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

I wanted to get as close as I could to the amazing - but long unfinished - Ryugyong Hotel, so I put my walking boots on again and headed towards the big shiny thing in the sky - February 2011.


dprknewnote4The new version of the North Korean Won notes were introduced in January 2010.









dprk1289This is as up close and personal as I got to the Ryugyong Hotel (the Wikipedia photo looks suspiciously like mine) - Pyongyang

My YouTube video


dprk1288Apparently the blue/red sign on the right says 'Underground' (via my flickr account) so maybe it's either got a station or awaiting one - Pyongyang


dprk1290For about 16 years the (still empty) building was a concrete eyesore, after construction stopped in 1992.
Now it's glass exterior is far more appealing - Pyongyang














dprk1291As far as I know, the deal given to Egyptian telecoms company Orascom was to sort out the Ryugyong and set up the 'Koryo 3G' mobile phone network - Pyongyang














dprk1286On the left are people waiting for a bus; on the right are locals reading the newspaper at a stand - Pyongyang

My YouTube video And another one



dprk1281A florist shop on the left. I mentioned mobile phones earlier. Two networks now exist, one for locals and one for foreigners. They don't overlap and cannot be used to phone outside North Korea - Pyongyang


dprk1301aHolding a foreigners' network mobile phone. I think all the phones, for foreigners and locals, are made in China - Pyongyang


dprk1280The 330metre, 105 floor Ryugyong Hotel, as seen from the Potong Gate - Pyongyang













dprk1277Potong Gate was one of the gates of 6th century Pyongyang, reconstructed in the 15th century














dprk1292Between the hotel and Potong Gate is the Potong River - Pyongyang


dprk1294The Potong River and, on the left bank far away, the Pyongyang Ice Rink - Pyongyang


dprk1295An elderly man pulls his work cart as a cyclist rides by - Pyongyang















dprk1302My tour of Pyongyang hotels continues, this time with a visit to the Koryo Hotel


















dprk1303Entering the Koryo Hotel. As a western tourist you're likely to stay at the Yanggakdo, but if not then you may end up here, more centrally located at a five-minute walk from the train station - Pyongyang


dprk1304And of course the Koryo Hotel has a revolving restaurant at its summit. From the restaurent I realised that the Ryugyong Hotel has three sides, not two - Pyongyang


dprk1305Pyongyang train station















dprk1307One more view of the Tower of the Juche Idea, from the Koryo Hotel - Pyongyang















dprk1308The May Day Stadium, and is that the Grand People's Study House? Pyongyang


dprk1309Compared to 2009 there's more traffic lights in the capital, but fortunately the traffic ladies are still on the streets, if/when the lights fail - Pyongyang


dprk1323Next to the Koryo Hotel is the Pyongyang Stamp Shop, which is a great place to buy postcards and prints - Pyongyang














dprk1310The train station, central Pyongyang















dprk1311The station area tends to be a lively one, with lots of coming and going - Pyongyang


dprk1312There's plenty of propaganda posters outside the train station - Pyongyang


dprk1314A comment on the 'Yankee imperialists' at the military demarcation zone? Pyongyang


















dprk1316 I took this photo so I could include streetlife on either side of the poster.
A pop-gun stall to the left and a streetfood seller to the right - Pyongyang














dprk1319Also at the square opposite the train station, a message regarding a reunified Korea, I guess - Pyongyang


dprk1320Any idea what this says? The woman familiar, similar to the one at the war museum at Sinchon - Pyongyang


dprk1313dprk1318More propaganda outside the station - Pyongyang













dprk1321The only adverts I saw in DPRK were for North Korean-assembled cars - Pyongyang














dprk1322The reverse side of the advert, outside the train station - Pyongyang


dprk1324The Pyongyang Grand Theatre is between the train station and the Taedong River - Pyongyang


dprk1326More posters, this time on the walls of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre - Pyongyang














dprk1327This poster's similar to the one at the entrance to Moran Hill - Pyongyang



















dprk1325After a quick coffee at the Pyongyang Hotel - opposite the theatre - I set off back to Munsu-dong - Pyongyang


dprk1328Crossing to the east side of the city at Taedong Bridge - Pyongyang


dprk1330Inspecting the base of the Tower of the Juche Idea - Pyongyang














dprk1275If you carry on walking, the Juche Tower appears on the left side - Pyongyang















dprk1332North Korean waitresses serve at The Friendship Restaurant, a Munsu-dong institution run by the government - Pyongyang



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


LINKS - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my 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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