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Pyongyang, North Korea

Kumsusan Palace of the Sun

A former palace transformed into a mausoleum for North Korea's supreme leaders. 

This palace was Kim II Sung’s official residence until his son, Kim Jung Il, had it redeveloped as a mausoleum for his father and himself. This is a very sacred site in North Korea. Visitors are required to wear formal attire and no open footwear is permitted. Hair must be brushed and one is expected to look at their very most presentable.

As the complex is huge, it takes quite a while to get to the leaders’ tombs. Entrance is via a sort of giant structure that blasts air like a hairdryer, for unknown purposes. The bodies are heavily guarded and all visitors (with absolutely no exception) are required to walk in lines of three with hands by their sides and are required to bow numerous times at all sides of both leaders.

Exit from the mausoleum is via a large museum dedicated to lives of the two dictators. There are clothes and boots (look out for the platforms that make the men a little taller), and a room, palatial in size, with the great many awards, honorary diplomas, keys, medals, titles, etc that the two Great Leaders acquired from other leaders around the world.

Know Before You Go

Must not have open toe or open heel shoes.
Must be wearing best clothes.
Must look presentable and smart.
Must be willing to forget what the two Kims have done and pay (or at least be seen to pay) respect to them.
Under 15s are not allowed inside.