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Location - North East Asia; Capital - Pyongyang; Population - 24 million; Currency - North Korean Won MORE NORTH KOREA

After a flight to Beijing I took the train to Dandong on the North Korea border, then moved on to Pyongyang to meet friends working there - February 2011.


dprknewnote1The new version of the North Korean Won notes were introduced at the end of 2009. The image shows Kim Jong Suk's birthplace.









dprk1001Leaving Dandong and crossing the Yalu River (Amnok River in Korean) to North Korea



dprk1004After crossing the Yalu River the rather empty town of Sinuiju comes into view, starting with a ferris wheel that I've never seen working

My YouTube video


dprk1011Officers at Sinuiju train station line up for inspection. Behind is a 2012 poster, presumably publicisng propaganda on the occasion of Kim Il Sung's 100th birthday in 2012 (if he was alive).














dprk1009The 'Great Leader' Kim Il Sung and the 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong Il keep an eye on the Duty Free store at Sinuiju train station.
There was no heating in the
building and the shop workers were heavily clad to keep warm in the -7°C temperatures.













dprk1014A whole lot of fishing going on, on the outskirts of Sinuiju. Holes are drilled in the ice and then it's a case of waiting and waiting..



dprk1020Feeding the geese - Sinuiju to Pyongyang

My YouTube video




dprk1022Life in the North Korean countryside - Sinuiju to Pyongyang















dprk1024A farmland slogan proclaims 'Long live Kim Jong Il, sun of the 21st century' - Sonchon















dprk1026Selling their wares at Sonchon



dprk1028And I thought my bags were heavy - Sinuiju to Pyongyang



dprk1029A lively looking town on the way from Sinuiju to Pyongyang















dprk1031Apparently guitars are quite common in North Korea - near Jongju














dprk1033Passengers get off the train in front of a smiling Kim Il Sung at Jongju


dprk1034Any ideas what she might be selling? Jongju


dprk1035aThe Kims at Jongju train station















dprk1035eA truck load of sand bags greeted the entrance or exit of every station - Jonju















dprk1040I met up with friends David and Katrine and spent Friday night at the Random Access Club (the RAC), part of the UN World Food Programme offices in Pyongyang


dprk1044Quality moves and cheesy tunes at the RAC. It's not quite the hive of activity since most foreign aid organisations left the country in 2009, but enjoyable all the same, and a great place for expats to get together away from prying eyes - Pyongyang


dprk1046The Pyongyang Shop is a supermarket in the Munsu-dong area of Pyongyang















dprk1052I was surprised at the number of restaurants in Pyongyang, and also at their popularity with locals.
This is the plastic turf ceiling of the excellent Bulgogijom (Barbecue Shop) next to the Taesong Department Store.














dprk1054The Taesong Department Stored - Pyongyang


dprk1055The entrance to the White Tiger Art Studio, near Munsu Park - Pyongyang


dprk1058Locals check out the DVDs at a stall - Pyongyang















dprk1059A long queue for something. Is that insightful enough for everyone? Pyongyang
















dprk1060A Pyongyang metro station - I've heard of people who have actually gone beyond the Rehabilitation and Glory stations. They really exist!



dprk1061Driving past a funfair on the way to Mangyongdae - Pyongyang


dprk1062A frozen lake at Mangyongdae, a suburb of Pyongyang west of the centre















dprk1074These traditional Korean houses mark what is said to be Kim Il Sung's birthplace - Mangyongdae, Pyongyang














dprk1067Kim Il Sung, or The Great Leader, was the president of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (aka North Korea) from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. His son, Kim Jong Il, took over the reins - Mangyongdae, Pyongyang


dprk1072One of the huts at Mangyondae - Pyongyang


dprk1070Members of the Kim family - Mangyondae, Pyongyang
















dprk1075Kim Il Sung as a child looking out from Mangyong hill - Pyongyang















dprk1076The pavilion at the top of Mangyong hill - Pyongyang


dprk1081From the hill there's fine views of a distant Pyongyang. Here you can just make out the Ryanggang Hotel - Mangyongdae, Pyongyang


dprk1082A walk through the park at Mangyongdae, Pyongyang















dprk1085The well from which the Kim family drew their water - Mangyongdae, Pyongyang















dprk1087The ancestral graves of the Kims - Mangyongdae, Pyongyang


dprk1092People wandering along the frozen Taedong River - Pyongyang


dprk1093Cycling the conventional way - Pyongyang
















dprk1091And cycling the unconventional way - Taedong River, Pyongyang















Website and content Copyright © 2008-2015 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my 2009 tour with. For me it offered the best itinerary and was flexible enough to cater for travelling by train to Pyongyang. The group size, at 23, was rather large however (but a great bunch of people!) - Koryo Tours is the market leader - Chosun Ilbo is a South Korean newspaper with lots of coverage of North Korea - plenty of independent news stories and analysis of North Korea - news portal on behalf of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (ie. North Korea) - news from the 'Korean Central News Agency'


Other tour agencies - - USA/Dandong, China - USA - Netherlands - UK - Germany - USA - Hong Kong - UK - Singapore - Netherlands - China


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.


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