April 24, 2018

Amazing Photos From Vintage Brochures Show How North Korea Used to Tempt Tourists Back in the 1970s and 80s

North Korea is one of the most closely-guarded countries in the world - rarely are people allowed in, and photography is banned.

Vintage advertising shows how then-leader Kim Il-sung attempted to lure people to the country, with pictures of people relaxing on beaches, enjoying theme park rides and eating the local cuisine.

These snapshots were taken in the 1970s and '80s, before the collapse of the USSR. During this time, virtually no foreigners were allowed entry to North Korea except for communist allies.

This is how North Korea advertised itself to potential tourists back in the 1970s and 80s when only visitor from allied communist countries were allowed within its borders.

Among the many attractions potential tourists had waiting for them include volleyball, a favorite sport in North Korea, which is pictured being played here on Wonsan beach.

Gymnastics classes were another of the cultural offerings for potential communist visitors. Women are pictured taking part in a class on Songdowon beach here.

The beach in Wonsan is filled with tourists, most like from the USSR, in this 1980s snap that was included in a brochure given to prospective visitors.

This is the beach at Majon, in North Korea's second-largest city of Hamhung, photographed some time in the 1990s.

Unlike the beaches of Spain or Greece, which would have been packed with tourists in the 1990s when this snap was taken, the sand in Hamhung is virtually deserted.

People enjoying a diving platform in the city of Wonsan. Tourism was and is an important source of income for North Korea, as well as helping spread its propaganda.

A woman hails a taxi outside Ryanggang Hotel, in Pyongyang, in 1986.

A mother and her children relax at Taesongsan Waterpark, located near the capital.

A family enjoys a ride at the Taesongsan Funfair, which is located close to Pyongyang and is still open today. The park is named for Mount Taesong, which it sits at the base of.

A view of the Mansu Hill Grand Monument in central Pyongyang in North Korea. A statue of Kim Jong-il has since been added to stand next to the one of his father, Kim Il-sung, who is pictured here.

Parents watch their children take a ride on the funfair at Taesongsan in 1980. The park was first opened in 1977 and features 10 rides, though its main rollercoaster was damaged by flooding in 2007 and does not operate.

The rocket ride at Taesongsan Funfair. North Korea operates several theme parks around the country, the most famous of which is Pyongyang Zoo, which continues to be a major tourist draw to this day.

Men and women queue to go on the teacup rise at Taesongsan Funfair some time in the 1980s. The theme park has been updated little since it was first built, and now struggles to operate.

Bumper cars modeled to look like vehicles from the 1970s and 80s were advertised to potential tourists as a reason to visit.

The log flume ride at Taesongsan, which is now not operated except on the park's busiest days having falling into disrepair.

Kwansong Tancha, the main rollercoaster at Taesongsan, operating in the 1980s. The coaster, once the park's star attraction, was heavily damaged by flooding in 2007 and now does not operate.

Guests enjoy some North Korean cuisine at an upmarket restaurant in Pyongyang, in this image taken in 1976.

Young people dine at Songdowon where an international summer camp for children takes place every year, 1989.

Parents and children attending the Songdowon International Children's Camp, held in Pyongyang, 1989. The camp is largely aimed a foreign visitors, and so was advertised in tourist brochure.

The brochure for the Songdowon International Children's Camp. The summer camp still operates today, and attracts 400 children from around the world with activities such as swimming pools and video games.

(Photos © Retro DPRK/News Dog Media, via Daily Mail)




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