Travelling on the highways in North Korea is a great experience, as it allows us to see the daily life of the country not controlled by the government like in Pyongyang. The highways connect the main towns of the counties and are totally car-free. This creates a very strange atmosphere since the roads are as large as airstrips, however in poor conditions with numerous bumpings and holes.
Everything is planned when you visit North Korea, even the bathrooms stops! According to the guide, it is too dangerous to stop on the highway to make a pee!
Some shops in the middle of nowhere welcome you with a relaxing moment where once again, you’ll be reading some propaganda on the walls. It will also allow your driver to buy cheap soju (rice alcohol) that they drink like Red Bulls but with different side effects!
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#1 Busy Day On The Highway...
Me: Can we make a bathroom stop? My guide: No, it is too dangerous to stop on the highway. Me: But we haven’t seen any cars for an hour!! My guide: A stop is scheduled at half way!
#2 Yes, In North Korea You Can Bike Without Danger On Highway
#3 A Kid With His Gooses On The Highway Side. Most Of The Time People Use The Highway For Their Daily Activities. Therefore They Got So Surprised To See Cars Or Buses On It
#4 It Is Forbidden To Enter Pyongyang With A Dirty Car, So After A Long Trip On The Highway, The Cars And The Buses Must Be Cleaned Before Entering The Town
It is a way to respect the town of the Leaders, according to my guide.
#5 The Trips On The Highways Allow Us To See The Reality Of The Countryside, And The Lack Of Development. It Seems Time Has Frozen In The 50s
#6 The Highways Are So Large That Even Planes Could Land On Them
#7 There Are No Tolls In North Korea, But You Cannot Leave Pyongyang Without A Special Authorization
Even for local people. The lack of public transportation is reducing the chances of escapes…
#8 In The Middle Of Nowhere On The Highway, A Stop Is Planned By The Guides In Shops That Sell Alcohol
My bus driver loves drinking soju, the rice alcohol, just like our western drivers adore Red Bulls!
#9 A Live Orchestra Playing At The Road That's Being Repaired
#10 A Highway Junction Is So Rarely Used By Cars That Kids Can Even Dry Corn On The Road!
Getting on the highways is a very good way to see scenes of local life, even though the bus driver drives at a very high speed trying to hide the reality from foreign visitors.
#11 All Along The Highway Near The South Korean Border, You Can See Those Huge Cement Blocks. They Can Be Used To Block The Highway In Case Of American Invasion
#12 I Hardly See Cars On The Highways Of North Korea During All My Six Trips. Now I Am Lucky Enough To Spot An American… Hummer!
My guides are rather annoyed as they know how symbolic this car is in their country, where everything is rationed out… It is the first time that I hear them criticizing something from their system.
#13 A Nice And Relaxing Room In A Highway
#14 A Lot Of People Are Trying To Stop Cars, However They Have To Wait For Hours…
So, I ask my guide to stop for them as the tourist bus I have is empty. He refuses, explaining that it is absolutely impossible to do this.
#15 A Small Souvenir Shop On The Highway. They Are Selling Some Apples. One Euro For One Apple! They Are The First Fruit I Ever Have During My Two-weeks Trip!
#16 In My Country, You Can Spot Wild Animals Crossing The Highways. Whereas In North Korea, You Can See The Local Kids Crossing The Large Roads
#17 Ironically, The Only Advertising Billboards You Can See In Pyongyang Are About… Cars!
#19 Lots Of Holes Can Be Found On The Highways, So Lot Of Workers Are Trying To Fix The Road
Security is not the main concern, because the sign is put up just right next to the workers, not 200m before!
#20 The Daily Life
#21 Workers On The Highway Are Repairing The Road
#22 The Kind Of Scene You Can See Along The Highway
An overloaded truck breaks down with a lot of smoke coming out… I had the chance to take these pictures just because... After lunch, my guides are enjoying the comfort of the bus seats and snoring…