When I first started taking people to the Taedong Diplomatic Club over 10 years ago, many a travel guide (and travel agency) stated it was impossible to go there as a tourist. In fact this was not the case, and a visit to the Diplo is very much part of a trip to North Korea with Young Pioneer Tours.
I did though hear about another place that was genuinely off-limits to your average tourist, and that was the Random Access Club, AKA the RAC. As soon as I heard this I knew I needed to visit.
In 2010 I designed and ran a football tour to coincide with North Korea taking part in the 2010 World Cup. The coolest part of this would that we would be in country for the DPRK vs Brazil and Portugal games. The only question was where to watch the games!
The first game was played on time delay (not live, sadly) and we went to watch it at the Rakwon Microbrewery. Alas a well-known journalist (and a well-known tit) told us the result. Regardless, it was still cool to watch the DPRK do so well against Brazil.
Two of our group had UN passports (I didn’t even know it was a thing), and thus were eligible to go to the RAC, which was located in the UN part of the Embassy District.
Our Korean guides agreed to take us for the match, although sadly they had to wait on the bus (listening to the game on the radio). We thus watched Portugal trounce North Korea live on Chinese television.
What is the Random Access Club like? In a very weird way it kind of looked a lot like some kind of student bar, and had a weird hippy vibe with volunteer bartenders. The RAC is basically run by expats for expats.
You certainly won’t get a chance to visit the RAC Pyongyang on a tour, but if you happen to have a UN passport it’s worth a look for sure..