"North Korea's massively industrial second city is now open to tour groups and it's a great place to visit, boasting such North Korean delights as a fertilizer factory and a collective farm."
"The suburbs of Hamhung are made up of factory after factory, the air is horribly polluted and chimneys belch noxious yellow fumes into the air. The Hungnam Fertiliser Factory can sometimes be visited, where you will be shown how ammonia is made deep inside the enormous industrial complex, an experience like no other, even by North Korean standards."
"...the Songdowon Tourist Hotel and the Tongmyong Hotel are second class but boast absolutely first-class '70's socialist interiors. The restaurant at the Tongmyong Hotel is also far better than average."
"The suburb of Songdowon... boasts a clean sandy beach where the Jokchon Stream runs into the East Sea and some antique metallic diving boards... Also in Songdowon is the Songdowon Schoolchildren's Camp, where you can meet holidaying schoolkids, see a very curious collection of disintegrating taxidermy and a rather colorful waterslide. In the centre of town, visitors are shown a very dull disused trains station and adjacent hotel where Kim Il-sung arrived and met with workers and students in the 1940s."
"The two towns of Rajin and Sonbong (sometimes referred to collectively as Rason) are both unremarkable industrial ports surrounded by attractive hills, wetlands and forests. There's little to see or do... Rajin-Sonbong also boasts what must be the world's worst zoo: on our last visit it contained three ducks, an exceptionally large turkey, some foxes we couldn't see, a picture of a monkey, three bears – one of which was missing an arm – and a cow tied to a fence."
Scathing Reviews Aren't The Answer