P'yongyang Things to Do Tips by DSwede Top 5 Page for this destination
P'yongyang Things to Do: 119 reviews and 334 photos
The USS Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans in January 1968, off of the east coast of Korea. That is also the date when modern history ends in North Korea.
It is not difficult to imagine how an unarmed surveillance boat manned by ~80 men was easily captured by the North Korean navy. One soldier was killed during the incident and the others were repatriated 11 months later. The location of the capture is an argument, some say it was in international waters, while DPRK claims it was in their jurisdiction. Regardless, it is now on proud display on the Taedong River in downtown P'yongyang.
This is a trophy of the North Koreans, a reminder to the world about how they have the might and ability to overcome the imperialist USA. It also is their proof that even to this day, the USA is actively engaging in espionage, spying and surveillance against North Korea.
Amazing that the North failed to point out their own transgressions and infiltration attempts onto South Korean soil by submarine. The latest of their attempts is now on display at Gangneung S Korea....
When your guides take you to this trophy display, they will make you sit through a ~5 minute video that shows their view about how it was captured, what it meant politically and they will no doubt show the criminal confessions of the US crew. All of which obviously has some fact in it, but you must filter out the propaganda.
One thing they will never tell you is how it managed to be captured in the eastern waters, but was relocated to the western coast, then moved up the Taedong River to P'yongyang...
Address: Taedong River Bank, Central District
Children's Theater of P'yongyang
Do not let the title guide you astray, this is not a theater specifically aimed at children, but rather the performers are the children themselves.
For a little more than one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the gifted children of the area put on dance and music shows. The talent of these kids is amazing.
It could be argued that the practice and strict discipline for such young kids to perform to a near-professional level is harsh treatment. But it is the custom here. Children have fewer venues to take their time in otherwise, fewer sports or extra curricular activities, so sometimes they turn to the stage, whether by choice or by pressure.
Directions: There are two Children's Theaters. Ask your guide which is having shows on which days, but your options are usually only Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Kim il-Sung in his eternal home
The final resting place of Kim il-Sung is only open on Fridays and Sundays. Sunday's will no doubt be busy with locals paying their respects to Kim il-Sung on their one and only day off. It is customary to dress in formal clothes, being a shirt and tie for men, or a respective dress for women.
After waiting in line, standing in rows that are 4-wide, your group will be escorted inside. Bags and cameras will be required to be deposited at the counter prior to entry.
There are hundreds of meters of moving walkways that navigate through the enormous compound that is now a mausoleum. Once in the room of the glass display with Kim's body, groups of four will advance one at a time.
It is custom that people bow at Kim's feet. Then move to the left (Kim's right), and bow again. Then walk around his head (no bow here), and bow one last time along Kim's left side.
Once outside of the building, you may take your camera and take photos.
Directions: North side of town, north of May Day Stadium
1987 construction of Ryugyong Hotel
The tallest structure in P'yongyang has sat unfinished and dormant for nearly 20 years. The pyramid-shaped hotel, which would have rivaled any hotel in any major city, has been left as a shell for all to see. The 105 story building has sat dormant with rusting tower crane stuck in position since the Soviet Union disbanded in 1992, because they were the economic benefactor for construction.
Back in 1988, Seoul hosted the Olympic Games. P'yongyang believed that in good faith since they are also "Korea", that the South would have placed some of the events in P'yongyang's venues. This hotel was initiated to host the world for the Games. But once the government learned that the Games would not be shared, the project was put on hold.
To this day, the tower crane remains in position as it was 20 years ago. There are no windows, no utilities, no lights, nothing... It is a ghost structure. For that reason, it sometimes is called the "Ghost Hotel", or the "Hotel of Doom".
UPDATE: As of July 2008, reports are that an Egyptian company has begun renovating the upper floors of the building.
Address: central disctrict
Directions: This will not be on any map or publication. Its visible from everywhere in the city, but it is not discussed and rarely acknowledged.
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