Whilst it is true to say that visiting North Korea is a lot more restricted than a conventional trip abroad, not least to mention unique in terms of its political context and what visitors have to follow, there are nevertheless a lot of things which may surprise you too. Although without a doubt North Korea cannot be a “leisurely” trip or “break”, still there are many things you can do there which will certainly surprise you, and as a whole make it a “fun” experience. From our experiences, we can say a DPRK trip is a great opportunity to socialize with people in your group and make friends. So here is 7 things we listed that you probably thought you couldn’t do in North Korea. Here we go!
1. Go bowling
Can’t beat a bit of bowling now and again can you? Not only does Pyongyang have several bowling allies around town, there is a bowling alley in the basement of the Yanggakdo international hotel too! Many a nights have been spent there by our groups, combined with the convenience of its mini bar too! North Korea and the US might not be contemplating pre-emptive strikes on each other any more, but there’s plenty to be had down the bowling alley
2. Go swimming at a water park
True 90s kids in the UK will remember the “wet and wild” water parks throughout the country. Weren’t they fun? Well, it’s time to relive your childhood memories with the Munsu Waterpark in Pyongyang, a water fun park opened only a couple of years ago! Time to get down those slides
3. Go to a bar
If you’re looking for an evening chill, there are plenty of bars around Pyongyang which can be added to your itinerary, including several marketed at foreign expats and diplomats! If not, all the hotels come with one too. Taste the glory of the DPRK’s famous Taedonggang beer and without the distraction of internet, chat about life and make some real friendships
4. Take selfies with soldiers!
Who says you can’t take photographs in North Korea? Or even grab a selfie with a real local soldier? If you didn’t know this you haven’t been paying attention! One of the most famous aspects of recent itineraries is the chance to grab a selfie with soldiers down at the DMZ, what an exciting opportunity!
5. Mail propaganda postcards home!
Tourist giftshops in the DPRK allow you to buy real postcards with propaganda artwork embedded on them, and not only that, mail them home from the country itself! Of course it’s going to arrive at least a month after you come home, but the look on your friend’s and family’s faces when they see that sort of propaganda come through the door is priceless! It isn’t expensive either!
6. Sing Western songs on Karaoke!
Who says North Korea are completely alienated from the culture of the outside world? Of course we shouldn’t deny the political realities, but some things may surprise you! In the hotel at night you’ll find a Karaoke room, complete with a setup offering a wide variety of the world’s most famous and (largely up to date) pop songs- they have all the classics, not to mention Disney as well!
7. Go to a fun fair!
Little do people know is that North Korea does have its share of fun fairs, or “amusement parks” as they might also be known, complete with rollercoasters and all the other scary rides thrill seekers may long for! The Rungra People’s Pleasure ground, the most recently built, opened in 2013! If you wish, the guides can take you there at night if you wish! (they do charge for every ride, however!)