"Pyongyang - Kim Il Sung's blank canvas" Top 5 Page for this destination P'yongyang by Willettsworld

P'yongyang Travel Guide: 280 reviews and 970 photos

Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea and will be your arrival and departure point if you're ever thinking of planning a trip here. It is believed that between 2-2.5 million people live here but they're not just any old people. They have been specifically chosen by the government to live and work here and so it's a great privilege for them to be a resident here. They go about their business, mostly by foot, in an almost Trueman Show kind of way - just being there and not really doing anything. As they mostly walk from A to B, vehicles are few and far between and so the streets are virtually devoid of any traffic which lends an eeriness to the city. Countless propaganda photos and murals of the so called "Great" leader, Kim Il Sung, are spread throughout the city to act as a show of strength and power to the people, defiance over hardship and that everyone should pull together for the better good of the country.

Pyongyang didn't disappoint me or let me down in any way, shape or form. It was just how I imagined it to be: 100% Communist in every way - the buildings, streets, people and customs. Think of how Moscow would have been back in the 1980's but with virtually everything dating from when it was destroyed during the Korean War in the 1950's. It was the perfect place to start a regime and that regime's capital city from a blank canvas and to infiltrate the 'new' ways on its population and architecture. I actually liked the city - no noise, traffic, litter, advertising or clutter and some of the buildings are actually quite nice. But then, the side that we didn't see must be a very harsh way for the people to live by.

I spent four nights here on my weeklong tour of North Korea and the itinerary crammed in as much as possible as there is an awful lot to see here. We were shepherded around in a brightly coloured bus, from which we could take pictures from open windows that I didn't expect to be allowed to do. This means that I ended up taking over 600 photo's of the city, of which more than half have found their way onto this page. So enjoy them as they speak for themselves more than me writing about what they depict.

  • Last visit to P'yongyang: Jun 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (89)

Comments (8)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    You have created a great page here, thanks for sharing your impressions....

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Wow, what an opportunity for you to be able to visit there. It looks like you got to see a lot of the culture and people in action. YOur pictures and comments are great.

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2010 at 5:25 AM

    Love your tips on North Korea! Dawn

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    I'd love to visit North Korea since it must be pretty unique. Good to see so much info about it. Irene

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    Hi, Glyn! It's great you've been there... Thanks for sharing!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    fascinating page!

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    lotīs of good tips you put up there mate.

  • cochinjew's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your tips. Excellent, I must say..it does whet one's appetite for travel to DPRK. I see citizens from DPRK in Havana, and their distinct lapel pins.. May be you could put more info on how to organize the trip to DPRK.


“"Don't listen to what they say. Go see." ~ Chinese proverb”

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