Luxury hotel overlooking the sea - Resort and Casino
A 47 story, 1,000 room behemoth conveniently located on Yanggak Island in the middle of the Taedong River.
Thankfully, the North Koreans have filled the Yanggakdo Hotel with a wide variety of diversions to keep tourists occupied during those late nights when you would rather be out exploring the city. There is, of course, a bar (bizarrely called a tea room) that served delicious draft beer.
In the basement of the hotel you can find the Egyptian themed “Casino Pyongyang”, which is owned and operated by a Chinese company, with North Koreans barred from entering, and everything, from the faux Egyptian decor, to the old slot machines (you still pull the handle!) seemed to have been imported from 1980s Vegas, or at least a casino that had gone bankrupt and needed to liquidate everything.
In addition to the hotel bar, bowling alley, and casino, there were billiards and ping pong rooms, several stores and restaurants (including one that revolved!), a barber and salon, banquet halls, business center (where you could place those 8 euro per minute phone calls!), a sauna, and karaoke room. Per tradition, we spent our last night in the karaoke room drinking beer and singing “Hotel California” and Dancing Queen” until 2am with our North Korean guides(and then went to the casino) .
Outside the hotel was a nine hole golf course which cost 20 euros to play a round on
With North Korea in so many of today's headlines and little idea what's genuine and what isn't, we were reminded of the little known fifth floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel.
The Yanggakdo is North Korea's largest hotel and the second tallest building in the country. It towers over Pyongyang, but it also harbors a secret.
The fifth floor is missing from the elevator panel, and while it can be accessed by stairs, it's off-limits to hotel guests.