A Pyongyang Home
Companion No. 8:
DPRK Department Stores

Some examples of department store architecture from around North Korea

Every Korean city, big and small, has a central department store (백화점), unsurprisingly named after the city: Kaesong Department Store, Anju Department Store, Kaechon Department Store, and so on.

Pyongyang has more than one with the flagship store named Pyongyang No.1 Department Store.

(The others in Pyongyang have more diverse names: Paradise, Kwangbok, Taesong, etc.) Pyongyang also has a Children’s Department Store selling toys.

At the time of writing, all central department stores in the country are not open to foreign tourists, although you are probably not missing out on too much. The second floor of Pyongyang’s No. 1 Department Store mainly sells cutesy plush stuffed animals toys.

That said, department stores around the country often have unique architecture and are worth looking out for. Below are some examples.

The blue Wonsan Department Store on the waterfront.

The yellow Kaesong Department Store below Janam Hill.

The pink Sariwon Department Store near Kyongam Mountain.

Sariwon Department Store at night all dressed up in lights.

A Pyongyang Home Companion is a guide to daily life in Korea: how-to, food, sports, modern culture, and romance.

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