life through the lens
The morning of my sixth day in North Korea was spent at the White Tiger Art Studio buying propaganda posters. After that it was off to Workers' Party Monument - February 2011
The new version of the North Korean Won notes were introduced in January 2010.
On the east side of the river is the hammer, sickle and writing brush of the Monument to the Foundation of the Workers' Party - Pyongyang
The tram drives past to reveal the Mansudae Grand Monument on the opposite side of the river.
..And looking the other way, taken from the Mansudae Grand Monument - Pyongyang
The square in front of the Workers' Party Monument - Pyongyang
Behind the monument is the Pyongyang Cultural Exhibition and Gift Shop. It sells art, ceramics, writings by Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, books, postcards and handicrafts - Pyongyang
I was very lucky to be invited to see the excellent Pyongyang Symphony Orchestra at the Moranbong Theatre, on the occasion of Kim Jong Il's birthday.
More propaganda on the North Korea streets - Pyongyang
The Great Leader Kim Il Sung died in 1994, aged 82. A surreal - and worthwhile - experience is attending the Kumsusan Memorial Palace where his body lies in state - Pyongyang
Florist shops on the streets of Pyongyang are quite common. People are forever paying their respects to Kim Il Sung by laying flowers at the foot of his statues.
A popular expat hangout is the Diplomatic Club, aka The Diplo, near the Juche Tower.
A week's gone by so I'm back on the train - Pyongyang train station
The Pyongyang-Beijing train runs four times a week and takes around 24 hours. Foreigners and important North Koreans heading for China all sit in a coach separated from the masses. The international section is detached at Sinuiju and continues to Beijing - Pyongyang
Hats resting outside the guardsroom. I've taken the train on four occasions and this was the first time I was able to walk through the '1st class' coach full of North Koreans, on my way to the (freezing) restaurant. I think this coach was also detached at Sinuiju - Pyongyang
The train makes its way through Pyongyang, passing the ice rink
This take on the Ryugyong Hotel shows one section not covered with glass - Pyongyang
North Korean countryside on the train ride from Pyongyang to Dandong
Apartment blocks - Pyongyang to Dandong
What looks like a 4x4 driving through town - Pyongyang to Dandong
In a country lacking machinery, cows and oxen are vital to farming - Pyongyang to Dandong
An elderly man shoulders buckets, maybe filled with water or some form of fuel - Pyongyang to Dandong
Ploughing the land in sub-zero temperatures - Pyongyang to Dandong
A UN March 2011 press release said vaccinations and equipment to contain Foot and Mouth outbreaks were required in North Korea - Pyongyang to Dandong
Taking a break - Pyongyang to Dandong
'Public transport' can take many different guises in North Korea - Pyongyang to Dandong
Cycling is probably the most common means of transport - Pyongyang to Dandong
Naturally tractors require fuel and maintenance - Pyongyang to Dandong
Taking care of his goat herd - Pyongyang to Dandong
I think a spot of rail maintenance was taking place here - Pyongyang to Dandong
Disembarking the train on the way from Pyongyang to Dandong
Soldiers marching along a country road - Pyongyang to Dandong
Another rural village - Pyongyang to Dandong
These guys waved back to us with a smile - Pyongyang to Dandong
Aid agencies were reporting food shortages again, in February 2011 - Pyongyang to Dandong
Farmland propaganda signs - Pyongyang to Dandong
Hard to read I know but get in touch if you have an idea what the red flags may say - Pyongyang to Dandong
Carts laden with fir trees return to their village - Pyongyang to Dandong
Pyongyang to Dandong
A crowd looks out from behind the doors at this train station - Pyongyang to Dandong
Watchtowers are placed either side of train stations, usually with a guard on watch - Pyongyang to Dandong
Pyongyang to Dandong
Ox and carts are a common sight in the countryside - Pyongyang to Dandong
I wonder if these are military vehicles - Pyongyang to Dandong
Hanging around waiting for the bus to depart - Pyongyang to Dandong
A couple of guys make themselves comfortable on a pile of sandbags - Pyongyang to Dandong
Children look on as water is collected from a well - Pyongyang to Dandong
Website and content Copyright © 2008-2011 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.
www.koreakonsult.com - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my 2009 tour with. For me it offered the best itinerary and was flexible enough to cater for travelling by train to Pyongyang. The group size, at 23, was rather large however (but a great bunch of people!)
www.koryogroup.com - Koryo Tours is the market leader
http://english.chosun.com - Chosun Ilbo is a South Korean newspaper with lots of coverage of North Korea
www.nkeconwatch.com - plenty of independent news stories and analysis of North Korea
www.kcckp.net - news portal on behalf of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (ie North Korea)
www.kcna.co.jp - news from the 'Korean Central News Agency'
Other tour agencies -
www.explorenorthkorea.com - USA/Dandong, China
www.geoex.com - USA
http://koningaap.nl - Netherlands
www.nordkoreareisen.de - Germany
www.northkorea1on1.com - USA
www.north-korea-travel.com - Hong Kong
www.universaltravel.com.sg - Singapore
www.vnc.nl - Netherlands
www.youngpioneertours.com - China
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