life through the lens
We had a ride on the Pyongyang metro, lunch on the Taedong River and drove down to Chongsangri cooperative farm on our way to Nampo - September 2009.
200 North Korean Won
Heading for Rehabilitation station on the Pyongyang Metro, Pyongyang
Our guide Lim explains the Pyongyang Metro. The map indicates the existence of 2 lines and 15 stations. Foreigners can only ever see two, Rehabilitation and Glory - Pyongyang
Down, down and deeper down. The 110 metre deep metro doubles as a nuclear bunker - Pyongyang
Rumours abound that the commuters are just 'actors'. It all looked real to me, though others noticed no-one going in or coming out of Glory station once we left. Maybe power shortages restrict it's operation?
A train leaves Rehabilitation ('Puhung' in Korean) - Pyongyang
You can't escape him. A mural of the Great Leader at Rehabilitation - Pyongyang Metro
A mural on the Pyongyang metro
They're on the metro aswell - Pyongyang
Kim Il Sung on the left, Kim Jong Il on the right - Pyongyang metro
Glory station is an impressive station. As we were leaving the souvenirs appeared on a makeshift table. As tour itineraries are all planned out they certainly knew we were coming - Pyongyang
Exiting Glory Station. The wording of the poster behind is 'Let us strengthen the single hearted unity' - Pyongyang
There's plenty of trams in Pyongyang, along with buses, trolleybuses, trucks, bicycles and, of course, walking - Pyongyang
The job of a traffic girl is a coveted one, and apparently only beautiful women aged 18-21 are eligible. There were a few traffic men aswell - I don't know if the same rules apply (yeah right) - Pyongyang.
Their movements are very disciplined, similar to soldiers in a changing of the guard ceremony. But wave at them and they smile and wave back - Pyongyang
Lunchtime onboard the Pyongyang Number 1 Boat, Pyongyang
Luckily the boat went on a mini-cruise along the Taedong River - Pyongyang
Locals enjoying the water in rowing boats - Pyongyang
The Taedong Bridge and Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
The boat passes the Tower of the Juche Idea, a 170-metre tall tower, Pyongyang
The tower is crowned with a 20-metre high torch - Pyongyang
The group pose in front of the Tower of the Juche Idea, Pyongyang
This family asked some of the group to pose for photos. They said thankyou in Russian - Pyongyang
The Tower of the Juche Idea as seen from Kim Il Sung Square, Pyongyang
The Grand People's Study House stands at the end of Kim Il Sung Square, Pyongyang
Behind me are 2 women cleaning a wall with toothbrushes, Pyongyang
A government building on Kim Il Sung Square, Pyongyang.
Korean Central History Museum on Kim Il Sung Square, Pyongyang
Heading for Chongsangri Farm we drive on the 5-lane Youth Hero Highway. We could park in the middle without danger - Pyongyang to Chongsangri
Corn lines the roadside at the Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
The rice fields of Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
Children at Chongsangri Cooperative Farm sing their way to school registration
My YouTube video here
As expected at a model farm there's a museum to show how marvellous it is. Kim Il Sung appeared at the farm in order to provide some on-the-spot guidance - Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
Propaganda poster at Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
A glass cabinet holds rice that Kim Il Sung 'observed'. I had to double check that with the guide! Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
More on-the-spot guidance from the Kims - Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
Workers separate the corn from the cobs at Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
And the chickens help themselves - Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
I asked what the bags said: apparently 'Made in China'.
At the entrance to the Chongsangri Cooperative Farm nursery
Chongsangri Cooperative Farm nursery. Should I mention the marijuana plants growing in the nursery grounds? Maybe not..
The children sing along with their teacher at the nursery - Chongsangri Cooperative Farm
Website and content Copyright © 2008-2012 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.
www.koreakonsult.com - Korea Konsult is a Swedish based company that I booked my 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
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'
www.nk-news.net/extras/insult_generator.php - definitely not an official DPRK site - the Random Insult Generator
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
I am not responsible for the content of external websites.