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North-Korean pics


clock03-29-2010, 12:03 AM
Yorum: #1
Hi everyone,



I recently visited North-Korea as part of a large train journey. I already postent them in other sections, but forgot to place it here. Now here they are. I hope you find them interesting.



Arriving by train in the city was a strange experience in itself. Because of the energy crisis in the country, many parts of Pyongyang don't have electricity on parts of the day. There's also no streetlights in most parts of the city. So we travelled by train along huge rows of commie blocks, which we could only vaguely see in the moonlight. Creepy.



After arriving on Pyongyang's main station (military music blasting through the speakers...), we were waited for by our guides, who immidiately brought us to our hotel. This hotel (160 meter high) is only meant for foreign tourists and is situated on an island in the river (so tourists can easily be seperated from North-Koreans). This means that they can allow things for the tourists that are not allowed outside. We had BBC World on our TV and there's even a casino in the basement! [img]images/smilies/eek2.gif[/img]



The next days we wouldn't go anywhere without our guides. They showed us lots of monumental places in the country at a very fast pace, while trying to ensure you won't see much of the regular life in the country. But they don't fully succeed in that: you get quite a good impression of the poor village life when passing through the countryside by train or car. Unfortuantely, taking pictures of such scenes was out of the question.



In Pyongyang things are a bit more relaxed: you can freely take pictures in most streets. This is because Pyongyang's citizens are privleged citizens: they get better clothes, jobs, food, etc. Also, the city doesn't look bad at all. It's not beautiful though, except when you like huge amounts of commie blocks and giant communist momuments.



The country is getting a bit more modern. There are far more private cars on the streets than some years ago. Also, there are some food kiosks on street, operated privately (!) by people, at the same time competing(!!) the state-run shops. What's more: FIAT recently opened a car factory in the country... and there's even advertising (!!!!) in the streets for the cars produced there.



Anyway, here's are the first pics of Pyongyang. Unfortunately during our entire stay it was very foggy and cloudy. I tried to correct some pics because of that, but this also means that they are a bit grainy and strange coloured.



More pics will follow.



1. The Great Leder Kim-Il-Sung. Still President of the Democratic(?) People's Republic of Korea, despite the fact that he's dead since a couple of years.

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2. The Arch of Triumph. Of course a little bit higher than the one in Paris.

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7. The Great People's Study House, some sort of central library. Would they have George Orwell's 1984?

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10. The Tower of Juche Idea (180 m). The Juche Idea is the principle on which the country is founded. It stresses the importance of independance and self-reliance for a country. A bit weird in a country that could only function because of cheap trade with the Soviet Union. The economy had collapsed since than, and there's even not enough food in the country now. Things are slowly improving though, partly because they now (reluctantly) accept foreign aid.

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11. The view from the Juche Tower

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14. A busy street in the heart of the city.

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20. Night view from our hotel room (40th floor)

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