Every year, on March 17th, cities all over the world get to frolic in the fun and festivities that is St Patrick’s Day.
This year, thanks to Young Pioneer Tours, Pyongyang has been invited to the party! Customers can celebrate their Irishness (real or honorary) on St Patrick’s Day by knocking back some dark beers in the numerous watering holes of DPRK.
We cannot offer you the parades of Dublin, the crowds of New York, nor the dyed green river of Chicago but what we lack in those things will be made up by simple fact we will be celebrating it in Pyongyang!
These festivities will be taking place on the final night of the tour (March 17th of course!) so this means we will have the first few days to soak up all the DPRK culture offered on our regular tours.
Here’s a look at what we have planned:
We will spend the first night at the Yanggakdo hotel getting to know each other! You can decide if you would like to spend your evening playing pool, singing karaoke, bowling, swimming, gambling, or just relaxing with a beer. You can have an early night or a late one but be warned we leave early the next day for our day of activities including; A walk through Mansudae fountain park and see the mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il. We’ll then visit Mansudae Grand Monument to show our respects to the President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il. (Optional extra- you can present flowers if you wish: small bunches are 2 euro, larger ones 4.) After this, we head to the Grand People’s Study House – library and academic centre for adult learners. This grand building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over the central square.
The afternoon sees us experiencing a ride with a difference on the Pyongyang Metro! Ride from Stop 1 to Stop 2 then on to stop 6! Exiting to:
- The Arch of Triumph – the largest Victory Arch on the planet – it celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of the general Kim Il Sung to his home city.
- Monument to the Party Foundation – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the worker’s party.
- Visit the Meari Shooting Range. Here’s your chance to shoot Soviet-style weapons in the DPRK! There’s an indoor and outdoor range. Bows and electronic shooting games are also available. If shooting isn’t your thing, there’s a nice snack bar to grab a refreshment (.5-0 euros per bullet).
Again we will spend the night at the Yanggakdo Hotel and rest for next day’s activities – St. Patrick’s Day!
We spend the morning visiting the Korean Film Studio – the biggest and best film studio in the DPRK. Here we have an opportunity to dress up as ancient characters from the old dynasty days – 1 euro each. We then visit the Kwanbok department store, where we can shop with the locals and gain access to the local DPRK Won currency.
In the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a lunch at the Moran Hill Fried Chicken Restaurant (humorously known by locals as Pyongyang’s KFC) before beginning our Pyongyang Pub Crawl!
Koryo Hotel for microbrewed dark and/or light beer.
Rakwon Beer Bar- microbrewed pints for only 0.5 euro each.
Taedonggan beer bar No.3 – 3 different microbrews on tap 1.5 euro each.
Pyongyang Gold Lanes Bowling – here they have draft beer and we can verse the locals to a game! (2.50 euros per game)
Dinner at the National Restaurant with a performance from the waitresses!
Taedonggan Diplomat’s club. There’s local and imported drinks, karaoke, billiards, ping pong and a great chance to meet some local Pyongyang expats.
After visiting some more monuments including the Juche Tower and the Arch of Triumph, we will begin the Irish festivities at the Pyolmuri Teahouse/ Bar. We will then move onto the Koryo Hotel Bar, the Rakwon Bar, the Taedonggan Bar, the Moranbong Bar, and finally the Diplomats’ club where we can show off our Irish singing skills until the wee hours!
Next year, when someone asks “Where did ye spend St Paddy’s Day last year then?” you will have quite the response!