The isolated and secretive country of North Korea boasts it’s capital like no other. It is indeed the showcase city of the DPRK. Showing off huge and gigantic monuments, massive displays of propaganda visuals and slogans, the city of Pyongyang is one of the most uniquely beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. The most distinctive feature of the city is the amazingly tidy town planning of buildings and roads. Not only are the structures here colossal and majestic, the city looks like it’s been designed by someone with a serious case of OCD, symmetrical and extremely organised. It kinds of give you the chills when you see the city skyline from above.

During the Korean War, Pyongyang was basically bombed extensively into puddles of mud by the American forces. It was widely known that the devastation of the city was so complete that bombing was halted as there were no longer any worthy targets. Therefore, they had their talented architects visualise how a Socialist Utopia would look like in the future. With great influence from the USSR, they had many of their buildings rebuilt mainly in the Socialist Classicism style. The city was designed with wide avenues, imposing monuments and monolithic buildings. Together, the people of Korea rebuilt the city from scratch under their booming economy in the past and under the guidance of their Great Leader, Kim Il-Sung. Pyongyang rose into a futuristic city that was ahead of its time.


The first place to visit and pay respect – The Grand Monument on Mansu Hill.
After buying flowers, they are presented to the leaders and then a deep bow to show respect

To be fair, Pyongyang looks like a futuristic city that was visualised by someone back in the 60s. Something like what you see from a Jetsons cartoon without the spaceships of course. Their building designs may be unusual or ‘not modern enough’ to us, but it’s quite impressive to understand that the structures they built are to reinforce their political ideology. It is a city that reflects its socialist ideals in the best way possible. Whether in the form of gigantic sculptures or propaganda posters, or mosaic tiles on the exterior and interior of most buildings, everywhere you look, you can’t get too far from what they are trying to portray their version of an utopia.

When I flew in from Beijing, I could only see rows and rows of farm fields all across the country from the plane window. But once we landed and entered Pyongyang, it was quite a shock to see the big contrast where humongous buildings and high rise apartments dominate the skyline. The weird part is that when you see a city full of high-rises, you’d expect to hear noises of traffic, of peoples’ chatter, of police sirens but instead, what we got was a city that’s extremely clean, there was not much traffic and it was awfully quiet. We spent quite a number of days in Pyongyang, visiting monuments and bowing to statues. Although we weren’t allowed to freely roam the city without our guides, still it was an awesome experience. We got enough freedom to capture as many photos as we could. Putting all the biased documentaries I’ve watched about North Korea over the pass few years aside, I think Pyongyang has got some awesome buildings and designs that kick many developed countries’ ass. Here I present to you, Pyongyang City Style:


Pyongyang from above


The Party Founding Monument. To show the proud history of the Workers’ Party of Korea composed of workers, farmers and intellectuals.


Propaganda poster showing President Kim Il-Sung leading the people to victory


The Grand People’s Study House


Wide open road near the Kim Il-Sung Square


One of the Pyongyang underground metro station


The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, also the mausoleum for Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il


The interior of the Pyongyang Circus


The Pyongyang Railway Station at night


The famous traffic policewomen of Pyongyang


Monument to 3-Charter of National Reunification


Odd looking apartment that captures my attention everytime we pass by


Road outside the Kim Il-Sung Stadium with the Pyongyang TV Tower in the background.


Pyongyang Sunan International Airport departure hall


Fann demonstrating how huge the place is


Sunrise as seen from my hotel room. Notice that the Juche Tower in the background


East side from the Taedong River


Inside the Grand People’s Study House


Model of the rocket Unha-3, that was successfully launched into orbit


An apartment building with an icon that shows a shop selling candies


Impressive water show in front of the Juche Tower


The Pyongyang Arch of Triumph, built in 1982


A man riding a bicycle at the Three Revolution Exhibition. The three includes ideology, technology and culture


The eastern gate of the inner castle to ancient Pyongyang, the Taedong Gate. One of the country’s national treasures


The other side of the Taedong River, overlooking Kim Il-Sung Square and the Juche Tower


Bus that takes us from our plane to the airport terminal


A Kim Il-Sung statue at the Pyongyang Film Studio


Inside the technology building at the Three Revolution Exhibition


The city of Pyongyang, with the Yanggakdo International Hotel in the center


Flags of North Korea decorates the city in preparation for the National Day


Paddy fields seen while driving out of Pyongyang


The Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cementary on top of Jujak Hill has busts of revolutionaries who fought for the freedom and independence of the country


Marks that help to indicate the positions during the parades that’s held at Kim Il-Sung Square.


A government building located in the Kim Il-Sung Square


The Juche Tower after sunset. Juche is a blend of autarky, self-reliance, nationalism, traditionalism and Marxism-Leninism.


  • October 13, 2014 Reply

    Tian Chad

    Hardly see crowd of people ha?? Looks like a huge city with little citizen ;p Nice photos especially the tall building with beautiful sky!

    • October 13, 2014 Reply


      Yeah, you have sharp eyes. Actually there’s many locals around but because the city and buildings are so huge, the people are quite scattered. I will have another post on the locals. Hopefully those images will have more human touch. Thanks for the compliment, buddy! Appreciate it

  • November 12, 2015 Reply


    really amazing..

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