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KAESONG FOLK HOTEL
Go traditional and escape the five cars of Pyongyang city traffic by visiting this hotel in Kaesong (if you fancy waving at the South, this is conveniently close to the Demilitarised Border Zone). Sleep in traditional Hanok style courtyard houses on a heated rattan floor; down the souju and sample the genuinely incredible Banchan (lots of small delicious dishes, served alongside rice and kimchi). This hotel has pretty basic facilities but is definitely worth the experience.
Located on a private island (which sounds more glamorous than it is), this shining beacon of North Korean hospitality is the tallest building in Pyongyang and feels very Ministry of Truth. At night, look over the dark city, happy in the knowledge that your building is the only one with electricity. The shabby-chic grandeur, ‘revolving’ restaurant (it doesn’t revolve) and indoor bowling alley all make up for the faulty plumbing. Be sure to visit the bar, complete with a Korean version of Fawlty Tower’s Manuel, for the best selection of spirits in Pyongyang. Disclaimer: rumour has it the rooms are bugged.
YOUTH (CHONGNYON) HOTEL
If you fancy a more ‘boutique’ experience, rather than Yanggakdo’s 1,000 rooms, this Class A Hotel (I’d hate to see Class B) is your place. It’s clean (though dark and damp), has running water, a lurid Karaoke room and questionable 80s decor. Located in the sports village of Pyongyang, it’s a good 15 minute drive out of town, but substantially cheaper.
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