Kaesong Folkcustom Hotel
Sonjuk-dong, Kaesong, North Korea
Kaesong Folkcustom Hotel Reviews
Traditional korean style hotel May 04, 2010
Ok, I know by travelling to a country like the DPRK, I should not expect top class hotels. I know it's not all glitter and glamour so to speak. But this place....
At first it looks all very nice. It gives you the feel that you've travelled back in time and going to experience how the people back then used to sleep. The complex it pretty big, surrounded by a wall and a big entrance door, which closes at night.
The small canal is nice and the 2 paths that runs along it, along with the few bridge crossing the canal, makes it ideal for a walk.
The shops and restaurant looked very nice, nicely renovated and clean as well.
The buildings where our rooms are in, do need a fresh touch of paint and some repairs, but other then that, still looking nice.
Through the doors, there is a small courtyard that has a dry well, a concrete floor with cracks in them and something that has to be a garden, with only small plant next to the well. Ok, not top class, but it's not that all bad.
Then came my room....
I saw 2 doors. Both made out of wood and with rice paper to act as windows. The 2 doors to my room didn't close properly and the holes in the rice paper didn't looked promising either. There were slippers on the stairs of the patio in front of my room. So, I took off my shoes and put them and opened the doors to my room...
Straw mats on the floor, no wonder I had to wear the slippers. But why wear them when I could see the water stains ruining the mats! The colour pattern in the matts was "cute".
The walls and the ceiling???? were covered in wall paper. The sockets were cut out after they had been covered by the wall paper. And underneath the wallpaper... old newspapers????
The ondon was pretty thin, but luckily I spotted extra blankets to put underneath, so I wouldn't sleep on a very hard floor. The cabinet the blankets were on, looked really nice. The dead tree next to it served as a coat rack, complete with colourful coathangers.
There a small fridge, which didn't work, a plate with glasses on it and also a television. It wasn't plugged and I could tell why. The wire was completely exposed and the socket looked dangerous as well.
Come to think of it... Where was the light? No where, apart from the light outside. Good thing I brought my light torch with me.
Underneath the bed there should be a heated floor... I couldn't feel any heat and it didn't appear at night as well.
Then it was time to check the bathroom... A filled up bathtub, so no running water and a very poor light. The door couldn't even be locked, so when I was in my bathroom, anybody could walk in!
I didn't try the dinner, as I had to sit on the floor to eat and I won't be handle to do that for a long time. I didn't had the best of nights either, hard floor and a bit cold.
Should I recommend this place to anyone? No. But do people have a choice? No again. Every tourist sleeps here, so it's something you have to accept. Then why the review? To let people know who wnat to travel to the DPRK what they can expect when they come to Kaesong.
What can the owners dp? Bulldoze the place down and rebuild it back from scratch. Harsh? Yes, but renovating this would be too costly and take too long.
The bad night and room were a setback, but the complex in general was pretty good. It was an experience, which I will remember for a long time.
Part of the list Where to sleep in North Korea
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