Some of the most magical times of the day are early mornings when the world is still waking up. It is serene, peaceful, calm and it goes well with a nice cup of tea too. Pyongyang is not your usual place for landscape photography but that wasn’t the case when I was there. Pyongyang is a city that makes you wonder all sorts of things. “Why on Earth was I doing there in the first place?” I would always ask myself. Fueled by a high level of curiosity, every moment spent in the DPRK was an opportunity for photography. I would just wake up extremely early in the morning, walk to the curtains and take a peek outside the window just to see what I had missed out. If I saw something I like, I’d just quickly set up my camera gear and start shooting awaPyongyang has an interesting city layout and the morning mist makes it surreal. Often times, I would set up my tripod and snap whatever gorgeous lighting I can get from the window of my room. The sunrise is always different every morning and is filled with endless beauty. As philosopher Heraclitus once said “The sun is new each day”.

Before the sun comes up, the capital is in an idle state. People are still asleep and there is little to no traffic. City lights are scarce except for the brightly lit Tower of Juche Idea and the Kim Portraits. The only sounds came from the mechanical cranes and working ships along the Taedong River. The city is modest and calm. However at 6am sharp, a melancholy melody can be heard from a distant. The tune “Where are you dear General” is played from the Pyongyang Railway Station which acts as a wake up call for the trains and the city (Click here to watch the short clip of the 6am scene). At 6:30am, people gather along the roads with music for their morning exercises. The mornings are the best time to catch a glimpse of North Korean society.

Enjoying the city skyline in the early hours was absolutely fantastic. As the sun rose, I could see the gorgeous transformation of the city. Due to the lack of busy traffic, it felt like it was always a weekend. Pyongyang is unique and it never fails to amaze me. I’ve compiled a few of my favourite morning shots of the capital below, enjoy.

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

First glimpse of sunlight over Pyongyang

Pyongyang at Night

Kim portraits always lit until the sun rises

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Morning view of Pyongyang along the Taedong River

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Ryugyong Hotel reflects the morning sunlight from it’s glass panels

Sunrise in Pyongyang City

Juche Tower in the distance during sunrise

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Twin towers of the 5-star Koryo Hotel

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Beautiful mist casts across the east bank of the Taedong River

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Mountains that surround Pyongyang and the Rungrado May Day Stadium

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Pyongyang TV Tower and the new apartment buildings

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Concrete jungle of Pyongyang city

Sunrise in Pyongyang City

Morning view of the Grand People’s Study House

Morning in Pyongyang

Cruise ships and boats on the Taedong River

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Industrial area of Pyongyang city

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Gorgeous view of Pyongyang city

Barracks in Pyongyang

Barracks along the Taedong River

Early Morning in Pyongyang

Pyongyang citizens getting to work

Sunrise in Pyongyang City

Early morning exercise routine

North Korean Government Building

Morning sunlight casts on a government building

Ryugyong Hotel and Fatherland Liberation War Museum

Morning view of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum

Sunrise in Pyongyang City

Gorgeous sunrise in central Pyongyang

Sunrise in Pyongyang City

High-rise blocks in Pyongyang city in the morning

North Korea's 70th anniversary of Workers' Party Fireworks

Fireworks display during the 70th Anniversary of the WPK.
It happened at 2am so technically it’s a morning shot as well

Sunrise in the Capital of Pyongyang City

Video Clips of Morning in Pyongyang


  • September 29, 2017 Reply


    Your photos are so magical! You’re an incredibly talented photographer. I’m going to the DPRK next year and your photos are making me even more excited to go 🙂

    • October 14, 2017 Reply


      Hi Seyhan, thanks for the comments. I hope you will enjoy DPRK as much as I did. How many days will you be there?

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