I often say that my recent trip to North Korea was the trip of a lifetime. The whole notion of being there and experiencing the Hermit Kingdom from inside was enough to make the whole jaunt an unforgettable experience. During the trip I managed to catch a glimpse of a huge variety of things and places in DPRK which made me thoroughly enjoy the 12 days I spent in the country. Let it be socialist art, beautiful sceneries, tasty food or warm-hearted locals, there is certainly a lot in North Korea which seriously forced me consider having another trip to one of the World’s strangest countries. Let’s have a look at what I consider to be the list of some of the most interesting tangible aspects and experiences of travelling in North Korea.
1. Street scenes in Pyongyang and other cities
2. Gazing at the country from the train to Pyongyang
3. Meeting friendly soldiers in the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom, at the border with South Korea
4. Female traffic cops and their robot-like movements. Needless to say I’ve got a special room in my heart reserved for women in uniforms…
5. Late afternoon stroll in the folk park located in the city of Sariwon
6. Koryo Museum in Kaesong – the UNESCO listed site, formerly one of the oldest universities in the country, now converted to the museum and the great place to admire the traditional Korean architecture
7. Young Pioneers!
8. Tasty food (I am a die-hard Kimchi lover, I have to admit)
9. International Friendship Exhibition located at the footsteps of Mt Myohyang
10. The selection of cartoon movies in Grand People’s Study House
11. Mayday Stadium – the largest stadium in the World! (total seat capacity – 150 000)
12. Trams in Pyongyang – these among the other sights reminded me heavily of Poland in the early 90s. We actually got a chance to ride one of them – I am a public transport nerd and hence this was the kind of experience I’ll never forget.
13. Kids performing on stage in Pyongyang Schoolchildren’s Palace
14. Flower shops – once again bringing Polish childhood memories alive…
15. Bicycles, bicycles everywhere!
16. Drinking Makkoli in Sariwon
17. Beautiful costal city of Wonsan
18. Relaxing on the beach in Wonsan
19. Stunning mountainous scenery – the huge portion of North Korea is dominated by spectacular mountain peaks, covered by incredibly beautiful lush vegetation. How badly I wish we could have a proper trek there!
20. Beautifully situated Pohyon Temple
21. Extremely cute kids
22. Riding rollercoasters and bumper cars in a funfair in Pyongyang– the international conflict was in the air!
23. Visiting the Songam Cavern – an intriguing colourful retreat from the summer heat