DPRK: Sariwon, Reunification Highway & Ryugyong Lights...

After we had bossed the Panmunjom, the DMZ and those Kaesong highlights, we made our way slowly back towards Pyongyang City. Stopping in Sariwon showed us a view from a higher point of view, the walk to that viewpoint was steep! Meeting in the middle, the Arch of Reunification gave us vibes for a reunified Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang brought those Ryugyong LED lights!

Feeling tired from the lengthy tour programme, we headed back towards Pyongyang with Sariwon in mind. The drive from Kaesong to Sariwon took us around one hour or so, I most likely napped the whole way because the schedule had us busy. The landscape soon transitioned from countryside to a pint-sized cityscape, we had made it to the outskirts of Sariwon. No longer in North Korea's Kaesong, we were still located within the country's North Hwanghae Province. Arriving at the Sariwon Folklore Park gave us the opportunity to step down from our coach, we needed some fresh air and that is what we got and more! Stretching our legs, we all walked to the top of the rocky hill that took us to the highest point of the park. It was the perfect time for us to snap our photos, Sariwon's mix of Korean style buildings mashed with the colourfully painted concrete buildings. I was getting my whole life, that view definitely gave me something compared with the DMZ's sterile borderline. Turning the beat around, Sariwon served views, K! 

Those business shoes were not suited well, they had no grip on the sole, it felt very much a relief to be away from that hilly situation. Of course, the view was something else for all the right reasons, I was ready to people watch and then some! The younger local Sariwon people looked at us with much intrigue, it was such a different situation compared with people watching in Seoul, South Korea. No cosmetic surgery had been administered for sure! Some of the other members of the group dressed up in the Korean folk costumes, other bought some local Makgeolli brew. Our visit to Sariwon turned out to be a brief pitstop because before we knew it, we were already back on the coach with the final headcount completed. Our next destination would be Pyongyang. Expecting it to be evening time once we would reach the city, we all relaxed in our coach seat rows. The day had been long but our Sariwon diversion broke the journey back to the beginning well. That DPRK day was far from over, the next stop would be? We'd have to see, PY! 

During the early morning, our coach made its way from our Pyongyang hotel to the Reunification Highway to drive us down to the Joint Security Area. Bound for the Demilitarised Zone was the plan, our runway like motorway didn't pose any issues, absolutely no traffic jams were in sight for us! Even though this blog features the journey back to Pyongyang from Kaesong via Sariwon, I want to cover some of the knowledge behind the motorway that was built to promote the 'Reunification of Korea'. Construction took place from 1987 for the next five years, on April 15th 1992 the then known 'Pyongyang-Kaesong Motorway' was put into service. During that morning, as we drove towards the DMZ we did see one or two signs that told us how many miles Seoul, South Korea was away from us. The former 'Pyongyang-Kaesong Motorway' didn't actually run down to Seoul, but it suggested that maybe one day the intent for the mileage would be needed, perhaps? For one motorway, we took in a lot of knowledge during that 개성시 drive. 

Sariwon was well out of sight but still in mind as our coach stopped on the southern outskirts of Pyongyang along the Reunification Highway. We had stopped to take photos of the Arch of Reunification, now those two Korean women had a message tell the world! Category was 'Korean Reunification' Realness! The 'Monument to the Three-Point Charter for National Reunification' served 'Hanbok' Overness as the shared Korean national female dress, both sisters from North and South were both holding up a badge that featured an icon resembling a 'Reunified Korea. Opened in August 2021, this sisterly monument had been constructed after Kim Il Sung had made proposals for 'Korean Reunification'. We had about fifteen to take our photos, I made sure my snaps did the 'Glamazonian' sized arch justice because those Korean sisters served everything and more for their own 'Korean Peninsula!' Moving on, we made the short journey to Pyongyang's city centre, dinner needed to happened! The day had been everything and more, K!

Pyongyang Cold Noodles? Say, what? Dinner called us, well I call it tea where I'm from in England! We had been informed that the chosen seafood restaurant served some of the city's best 'Pyongyang Cold Noodles'. Really? We would have to see about that! Sitting down for dinner, I enjoyed some 'Ssam Lettuce parcels' and they tasted good! Some of the tour members didn't enjoy the food but for me it was all about the experience, I had already tried the 'Sweet Dog Soup' in Kaesong earlier that day at the 'Golden Bowls' Restaurant. When will you be serving your Pyongyang Cold Noodles? Our female guide, So Yon told us that in the DPRK it is common place for Cold Noodles to be served at a wedding. She would get the question asked to her many times, when would she be serving her guests Pyongyang Cold Noodles? Only So Yon could answer that question. Those buckwheat noodles had their own acquired taste, I tried them because it was a once in a lifetime. Sure! Danny Boy, who? No! We were about to see a show, P? 

The restaurant turned into a hype of musical instruments and pink outfits and sparkles! Baby, we were being treated to a musical extravaganza, those female performers really committed themselves to their performance! Next on we had 'Oh, Danny Boy' served to us in Korean and English for our entertainment, honestly it was something else entirely! Everybody on the bus had made their own rendition of 'Oh, Danny Boy' as we made our way back to the hotel! Why did we stop? What were those lights? We were fronted by the Ryugyong Hotel shining bright, dazzling with those LED lights like Pyongyang depended on it! We all had some time to take some photos and take in the changing light display. A hotel? I loved the lights at the Ryugyong that much, I didn't feel the need to ask. Heading back to the hotel, we had a few drinks at the bar before bed. We had a very important day approaching, we headed for bed a little earlier than usual. My second day spent in the DPRK was major! Come on Ryugyong, shine bright baby girl! 

Korean Reunification Realness! 

Joseph Harrison 


Popular Posts