There was a delay on our journey back form the Concrete wall near the DMZ. A loud 'bang' from under the bus, followed by unpleasant grinding noises. We stopped for an hour as curious local came through the fields to peer at the tourists. We observed ingenuity at work as the bu' suspension was fixed inside an hour with what seemed no more than a large rubber band!
On to one of the Royal tombs of the Koryo dynasty, outside Kaesong city (we made a run through the backstreets). The road winds through steep hilly country, past the mounds of other tombs to a carpark at the base of the ceremonial steps to the two adjacent mounds where King Kongmin and his wife are interred. Stone statues of State Civil Officials line the path, and the toms themselves are guarded by grinning tigers and smiling sheep.
Kaesong Grand Shopping Mall, centralize located in Kaesong city.
Best place to buy souvenir of North Korea. Traditional wear, food, craft works, and antiques. The price is fixed in Chinese RMB or US dollar.
You can try your luck to bargain.
Most of the people may think Nandemon can only found in South Korea, actually there is one in Kaesong North Korea.
In Nandemon, one of the most famous buildings is this Ancient Bell Tower. This is one of the famous bell towers in North Korea.
The bell was kept in one of the old temper in Kaesong, in 1563, the temper was burnt in fire, so they move the bell to Nandemon and built a Bell Tower.
Coree Museum was built in Coree Era named as Songgyunguan University, the building is remain and now turns into Coree Museum, the remains indicating the way of development of Coree, the cultural assets, Buddhist image, metal craft, building model, stone art object were displaying in this building.
Find a day, if you realize that there isn’t any spy around; try your luck to go around.
The places I would definitely visit is local village. Here is one of the villages I’ve chosen near by Kaesong city.
As you can see, the house is made of wood, with very think concrete. Very old design, oldies but goodies.
I was told that usually few families share a small piece of farm land for cultivation. The farm land that I visited was almost empty.
Perhaps in another few weeks, the leaves of potato or sweet corn will comes out?
Some call this Grand General Hall as The Cultural Central or The Cultural Hall, but it really depends on the guide book.
There is a cultural food court inside where can fit more than 500 people.
When there are tourists visiting to this hall, they may have traffic control for the local people, that’s why we can meet no one local here.
Originally called the Taemyon Palace, this academy goes back to the 11th century. Having survived a few fires, wars (Imjin war ~1592) and reconstruction projects, it is now a museum and tribute to the past.
During its peak, it served as a Confucian academy, teaching some of the brightest minds on the Korean Peninsula. It also served as a Royal guest house.
In addition to the ~20 buildings and pagodas, there are two 500+ year old ginkgo trees and a zelkova tree reported to be more than 900 years old. All three are regarded as monuments.
This is probably one of the most famous street scenes in North Korea and one that I remember seeing on the net a few years ago that got me wanting to visit the country (who needs tour agency's!). This 4-lane street, known as Tongil Street, runs from the Kim Il Sung statue down the hill and then up again until it meets the Reunification Highway. It is just totally devoid of traffic. Instead a few people walk across it and you can see a traffic policeman, (they don't have the traffic ladies in Kaesong like they do in Pyongyang), just standing there without any traffic to direct. The large party of people to the right of the first photo are South Korean tourists who were visiting for the day and who have just come out of the building with the blue roof, which is known as Kaesong Restaurant No. 1.
I think virtually every town in North Korea has its own Kim Il Sung statue and Kaesong has this smaller one than the one found in Pyongyang. The statue is lit at night, (which is about the only thing that is in the city), and we could see it from our hotel.
One of the largest buildings in the city is this - the Students and Children's Palace as seen from the top of Mt. Chanam. It was opened in June 1961 on the 15th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Children's Union and was a total floor area of 6,000 square metres.
These are some photo's of the traditional Korean houses that still remain in Kaesong as the city was spared bombing during the Korean War. Unfortunately, we couldn't go round the old part of the city to see it up close but the best we place we got to see some of it was from outside the Tongli restaurant where we had lunch.
These are some photo's I took from the bus when we drove around Kaesong. It's a pretty drab looking place, unlike Pyongyang, and it was a shame that we couldn't go and explore the older areas which have small traditional Korean houses. More photo's can be found in my travelogues.
This tomb is located about 13km (8 miles) west of Kaesong. King Kongmin (1330 - 1374) was the 31st king of Koryo dynasty and he is buried his alongside his wife. The tombs are guarded by 12 guardian gods, sheep and tigers. There is a stone offertory table with a 7-ton stone slab in front each tomb. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
These are some photo's I took of the surrounding countryside around Kaesong as we made our way to the Tomb of King Kongmin. Lots of people were working in the rice paddy fields. Some of the houses are very new and look very reasonable and in fact, some were still being built as we went past. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
Sonjuk Bridge is located about 1km east of the Nam Gate. The small stone bridge dates from 1216 and is only 7 metres long and 2.5 metres wide. It was on this bridge that Ri Song Gye, the first king of the Ri Dynasty, had his opponent Jong Mong Ju executed in 1392. This well-known scholar advocated loyalty to the Koryo Dynasty against the usurpers. Later bamboo grew up beside the bridge and it's from that, that the bridge got its name. In 1780 the bridge was closed to all traffic and since then it is a monument.