Just to put it out there, some new pictures from the Ryugyong Hotel, taken about 2 weeks ago from the SW corner.
Posts Tagged ‘Pyongyang
A year ago, when I was visiting in exploring Pyongyang, I dared going into side streets. I don’t think it’s forbidden, but I also don’t think, it might be something the government wants the outside to see. Not without a reason are the big buildings built at the side of the grand streets. They shroud the true face of Pyongyang and it isn’t “Visiting Card Pyongyang”, that interests me, land and people interest me more. It always has and it always will: the authentic. Looking at the first picture I posted here, see beyond the big building in front, look past the sight protective wall and see the small houses built inside the block. It’s all over Pyongyang. Look it up on Google Maps. Past the big buildings, you will find so many small buildings. Contrast.
So this is what this city comes down to in my mind. This city was built out of ruins from the Korean War and is relatively young. The city planners might a have asked themselves, how they do it in other leading countries, having Moscow as one of the great influences in mind. ‘How did they do it and how can we make it look the same?’ That is the question, that pops into my mind when I ask myself… What the hell were they thinking?! There’s no continuous plan here, no overall sketch and absolutely no thought. “Just make it look good from afar. We won’t let them come near.” But I managed to come near and to see the difference.
Pictures taken 2008
Went for a walk again (about 10 miles through Pyongyang)… the problem with taking a walk in broad daylight with the goal to make some good pictures… well, wearing jeans, a white polo shirt, a backpack and being at least a head taller than anybody… You totally stick out and ATTRACT ATTENTION!!!
So by the time a got to any interesting place worth taking a picture, I already had every eye in the vicinity on me. Nothing else to do then, than to take some shots at the scenery.
Walking along, I saw a group of young women exercising their marching steps for the next parade. It was quite funny to see them do that and I immediately took a video of that. It will appear on a later post, as I gather more footage from daylight Pyongyang.
So along I went and I noticed consciously that many people were occupied with themselves, reading something, walking around and reciting what they just read. I suspect it’s for some party-thing-
event-stuff, where they have to recite the awesome teachings of the great and dear leaders here. ya right.
On my way home, I had to use several subterranean pedestrian crossings. You’re obligated to do so. So what do you see, when you’re going down the stairs? Old people hiding in the dark and trying to sell snacks (looked like messy churros), bread, some weak fruits or cigarettes… and the people are badly in need to sell something to get some money. Officially, all that is strictly prohibited. The market, where I spotted a market a year ago has disappeared. I’ll see, if I can find other markets…
Halfway on my way up again, a schoolboy appeared round the corner and was surprised to see me there… he went down as I continued up. He had a plastic toy gun in his hand… from the side, I saw that he slowed down on the stairs… I already imagined what would happen next… and then I heard it from a voice, about 10-11 years old: “pow – pow” … yeah thanks for shooting at me. :-|
I went out for a stroll yesterday night and it was dark as the deepest night. The eery thing about it was, I was walking in a young evening through the capital of a nation: Pyongyang.
Some people had flashlights, who turned them on as they crossed the streets to alert oncoming traffic, as if traffic cared for pedestrians. The first stop was at Kim Il Sung Square…
I set up the tripod and started shooting pictures of the “Tower of the Juche Idea”, commissioned by Kim Jong Il to indulge his father and to cement his succession to power. Then I walked all over and shot some random scenery, trying not to be noticed. The damn display of my little Canon was too bright.
I’m just imagining, how it was a year ago, when school children from all over Pyongyang were forced to practice for the 60th anniversary parade on this square. :(
These Photos were taken around 2:00 am.
“Kim Il Sung loves children.”
Footage taken in Pyongyang in December 2008.
1st Footage: Unscheduled elevator stop in the Koryo Hotel on the 27th floor. I was supposed to ride the elevator right up to the top floor, where I would be met by a service attendand. The 27th floor, most like every other floor was dark and abandoned.
2nd Footage: The Ryugyong Hotel, seen from the southwestern side. The southerneastern side, facing the city center is being paneled with glass, just to make it look better. Notice the progress bars on the posters, showing the “people’s progress”.
3rd Footage: Pyongyang Central Station, secretly shot from the top of the Koryo Hotel.
4th Footage: An electric powered bus, passing westbound on Okryu Bridge.