Chongnyon Hotel Review
On September 9th I was lucky enough to be leading our Ultra-Budget tour into North Korea to witness the “Glorious Fatherland” Mass Games, and celebrate the 70th birthday of the founding of People’s Korea, or the DPRK as the cool kids call it.
Why the Chongnyon Hotel?
Pyongyang has a number of hotels aimed at tourists, such as the infamous Yanggakdo which is where most tourists stay, as well as the Koryo for the delegates and toffs. For our Ultra-Budget tours we choose a cheaper option, in this case the Chongnyon Hotel, also known as the Youth Hotel.
The hotel itself was built to house participants in the 1989 world festival of youth and students, and well…..very little has changed since.
What are Chongnyon Hotel rooms like?
Would you like modernity? Tough luck! The rooms here are retro to say the least, but you get two beds, a TV, and a bath. Hot water not so much.
Chongnyon Hotel Location
The location of the Chongnyon Hotel is one of the best parts about staying here with it being very close to the Kwankbok Department store, as well as having the fairly famous burger restaurant located in the car park pretty much.
About 20 minutes’ drive from Pyongyang Train Station, and about 40 minutes from Sosan International Airport (depending on traffic)
Chongnyon Hotel – Facilities
Pretty damned good!
- Two high quality lobby bars
- An outdoor swimming pool (the only hotel in Pyongyang to have this). Although on our last visit it had clearly seen better days.
- The BEST karaoke bar in Pyongyang (in our humble opinion)
- The usual DPRK souvenir shops
- Pool room
- The original burger restaurant (the first in Pyongyang) is on the complex
- At the bottom of the street there’s a complex with shops and a really good duck BBQ restaurant
- Great access to the Kwanbok department store, the only place foreigners can change money at the official rates and shop with Koreans (as well as eat great street food)
- A great location
Conclusion on the Chongnyon Hotel
The Chongnyon Hotel does exactly what it says on the tin! It’s a simple budget hotel, but with great fascilities. The rooms are retro for sure, and places like the Gak, or Koryo are obviously better, but if you are price conscious, or joining a YPT Ultra-Budget tour then the Chongnyon Hotel will serve you well.
That being said, it can get quite cold in the winter!