Monday, August 19, 2013

3/3: North Korea Day 2 - PM (4/5/2013)

Here is the third part of my trip to North Korea, detailing the afternoon of Friday, April 6, as well as our flight home.

The first two parts can be found here:
1/3: North Korea Day 1 (4/4/2013)
2/3: North Korea Day 2 - AM (4/5/2013)

After a busy morning of touring, our groups met at a Korean hotpot restaurant across the street from Pyongyang's Embassy Quarter.  Both the food and presentation were good, and eating with new friends made the experience even better.
Fine dining
Hot pot
Close up
Embassy row outside of restaurant
Following lunch, we began our afternoon tours with the Juche Tower.  This provided excellent views of the city and really put things into perspective just how dated Pyongyang is compared to the outside world.  I got the feeling that nothing had truly been updated since the 1970's.

Juche Tower
Entrance of Juche Tower

Juche Tower from the front

Running a bit behind schedule, we rushed to the Monument to Party Foundation (Worker's Party Monument).  Only spending about 10 minutes here, it was a quick segment of the tour but still very cool.  I especially enjoyed going to the center and looking straight up.

Worker's Party Monument

View from the center

Next up was Mangyongdae Native House, where Kim Il-Sung was raised.  The neighborhood area was quiet and well maintained.  We also drank from the local well, which is said to bring good health.

Propaganda car while driving to Mangyongdae
Mangyongdae tour guide
Drinking water well
Trying the water!
Neighborhood monument
Saw some troops while driving back to city
After driving 25 minutes back into the city, we went to Pyongyang Metro.  As a train and transportation enthusiast, I was especially looking forward to this.

Pyongyang Metro station

Mr. Lim, Ms. Pang & I

As we exited the Metro, we were greeted by the massive Arch of Triumph.  Unfortunately, it was raining, which dampened (pun intended) the moment, but all in all, it was an impressive monument in the city.

The tour guides gave everyone one last chance to buy souvenirs and we took a quick pitstop at Wolhyang Souvenir Shop.  Here, I picked up some local candy, along with North Korean cola.  Both tasted great!
Shopping in Pyongyang
With everyone feeling satisfied with their purchases, it was time to hit the lanes at Golden Lane Bowling Alley, a 40-lane alley in central Pyongyang.
Ball used by Kim Il-Sung
The lanes
Check out them shoes!!!
Serious alley cats!
North Koreans enjoying the bowling alley

Ms. Pang asked us if we were interested in going to a Korean Happy Hour, a YES of course (who would ever say no!?!?!), so we enjoyed some local beer at Taedonggang No 3 Bar.  I've said in earlier posts, but the local beers were excellent, which I could purchase some in China.

Very nice bar!
Drinking next to Koreans
To end the night, we had a Mutton BBQ located outside of Pyongyang.  Here, we were given great food and entertainment, which included karaoke and dancing.  Other than the power going out four times, the evening could not have been better.

Table top BBQ
Powers out! Handy man saving the day
After dinner performance
She rocked it!
After dinner, we returned to the hotel, where some in the group stayed up for late night drinks.  I wasn't feeling too well, so called it an early night.  Upon waking up in the morning, we were informed that local embassies were being asked to evacuate all employees due to the heightened risk of war.  This added a bit of urgency to make it to our 9am flight, but things went smoothly.  Before I knew it, I was back in the air on my way to Beijing, but not without memories of a lifetime.

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