Being a Juche socialist state on the march to communism the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea places enormous importance on its transportation system, but what is North Koreans public transport like? Let’s find out.
The North Korean Subway System
The Pyongyang Metro is an iconic site that most tourists travel on, but it is far more than just a mere tourist attraction and its two lines criss-cross along Pyongyang to provide extremely cheap travel (a few cents per journey) to workers of Pyongyang. Formerly the livery was East-German built, but now North Korea makes its own subway carriages. Watch our fabulous video about the Metro here, or join our full Metro tour.
Due to the scarcity of oil in the country, most of the public transport systems in Pyongyang are electric. The Pyongyang trolleybus is another iconic site and is often very full. This has led to there now being an electric tram service to help locals of Pyongyang get around.
Are there taxis in Pyongyang?
Ten years ago there were almost no taxis in Pyongyang, but they are now quite a familiar sight. For anyone that has spent time in Beijing, the Green taxis are very easy to recognize as they were purchased from China. Taxis in Pyongyang are not cheap, and therefore not used by your average worker. Prices are also charged in dollars rather than Won or Euro. Whilst expensive taxis are now a convenient part of the Pyongyang public transport scene.
What about private vehicles in Pyongyang?
There is really a fun number plate game you can play in North Korea and it goes a bit like this.
• blue – diplomatic cars
• black – North Korean military
• white – state-owned cars
• yellow – private cars
You will mostly see white number plated cars which means state-owned, but if you spot a yellow one that is very special! Very few people have private cars in North Korea.
Did you know North Korea makes its own cars?
We previously wrote about North Korean cars, but to recap North Korea currently makes the Pyonghwa Car (peace car) which is the only “private” advert you will see in Pyongyang.
And the traffic cops?
Check out our featured blog on the beautiful iconic traffic girls, something no trip to Pyongyang is complete without seeing it.
That’s our guide to transportation in North Korea, but to see it for yourself, you will have to join a tour!