If you have been here before, you have already been through the process of marvelling at its architectural beauty, the cleanliness of its streets and the vibrancy of its people. You have probably thought to yourself what a shame it is that more people have not had the chance to see for themselves what a hidden gem this city truly is – and you’ve decided to return again .
Pyongyang is a new old city. Having been nearly completely decimated in the 1950-53 war its breathtaking layout was designed to rebuild their country more beautiful than it ever was – and this is apparent everywhere you look.
One of the first landmarks that will greet you upon your entry into Pyongyang city limits is the Arch of Triumph. This monument commemorates the two decades of Korean resistance to Japanese occupation between 1925 and 1945, and is the second largest triumphant arch in existence anywhere in the world (and taller than that of Paris).
The Juche Tower pays tribute to the DPRK’s official ideology of self-reliance and independence. It stands on the eastern bank of the Taedong River. As the second tallest monumental column in the world, the view of the city from the top of the tower is a sight not to be missed.
The Pyongyang Metro will have you in awe of the passionate labor that went into creating what is more than a means of transportation, but a true work of art. Completed in 1973, the Metro is used by at least 300,000 people a day. Take a ride on one of the refurbished Berlin underground trains for an unforgettable experience.
Not to be outdone is the beauty of Kim Il-Sung Square. Easily built to accommodate over 100,000 people, the area contains more than 800,000 square feet and houses the headquarters of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The square may be known in the west for being the scene of military parades, but stop by on any day and there may be a chance that a mass dance or other cultural event is happening here.With its riverside setting, one can get an excellent view of the Juche Tower in all its glory from across the Taedong.
The Grand People’s Study House can be seen overlooking Kim Il Sung Square. Built in 1982, the library has over 600 rooms and can hold up to 30 million books. Modern computers can lead one onto the DPRK’s intranet, and the music appreciation room will even lend out CDs by The Beatles and other western groups.
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum was originally constructed at the conclusion of the war and opened to the public in August of 1953. The museum was rebuilt and reopened in 2013 at its current location. Over 800,000 people visited that particular year alone.
As you step foot inside the Yanggakdo International Hotel, you enter into what appears to be a world of its own. With a bowling alley, bar, bookstore, swimming pool and a world renowned revolving restaurant on the 47th floor that overlooks the city, the hotel has far more than anyone could ask for or desire.
Pyongyang will undoubtedly leave you lost for words. It is a city impossible to not fall in love with, from its hospitable people to gorgeous scenery. Whether you spend your evenings (and late nights) drinking Korean beer or challenging yourself to the most intense rides at the fun fair, Pyongyang will earn its spot in your heart for the rest of your life.