HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum.

Since 1999, SkyscraperPage.com's forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web.  The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics.  SkyscraperPage.com also features unique skyscraper diagrams, a database of construction activity, and publishes popular skyscraper posters.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Photography Forums > My City Photos

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 5:08 PM
Okayyou's Avatar
Okayyou Okayyou is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 1,251
A Glorious Day in the DPRK

The last and final stop of the Asian Saga, and what better place to end the tour than North Korea. If you missed the previous stop in Kolkata, see it here. Leving Kolkata, I flew the hump back into China and Beijing. After an afternoon in the city and a briefing from my tour agency, I was ready to visit the most isolated country on the planet, North Korea. I flew Koryo Air into the country which was a great intro to what I was going to experience. Propaganda plays continuously on the entertainment screens and copies of the Pyongyang times are handed out to each passenger. Extra Extra! South Korean Puppet Spy Defaces Statue of Generalisimo Kim Jong Il In Master Plot Orchestrated by Imperialist Masters in America!

There is really too much to detail so I'll try and hit some of the major points.

The country is the most isolated and unique country I have visited. It really feels like stepping back 50 or 60 years into the past. The people's dress and possessions are rudimentary; I think I saw one or two cell phones the entire week I was there. Cars are essentially non existent, when I did see one it was usually a party member or a tourist vehicle. However, the streets of Pyongyang are wide and accommodating, creating an eerily quiet environment. Standing on a busy boulevard at rush hour, the only sounds I heard were footsteps and bicycle bells. Keep in mind this is a city of 3 million people. There is little to no market activity which creates an incredible sterile street scene. No advertisements, no hucksters, no goods being hocked, just austere and blank walls, every now and again a government issued white sign with blue letters, indicating what is sold from the business within.

Around the world, nearly every country has developed in a somewhat similar manner over the last 30 years. Cuba, Mali, India, China, Bolivia; any developing country, have followed similar paths as their economies have grown and their citizens' desire for improved communication, transportation and entertainment options have been satisfied. The DPRK, because it is so isolated and locked down, is really the last place on earth where market economics and the resulting effects, cell phones, scooters, satellite dishes, are completely absent.

The cult surrounding the leaders is really more similar to a religion. When you see the propaganda statues and monuments, think of them like churches or holy sites. Because of this, I had to be extremely respectful of the people's beliefs and even had to buy flowers to place at some of the states. I didn't want to do so but I wouldn't travel to Mecca and start bad mouthing Allah.

I had to travel with guides as independent travel is banned. Being an American was no issue. My tour agency had no problems securing me a visa and I had no issues returning to the US stating I had visited the DPRK. Photography is a sensitive subject. For the most part, I had to ask before every shot I took. Shooting in Pyongyang was much easier than in the country side. I would have liked to have taken some closer shots of the people but there was no way that was happening.

The hotels were basic even though they were listed as 5 stars. Perhaps the only 5 star hotel I've stayed at that didn't have hot water...

Shots are from: Pyongyang, the city and the Arirang Mass Games; Nampo city where I was supposed to visit some factories but couldn't go due to bridges being destroyed by major floods; and Kaesong and the DMZ.

OK, that's enough text. If you have any questions I'll answer them in the comments. Some tunes:

Option A: Major Lazer - Get Free. The song I was blasting when I was there and my personal choice for the tour.

Video Link


Option B: Crazy NK propaganda music. It's a long thread, maybe play them both.

Video Link



















































































































































































































































































My guides, driver and me at the Pyongyang airport with a special visit by a surprise guest. I look like someone who had been on the road for 3 months.


And that ends the Asian Saga. Thanks to all of you that followed along. I recently returned from abroad again, this time from India, Tibet and Myanmar. I should have another tour highlighting those areas but it will be some time before I get my shots edited and posted.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 5:21 PM
sbarn sbarn is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,820
Haha great end to an awesome set.

I dig the Major Lazer / totalitarian country contrast.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 5:43 PM
Chef's Avatar
Chef Chef is offline
Chef beyond the wall
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 1,069
Amazing! I never thought I would see a North Korea thread on SSP. The communist aesthetic and brutalist overload really gives it the look of a place apart. How did people in public places react to a westerner taking photographs?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 5:45 PM
flar's Avatar
flar flar is online now
..........
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau
Posts: 10,420
Brilliant!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:17 PM
glowrock's Avatar
glowrock glowrock is online now
Couch-surfing provider
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Saudi Houstonia :(
Posts: 18,833
You need to be employed by National Geographic, Okayyou. Your stuff is THAT good!

Aaron (Glowrock)
__________________
"The three most beautiful cities in the world are Paris, St. Petersburg & Pittsburgh. If Pittsburgh were situated somewhere in the heart of Europe tourists would eagerly journey hundreds of miles out of their way to visit it." The New Yorker Jan. 9, 1989
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:25 PM
félixlechat's Avatar
félixlechat félixlechat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 567
Amazing set !
First pic is a fav
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:33 PM
circle33's Avatar
circle33 circle33 is offline
Has been
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Saskatoon
Posts: 4,802
Holy F*ck.
I mean that a good way of course.
__________________
...i'm ambitious when giving up...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:52 PM
LosAngelesSportsFan's Avatar
LosAngelesSportsFan LosAngelesSportsFan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,507
damn, that was fascinating. i never expected a North Korea tour on SSP!

Whats striking besides the fact that the place looks like a boring hell is that the demeanor of the people is very telling. They all look worn out, tired and depressed. sad
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:52 PM
diskojoe's Avatar
diskojoe diskojoe is offline
3rd Coast King
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,586
The photos don't want to all load on my phone. I'm going to have to check this from a pc.
__________________
Photo Threads
Flickr
Facebook

My Book
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 7:07 PM
LSyd's Avatar
LSyd LSyd is offline
Red October standing by
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Posts: 16,446
A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

great photos, new best NK thread ever. i'm super-psyched because i've been planning to start a Pyongyang-esque city on Simcity 4, but good detailed cityscape pics aren't easy to find.

-
__________________
"The vapors! The fainting couch! Those heartless elitists are burning down the plantation with their logic and arithmetic!"

-fflint
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 7:10 PM
brickell's Avatar
brickell brickell is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: County of Dade
Posts: 8,441
so much wow
__________________
That's what did it in the end. Not the money, not the music, not even the guns. That is my heroic flaw: my excess of civic pride.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 7:21 PM
Geofferson Geofferson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 61
Unbelievable. In the best possible way
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 7:42 PM
Steely Dan's Avatar
Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
born again cyclist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Style City
Posts: 14,917
now this is a photo tour you don't see everyday.

utterly fascinating!

fantastic work!

thank you!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 8:29 PM
hauntedheadnc's Avatar
hauntedheadnc hauntedheadnc is offline
Sentence fragments!
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Asheville, NC - "Home of the Pernicious Poem Place"
Posts: 4,558
Hell on earth never looked so darn pretty. I have to wonder if the residents of North Korea are aware on some level of the grotesque joke that has been played on all of them.
__________________
"Asheville air affects me like champagne; it goes to my head. I'm apt to do things for which I will be sorry in the grim dawn of New York." -- William G. Raoul, 1898
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 9:10 PM
uaarkson's Avatar
uaarkson uaarkson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,746
This is definitely one of the finest photo threads ever posted on this website. What a treat.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 9:24 PM
ColDayMan's Avatar
ColDayMan ColDayMan is offline
B!tchslapping Since 1998
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus
Posts: 19,082
Mind. Blown.
__________________
Click the x: _ _ X _ _!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 9:29 PM
Tom In Chicago's Avatar
Tom In Chicago Tom In Chicago is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Sick City
Posts: 5,927
Excellent photos. . . thanks for sharing. . .

. . .
__________________
Tom in Chicago
. . .
Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 10:22 PM
R@ptor's Avatar
R@ptor R@ptor is offline
Global Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Frankfurt
Posts: 6,459
I've already seen most of them a couple of months ago on your Flickr account and they have lost nothing of their fascination.

IMO one of your best sets with tons of great compositions. Most of those Pyongyang shots look like they are straight out of a dystopian SciFi movie.
__________________
My Homepage

My Flickr Account
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 10:47 PM
ItsConanOBrien ItsConanOBrien is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 2,966
Quote:
Originally Posted by glowrock View Post
You need to be employed by National Geographic, Okayyou. Your stuff is THAT good!
Just wanted to second this. Great work!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 10:48 PM
Lipani's Avatar
Lipani Lipani is offline
< Stay away from these
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bologna, Italia
Posts: 762
On the one hand North Korea's government is one of the most despicable on be planet. On the other this thread is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Your photo threads are always fascinating, Okayyou, but this one will be remembered on this forum for a very long time.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Photography Forums > My City Photos
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:51 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.