Crashing Out

North Korean Hotel

Nope, I did not find this or any other hotels on booking dot com. As far as I remember there were just two tourist hotels to ‘choose from’. The one I stayed it had amazing views and huge hallway. Ahh, and lots of bugs and cameras, I guess.

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I stayed in one of probably the only two hotels available and permitted to accommodate international visitors. All guests are virtually escorted from Pyongyang airport/railway station to this hotel. The coach pulls up outside the main entrance and everyone grabs the luggage and proceed to the reception. Your passport will have been ‘confiscated’ for the duration of your stay in NK. Depending on the tour agency, visitors are coupled and placed in one of those rooms you see above. They were spacious, well equipped and most likely bugged. TV news included BBC like channels. All rooms have a telephone to maintain a constant contact with hotel management. One day we had a wasted and sick co visitor who had to stay in. We had an excursion and everyone left except for this poor fella who was recovering from too much beer he had the night before.  We went and he stayed in.  Every half an hour he would receive a phone call to his room enquiring if he ‘needed extra assistance. Virtually every 30 minutes he would be checked on and asked the same set of questions concerning his well being. That could be an exceptional customer service or surveillance at its finest.
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This is a typical set of dishes all guests were treated to. Most of them were cold fish type cuisine. We also had a hot soup. Different tastes to other Asian countries. Big round tables catered for eight guests. Young waitresses were replacing the half-empty plates with new full ones. I mean the abundance of food was ‘difficult to swallow’ or to understand if you think of those stories and pictures you have seen about North Korea feminine. Not sure about other table sharers but it felt bizarre and grotesque to sit there while an hour ago we were seeing the villagers bending over tiny crop fields in the countryside.

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