North Korea – 2008 – Arriving in Pyongyang

The flight from China to North Korea was pleasant enough. As we landed I could see cannibalized airplanes sitting along the edges of the airport.

As we entered the building to be checked in we were reminded that no foreign printed material could be brought into the country. Our pass ports were quickly confiscated as we were taken to our bus and guides. These are serious people who checked our baggage and sent us on our way.

The drive into the capital city was through a thin forest. There were people walking down the highway as if they had just been released from work. No one rode bicycles.

There were two story apartment buildings off in the forest on the sides of the hills in the distance with some small patches of farm land around them.

As we entered the city the sun had set and the windows were all lit with lights. Then without warning, half of the city went dark. In a few moments time, candles were burning in the windows of half the city. It was erie to say the least.

When we reached our hotel, we were checked in and told that we were not to leave the hotel without asking first. The hotel was just for tourists and sat on the edge of a wide river. No ship or boat moved on that river the entire time that we spent there.

Rush hour in Pyongyang.