Inside of North Korea hotels


In the mysterious country, the hotel does not run ads, but has many facilities for tourists such as karaoke rooms, hair care, swimming pools …

“Hotels of Pyongyang” is a new book by James Scullin, photographed by Nicole Reed, about hotel restaurant service experiences in Korea. Scullin has been to Korea 8 times and the hotels are memorable points in the trips as well as how to contact and learn about life and people here. “Currently the world is open and globalization is much. There are only a few places like North Korea, you have to go to the place to feel it,” Scullin said.

The staff at the door and the baggage carrier, who you’ll see regularly at the hotel, is also the most accessible. After moving from China to his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Scullin connected with photographer Nicole Reed to combine architectural and portrait photography projects … The two traveled to Pyongyang for 5 days to take photos of the hotel as well as staff here to document.

Ryugyong is one of the most famous controversial hotels in Korea because of its design and many surrounding stories. Scullin first came to North Korea on tour and then he scheduled his own company. As he became more acquainted with Pyongyang, he found hotels that had not been in previous times to ask his guide about the possibility of staying or visiting.

“Every time I travel to the same places, there are still museums, memorials, and train stations. I want to explore Pyongyang hotels by myself and document these places for tourists. How international visitors are, “Scullin said.

According to Scullin, the interior of the hotels here is reminiscent of the film by American actor Wes Anderson. The hotel is a safe place for international travelers to experience the services without having to move much. “The strange thing is that in a private and isolated country like North Korea, there is a unique hotel chain. I immediately thought of the idea of a new book. The mysterious country still wants tourists to visit,” said Scullin.

Facilities in a hotel include hairdressers, beauty treatments for both men and women.
Korean hotels are equipped with many different amenities, besides room service, there are also bars, karaoke rooms, swimming pools, but there is no room service or WiFi.

Photographer Nicole Reed loves hotel pools not for the comfort of the hotel but for their unique design.

The buildings in the capital Pyongyang have Soviet and Chinese architecture. The hotels here do not have advertising, whether on television or large signs.

The hotel has a karaoke room.

Beer is a popular drink and there is a bar specifically designed to serve it in Korea. The female photographer pays attention to the drink while traveling in Korea, “I am so passionate about coffee that I cannot find any place to sell whether in a restaurant or hotel”. When photographing hotels, Reed and Scullin have more time to learn about the work of the staff here.

Hotels are governmental but designed by different people or groups. “Creativity exists in any situation,” Scullin said. After a 5-day trip to collect documents, Reed and Scullin realized: if you have a good relationship with the tour guide, you are also invited to explore the night to shops, restaurants and night services without everyone can come.