Pyongyang’s White Elephant

Ryugyong Hotel

For a country that can build buildings in a day or two (for example, the Armistise Signing Hall in Panmunjom) the 330 metre high, 105 story Ryugyong Hotel ( Ryugyong – ‘capital of willows’– a former name for Pyongyang) is a major embarrassment to North Korea. In fact the unfinished hotel is, without doubt, North Korea’s number one embarrassment as, given its size and downtown Pyongyang location, it cannot be hidden or ignored (not even by our guides who could otherwise happily tell you, straight faced and without the blink of an eyelid that black was white). Continue reading “Pyongyang’s White Elephant”


Pyongyang’s Alcatraz

Yanggakdo International Hotel

The are only a small number of hotels in Pyongyang at which tourists are permitted to stay. One of those, and the one at which the vast majority of tourists stay, is the Yanggakdo International Hotel situated on an island in the Teodong River. Our group stayed here while in Pyongyang. Continue reading “Pyongyang’s Alcatraz”

Accommodation on St Helena – General

The Consulate Hotel, Jamestown

I am not (in this entry) recommending or advising against any particular accommodation on St Helena but rather drawing your attention to the fact that you must arrange accommodation on the island in advance of arriving and aiming to provide some general comment on accommodation which you may find useful. Continue reading “Accommodation on St Helena – General”