When North Korea opened its doors to tourists in an effort to increase the government’s foreign currency reserves, they might not have expected that their nicest “six-star” hotel would be subject to poor reviews online.
To be more inviting to foreigners, the state’s previous restrictions on photography and interaction with North Korean locals have been slightly relaxed in the past few years.
While Kim Jong Un’s regime tries its best to showcase a developed, progressed nation through its highly-controlled “guided” tours, guests have been voicing out their dissatisfaction toward the nation’s handful “foreigner-friendly” hotels via harsh TripAdvisor ratings.
Apparently, visitors have been voting the Ryanggang Hotel as the worst hotel in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, The Sun discovered.
Photos of uninviting beds inside depressing rooms seemingly taken from a horror film were posted along brutally honest comments in the hotel and accommodations review site. With an average rating of 2.5 out of five stars based on 31 reviews, Ryanggang received strong criticisms that might get some officials in trouble should the Supreme Leader chance upon the write-ups. The Sun has selected some of the best below:
“Horrible place, but I guess still on the upper side of NK hospitality. Beds are wooden pallets with a cushion on it. Warm water in the morning and evening for an hour each. No fruits available, but that’s for most of the country,” said one unhappy guest.
“There is no service, padlocks on the fire escapes, no showers, no water or electricity most days but who cares you’ll be out in a week if you behave yourself!” another visitor posted.
“Dirty, cold, and hideous. Western prisons are more welcoming. So awful. And so much brain-washing. I really hated this hotel. No wonder so many Koreans want to finally get rid of the Kims and all of their stealing and repression,” a Chinese tourist said.
“This hotel is shocking. I flushed the toilet and my feet got a wash…… The beds are so hard I think the floor was more comfortable. I am trying to think of something positive to say about the Ryanggang hotel, I can’t,” said another.
If Ryanggang hotel was terrible, how about the nearby Sosan Hotel? A tourist from Estonia narrated his harrowing experience.”
“Our tour included 4 nights of staying in Ryanggang hotel, but after too many people complaining about no heating and no hot water, they moved us to a different nearby hotel!
“When we arrived, we were told hot water will be available from 9pm to 11pm. Later we will find out that it was a lie, there was no hot water on that day at all. It was also very cold, as heating seemed to be non-existent. We all had to walk around with coats on, and there seemed to be no radiators anywhere in the building at all!
“There’s also frequent power outages that last about 5-10 minutes, although that’s the case with most North Korean buildings. Everything in the rooms feels really old and 70s, and our room included what looked like an old wooden radio box that looked straight out of an old James Bond movie!
“The electric wiring is in a really poor state. Half of power sockets are broken, and there’s bare (and possibly live) wires coming out of the floor and just end abruptly.
“But on the plus side, there was a huge flat-screen TV with one channel: the North Korean propaganda channel, where the female narrator tries her best to sound upbeat while clips of Kim Jong Un and some fields and buildings show.”