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

My third day included a drive to Mt Myohyang, 150km north of Pyongyang - February 2011.


dprknewnote2The new version of the North Korean Won notes were introduced at the end of 2009.
The 200 Won note pictures the Chollima Statue.









dprk1105Crossing the Taedong River. At the beginning of February the daytime temperature in Pyongyang hovered around -3°C.



dprk1108There's quite a few of these pop-gun ranges dotted around Pyongyang


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dprk1106Reading a novel or going over self-criticism notes? Pyongyang














dprk1098The best known Korean martial art is Taekwondo - Pyongyang















dprk1095Taedong Gate formed part of the original walled city of Pyongyang. It was first built in the 6th century; the present gate dates back to the 17th century.



dprk1096A wedding couple walk through the arch of Taedong Gate - Pyongyang



dprk1099A gayageum is a traditional Korean stringed musical instrument - Pyongyang














dprk1100Next to Taedong Gate is the Pyongyang Bell, dating to 1726 - Pyongyang
















dprk1094A poster in central Pyongyang



dprk1103The Tower of the Juche Idea was built in honour of Kim Il Sung's 70th birthday - Pyongyang



dprk1110The 170-metre tower is lit up at night - Pyongyang















dprk1112During the day you can pay 5 Euros and take a lift to the top for superb views - Pyongyang














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dprk1114The tower is made up of 25,550 blocks of granite, one for each day of Kim Il Sung's 70 years - Pyongyang


dprk1115On the opposite side of the Taedong River is the Grand People's Study House, on Kim Il Sung Square. Compared to my first visit in 2009, there were more areas lit up at night, including many restaurants and some public buildings - Pyongyang



dprk1299A trolleybus passes in front of the Grand People's Study House - Pyongyang















dprk1298Kim Il Sung Square is the setting for military parades and marches - Pyongyang














dprk1296There's many statues and paintings of Great Leader Kim Il Sung throughout the country - Pyongyang



dprk1301One of the cheaper hotels in Pyongyang is Haebangsan Hotel. I picked up my train ticket to Dandong from a ticket office next door.



dprk1119Most roads outside Pyongyang are very quiet














dprk1118We had a day trip to Mt Myohyang, 150km north of Pyongyang














dprk1124The International Friendship Exhibition is set in Mt Myohyang. It houses all the gifts donated to Kim Il Sung from all over the world. A separate building covers presents given to Kim Jong Il, though this was closed when we visited. No cameras allowed.



dprk1125Katrine does the honours and opens the Exhibition door as our guide looks on - Mt Myohyang



dprk1128The Exhibition has room after room after room of gifts from what looked like every country in the world.
I'm sure you could get lost in there - Mt Myohyang














dprk1130As well as the Friendship Exhibition, Mt Myohyang is known for its nature trails, waterfalls and mountain scenery















dprk1132Chris takes some photos of the Mt Myohyang scenery



dprk1136The souvenir shop at the International Friendship Exhibition. Virtually every tourist sight in North Korea has a souvenir shop - Mt Myohyang



dprk1137We took a short walk on one of the surrounding nature trails - Mt Myohyang














dprk1138A frozen waterfall is a pretty impressive sight - Mt Myohyang















dprk1143The waterfall was a translucent ice-blue - Mt Myohyang



dprk1147Dominating the tourist centre of Mt Myohyang is the luxurious and recently renovated Hyangsan Hotel



dprk1150The lobby of the Hyangsan Hotel. I didn't see a single guest - Mt Myohyang















dprk1153We were treated to a tour of all the different categories of rooms at the hotel. The cost was well out of my league! Payable in hard currency of course - Mt Myohyang













dprk1155We were also treated to an impromptu karaoke session by a hotel waitress and then by our interpreter, crooning Korean-style - Mt Myohyang



dprk1157The Hyangsan Hotel swimming pool - Mt Myohyang



dprk1159We went on a wild goose chase looking for a place that served lunch, ending up in the town of Hyangsan














dprk1161The streets of Hyangsan, a few kms away from the Hyangsan Hotel















dprk1158We tried the Chongchon Hotel to no avail. and so returned to the Hyangsan Hotel where some pleading did the trick - Hyangsan



dprk1162Scenery on the way back from Mt Myohyang to the capital



dprk1165Sunset on the drive back from Mt Myohyang to Pyongyang















dprk1168The Moranbong Hotel is a new name to me. It's set in the Moran Hill area close to the Arch of Triumph and TV Tower - Pyongyang



dprk1166The Moranbong Hotel has the usual array of shops and restaurants - Pyongyang



dprk1167The Kims enjoy a casual stroll. Peace, love and harmony in Pyongyang














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LINKS - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my tour with on my 2009 trip. 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


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