Pyongyang North Korea is ‘better’ than Tokyo

There is a new report from the blog dated March 9th, 2010, which seems to show the hotel’s “reconstruction” may have been completed only from one viewing angle.

“This is the closest we came to the Ryugyong, when we visited the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum.”
–March 9th, 2010

A constant source of amusement to the Japanese (and the rest of the world) is North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel–aka the ‘Ruin Ryugyong’– that has been left uncompleted for more than 20 years. In the past year it has reported several times in the press that a foreign cellphone company has resumed construction on the hotel. Here’s a CLEAR photo of the Hotel Doom, before and after.
KoreaHotel Ruin Ryugyong
View the full-size photo, 571×869 px.

The recent contruction was done soley to enclose the Ruin Ryugyong in glass and make the hotel less of a laughing stock of Architecture. You have to say it now looks impressive (even though the inside is an unlivable concrete shell because the lack fixtures, mechanicals, crooked elevators and insufficient strength to handle any occupancy).

However, it is good to remember that North Korea’s Hotel Ryugyong is still taller than any building in Europe or JAPAN. For example, Japan’s tallest building, Yokohama Landmark Tower is only 295.8 m (970 ft) but the Hotel Ryugyong is 330.02 m (1,100 ft). So remember…

North Korea is the Best - Kim

Back in 2007 I wrote about Pyongyang North Korea as a better Tokyo with a great YouTube video (below) of a fictional/humorous take on Pyongyang North Korea with a Disneyeque Hotel Ryugyong.

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

21 thoughts on “Pyongyang North Korea is ‘better’ than Tokyo”

  1. I enjoy (though I feel awful about it because all of those poor people are suffering) the views from space of Korea with the South lit up like a Christmas tree and the North lit up like Kim Jong Il’s bowels.

  2. knulp wrote:
    is this news true?!?!

    Well yes it is “true.”
    North Korea has finally glassed in the Hotel Hell, but it most likely will never be occupied since the elevators don’t work and structure was built with weak, substandard concrete.

    There is a new blog, dated March 9th, 2010, which shows the hotel’s reconstruction may have completed only from one viewing angle.

    “This is the closest we came to the Ryugyong, when we visited the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum.”
    –March 9th, 2010

    As shown in her blog photos:…dprk_around_pyongyang_018.JPG…dprk_around_pyongyang105.JPG

  3. Building something that high in concrete instead of steel is… interesting… and adding glass like if it was not monstruously heavy enough already might just add to the fun…

    Paris got an equal concrete monstruosity called the Montparnass Tower, it’s said that on top of it you have the most amazing view of the city, because you can’t see it ruining the landscape…

    (Jussieu is also quite miserable…)

  4. knulp wrote:
    it did not seems true,
    there is a better picture here at

    Your “true” picture taken by Kernbeisser in the Winter 2008 / 2009, meaning it is over a year old. The blog photo is the most recent since it was taken March 9th, 2010.

    There are very few CURRENT photos of Hotel Doom available on the Internet. A search of all 2010 photos of the Ryugyong Hotel on flickr only results in three, the best being

    Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea)
    Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea). February 2010 by “adaptorplug” on flickr

  5. Hey what’s up?
    This is like my morning coffee, I mean your web blog.
    I’ve been an ignorant on so many topics but thanks to you I learned much.
    Funny how I believe something about high-tech Japan, and then I discover that the concrete reality is totally different.
    Anywho, I love the way you write your articles by the way, you’ve done an excellent job with your website!

    Good luck

  6. Esquire magazine called it “The Worst Building in the History of Mankind” [source: Hagberg]. It’s also been called the “Hotel of Doom,” the “Phantom Hotel” and the “world’s worst building”­ [source: Herskovitz].

  7. Thousands of years in the future this will be one of the few things left standing and the people who live in that time will wonder what the hell is wrong with us O.o

  8. An interesting quote from WIRED magazine …

    Reality Check: Even assuming some radical new technology, there’s no hope for the Ryugyong Hotel. Half-constructed in the late 1980s, work was abandoned in 1992 after it became apparent that one could not build a structurally sound skyscraper using concrete made from beach sand and wastewater. To this day it sits, glued together with bird excrement, waiting for the day its creators’ pretensions subside enough to allow it a more distinguished life as a sculpture. Still, they could at least remove the sad, lonely crane that has sat atop it for years.” WIRED


  9. Worst Korea copies the Simpsons to best North Korea’s Hotel Doom Ryugyong!


    This skyscraper can get invisible at the touch of a button 2013sep12.
    This 1,476-foot skyscraper will have an electronic cloak that will make it invisible–something completely unimaginable until now. Tower Infinity will use a clever combination of cameras and an electronic light emitting façade to project its surroundings onto itself, fading into the sky in broad daylight.
    Sounds like an impossible sci-fi dream? It will be very real in about a year or two—it just got the go ahead to begin construction in Seoul, South Korea.


    Homer assembles the crew to repaint an apartment building covered with graffiti. The superintendent walks out and kisses Homer: “It looks so
    much better…a beautiful sky blue.”

    A beautiful sky blue.

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