Arrival in Pyongyang
2000/10/14



We left Beijing on board of an North Korean airplane. Surprisingly communist Koryo air gives you the choice between different classes. We fly economy class and I receive a breakfast which is at least different from the standard ones you usually get.  

The first impression I got from North Korea was the airport. The building is not very big but it has its own unique communist atmosphere.

Airport
Pyongyang SoonAnAirport


The customs took as long as in other countries but at least the officers were not as serious as lets say in China. We then met our tour guides and got on the bus. The first stop was the Arc de Triumph. It is 3 meters higher (60m) than its counterpart in Paris. It was erected in commemoration of the return of the Great Leader after he restored the fatherland. However as we just arrived I was more interested in the Korean people walking nearby and the atmosphere here than in this monumental piece architecture.

Arc de Triumph
Arc de Triumph


Right next to the Arc de Triumph there was our first mosaic showing the Korean people greeting the Great Leader Kim Il Sung. 

Propaganda at the Arc de Triumph
Propaganda


From our room in the Yangakdo Hotel we have a nice view over the city of Pyongyang. Unlike my home in Shanghai it is very quiet and peaceful. In the night it is even possible to see the starry sky. No noise or bright advertisement disturbs the atmosphere.

Pyongyang at night
Pyongyang at night


We ate outside and had a very delicious meal. People knowing me will confirm that I am quite picky, so it must have been really good. After dinner we went to the Koryo hotel were we visited the bookshop and played some pool. In our own hotel I was later on quite surprised when I learned that there is a gambling hall in the basement. It offers all kinds of games just as black jack or roulette. The staff is actually from China.


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