Kumsusan Palace of the Sun

On the outskirts of Pyongyang stands the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, once the residence of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung. After Kim Il-Sung’s death in 1994, his former home underwent significant transformation into a multi-generational mausoleum that now serves as the final resting place for not only Kim Il-Sung himself but also his son and successor Kim Jong-Il. Both Great Leaders lie in luxury within climate-controlled tombs, are draped in the Worker’s Party of Korea flag as their blankets and are surrounded by their worldly possessions, which includes a MacBook, heroic medals, a university degree and scholarly robes, a yacht, golf cart and even a train carriage.

Bring your Sunday’s best attire if you expect entry into this esteemed revolutionary site. There is no shortage of regulations here, you’ll be requested to bow before each Great Leader three times and all visitors must undergo formalities prior to entry including a shoe clean, a state of the art dust blower to ensure the palace remains in pristine condition and metal detectors. There is absolutely no talking or photography allowed inside the palace. This isn’t any old tomb, it was only opened to the public in 2012 after renovations to a tune of 900 million USD. Exploring this mausoleum is certainly a surreal experience.

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