Secret Zoo (Mangyongdae Funfair Zoo)
The Pyongyang Central Zoo is well known, a massive complex newly renovated and home to all manner of large beasts and educational exhibits. But Pyongyang is actually home to a second zoo, the Mangyongdae Funfair Zoo, or as we like to call it; the Secret Zoo!
It’s a secret!
Well actually it isn’t.
The Mangyongdae Funfair (in Mangyongdae District, very close to the Mangyongdae Native House) is divided into two sections, between them is a hill which a fun retro cable-car rides over to link the two parts, if the wind is high or it isn’t working then the other main option is to walk around, this route takes one past a scenic lake, popular with local fishermen, and this lovely Secret Zoo.
The Mangyongdae Funfair Zoo is actually free to enter!
So save your pennies and take a trip to the Secret Zoo – it is laid out on a path beside the lake, which a small monorail runs around (surely the single most retro form of transportation, and one which hardly any tourists have ever ridden, for bragging rights alone you should try this monorail!)
The Secret Zoo itself doesn’t have the most flamboyant selection of animals. Some of them are decidedly…domestic.
Dogs, Cats, Guinea pigs. These are not really ‘zoo’ animals. And neither are chickens or budgerigars.
Vultures – yes, these are not farm or domestic animals at all. In fact, it is the avian life which makes up much of the fauna of the Secret Zoo; with various kinds of birds from doves to emus being a highlight.
The cages are fun too, as much as a cage can ever be fun that is.
There is a spherical one, one that is built into an artificial tree, most of them are pastel-shaded boxy type enclosures, from a simpler time than the modern zoos of the world.
Mangyongdae Funfair Zoo is simply a simple place really.
A place to walk through as much as to visit, a way to pass an hour in Pyongyang at leisure enjoying the place in the same way that local families who flock to the place enjoy it; as simply a short distraction and something to keep them entertained for a little while.
Try the first part of Mangyongdae Funfair; the double-loop rollercoaster, the shooting range, and so on. Then take the cable car over the hill. Try some of the rides in the other half of the funfair and then take a walk through the Secret Zoo.
Finally, finish with a loop on the monorail before a stroll back to the car park to wake your sleeping driver.
A perfect sunny Sunday afternoon Pyongyang plan!