North Korea (DPRK) -
Province and villages. Part II. (Translated by Natalia)
The subject of this album is a Vonsan - a coastal city
(about 200 km far from Pyongyang to the east) and nearby village.
Although it's a city, with Pyongyang it, certainly, does not go to any
comparison. Pyongyang in Northern Korea is the only one - a capital. All
is more modest here.
If I haven't yet said, then I'll admit now: the
passports of Pyongyang inhabitants are different from passports of
province inhabitants. Externally it is the same small laminated card,
but in other color. Accordingly, for the inhabitant of province it's
impossible to enter the capital without a pass. On the contrary it is
possible more often, though there are still any restrictions.
So, on the roads periodically there are posts (usually it's just a
soldier with a flag). The primary goal of them is checking the
documents. They quite often wink at the cars with Pyongyang license
The similar way of regulation of migration was applied in USSR in
1930-ies. With the one difference - our village inhabitants had no
passports at all.
There's a pioneer camp near the Vonsan. Pioneer camp Sondovon - is a
kind of Russian "Artek" (as it was at soviet times). As encouragement
for any successes, small groups of children from Korea and other
countries have a rest here.
The camp has a quite modern look. There's
a big park, swimming pool and so on. All takes about 10 hectares.
Inside there're many evident propagation and propaganda, in
comparison with other places
However, let's go back to Vonsan city.
This is the view from hotel window. The sun is setting…
Five floors down some men play cards… :-)
One of the moments which was remembered at the hotel - they put the
door-mats with names of current day of week in lifts. Although in
Pyongyang there's a higher level hotel, I haven't seen anything like
that there. They could've put door-mats with current time if only
they've wanted… :-)
By the writing 106% it is possible to assume, that it is a question
about exceeding the plan :)
And here we went out without support and have decided to take a walk .
At first we've walked along the embankment.
Here we went lefter a little bit.
Alexey tries to buy some local bubblegums and other stuff…
standing near to each other cooperative kiosks the only one seller
didn't want to talk to us. In her own will. She just pointedly turned
away with very dissatisfied physiognomy. But we've had no problems with
others, including the currency payments.
Here begins the ordinary village.
Basically, comparing to Russia, nothing really terrible.
But Europeans really have got nothing to do here :)
The population is
friendly (the worst thing we've seen - the man just passed us by,
pretending that does not notice us). Nobody importunes, nobody asks for
Just the kids at the embankment near the hotel tried to talk to us (they
knew the only word - "OK" : )
They were completely satisfied with a candy.
As I noticed before, houses are fenced by continuous fences, for
neighbors and passers-by couldn't see what's going on inside. Actually,
there's nothing special inside.
Alexey here continued to hunt for
bubblegums. The local population did not object (here and there on the
ground the pieces of a fabric with the fine goods laid.
Nobody protested to take dollars. But sometimes sellers ran away to
ask neighbors. Also nobody haggled with us - we just changed bubblegums
to 1 dollar banknotes in more or less reasonable parity :)
Somewhere there're more decent houses. Also the lots somewhere organized
as in Russia - without continuous fences. But it's not characteristic.
The nature and landscapes - right here - looks like Leningrad region :).
Couple of ravines, pines, sand. The road is ordinary too.
Only, if to look narrowly, unknown plants come across, and those that
are known, look slightly not so.
Here our small walk finished. We have returned to hotel, fairly
having informed girls about our vile act :) It has not made a special
impression on them.
I think, at the moment in the places, where it's needed :, the general
representation about us was already made. They realized that we're not
seeking the pictures with rubbish heaps and ruins. So, they just winked
The coast, the beach and us.
This is the Japan sea. But Koreans (including southern) call it
"Eastern Sea of Korea". About their relations with Japan I already wrote
It's still too cold to swim. But we've walked barefoot at the water.
Need to say that any visible restrictions on an output to coast are
not observed (I read in one article before the trip, that a barbed wire
is everywhere :)
The other thing, that there're almost no boats at the horizon. Maybe,
it's not allowed to swim out by boats and fisherman-ships?