Once a year inside the Hermit Kingdom, the government of North Korea opens up it’s doors, if only slightly, for foreigners to come in and run Pyongyang city. While you may get a false glimpse of what life is like north of the border it’s something to say you’ve stepped over into this mysterious nation. Of course, expect changes from the advertised route and tight regulations within the country. There’s a lot of fine print on their official website and even the dates of the event are subject to change last minute as per the demands of the Eternal General Secretary of the Party, Kim Jong-Il.
How To Reach Pyongyang
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Arch of Triumph
The Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang was built to commemorate the Korean resistance to Japan from 1925 to 1945. Built in 1982 on the Triumph Return Square at the foot of Moran Hill in the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang, the monument was built to honour and glorify President Kim Il-sung's role in the military resistance for Korean independence. Inaugurated on the occasion of his 70th birthday, each of its 25,500 blocks of finely-dressed white granite represents a day of his life up to that point.
Geumsusan Memorial Palace
This place serves as the mausoleum for Kim Il-sung, the founder and eternal president of North Korea, and for his son Kim Jong-il who succeeded him as the country's ruler. Foreign visitors can access the palace only on Thursdays and Sundays. They must be on an official government tour. Visiting this place really tells you about how much of a place Kim Il-sung occupied in the hearts of his people. It is a very solemn and beautifully built place and should feature in your itinerary for sure. In North Korea everything is about Kim 11-sung. He was a very important leader of the country, and is forever regarded as the President. His successors are regarded as generals. It is no wonder then, that at the Memorial Palace you will be made to go through a tiresome procedure before you can enter. And yes, they are very secretive about the place. But this is almost like a holy spot for them and must be treated as such. Bow to the statue like you're told to. It will be something you'll never be able to forget.
Kaeson Youth Park
Kaeson Funfair is a recently renovated Amusement park in Pyongyang city center, very popular among locals. Entrance is approx. 1 Euro p/p, each ride is between 1 and 3 Euros per person. Go here to see a bit of the local city culture. Its a fun place to visit. Bump cars, and lots of other spinning, make-u-sick-quick attractions. One was even called the ‘vomitinator’, a relatively new attraction that had some press coverage as one of the Kims enjoyed this ride sitting aside the British governor, a political boo boo I guess. At the fun fair we were again the main attraction as the locals found us visitors entertaining. Groups of school girls shamlessly snapped photos of the wild bunch of strange out of towners.