Folk Hotel Gift Shop: Korean Movies and CDs
The Gift shop at the folk hotel had the usual array of souvenirs on offer - celadon pottery, books about the sights of old Kaesong, but the highlights for us were the selection of DVDs of North Korean film, and Korean Music.
The music on offer was usually of a military or patriotic nature, full of stirring marches and more reminiscent of Russian patriotic music than anything from the Korean peninsula. Though I am sure that there were some versions of the popular folk son 'Arirang' to be found
I settled on the 30th volume of songs from the Korean Peoples Army Merited Chorus (dissapointing to have miised out on their earlier stuff!)
Koryo Museum Souvenir shop: DPRK stamps and postcards
I was delighted to find some propaganda posters, and some delightfully incendiary postcards, complete with guns pointing at the evil USA, Japan etc.
I was not lucky enough to secure the magnificently incongruous Princess Diana and other British Royal Family stamps. One was tempted to ask - Why??
What to pay: Not much
- Museum Visits
Every outdoor stand you see in tourist locations in Kaesong has pretty much the same few things for sale:
A selection of North Korean booze, three flavours of two-years-past-the-sell-by-date cola, warm bottled water, ginseng products, and cookies.
They charge in US$, and generally will not give you change. They'll tell you to buy untill you've spent your money, so take lots of $1 bills for drinks if it's hot out.
- Beer Tasting
Kaesong Folk Custom Hotel: Souvenir shop
Every stand you see in Kaesong has pretty much the same few things for sale:
A selection of North Korean booze, three flavours of two-years-past-the-sell-by-date cola, warm bottled water, and cookies.
The souvenir shop at the Folk hotel has a much better selection. Books, music, paintings, embroidery, pictures, etc...
Not many of the books were in English, but I managed to find a few... bought "Japan's War Crimes-Past and Present". Figured it wouldn't be frowned upon coming through South Korean customs... I was looking for a Kim Jong Il lapel pin that all the North Koreans were wearing, but had no luck in purchasing one.
Also got a flag pin for my bag, and a bottle of ginseng booze. Shop prices were relatively cheap.
book $4, pin $1, bottle $13
What to pay: Whatever you buy, expect to use US$. I had an older bill refused, take newer issued bills.
- Beer Tasting
- Historical Travel
Move over Viagra
What to buy: According to the glossy North Korean guidebook old Cliffie found in Pyongyang, the ginseng grown around Kaesong has "an invigorating and fatigue-relieving effect which increases mental and physical efficiency and is especially effective in promoting health and longevity". Old Cliffie could have done with some after a night on the Taedonggang beer!