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8 interesting facts about Yanggakdo International Hotel

I thought it will be interesting to provide some facts about Yanggakdo International Hotel to curious readers who have never been to DPRK, or more commonly known as North Korea.

Most of the visitors to Pyongyang will most likely stay in Yanggakdo International Hotel. However, it is not as if you can book this hotel on Agoda or Hotels.com. You do need to book your travel plans to DPRK via a travel agency and usually you don’t much a choice.

8 interesting facts about Yanggakdo International Hotel

🏨Yanggakdo International Hotel is largest operating hotel in North Korea.

🏨 Yanggakdo International Hotel has a revolving restaurant on the 47th floor. (the circle on the top in the picture.) It wasn’t moving when I went during lunch. In the photo below, there’s a hospital which looks half completed; I read that this used to be a golf course but converted to a hospital, which is funded by China. Further up is a cinema in which film festivals were held, and at the far end of the island, a stadium.

View from the revolving restaurant at Yanggakdo International Hotel
View from the revolving restaurant at Yanggakdo International Hotel

🏨 Though I didn’t pay for the accommodation, I read that it costs around US$350 to US$500 per night for a typical twin-bed room. Usually, only the diplomats, journalists, etc. are probably the only ones who can book this hotels on their own. The hotel gave me the feeling of Lion City Hotel in Singapore, a luxury hotel of the past. 

🏨The structure was built between 1986 and 1992 by France’s Campenon Bernard Construction Company.

🏨 the facilities include bowling alley, a pool room, a sauna, a swimming pool, karaoke, bar, restaurants, souvenir shops and more! I spent most of the time in the bar hanging out with other delegates of the April Spring Friendship Art Festival since there isn’t any Netflix.

🏨 A call to Singapore using the public phone, probably one of the few ways to connect to the outside world, costs US$3 per minute. (There are a privilege few whom has phone and internet access in the country. That is also how I knew that BBC mentioned me before I left the country.)

🏨 If you look carefully at the 2 black lines on the hotel, those are actually the glass lifts to bring guests to their rooms. During the 1970s and 80s, these bubble lifts are trendy and state-of-the-art!

🏨 How does the room look like? It is just like any typical hotel room frankly. I realised I didn’t take any photo of the room! It’s just so normal that I probably forgot.

Do read the Blog post about my walk around the Yanggakdo International Hotel with my guide and some interesting confessions.