Young Pioneer Tours

Hotels of North Korea: Ryanggang Hotel

Introduction

The Ryanggang Hotel (량강호탤) was built in 1989 and opened alongside the Sosan Hotel and the Youth Hotel to accommodate foreign visitors who were attending the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students which coincidently was the largest international event Pyongyang has ever held. The hotel is classed as a budget hotel with a North Korean three-star rating.

The Ryanggang Hotel is 11 storeys tall with 330 rooms in total and has a unique design to the structure of the hotel giving it a pyramid like appearance, much like the Hyesan Hotel in Mt. Myohyang. During 2018 the hotel’s lobby and hallways on each floor were renovated and improved with better lighting and seating arrangements in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of North Korea’s independence.

Ryanggang Hotel Location

The Ryanggang Hotel is tucked away on top of the So Mountain in Pyongyang, within the sports village and opposite the Sosan Hotel. The name Ryanggang means “two rivers” as the Taedong River and Potong River join adjacent to the hotel.

It takes 10 minutes to reach the Pyongyang Railway Station by car, under an hour to Pyongyang International Airport and slightly over 10 minutes to arrive Kim Il Sung Square which is located in the heart of Pyongyang.

Ryanggang Hotel Facilities

The Ryanggang Hotel offers leisure activities to keep guests busy at night such as a massage parlour, billiards, ping pong and bars located in the lobby, basement and roof top. The Karaoke room is quite large and used to have the best karaoke song library available in Pyongyang, but has been overtaken by the Chongnyon Hotel and Sosan Hotel.

A gift shop is located in the lobby for any last-minute purchases of North Korean books, newspapers, magazines, or snacks. The hotel’s café is located in the lobby and offers comfortable seating and reasonable coffee. The main banquet hall is used for breakfast which offer mediocre western and Korean styled cuisines.

A revolving restaurant is located on the top floor but is rarely turned on, however views are still quite nice of the surrounding area. During the evening it can be difficult to see outside due to the reflection of the lights within the restaurant, so best to go up in the morning for a better photo opportunity.

Rooms

Each room at the Ryanggang Hotel have two single beds, an attached bathroom and a couch, however, the rooms are awkwardly spacious which can be a bother during winter as they are difficult to keep warm.

Each room also has its own open aired balcony with views of either downtown Pyongyang, the Taedong River, or the sports village. The balcony doors are locked and sealed with plastic during winter.

There are no international TV stations available within the rooms, only a local North Korean channel. Hot water is scheduled during certain hours.

Tips

Going up? – The hotel usually only has one elevator working but depending how busy it is if you’re staying during a national holiday. We recommend taking the stairs to avoid long waits.

Hot water – during winter it can take a while for hot water to reach your shower, so I recommend turning on the shower beforehand and giving it 5 to 10 minutes before bathing.

A good night sleep – Mattresses on the beds are rather thin and can be quite uncomfortable for western guests. It is possible to request extra padding from the hotel staff.

Morning jog – the hotel grounds are shared with the Sosan Hotel which gives lots of room to stretch your legs and go for a morning jog.

Google Maps – Check out the map behind the reception desk and notice the incorrect geography and spelling used on Canberra in Australia. As a fellow Australian.. I found this rather amusing.

Whilst the Ryanggang Hotel has a unique 80’s charm, we do recommend other hotels to stay at in Pyongyang. However, we can arrange your stay here during an independent tour.

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