Pyongyang at night: Not much in the way of nightlife!
This is a shot I took of a view over Pyongyang at about 8pm from my hotel room on the 39th floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel. I think most people have seen a night satellite image of the whole of North Korea where there is hardly any lights to be seen. Well a few lights are on but the streets lights are not on. Things are pretty gloomy at night. You wouldn't be allowed out at night apart from going to the odd restaurant so foget about it!
Hotel bars: Nightlife/Alcohol in DPRK
Unless you are diplomat or someone with special rights within DPRK, the nightlife that you will be limited to is that which your hotel offers. You will not be allowed to roam around the town at night. And even if you did, the locals cannot afford such liberties, so there are not any bars or nightlife areas.
The bars or lounges in the hotels will offer beers and basic cocktails. Prices are reasonable at a couple dollars each.
Dress Code: Dress code within the hotels is completely casual.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
International hotels: Hotel bar is only option
You can grab a few beers in hotel bar. That's nightlife in DPRK for tourists.
Or you can go for a bowling in hotel. We convinced our guides to play with us and drink with us and that was the best fun we had with them in whole trip. Next day, they were back to reality.
Night-time entertainment will most probably be confined to the hotel. There are 2 of them in Pyongyang that open to tourist. Both of which have casinos and nightclubs which are non-permiting to locals and usualy empty. One even has its own ten-pin bowling alleys and driving range, while the other has pool and brews its own beer. So if you are with a group of other tourist (most likely) then you can arrange to have some fun within the compouns of your luxury hotel. Karoeke like everywhere in Asia is popular and usually a must when you get to the hotle in the evenings but there may only be a few dire english songs to choose from.
Dress Code: Whatever
Diplomats´ Club: Karaoke in Diplomats´ Club
We were in the Diplomat´s Club in East Pyongyang. Probably various entertainment possibilities exist in the club, we did not see it all, but Karaoke definitely is on the menu. Also the Korean waitresses will sing (Korean) songs.
Dress Code: No mandatory dress code, I assume, but having a suit is always a good idea in North Korea.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
The only nightlife I have seen...
The only nightlife I have seen was in Pyongyang at Yangakkdo Hotel on this Island in Taedong River.
There is something like a small Disco with Western Songs, filled up with Chinese Tourists.
We played also Billiard. There is a underground walk from the lobby to a small room with the Billiard Tables and a small bar. There was smoke anywhere and many of Korean from outside visiting home. The Billiard rule is very strange in Northkorea...
None whatsoever - unless it's...
None whatsoever - unless it's taking place in your hotel. Pyongyang by night looks like all the joke postcards you see - totally black except for the enormous 'Juche Tower' monument with a flame-like beacon on the top. It is probably the only modern city in the world (and it is very modern in a 1950's sort of way) without a single advert of any description. Just try to imagine that next time you walk down the street - and how the colour drains from the cityscape as a result.
Dress Code: Packing a hardwearing suit and shirt and tie is likely to endear you to your guides/hosts and thereby increase your prospects of their varying the itinerary. Most of the men wear uniform of one type or another, the women you meet wear traditional Korean dress. Everyone, but everyone, wears a Kim Il Sung lapel badge.
Let's face it, you're not going to blend in, so don't even try - you're at least a foot taller than everyone else anyhow..
YANGAKKDO HOTEL - Option 1:...
YANGAKKDO HOTEL - Option 1: Casino, Ground floor; Option 2: North Korean Film, In your room; Option 3: Having a bird-eye view from 48th floor of Pyongyang;
KORYO HOTEL - Drink with minders in the lobby, beer: Koryo Hotel (made by own minibrewery);
You do not have to worry about finding the venue. Suggest a venue to your minder.
Dress Code: Formal - casino; Informal - other, jacket is recommendable for bird-eye viewing of Pyongyang.
As far as I know -- there was...
As far as I know -- there was none....but that was 1996 and things are (supposed) to have changed somewhat in recent years. Anyway, because of the 'tour' that I was on, going out at night, well......, I guess that I didn't pay for that option. If you find somewhere to go -- please, let me know.
Dress Code: Very, VERY conservative....or rather, same suits everyone?? No, it was not quite that bad but, honestly, this is one time where you CAN believe (almost) everything that you read....literally. As a foriegn tourist, my group and myself were 'above suspicion' but there were still the occasional sneers (or are those envious glares?) at us in the street, subway station, and so on. Casual dress and, above all, remember -- no slogans or western trademarks....you'll lose 'your shirt' by breaking the law or cause someone wants it.
Restaurent with a show
Probably there isn't the sort of night life you have in mind in North Korea. But a dinner with some dancing and singing show could be a good alternative.
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