Mansudae Art Studio
You just feel tricked. They take you to see ladies making Korean ceramics, embroideries, paintings but it's so fake in attitude that you just feel bad about those artificial situations.
Also, each building represent other business and in front of those are beautiful paintings where Father and Son are showing to nation how to make good embroideries. Yeah !!
Korea Film Studio
Imagine country where in cinemas you can only watch domestic movies ?! Then imagine that some of those are made by kidnapped directors ?!? Also, imagine that they don't have access to western market of actors so they (I was told so - help from fellow traveler) use the only 2 white guys that live in country for bad guys ?!?
You would think those studios must be something but it's not...don't expect too much. Most of sites are closed due to reparation...so we only saw some middle age Korean site. Pity.
Unique Suggestions: Do your best (as a group) and try to persuade them to show you more. Maybe you succeed. Anyway, they'll take you here as a part of regular itinerary.
Your guide will use every possibility to bring you into a souvenir shop. Every museum, every library,... then there is a bookshop, a shop from his travel agency and a stamp museum....
Unique Suggestions: Find some odd stuff, like books about human rights in South Korea or why the american started the war and so on. You will laugh about the age of some stuff but at least you will have fun!
None. Pyongyang is safe in a...
None. Pyongyang is safe in a way you can't begin to imagine. If you go there, you're probably among (at most) two dozen foreigners in the city/country at any one time. You can't take a cr*p without the North Koreans knowing all about it. You can be sure that whereever you are, at whatever time, you're being watched and/or listened to. In those circumstances, no-one is going to mug you - what have you got they could use anyway? North Koreans have no use for cameras or foreign currency. When you go there, such money as you are allowed to handle is specially printed 'won' for visitors use (a bit like the foreign exchange certificates they used to use in China) You won't see any North Korean won, not least of all because you couldn't spend it and it is not a tradable currency. The picture below is of central downtown Pyongyang (Kim Il Sung square to be precise) taken from the balcony of People's Study House - the Juche Tower is across the river. What is remarkable is that this is a typical day-time scene in a capital city that alleges it has 3m+ inhabitants. It's always as empty as this - where all the people actually are is anyone's guess - you only see fairly small groups of civilians at any time. It's a bit like you've arrived on the biggest holiday of the entire Korean year and everyone is off to the countryside for the day. A more empty capital city you can't imagine. The most startling thing (apart from the lack of people) is the absence of sound. It's eerily quiet. Hardly any traffic, no street-vendors, no hustle and bustle of people, no-one shouting or laughing or running,no music playing. No wonder everyone stares at you all the time.