New Year 2017 started for me in North Korea. In Pyongyang, the capital, to be exact. The following (experimental) slideshow video offers a few highlights from the city.
Starting with a trip on the Pyongyang subway – the deepest in the world at 110 meters below ground.
Followed a night visit – with flowers and a bow – to the Mansu Hill Grand Monument where mighty 22-meter-high bronze statues of North Korea’s first two leaders stand in front of a mosaic mural of Mount Paektu, considered to be the sacred mountain of revolution. Flanking them are huge socialist monuments of soldiers, workers and the people.
The last outing here is an Ice Sculpture Festival held nearby the massive military parade ground in the downtown, and finishes with a few monuments lit at night and midnight fireworks.
I went to North Korea by train from China, and traveled with a Chinese tour group of mostly students. There were 15 of us, me the only foreigner, but I had a decent North Korean guide/minder assigned to me within this otherwise Chinese-speaking group. A lot of fun, and some interesting scenes of North Korea were glimpsed … more later.