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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:46 AM   #3361
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This tower is looking great, but it doesnt look very finished from the first picture.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:51 AM   #3362
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Let me in!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:06 AM   #3363
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Believe it or not, there is also landscaping going on at the site, ie planting trees, and grass
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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:51 AM   #3364
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There are a few new buildings in that shot.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #3365
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I'm a Canadian who visited North Korea in late 2010. The reason why there's so much conflicting information about what you can take pictures of is because the rules have changed quite a bit over the past few years. When I went the rules for photography were more lax than ever. During the trip, we could take pictures of most things we wanted. There were a few things that were off limits: Military personnel and equipment, manual laborers, unfinished buildings, and any shots of the leaders that aren't framed nicely (eg. Feet only, part of the head cut off, etc). There were a couple of attractions where photos weren't allowed either, like the art gallery adjacent to the main plaza in Pyongyang, and the Friendship Exhibition.

Otherwise we could take pictures of what we pleased, from the bus, in and around the hotels and wherever we visited. At the time I went the Ryugyong was no longer considered unfinished, and there have been record high numbers of western tourists visiting, hence the surge in photos of it over the past couple of years. The guide even pointed out a good angle of it while we were walking near a war veterans memorial. It used to be that you couldn't take pictures from the bus or point your camera anywhere you didn't have explicit permission to but that wasn't the case during my trip. The authorities are fickle so a visitor in 2012 will probably encounter a different set of rules. Could be more strict, could be more lax, it all depends on when you go and how comfortable your guide is. We got a seasoned one who's been doing it for over ten years so she was quite confident but another group we talked to during our stay complained that their guide was quite a bit more paranoid.

It is true you can't roam unsupervised though. In one restaurant, a few of us finished a fair bit earlier than everyone else, so one person asked the guide if we could walk around the block to pass the time. This was denied. It was a bummer as we would have loved to have a close look through the shop windows and check out what kind of consumer goods they had (we on the other hand were corralled through tourist only shops). The chances to mingle were few but we did get that opportunity, with a short walk down a pretty busy street in the city center, an impromptu volleyball game with the locals in the park, participating in an outdoor dance, a couple of theme park visits and of course the four or five station subway ride. Most of the people there, besides the guides of course, are shy and avoid looking at you, but a few were outgoing and greeted us as they passed. At the theme park, everyone is out to have a good time and leaves the cultural barrier at the gate. We sat across from a couple of guys in full military uniform on a tornado type ride and all of us spent the entire time laughing and waving at each other. Great experience.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #3366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattSid
I had an orgasm...that's the first foto from the building site that was ever released (please correct me if I'm wrong), now we waiting for the interiors.

Anyway...I love how the sky is reflected upon the facede
There were alot of pics already which showed the tower U/C again
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Old April 27th, 2012, 01:31 PM   #3367
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OMG North Korea, Get your act together and start building more skyscrapers like this!!!!!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:22 PM   #3368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZ-II View Post
There were alot of pics already which showed the tower U/C again
I think he meant that this was the first photo directly from the base of the tower
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #3369
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Here is a very good youtube set of videos, uploaded last year so I assume they're recent, of a tour of North Korea.

There are several of them so will take you some time to watch the full amount but very interested, honest and down-to-earth I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J2q5AwNzvQ

This is only the first part but you'll get links to the next from there - well worth watching all of them if you can, it is enlightening.

I'm not a troll.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #3370
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...Anyone else imagining what it would be like to sled down one of the wings of the building in the winter? I mean, sure you'd die when you landed, but in the mean time, awesome!!!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #3371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebobo View Post
but another group we talked to during our stay complained that their guide was quite a bit more paranoid.
That's quite understandable. The tourists' behavior could have resulted in her taking a one-way trip to the gulag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebobo View Post
the four or five station subway ride.
That's new. They usually only show two stations to tourists. Do you have photos as proof?

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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
...Anyone else imagining what it would be like to sled down one of the wings of the building in the winter?
No.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #3372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post

That's new. They usually only show two stations to tourists. Do you have photos as proof?
I should clarify we only stepped out on the platform at two stations. We didn't get off at the others. I didn't document the whole ride. What I can tell you is the stations all looked similar, with tall arched ceilings and murals all over. I'm not sure if anyone can tell you whether all 16 stations claimed to exist are operating and are outfitted the same, but there's definitely more to the system than a two station propaganda stunt as I've heard some reports say.

I had to use the facilities while waiting for our train to arrive, which is one element tourists are definitely not meant to be exposed to. They are located under the staircase on the platform level. Since they kind of wedged them in there the doorway was maybe 5 foot 6 high and the rest of the ceiling was barely over 6 feet (which is my height, so I had to walk while slightly squatting so as to not graze it). A couple of the faucets couldn't be shut off and half of the washroom was flooded with an inch of water. All of the stalls were missing doors and a single weak light bulb lit the whole space that accommodated ten guys doing their business. It made for a very memorable public washroom experience.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #3373
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This is my favourite skyscraper now.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #3374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebobo View Post
I had to use the facilities while waiting for our train to arrive, which is one element tourists are definitely not meant to be exposed to. They are located under the staircase on the platform level. Since they kind of wedged them in there the doorway was maybe 5 foot 6 high and the rest of the ceiling was barely over 6 feet (which is my height, so I had to walk while slightly squatting so as to not graze it). A couple of the faucets couldn't be shut off and half of the washroom was flooded with an inch of water. All of the stalls were missing doors and a single weak light bulb lit the whole space that accommodated ten guys doing their business. It made for a very memorable public washroom experience.
Interesting. The ceiling height isn't a problem since the North Korean population might be devolving into pygmy status. The Korean People's Army recently had to amend its draft height to a minimum of 4'6".

All-squatter facility, right?
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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:43 AM   #3375
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If South Korea retaliates against Pyongyang, at least don't screw up this wonderful building.
I'm quite sure it will be a great target if anything ever happens!
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Old April 28th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #3376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebobo View Post
I'm a Canadian who visited North Korea in late 2010. The reason why there's so much conflicting information about what you can take pictures of is because the rules have changed quite a bit over the past few years. When I went the rules for photography were more lax than ever. During the trip, we could take pictures of most things we wanted. There were a few things that were off limits: Military personnel and equipment, manual laborers, unfinished buildings, and any shots of the leaders that aren't framed nicely (eg. Feet only, part of the head cut off, etc). There were a couple of attractions where photos weren't allowed either, like the art gallery adjacent to the main plaza in Pyongyang, and the Friendship Exhibition.

Otherwise we could take pictures of what we pleased, from the bus, in and around the hotels and wherever we visited. At the time I went the Ryugyong was no longer considered unfinished, and there have been record high numbers of western tourists visiting, hence the surge in photos of it over the past couple of years. The guide even pointed out a good angle of it while we were walking near a war veterans memorial. It used to be that you couldn't take pictures from the bus or point your camera anywhere you didn't have explicit permission to but that wasn't the case during my trip. The authorities are fickle so a visitor in 2012 will probably encounter a different set of rules. Could be more strict, could be more lax, it all depends on when you go and how comfortable your guide is. We got a seasoned one who's been doing it for over ten years so she was quite confident but another group we talked to during our stay complained that their guide was quite a bit more paranoid.

It is true you can't roam unsupervised though. In one restaurant, a few of us finished a fair bit earlier than everyone else, so one person asked the guide if we could walk around the block to pass the time. This was denied. It was a bummer as we would have loved to have a close look through the shop windows and check out what kind of consumer goods they had (we on the other hand were corralled through tourist only shops). The chances to mingle were few but we did get that opportunity, with a short walk down a pretty busy street in the city center, an impromptu volleyball game with the locals in the park, participating in an outdoor dance, a couple of theme park visits and of course the four or five station subway ride. Most of the people there, besides the guides of course, are shy and avoid looking at you, but a few were outgoing and greeted us as they passed. At the theme park, everyone is out to have a good time and leaves the cultural barrier at the gate. We sat across from a couple of guys in full military uniform on a tornado type ride and all of us spent the entire time laughing and waving at each other. Great experience.
Intresting read. Keep'em coming. I hope a tourist does a stunt to take the metro all the stations and document it one day(what's the consequences for something like this?).
It's rumors that the stations for the tourist looks nicer than the other stations. But they're no evidence of this.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 09:48 AM   #3377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwotci

I think he meant that this was the first photo directly from the base of the tower
Indeed, that could be
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Old April 30th, 2012, 12:21 PM   #3378
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15 April by James Gourley Photography

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jgourley/7122783205/
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Old April 30th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #3379
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Old April 30th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #3380
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This building turned from a negative icon for North Korea into a positive one.
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