This is my hotel room in North Korea.
Evidence that North Korea used to be a Buddhist country.
The museum commemorating the first Kim’s “victory” in the Korean War, which “the United States started”.
In the capital Pyongyang, there are many recently built buildings of the traditional Korean architecture. The city is itself the oldest city in the Korean peninsula.
The “mother river” of North Korea, with the cruise standing by as an optional extra for tourists who wish to go along the river in the evening.
The capital is quite well built with plenty of modern buildings. It’s tidy if anything. Everything is owned by the state and the state allocates housing to its citizens.
The seat of the House of Kim from above. As you can see, there aren’t skyscrapers.
Where they stored the gifts from foreign countries such as Hong Kong. Whilst the collection is nice, I don’t get why I’m travelling to North Korea just to see things that are not from North Korea. To add on that, it was a 2.5-hour each-way trip to this national reserve on the very bumpy road.
Most notably, there are two very realistic statues of the original Kim as well as one of his mother (all Made in China), and visitors were expected to bow to them. I got away with not bowing for the most part.
Overall, it was a four-day trip but very little was actually seen. I entered from Dandong, China, and we took most of the day taking the train from the border to the capital, and on the last day, doing the reverse. The second and third days both contained at least five hours of travelling.
Within the capital, we could only take photos from the coach unless it’s one of the very, very few scheduled attractions.
Oddly, we went to see a Buddhist temple.
Basically the only attraction on the first day. We could see from afar the big bronze statues of the Kims but were not taken near them.
After 30 years, this hotel still has not been completed. I guess that’s the reason why we weren’t taken there either. This was taken only from the train as we entered the metropolis.
The most interesting part I guess would be the border between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. Apparently, the soldiers don’t normally stand out there and are only there for the tourists. The tour guide said once there was a tourist who ran across the border and a North Korean soldier was shot dead as an attempt to save the tourist.
In front of the main square.
I do wonder how life is like inside these buildings. Outside of the hotel, I haven’t even seen an actual water closet.
Used to be a palace or something? I don’t remember. We went through everything extremely quickly, while stopping for some low-quality shopping.
The main square where everyone was practising for the “Victory” Day celebrations.
At night. Not that many lights.
In the railway station. They are, of course, everywhere.
All these people were basically just marching around. I don’t get why we didn’t go in the morning when the sun wouldn’t be shining from the back and when we could actually get closer to the main structure. It’s as if North Korea doesn’t actually want anyone to take photos of their supposed landmarks.
One of the desks on which the armistice was signed.
We were even taken to take one stop of the metro. The two stations followed the Moscow tradition of being well decorated but everything was clearly ancient. There were people standing around reading the shared newspapers posted on the notice boards.
Was very disappointed that the musical performances were not anything impressive. But they did say it’s during the school holiday.
Where they signed the armistice.
Where they negotiated for the armistice.
Some small town along the way.
Taller than the one in Paris, France apparently.