dandong (population 800,000 spread over a vast land). Little did I know that the city is literally a stones throw away from North Korea. In fact, many North Koreans will risk everything and will swim the Yalu River to China for the chance of a better life. Many settle down right in Dandong and so Dandong is basically "little North Korea". The food is amazing!! a mix of Seafood, Korean food and "Dongbei" or Northern Chinese style dishes like Guo Bao Rou (sweet, crispy, crunchy, pork....AMAZING). On about the 3rd day there, an MC who we made friends with told me that he was hosting the Yalu River Beer Festival and knew I was a noted guitarist and asked if I'd like to perform. Of course I said Yes. When I got there I saw over 5,000 excited music fans. I played my best 3 songs and the crowd went nuts and on the last song the PA system blew out and I could smell the smoke. It was an exciting and thrilling adventure and I'll never forget it. It was so sweet to see people after the show who wanted photos with me. They had never seen anything like it. Although we couldnt even understand eachother, the universal language of Music broke down these barriers.