Welcome to the mysterious and often misunderstood country of North Korea where every day is a new adventure. Hidden from the rest of the world, North Korea offers tourists a plethora of unusual and unique experiences that you won't find anywhere else. From participating in a bizarre American-style wrestling match, to riding roller coasters at a deserted theme park, or enjoying a game of bowling at the world's largest bowling alley, there are plenty of exciting things to do that will leave you begging for more in this enigmatic country. In this article, we explore 10 unusual activities to experience in North Korea that will give you a glimpse into the intriguing and captivating culture of this isolated nation. Get ready to dive into a world of excess and novelty, and experience the unexpected in the land of the unknown.
What You'll Learn
- Spend a night at the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang
- Visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea
- Watch a North Korean Mass Games performance
- Take a ride on the Pyongyang Metro
- Visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun where the embalmed bodies of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il are on display
- Shop for souvenirs at the Kwangbok Department Store
- Climb to the top of the Juche Tower for panoramic views of Pyongyang
- Walk along the Taedong River and see the colorful murals painted on the sides of buildings
- Attend a local sports game or event
- Hike to the top of Mount Paektu, a sacred site in North Korea
Spend a night at the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang
North Korea may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of fun-filled destinations, but there are actually a number of unique experiences to be had in this isolated country. One of the most interesting places to stay in North Korea is the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang, which offers visitors a glimpse into one of the most unusual hotel experiences in the world.
The Yanggakdo Hotel is the largest hotel in North Korea, standing 47 stories tall on an island in the middle of the Taedong River. The hotel is a popular choice for foreign visitors to the country, with many of the rooms offering stunning views of the city skyline and the river below.
Despite being located in an isolated country, the hotel offers a surprising range of amenities, including a bowling alley, swimming pool, karaoke room, and pool hall. There is also a revolving restaurant on the top floor of the hotel, which offers a unique dining experience with panoramic views of the city.
While the hotel is a comfortable place to stay, it is also a fascinating place to experience the unique culture of North Korea. Visitors are not permitted to leave the hotel without a guide, which makes it an ideal base for exploring the city and experiencing the local culture. The hotel’s tour guides offer a variety of excursions and activities, including visits to historic sites, cultural performances, and even a trip to a local amusement park.
Of course, there are also some limitations to staying at the Yanggakdo Hotel. Internet access is limited, and visitors are not allowed to bring in outside food or drink. There are also strict rules about taking photographs within the hotel and around the city, and visitors should not expect to have much freedom to explore on their own.
Despite these limitations, spending a night at the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang can be an unforgettable experience. Whether you are interested in exploring North Korean culture, or simply want to experience a unique hotel stay, this destination is definitely worth considering. So why not book your stay at the Yanggakdo Hotel, and discover the fascinating world of North Korea?
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Visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea
North Korea is not often thought of when it comes to traveling for fun, but for many adventurous travelers, the country offers a unique and unforgettable experience. One of the most fascinating places to visit in North Korea is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates North and South Korea.
The Korean DMZ is a strip of land 4 kilometers wide and 250 kilometers long that follows the 38th parallel, the line of latitude that roughly divides the Korean Peninsula in half. It is one of the most heavily guarded and fortified borders in the world, with barbed wire fences, minefields, bunkers, and armed soldiers on both sides. The DMZ serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea, where no military activities are allowed.
Visiting the DMZ is a must-do for anyone interested in the history and politics of Korea. The tour starts in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, and takes about two hours by bus. Along the way, you'll see the countryside and get a glimpse of North Korean life outside the city.
Once you arrive at the DMZ, you'll be able to visit various sites, including the Joint Security Area (JSA), the Dorasan Observatory, and the Third Tunnel of Aggression. The JSA is the only place where North and South Korean soldiers stand face to face, and you can actually step into the blue conference room where negotiations between the two countries take place. The Dorasan Observatory is a lookout point where you can see the border and the North Korean city of Kaesong. The Third Tunnel of Aggression is a clandestine tunnel that North Korean soldiers dug to infiltrate South Korea in case of war.
The DMZ tour is a fascinating experience that allows you to witness firsthand the tension and division between North and South Korea. However, keep in mind that the tour is highly controlled by the North Korean government, and you'll only be able to see what they want you to see. You won't have any contact with South Korean soldiers, and you'll only be able to take pictures under certain restrictions.
In conclusion, visiting the DMZ in North Korea is a unique and exciting experience that will give you a new perspective on the political situation in Korea. It's an opportunity to witness first-hand the tense relations between North and South Korea, and to see how the DMZ has become a symbol of division and conflict. If you're looking for an adventure that's both educational and thrilling, the DMZ tour should be at the top of your list.
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Watch a North Korean Mass Games performance
North Korea is often portrayed in the media as a dark, mysterious and oppressive regime, but there's more to this country than just politics. Believe it or not, North Korea offers a variety of unique and fun experiences for visitors, and one of the most impressive is the spectacular Mass Games performance.
Mass Games is an event that has been held in North Korea since the 1940s, and it involves thousands of performers working together to create a breathtaking display of music, dance, acrobatics, and storytelling. The event is held annually in the capital city of Pyongyang and is a showcase of the country's culture and heritage.
If you are planning to visit North Korea, watching a Mass Games performance is a must-do activity. It will provide you with a unique opportunity to see the talent, dedication, and discipline of the North Korean people. The performance is also a perfect representation of the country's ideology, as every act is designed to demonstrate the country's unity and strength.
The Mass Games performance usually involves a storyline that tells the history of North Korea and its achievements, including its independence from Japan, the Korean War, and its economic development. You will be amazed at how precise and synchronized the performers are, and how they manage to incorporate various themes and messages into the performance.
The entire performance is also accompanied by a fascinating display of lights and fireworks, which add to the already outstanding experience. You will feel like you are watching an elaborate theatrical production, only it is executed on a much grander scale, with thousands of performers working together.
The best time to watch the Mass Games performance is during the peak season, which is from August to October. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and the performers are at their best. It's also a good idea to book your tickets in advance, as this event is hugely popular and tends to sell out quickly.
In conclusion, watching a Mass Games performance in North Korea is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should not miss. It's an impressive display of talent, teamwork, and national pride, and it will provide you with a glimpse into the country's culture and way of life. So if you're looking for some unique and fun things to do in North Korea, make sure to add Mass Games to your list!
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Take a ride on the Pyongyang Metro
North Korea is a country that is often in the news, but rarely for anything to do with fun or enjoyment. However, there is one tourist activity that can be both entertaining and educational: taking a ride on the Pyongyang Metro.
The Pyongyang Metro is the only subway system in North Korea, and it was built in the 1970s with help from the Soviet Union. Today, it has two lines and 17 stations, and it carries over 300,000 passengers a day. As a tourist, you can ride the metro and experience a small part of daily life in North Korea.
One of the unique aspects of the Pyongyang Metro is its design. Many of the stations are adorned with propaganda artwork, depicting the "socialist paradise" of North Korea. The trains themselves are also decorated with slogans and images of the country's leaders. For many visitors, this can be an eye-opening experience, giving them a small glimpse into the North Korean government's pervasive propaganda machine.
Another interesting feature of the Pyongyang Metro is its depth. The stations are dug deep into the ground, sometimes several stories below the surface. This wasn't just for aesthetic reasons; during the Korean War, the metro stations were used as bomb shelters, and the government wanted to make sure they could withstand any potential airstrikes.
Despite its Soviet-style design, the Pyongyang Metro is also a modern system, with air conditioning, electronic signage, and moving walkways to speed up passenger flow. Many of the stations also have souvenir shops and snack stands, making it easy to pick up a small memento of your trip.
Of course, taking a ride on the Pyongyang Metro isn't just about the experience itself; it's also a way to interact with locals. While many North Koreans may not speak English, they are often friendly and curious about foreigners. As a tourist, you'll likely draw some attention, but don't be surprised if someone strikes up a conversation with you or asks to take a photo.
If you're interested in taking a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, the best way to do so is by booking a tour through a licensed travel operator. While it's possible to travel to North Korea independently, the government heavily restricts where foreigners can go and what they can do without an official guide. However, with a tour, you'll be able to experience the Pyongyang Metro in a safe and controlled environment, while also getting a taste of North Korea's unique culture and history.
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Visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun where the embalmed bodies of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il are on display
As one of the most secretive nations in the world, North Korea may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about a fun and exciting travel experience. However, there are some unique attractions that you won't find anywhere else, including the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.
Located in the capital city of Pyongyang, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun is a mausoleum that houses the embalmed bodies of North Korea's former leaders, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. The palace was originally built as the residence of Kim Il-Sung and was later transformed into a mausoleum after his death in 1994. Kim Jong-Il's body was added after his death in 2011.
While it may seem strange to some, visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun can be a fascinating and unique experience. The palace is grandiose in scale and is a symbol of the reverence that the North Korean people have for their leaders. Visitors are required to dress formally and follow strict etiquette rules while inside the palace.
The tour starts with a brief introduction to the history and achievements of the two leaders, after which visitors are ushered into a room where they can pay their respects to Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. The bodies are enshrined separately in glass sarcophagi and are surrounded by flowers and other offerings. Visitors must bow before the bodies as a sign of respect.
For those interested in learning about the country and its history, a visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun can be a valuable experience. It provides a unique insight into the cult of personality that surrounds North Korea's leaders and the extreme measures that are taken to preserve their legacy.
However, it is important to keep in mind that tourism in North Korea is heavily regulated, and visitors are not allowed to explore the country independently. Instead, they are accompanied by government-approved guides who control all aspects of the tour. It is also worth noting that North Korea is subject to strict international sanctions, and travel to the country is not without risks.
In conclusion, visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun may not be everyone's idea of fun, but it is a fascinating and unique attraction that offers a glimpse into North Korea's history and culture. While it is important to approach tourism in North Korea with caution, for those who are curious and adventurous, it can be a valuable and memorable experience.
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Shop for souvenirs at the Kwangbok Department Store
|Name||Kwangbok Department Store|
|Type||Department store in Pyongyang, North Korea|
|Address||2MMR+JVJ, Pyongyang, North Korea|
|Hours||Friday - 6 AM–8 PM|
Saturday - 6 AM–8 PM
Sunday - 6 AM–8 PM
Monday - 6 AM–8 PM
Tuesday - 6 AM–8 PM
Wednesday - 6 AM–8 PM
Thursday - 6 AM–8 PM
Visiting North Korea may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of fun destinations. However, there are many attractions and activities available in the country that can make for a unique and memorable experience. One of these attractions is the Kwangbok Department Store, where visitors can shop for souvenirs and other items.
The Kwangbok Department Store is located in the capital city of Pyongyang, and it is one of the largest and most famous department stores in the country. The store is known for selling a variety of items, including clothing, electronics, foods, books, and traditional North Korean souvenirs.
Visitors who shop at the Kwangbok Department Store will have the opportunity to purchase unique souvenirs that cannot be found anywhere else. Some of the most popular souvenirs include traditional North Korean clothing, handicrafts, and artwork. Visitors can also purchase North Korean delicacies, such as ginseng, and other local foods.
Aside from shopping, the department store itself is a sight to see. With its well-lit halls and displays, it is a glamorous shopping experience that rivals any other international department store. Visitors can marvel at the modern and sleek architecture, as well as the stunning views of Pyongyang from the upper floors of the building.
While shopping at the Kwangbok Department Store may not necessarily be the first activity that comes to mind when visiting North Korea, it is definitely an experience that should not be missed. With its unique selection of souvenirs and other items, as well as its stunning architecture and views of the city, it is an attraction that will leave a lasting impression on any visitor. So, if you find yourself in North Korea and looking for some fun things to do, make sure to visit the Kwangbok Department Store!
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Climb to the top of the Juche Tower for panoramic views of Pyongyang
North Korea is a mysterious, closed-off country that very few people ever get to visit or experience. Despite its strict social and political policies, North Korea has an abundance of unique and interesting things to do and see. One of the most exciting activities is climbing to the top of the Juche Tower for breathtaking panoramic views of Pyongyang.
The Juche Tower is a massive structure that stands at over 170 meters tall. It is a symbol of the Juche ideology, which is the guiding principle behind North Korea's social and economic policies. The tower is located in the heart of Pyongyang and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. It is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in North Korea, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Climbing to the top of the Juche Tower is a challenging but rewarding experience. The tower has over 6,000 steps which lead to the top. The climb can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on your fitness level. However, once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with unparalleled views of Pyongyang's skyline and the surrounding countryside. You'll be able to see many of the city's most iconic landmarks such as the Ryugyong Hotel, the Arch of Triumph, and the Kim Il-sung Square.
The Juche Tower is also an important cultural site in North Korea. At the base of the tower, there is a museum that showcases the history and significance of the Juche ideology. The museum contains many artifacts, paintings, and sculptures that illustrate the principles of Juche. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs such as pins, postcards, and books related to the ideology and the tower itself.
Climbing to the top of the Juche Tower is an experience like no other. It is a must-see for anyone traveling to North Korea and is sure to leave you with lasting memories. However, it's important to remember that North Korea is a closed-off society and strict rules apply to visitors. It is recommended to book a tour with a reputable travel agency and follow all regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.
In conclusion, climbing to the top of the Juche Tower is a fun and unique experience in North Korea. It offers awe-inspiring views of Pyongyang and is a testament to the country's ideology and traditions. While there are challenges and restrictions associated with visiting North Korea, the Juche Tower is an opportunity that should not be missed.
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Walk along the Taedong River and see the colorful murals painted on the sides of buildings
North Korea is a country that is often associated with strict rules, limited freedoms, and a lack of entertainment. However, despite its reputation, there are still ways to have fun in this interesting and unique country. One such activity is taking a walk along the Taedong River and admiring the colorful murals painted on the sides of buildings.
The Taedong River is the largest river in North Korea and runs through the capital city of Pyongyang. Along its banks, there are numerous murals that have been painted to add some color and life to the otherwise drab concrete buildings. These murals depict scenes from everyday life, as well as patriotic and revolutionary themes that celebrate the country's history and accomplishments.
One of the most famous murals is the "Greetings to the Party" mural, which features two children waving to a portrait of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung. This mural is located near the iconic Juche Tower and is a popular spot for visitors to take photos. Other murals depict scenes of workers and farmers, soldiers in action, and sporting events.
Taking a walk along the Taedong River is a great way to experience the local culture and see some interesting sights. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll while admiring the colorful murals and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants along the riverfront, where visitors can stop for a drink or a bite to eat.
While North Korea may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of fun destinations, there are still some enjoyable activities to be found. Walking along the Taedong River and admiring the colorful murals is a great way to experience the country's unique culture and history. So next time you find yourself in North Korea, be sure to take a stroll along the river and see what you can discover.
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Attend a local sports game or event
North Korea may not strike you as a fun destination, but the secretive nation has a surprising amount of entertainment options, especially if you're a sports fan. Attending a local sports game or event is an excellent way to experience the country's unique culture and immerse yourself in the local life.
There are various sports that North Koreans enjoy, including soccer, basketball, and volleyball. The country has a professional football league with 14 teams that play each other on a revolving schedule. The games are played in cities like Pyongyang, Nampho, and Hamhung and are usually held on weekends. If you're lucky to attend a game, you'll see passionate fans cheering on their beloved teams, and you might even get a chance to interact with them.
Basketball is another sport that North Koreans take seriously. The country's national team has a long-standing history of playing basketball, and it's not uncommon to see people playing basketball on the streets. If you're visiting Pyongyang, you might be able to catch a game at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium, which can hold up to 20,000 spectators. The Korean Basketball Association also organizes games and competitions throughout the year.
Volleyball is another popular sport in North Korea, especially among women. The country's women's national volleyball team has won several championships, including the World Cup in 1991 and the Asian Games multiple times. You can attend volleyball games at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium, which is dedicated to indoor volleyball.
Apart from the traditional sports, North Koreans also enjoy playing Taekwondo, a sport that originated in Korea. The country's International Taekwondo Federation is one of the world's largest and hosts several major international tournaments, including the World Taekwondo Championships.
In conclusion, attending a local sports game or event can be a fun and exciting way to experience North Korea's unique culture and its people's passion for sports. Whether you're into football, basketball, volleyball, or Taekwondo, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Remember to take pictures but be respectful and mindful of local customs and rules while attending any event in North Korea.
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Hike to the top of Mount Paektu, a sacred site in North Korea
North Korea is a country that has always had a bit of a mysterious and foreboding reputation, but it's also a place that is home to some truly fascinating and awe-inspiring sights. One such location is the iconic Mount Paektu, a mountain that is considered to be one of the most sacred sites in all of North Korea.
Hiking to the top of Mount Paektu is an experience unlike any other, and one that is highly recommended for adventurers who are looking for a unique and exciting way to experience all that North Korea has to offer.
The hike itself is quite challenging, with steep inclines and rugged terrain that can be tough on even the most experienced hikers. But the views and scenery along the way are simply breathtaking, and definitely make all of the effort worth it.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Mount Paektu is that it is a site that is deeply rooted in North Korean history and mythology. For centuries, the mountain has been considered to be a sacred place, and it has been the subject of countless legends, myths, and stories over the years.
One of the most famous stories about Mount Paektu is that it is the birthplace of North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung. According to legend, Kim's mother gave birth to him on the slopes of the mountain, and he was then raised by a group of revolutionary fighters who were hiding out in the region.
But regardless of its mythological significance, there is no denying that Mount Paektu is a natural wonder of exceptional beauty and wonder. The mountain is something of a geological wonder, with its towering peaks and dramatic valleys that are unlike anything else in the world.
If you're planning a visit to North Korea, hiking to the top of Mount Paektu is an absolute must-do. Not only will you get to experience some of the most stunning scenery in the country, but you'll also get a chance to connect with the deep and rich mythology and history that make up this unique and fascinating culture.
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Frequently asked questions
Some popular tourist destinations in North Korea include visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the Juche Tower, the DMZ and Panmunjom, and the Pyongyang Metro.
Adventure activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing are available at several locations in North Korea, including Mount Paektu and Masikryong Ski Resort.
Visitors can enjoy traditional Korean performances, such as the Arirang Mass Games, which take place in the Rungrado May Day Stadium. There are also museums, art galleries, and exhibitions showcasing North Korean culture and history.
Visitors should always be accompanied by a government-appointed tour guide and should follow all rules and regulations set by North Korean authorities to ensure their safety. It is also advised not to speak negatively about the country or its leadership.