Pyongyang – New Year in North Korea

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New Year 2017 started for me in North Korea. In Pyongyang – the capital, to be exact.

I traveled to North Korea by train from China, arriving in Pyongyang.

As I was part of a Chinese tour group – mostly students. There were 15 of us; I was the only foreigner.

We departed from the Chinese border city of Dandong on the morning of December 31st, arriving in the early evening for New Year’s Eve.


I had an English-speaking North Korean minder assigned to me within this Chinese tour group, while in Pyongyang and everywhere while traveling the DPRK, up until the return-train bound for Dandong.

architecture pyongyang north korea
While Pyongyang is mostly stark concrete blocks, the city also shows off some serious bling. Top: Great Parade ground – empty after New Year; Middle L to R: famous pyramid tower hotel that remains an unfinished shell since Soviet-collapse days; Massive palatial mausoleum of the last two Kim leaders; prestigious apartment tower block in “Science” street; Below: Old city wall gate near the riverfront in the morning. FACT: Most of the tour is a guided rush, where a lot of sights – and authentic city views – are glimpsed only from windows in a flash. Such is the nature of traveling North Korea.
Traveling the subway in Pyongyang – North- Korea
Traveling the subway in Pyongyang – North- Korea

Travels in North Korea – 2016-17


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