Dubbed by some in the West as the Silicon Valley of the DPRK, given that it has several scientific institutions and a scientists street, Pyongsong city is the provincial capital of South Pyongan and was established in 1969.
It was opened to Western tourists in 2013, though several groups had to stay there overnight, at the Jangsusan Hotel, the only hotel available to foreigners in this city, back in 2012 during the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of President Kim Il Sung, given that accommodation in the capital was fully booked. Luckily our groups were able to stay overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel then.
Pyongsong is located about 30 km to the northeast of the capital of North Korea. It takes around 40 minutes to drive there from Pyongyang.
It is possible to stay overnight in Pyongsong when going to Mount Myohyang and continue your journey north the next day.
Given its proximity to the capital, this mining city is referred to as a "Satellite City" of Pyongyang.
There are bronze statues of the leaders, the history museum and the town hall can also been seen from the square.
In our video below taken in 2013 you can see that there was a single statue of a young President Kim Il Sung:
The slogan you can read in the video means "One Unified Heart" and in the middle the emblem of the Workers' Party of Korea; a hammer (representing the industrial class), a sickle (representing the farming class) and a brush (representing the intelectual class).
Pyongsong Town Hall
This is where Kim Il Sung University, the top university in the DPRK, was moved to during the Korean War.
It is a short drive away from Pyongsong city and located in a valley.
We visit where students studied, ate and their dorms.
We can walk around the school and check some of their lessons. Kids are very talented playing table-tennis in this school. You can ask KTG's Tim about it!
Could you take on a Pyongsong junior school pupil at ping pong? Tim thought he could.Posted by KTG Tours - North Korea Travel on Wednesday, April 20, 2016
There are also dance classes and we can sometimes see the students practicing or performing if these are on when we visit the school.
Dance class at Dongsuk Primary School
Maths class at Dongsuk Primary School
This is the best middle school in the city.
Students here have won international maths competitions.
We usually walk around the classrooms and have the chance to speak to students, whether during their lessons or in the playground.
KTG traveller with the headmaster and a teacher
Students lining up and marching before class
We usually arrange a visit to either the Paeksong Food Factory or the Taedonggang Textile Factory.
As for accommodation in Pyongsong, the only option available is the Jangsusan Hotel.
The Jangsusan Hotel is the only hotel in Pyongsong where foreigners can stay. Below is a picture of the hotel back in 2013 before it had been repainted.