With all the current restrictions in place, around the world, I imagine many parents being at a loss as to how to amuse ‘their unruly kids’, or ‘their little darlings’, depending on the parent’s perspective. Well here is something that may not have immediately sprung to mind. How about packing them off for a couple of weeks at the Songdowon International Children’s Camp in Wonsan, North Korea?Continue reading “Songdowon International Children’s Camp, Wonsan”
Given a fairly tight schedule in Wonsan we only had time for a brief stop in the city’s central square, surprisingly not to formally visit and pay our respects at the statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il but rather to see a ferry which, apart from a few ‘special runs’, has lain unused here, by the dock, since 2006.Continue reading “Wonsan Central Square and the Mangyongbong 92”
Like everyone else, I had hoped that after our tiring though eventful ten hour bus trip from Pyongyang to Hamhung we would call it a day and head for our hotel. That was not to be. The day’s itinerary showed that we still had a fertiliser factory to visit and, notwithstanding that we were running a couple of hours late, visit it we did! Continue reading “Hungnam Fertiliser Factory – Hamhung, North Korea ”
Nearly everywhere in the world it is courteous and common practice to bestow gifts upon leaders and dignitaries on official visits. Also, gifts are commonly given and received on important national days, birthdays and such like.
While the North Korean Leaders (here I mean Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un and, oddly perhaps, Kim Jong-suk (wife of Kim Il-sung and mother to Kim Jong-il)) have travelled very little outside of North Korea and few leaders or high officials visit them from overseas they have managed to amass ‘hundreds of thousands’ of gifts since 1945. These have come from all corners of the world as well as from within North Korea – where the Leaders have travelled somewhat more, dispensing their trademark on-the-spot guidance on this, that and everything. Continue reading “National Gifts Exhibition House”
The purpose of this review is to introduce you to the key people (Kims) you should be familiar with prior to visiting North Korea. You will certainly be well aware of them before you leave unless you close your eyes and plug your ears for the duration of your trip! Should you read my other reviews you will encounter reference to, and more details on, these people with, perhaps, monotonous regularity. Welcome to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea!
Having eaten it was now time for an afternoon of culture before we had to bid farewell to Sinuiju and to North Korea.
Our first stop was the Sinuiju Art Gallery. Continue reading “Sinuiju Art Gallery”
Across the road from the Eternal Life Monument is a duo of murals commonly found throughout North Korea and, in fact, the only murals that I have seen in multiple locations, including in Pyongyang and at Mt Myohyang in addition to this one in Sinuiju. The slogans on these murals are in keeping with the Eternal Life Monument and read “The great comrade Kim Il-sung will be with us forever” and “The great comrade Kim Jong-il will be with us forever”. Continue reading “Come Into Our Tender Embrace”
North Korean flower shows are not quite the same as flower shows elsewhere. Well, that’s not really a surprise as nothing is quite the same in North Korea. Continue reading “What did we say about the Flower Show?”
I have to say I wasn’t prepared for this. While we had seen numerous large mosaics on our trip to North Korea these mosaics surpassed all others and are truly amazing both in terms of quality and size. Yes, that is a 9 storey apartment block behind them. Continue reading “Mosaics of the Leaders”
Until mid 2013 Sinuiju was off limits to western tourists and those who exited North Korea by train only stopped in the train station for customs and immigration formalities which took place on the train, as they still do for those proceeding into China. Visitors from China could only enter on a day trip with no overnight options.
Since mid 2013 it has been possible to stop-over in Sinuiju. At present there is only one hotel at which foreign visitors can stay – the Amnokgang Hotel. Continue reading “Amnokgang Hotel: “Clean and Comfortable””