Pyongyang Railway Station

Pyongyang Railway Station

Personally I think this is one of the most beautiful buildings in North Korea.

Pyongyang’s first railway station was built in 1920 but was destroyed in the Korean War. While the current three story (plus basement) building, built in 1958, is classified as socialist style architecture it is far from the boxy 1950s Soviet type buildings more commonly built in Pyongyang after the Korean War. Continue reading “Pyongyang Railway Station”


Fun, Fun, Fun in the DPRK

Pyongyang Funfair

Having read about the experience of other tourists going to a funfair in Pyongyang I was really looking forward to our visit to the funfair and not because I particularly needed to go to North Korea to have a ride on a roller coaster or in a dodgem car. The attraction was that the funfair tourists typically went to was a rusted and run down 1950s affair, portrayed as the latest and greatest by guides. Continue reading “Fun, Fun, Fun in the DPRK”

‘Kim Jong-Ale’

Taedonggang Craft Brewery

I am not a big beer drinker but do like the odd one every now and then. I didn’t really expect much in this department in North Korea though I did know that the beer and water would be included with lunch and dinner.

The beer we were served wasn’t bad. Clearly the brewers had taken heed of Kim Jong-il’s 2002 on-the-spot guidance when he exhorted that what was essential was to ‘keep beer tasty’ and that ‘to produce the best quality beer it is necessary to conduct tireless research’. Continue reading “‘Kim Jong-Ale’”

A Walk in Pyongyang

Tower of Juche Idea across the Taedong River

Something I love doing, and always do, when I visit somewhere is to go out and just walk. This, in my view, is by far the best way to get to know a place.

In Pyongyang (and elsewhere in North Korea) we could go nowhere without our guide and walking around the streets by ourselves was absolutely forbidden. Our island hotel, the Yanggakdo International is nicknamed the Pyongyang Alcatraz for good reason. Continue reading “A Walk in Pyongyang”

Shopping in Pyongyang

High Street Shopping – Bakery


This review is not about an individual shop but about shopping, or really the lack of it, generally. It also provides some detail not included in my Walk in Pyongyang review – the attached pictures were taken in Sungri Street which was the first part of that walk.

The High Street of a three million person city anywhere else in the world would typically feature the likes of Hugo Boss, Tiffany’s, Cartier, Chanel, Country Road and such like. Not so Pyongyang. Continue reading “Shopping in Pyongyang”

Some Revolutionary Opera?

Pyongyang Grand Theatre

Having read my review of the Korean Feature Film Studio, read of Kim Jong-il’s contribution to the cinema industry and the arts in general and seen various references to revolutionary army choirs, revolutionary operas and much, much, more in various of my reviews you will, by now, be very excited to know where you can partake of these things should you visit Pyongyang though, perhaps because three hours plus of revolutionary opera or lengthy non-subtitled movies might get a bit boring, they do not often appear on the itinerary of most visitors – as they didn’t on mine. Continue reading “Some Revolutionary Opera?”

Pyongyang Traffic Ladies


In the otherwise dull and drab streets of Pyongyang are to be found these beacons of colour – the beautiful Pyongyang traffic ladies (police).

The need for traffic police, in terms of managing traffic flow at least, is highly questionable given the paucity of vehicular traffic in Pyongyang and the wide boulevards and roads that the little there is has to travel on. Continue reading “Pyongyang Traffic Ladies”