Pyongyang’s 1st Recreational Centre to Eat, Drink & be Merry

Daily NK
Han Young Jin
7/2/2007

(visit the Daily NK to see pictures)

On the banks opposite the Chongryukwan (a restaurant) in Pyongyang, a newly leisure centre “Sol Pong Centre” was opened on June 19th.

A Chinese webpage to motivate North Korea-China trade advertizes Sol Pong Centre as, “The latest modernized restaurants, leisure and recreational centre has opened in Pyongyang.”

According to the webpage, Sol Pong Centre offers a variety of services including restaurants, recreational activities, shopping, lounge area, communal bathing, swimming, gym, barber and hairdressers.

Even the entrance to the 5 storey building including a basement, is a revolving door, a rarity in North Korea. There is a Korean barbeque restaurant and shops on the 1st floor, and other modern services on the 2nd floor including a barber, massage therapist, wedding hall and piano concert hall.

This is the first time since the 80’s where a major service centre has opened in North Korea, The last centre “Changkwangwon” facilitated shops, restaurants and a wedding hall.

The webpage features, “This centre was designed to match modern lifestyle and western fashion, and will completely satisfy your recreational lifestyle. It will provide you will a space to enjoy Pyongyang’s modernized foods and leisure.”

North Korea media has not officially advertised the centre as yet. It is being introduced on Chinese investment websites and many speculate that this centre will be more for foreigners and Pyongyang’s top elite class.

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