A Travellerspoint blog

Hot chicks, cold noodles and a rocket haircut in North Korea

Even after the US embargo

forbidding it's own citizens from travelling to North Korea, there are currently three travel agencies that offer entry to North Korea: Koryo Group, Juche Tours and Young Pioneer Tours. Booking and visa procedures are simple. Entry is either by daily plane from Beijing, or two planes a week from Vladivostok, or by daily train from China (Dandong).

We flew on Air Koryo's Tupolev aircraft from Beijing (1h15), and had the opportunity to read Kim Jong Un's New Year's Address (with the famous "big red button" and with his wish for re-unification) in the Pyöngyang Times.

large_ADC0865DEA758AB98F6FEA752F4D255F.jpg

Air Koryo is the only airline that received only one star by Skytrax. For six years in a row. What does that say about Skytrax? They have zero credibility ... forget them!

01b2.jpg

Seated next to us on the plane was North Korea's national football coach Jorn Andersen from Norway with his German wife who live in Pyongyang together.

330px-J_rn..rsen_2017_1.jpg (Foto: Wikipedia)

Hot Chicks in Cold Korea

large_AE4E174AA3D57F0D66B7016952A7E319.jpg

large_AE4BCB91E801FDEF866E2D0CAFC710AA.jpg

large_001.jpg

large_AE4DAFCCD2E39FFF221B9643D6018031.jpg

Cold Noodle, the National Dish

large_ADD7F01CED1AE71F6029428B55E65BE6.jpg

large_ADD5A2FDADECD3B806B0BE3991EB53C6.jpg

The government of North Korea operates ca. 150 restaurants of the Pyongyang and the Okryu brands - with North Korean staff - in several foreign countries, including in South Korea. Contrary to Western propaganda, there are 65.000 North Koreans working as expats for monumental building projects in foreign countries such as Cambodia, Qatar, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, etc. through a company called Mansudae Overseas Projects.

Pyöngyang, a surprisingly modern capital

large_ADC94D90091692C12F88A4BBC313BB41.jpg
The Ryugyong or "Rocket Launch Hotel" was built in 1987 and remained the world's biggest hotel (at 330m and 105 floors) for many years, however it still couldn't be opened, because of the downturn in tourism plan figures (after the fall of Soviet Communism).

large_ADCAAE5EB195E1C0E9665AA70278A1B3.jpg
This skyscraper provides luxury housing for scientists and engineers.

large_AED6E18C9478A24D99FCD5FCF60CEB29.jpg
Many high-rise apartment buildings in Pyöngyang.

large_AF4424DC9C89638CA70C55B1979C34B3.jpg
Cars too, including some Mercedes.

large_AF4602E4F93E1AEC964E0823D0AAC27E.jpg
And taxis of course.

large_ADD85D7694066E222B554B21237E1B6C.jpg
A cruise ship for parties and weddings on the Taedong River.

large_ADD683F5D8ED756AF098B8CF6356CCA8.jpg
Definitely the most relaxed capital city in the world.

large_AE4CA11BE0B91B6ED5E92F63C1431752.jpg
Under the Juche (national autarky) philosophy, the population of North Korea grew from 10.029.715 inhabitants in 1955 to 25.223.526 in 2016, contradicting Western propaganda of severe economic problems or even hunger catastrophes.

large_93C1A40CB6F597C9911ECB81B82E03DB.jpg
The supermarkets in the capital are well-stocked (not only in the hotels).

large_DHL-1024x683.jpg
DHL delivers just like everywhere else (Foto: easternvision)

large_AF6DDFCFE5EDB9DDA749840120496A17.jpg
There is a special internet and mobile phone network for foreigners, separate from the local "intranet". Built by Egyptian-Swiss Sami Sawiris and his company Orascom.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is what the Huffington Post author F. Megaloudi wrote in 2014: (source)

I lived in Pyongyang for almost two years, from June 2012 to March 2014. I arrived in the country together with my four year old son without knowing what to expect. Before I went to North Korea, I read numerous analysis and watched endless documentaries on the country that left me with the impression that I was about to enter a world of brainwashed "robots". But what I experienced during those two years in DPRK, had nothing to do with the standard stereotypes. ...

In downtown Pyongyang, department stores were filled with goods from all over the world: Swiss chocolates, packets of Doritos, Coca-Cola and Italian wine. Clothes from the Spanish Zara stores, Chanel makeup kits and perfumes, watches and jewelry stock the shelves. Chinese middlemen, who serve as brokers between North Korean trading firms and China-based companies, secure a continuous flow of goods and equipment into the country.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Getting a haircut, rocket style

large_AE4EF412E39EAFE21355B435EAC10993.jpg
It is not forbidden to ask for the great leader's haircut.

large_AF6D33E2098E51ABA8C974977E78BED5.jpg
A good sense of humour exists among North Koreans.

Surfing in the DPRK: Music Video

At The Koryo, the best hotel in Pyöngyang

large_b78d4d70-4c6c-11e8-a07f-97c2bd5561f2.jpg

large_ADC9C1B20E2D311EA3A173E8DE08F9D6.jpg

large_ADD61A81F58763072423C391D67C2E64.jpg

large_368px-Kory..el_at_night.jpg

Kaesong, the former capital and oldest (and only undestroyed) city

large_AED76043A905C51EFF4798F049FE809F.jpg

large_ADC3602CF581FF2C907A6999E819E8EE.jpg

large_ADC2FE92AA25913522B00298C4F504C4.jpg

large_ADC26CE2A6CE25600FD9CD807A3011F3.jpg

large_ADC183DFCDAB9EE4136CD9D88F742942.jpg
Our guesthouse in Kaseong, the Tanamsan Hotel. Currently unheated. Because of the US embargo against oil & gas, not only civilians freeze terribly in the cold winter (-20 °C), but also tourists. Hmm, I wonder why North Korea don't master the civilian use of nuclear energy ...

large_AF449ADC074DAF6D05D23A72BC58F322.jpg
The better-known Folk Hotel in Kaesong was even closed completely. Cold War.
(Note: one of the many, many solar energy panels in North Korea at the top left)

DMZ: the Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjom

large_ADC611139E8BD6280458602B1896041E.jpg
I had been to the blue UN barracks on the Panmunyom borderline some 15 years before, from the Southern side. It was actually more friendly and informative to visit from the Northern side than from the Southern side. The Southerners do not allow smiling, laughing, hand waving, jeans, sneakers, or free walking (we had to goose step instead !). A special badge is compulsory in the South, and one must sign not to flee to the North. (*)

List of Western refugees to North Korea (Wikipedia) via the DMZ and the largely unknown British documentary about them: "Crossing the line".

Crossing_t..dvd_2006-07.jpg

Refugee Joseph T. White from Missouri denounced the United States' "corruptness, criminality, immorality, weakness, and hedonism," affirming he had defected to demonstrate how "unjustifiable it is for the U.S. to send troops to South Korea" (Wikipedia).

large_ADC67461B1084CEF5FFED558A8266074.jpg
South Korea bombards the North with continuous propaganda talk through a powerful loudspeaker system that reaches up to 15 kilometers into the country.

large_ADC8C59FD6F05F06549125C6D7EF303A.jpg
There is an Orwellian camera and microphone battery pointing at the North.

large_ADC11308F9DEDABF9C4BF9EF73F80BE0.jpg

The 38° parallel was decided to divide Korea at the Yalta Conference (February 1945), in the same way in which the division of Germany was decided at the same conference between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.

large_ADC201D0BCE94D9D3CBB92A815C986FE.jpg
A map of the DMZ with the Armistice Signing Hall (on the North Korean side !) in the center.

large_AE4C33FFAA2887E94B7EF15C07A9E0A0.jpg
Handshake with the friendly North Korean officer.

large_43_-_Kopie.jpg
This would have been unthinkable with the fierce-looking South Korean UN/US border guards (during my visit in the same DMZ building, from the South, 15 years ago).

The Armistice Signing Hall

large_ADC4AD3BAB967D4B1EACDDFB593C7513.jpg

large_ADC51DE8E459694F9B3F0971E08EF0B1.jpg

large_ADC7D695B997916B381716E0E877A81C.jpg

large_ADC76731913BBDBA6556D6B4D73D898E.jpg

The US started the Korean War in 1950 to establish a strategic military presence near China & Russia (and to grease their Military Industrial Complex). This letter shows the US asking Korea for peace in 1953. First time ever that they were officially (half-) defeated.

large_AAA.jpg

The (Western made !) Concrete Wall

large_AE4E73B9E8A52ED1731D60BE7BE9A9A6.jpg
Few people know that the West (US & South Korea) built a Concrete Wall all along the 38° parallel, visible only from the North, but they still deny its existence. Even fewer people know that the German Wall was also provoked by the West (through psy-officer Edward Tenenbaum's introduction of the D-Mark, in CIA-Operation Bird Dog).

Mr. US-President, tear down this wall !
Stop the divide-and-rule !
Stop the occupation of South Korea !
Stop boycott-starving and -freezing North Koreans !

large_1200px-The.._in_the_DMZ.jpg
Even Wikipedia admits the existence of the Korean Wall.

large_ADC6FE4CF4664D68C0B7FF007EC66B7A.jpg

large_ADC8664D04C91A131697D0EEF05B5B90.jpg

large_ADC3D90BEC652C681143C94D6E886E53.jpg

large_ADC440BAC6CBB5F3B711A2845103058C.jpg

large_ADC593A1A3004B988902CA19B5BFDF17.jpg

The captured USS Pueblo spy ship and other US spy failures (after ! the armistice with North Korea)

large_ADDB9421A426E7C3750C6E02BBF3DD88.jpg
At the time, in 1968, the USS Pueblo pretended to be a fish trawler ...

large_ADDF4B45BF7464A3D848727C9585BB24.jpg
... but after surrendering, the proof could not be hidden.

large_ADD8DBB8C71D05BF13A77C91E224BCCB.jpg
Holy Shit !

large_ADDFAC0CCA920D197EE67A0AEC603284.jpg
High level apologies.

large_ADDDE5B5E28C20DCC807A2B22942572E.jpg
Diplomatic exchange notes.

large_ADDC98A2FB5F19F8135EC1D5BAB0603B.jpg
The captain admitting his guilt.

large_ADDB1ACFE23C9F1C1DF94755E4DAC544.jpg
The whole espionage team of 83 staff (minus one down) was allowed to travel back to the US within less than a year.

large_ADD941ABE42D7B4ED1AD2D18F65A6E98.jpg
The US used biological (anthrax) and chemical weapons (napalm) and they dropped more than one 500-kg-bomb (pictured here) per inhabitant of North Korea, that is more than 10 mio bombs !!! Every inch of land in the North was destroyed. 2.5 Million or almost one quarter of the North Korean population was killed by the US. That was even heavier US bombardment against civilians than the US against Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, etc.

large_ADD9C6BDCBF3301240910E7DF92413CF.jpg
Of course many poor American draft soldiers died too (foto), but not US civilians.

large_ADE09B39B6C1BF97A5BF29D832069605.jpg

large_ADE02B879B7EDF2220F0896DD79C1C59.jpg

large_ADDECCD19525964E0AFF6CDBF3639BC4.jpg

large_ADDCF53F05BAAE0ABC6FA1BA9C4B999A.jpg

large_ADDE4A80B84F20C357ABFB190FCAA9C2.jpg

large_ADDD72A1D6BDA9E8A6BF443E5B4897FA.jpg

large_ADDC0A0CBE5BBB897006B20DE9A43678.jpg
Plenty of captured US war material at the unique Victorious War Museum in Pyöngyang.

How North Korea views the West:

(starts at 01:25)

Hollywood, TV, Press, PR, Fashion, Star Cult, Dumbing Down & the "Manufacturing of Consent":

Brainwashing through Propaganda in the WEST is a lot worse than in North Korea.

95% of Westerners don't have a clue about this. Go figure.

-

A_NK5.jpg
What was Virginia-based Otto Warmbier doing on the 5th floor, the hidden personnel floor, of the Yanggakdo Hotel? And then getting the same jail sentence as the previous US spies ...
(Foto: Daily Mail. Source: ABC News)

A_NK2.jpgA_NK1.jpg
Ever wondered what CIA- and Google-executive Eric Schmidt was doing 5 times in North Korea?
(Source: Twitter)

A_NK_3.jpgA_NK4.jpg

Or Carter, Albright and Clinton? Bringing US spies back in private jets - in exchange for what ?
(Source: Truthfeed, YouTube, Twitter)

66972B41AC20FEEB840ACF05F3A4617E.jpg

-

Posters from the other side

large_AE4D13350E8D71F22912E1F1A4BC7819.jpg

large_AED1F7270A861D9622C8B109B1C47A9A.jpg

large_AED14F5D0DBB6DC1B89357C6E2F86E7B.jpg

large_AED0BB8ACD3A6790A3355DB7BCC631E2.jpg

large_AECFE37BAFC878155A995114338E39F8.jpg

large_AECF5668FBDB10DC5EDFAB9CC40BFD05.jpg

large_AECEC7E2BBBA595D466D7F57966A7C0E.jpg

Too much propaganda ?

large_AF4585469CDC72603284C74754E34CD8.jpg
Then go and check it out for yourself !

.

Wishing the Korean people that they are re-united soon, and that the occupation of South Korea ends !

-

Posted by LuxuryRogue 18:20 Archived in North Korea

(Entries 4 - 4 of 118) « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »