50 Reasons Why I Enjoyed My Trip to North Korea – Part I

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

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

Street scenes in North Korea

 

2. Gazing at the country from the train to Pyongyang

North Korea from the train

North Korea from the train

North Korea from the train

North Korea from the train

North Korea from the train

 

3. Meeting friendly soldiers in the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom, at the border with South Korea

Panmunjom Join Security Area - DMZ

Soldiers marching in Panmunjom Join Security Area - DMZ

 

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…

Traffic Lady in Pyongyang

Traffic Lady in Pyongyang

 

5. Late afternoon stroll in the folk park located in the city of Sariwon

Folk Park in Sariwon

Folk Park in 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

Koryo Museum in Kaesong

 

7. Young Pioneers!

Young Pioneers visiting Revolutionary Martyr Cemetary

 

8. Tasty food (I am a die-hard Kimchi lover, I have to admit)

Royal Pananggi banquet in Kaesong

Royal Pananggi banquet in Kaesong

Korean hot pot

Korean hot pot

Pyongyang Cold Noodles

Pyongyang Cold Noodles

Enjoying a raw octopus in Nampo

Enjoying a raw octopus in Nampo

 

9. International Friendship Exhibition located at the footsteps of Mt Myohyang

International Friendship Exhibition Hall

North Korean Soldiers visiting International Friendship Exhibition Hall

 

10. The selection of cartoon movies in Grand People’s Study House

Cartoons for sale in Grand People's Study House, Pyongyang

Cartoons for sale in Grand People's Study House, Pyongyang

 

11. Mayday Stadium – the largest stadium in the World! (total seat capacity – 150 000)

Mayday Stadium

 

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.

Tram in Pyongyang

Tram in Pyongyang

 

13. Kids performing on stage in Pyongyang Schoolchildren’s Palace

Children Performance

Children Performance

Children Performance

 

14. Flower shops – once again bringing Polish childhood memories alive…

Flower shops in Pyongyang

 

15. Bicycles, bicycles everywhere!

Bicycles in North Korea

 

16. Drinking Makkoli in Sariwon

Drinking Makkoli In Sariwon

 

17. Beautiful costal city of Wonsan

Wonsan

Wonsan

Wonsan

 

18. Relaxing on the beach in Wonsan

Wonsan Beach

 

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

Pohyon Temple

Pohyon Temple

 

21. Extremely cute kids

Cute North Korean kids

Cute North Korean kids

 

22. Riding rollercoasters and bumper cars in a funfair in Pyongyang– the international conflict was in the air!

Funfair in Pyongyang

Funfair in Pyongyang

 

23. Visiting the Songam Cavern – an intriguing colourful retreat from the summer heat

Songam Cavern

 

24. Mass dance on Kim Il Sung Square on the Liberation Day

Mass Dance on Kim Il Sung's Square, the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Korea (6)

Mass Dance on Kim Il Sung's Square, the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Korea (7)

Mass Dance on Kim Il Sung's Square, the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Korea (5)

Mass Dance on Kim Il Sung's Square, the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Korea (8)

25. Our fantastic Korean guides and the best driver ever!

With our Korean guides

With our Korean guides

With our Korean guides

Our awesome Korean driver

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