Home DestinationsAsia Admire the interior of North Korean hotels

Admire the interior of North Korean hotels

by Victoria

“Hotels of Pyongyang” is a new book by James Scullin, photographed by Nicole Reed, about hotel restaurant experiences in North Korea. Scullin has been to North Korea 8 times and hotels are a memorable point in the trip as well as a way to contact and learn about life and people here.” Now the world is open and globalized very much. There are only a few places like North Korea, you have to visit the place to feel it.” Scullin said.

The staff at the door and the baggage carrier, who you’ll see regularly at the hotel, is also the most accessible. After moving from China to his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Scullin connected with photographer Nicole Reed to combine architectural and portrait photography projects … The two traveled to Pyongyang for 5 days to take photos of the hotel as well as staff here to document.

Ryugyong is one of the most famous controversial hotels in North Korea because of its design and many surrounding stories. Scullin first came to North Korea on tour and then he scheduled his own company. As he became more acquainted with Pyongyang, he found hotels that had not been in the previous times to ask his guide about the possibility of staying or visiting. “Every time I travel to the same places, there are still museums, memorials, and train stations. I want to explore Pyongyang hotels by myself and document these places for visitors.” Scullin said.

According to Scullin, the interior of the hotels here is reminiscent of the film by American actor Wes Anderson. The hotel is a safe place for international travelers to experience the services without having to move much. “The strange thing is that in a private and isolated country like North Korea there is a unique hotel chain. I immediately thought of the idea of ​​a new book. The mysterious country still wants tourists to visit,” said Scullin.

Facilities in a hotel include hairdressers, beauty treatments for both men and women.

Korean hotels are equipped with many different amenities, besides room service, there are also bars, karaoke rooms, swimming pools, but there is no room service or wifi.

The buildings in the capital Pyongyang have Soviet and Chinese architecture. The hotels here do not have advertising, whether on television or large signs.

Each hotel has karaoke rooms.

Photographer Nicole Reed loves hotel swimming pools not for the comfort to enjoy but for their unique design.

Beer is a popular drink and there is a bar specifically designed to serve it in Korea. The female photographer pays attention to the drink while traveling in Korea, “I am so passionate about coffee that I cannot find any place to sell whether in a restaurant or hotel”. When photographing hotels, Reed and Scullin have more time to learn about the work of the staff here.

Hotels are governmental but designed by different people or groups. “Creativity exists in any situation,” Scullin said.

After a 5-day trip to collect documents, Reed and Scullin realized: if you have a good relationship with the tour guide, you are also invited to explore the night to shops, restaurants, and night services where it doesn’t allow for everyone. 

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