An old classic
The West Sea Barrage Video
As a tour leader, travellers on our North Korea group tours sometimes ask me if I get bored of visiting the same sights over and over, to which I must answer two things: 1) we don’t always visit the same sights – there is plenty to visit, more than most expect in North Korea - and 2) even if we did visit the very same sights every time (we don’t!), there is always more to notice, more to learn, and more to see.
Afterall the melancholic 18th/19th century French aristocrat Xavier de Maistre, once wrote a whole book about travels around his own room – Voyages Around My Room (1794) – so it goes without saying that there would be more to know about a country as rarely visited as North Korea and just about any location in the country.
Now North Korea’s West Sea Barrage is one of the sights that 1) we don’t always visit on every tour but 2) when we do, it never ceases to provide fascinating insights. This is largely due to the existence of the West Sea Barrage information video, 21 minutes of required viewing for anyone visiting North Korea’s giant 1980’s-era mega project on the mouth of the Taedong River.
The video is a kind right of passage for visitors and should never be skipped, even if you have seen it before. Not only does the video elucidate in due course the conception, purpose(s), construction technique, and opening of the West Sea Barrage, but it also is full of plenty of explosions, heavy equipment, socialist realist drama (‘…new records in concrete placing work…’) and inspirations lines (‘it was indeed a war between the outrageous sea and man…’). I am not being sarcastic when I say I can never get enough – the video is very telling about a certain era of North Korean history and how the country perceived itself at the time - and so I was happy to find a copy on the old Youtube.
The video is, of course, better if you visit the West Sea Barrage yourself.
Koryo Tours North Korea Travel Guide | The Definitive Guide to the Sights of the DPRK and North Korea Travel Advice.