We arrived here in the dark but were still able to make out the guards carrying riffles at a checkpoint at the entrance. We then drove to a large building with the words "Service Centre" on a sign above 2 large doors. Our guide got off the bus and collected our keys and told us to meet back at the Service Centre in 15 minutes for dinner. We then went off on the bus past large villas. I shared one large villa with a couple of guys on my tour. We each had a room to ourselves on the upper floor and had to change our shoes into slippers left by the entrance door. My room was very large and looked like it hadn't been decorated since the 1970's - lovely floral carpet, 2 queen size beds and a white wooden wall cabinet unit with lots of mirrors. The room came with a TV, fridge and under floor heating but the pièce de résistance was found in the bathroom - a very deep hot-tub bath that fills with hot salty water that is meant to contain minerals. I used it before I went to bed after we had eaten and it was delightful.
The whole area features around 20 large posh villas that used to be holiday homes for North Koreas top officials. They are connected by small roads that are lined with trees and border flowers and everything looks like it has come out from Beverley Hills. The main Service Centre building contains a games room, karaoke room, billiard tables and a large restaurant where we ate. There are also large fridges in the restaurant that contained such luxuries as cans and bottles of coca-cola, Twix, bounty and kit-kat bars that we just hadn't seen anywhere else! This place is just crazy when you compare it to what the average North Korean lives in. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
Hot-tub mineral baths in every room, games room and luxury items in fridges!
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