Pyongsong en route to Mt Myohyang

When I visited Mt Myohyang (best known as home to the International Friendship Exhibition) in 2014 we went there directly from Pyongyang and returned to the city with no stops en route, in either direction.  In 2018 we had a few stops on the way up in South Pyongan Province and one, in North Pyongan Province, on our return to Pyongyang.

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South Korea’s Sunshine Policy and the Mt Kumgang Tourist Region

In 1998 South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung, referenced one of Aesop’s fables, ‘The North Wind and the Sun’, in the creation of a new policy to improve relations with North Korea – essentially a shift from a failed coercion approach to one of co-operation. In the fable, the sun and the wind competed to remove a man’s coat. The wind blew strongly, but the man clutched his coat and kept it on. The sun shone warmly, and the man voluntarily took off his coat to enjoy the fine weather. 

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Sleeping and Eating in Wonsan, North Korea

In 2014 Kim Jong-un embarked on a programme to massively increase international tourism into North Korea, it being one of the few ways in which foreigners could (and can) legally engage with the country, most other avenues being frustrated by US lead international sanctions. Separately the United States barred, and continues to bar, its citizens from travelling to North Korea, except under very limited circumstances.

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Lunch, Revolutionary Dessert and a flight from Orang Airport

Our hearts and minds filled with the revolutionary spirit of Kim Jong-suk, it was time to eat before we started out for the airport to catch our charter flight back to Pyongyang. The Kyongsong Hotel, where we would dine, was only a short drive from the Jipsam Revolutionary Site, which half our group, including me, had just visited. Continue reading “Lunch, Revolutionary Dessert and a flight from Orang Airport”

Hoeryong – Snacking, Wining, Dining and Sleeping

As usual we had an early start to the day, so as to fit in a final sightseeing stop in Chongjin prior to heading inland on our 2 – 3 hours drive to Hoeryong. En route we stopped at a small unmarked shop which sold bottled water (for a few cents) from the adjacent bottling plant which our guides assured us produced the best water in North Korea. A plaque by the shop detailed the makeup of the water for those seeking additional assurance in this regard. Continue reading “Hoeryong – Snacking, Wining, Dining and Sleeping”

The Ryugyong Hotel In A Whole New Light

For a country that can build buildings in a day or two (for example, the Armistice Signing Hall in Panmunjom in the DMZ) and whole streets full of high rise buildings in a year the 330 metres high, 105 story Ryugyong Hotel (Ryugyong – ‘capital of willows’– a former name for Pyongyang) remains uncompleted after 27 years and until 2018 has been a major embarrassment for North Korea. Continue reading “The Ryugyong Hotel In A Whole New Light”

Port Admiral Hotel and Coach House

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The hotels and drinking establishments covered in my heritage pub trail (crawl) review all had one thing in common. They were in operation and awaited your business.

I am delighted to report that the Port Admiral Hotel which closed in 2006 and has lain derelict ever since has been renovated and it opened for business again in November 2017. It should certainly be added to your trail (or, as the case may be, crawl). Lest you wonder, my attached pictures of the hotel are in its pre-renovated state! Continue reading “Port Admiral Hotel and Coach House”

Largs Bay And The Largs Pier Hotel

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Largs Bay is the smallest of a number of seaside resorts on Gulf St Vincent and is within easy reach of Adelaide city centre (15kms). Located between Semaphore and Outer Harbor it is certainly worth a stop if you are driving around the LeFevre Peninsula or riding along the cycle path which runs from Outer Harbor, in the north, to Brighton, in the south. Outside the natural beauty of the coastline the historic Largs Pier Hotel is worthy a look. Continue reading “Largs Bay And The Largs Pier Hotel”