ryogyang hotel Yes, you read that right. After sitting empty for decades, the 1,082 foot Ryogyong Hotel in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang is set to open in 2013.

The 105 story, pyramid shaped hotel has towered over Pyongyang since the early 90s. Construction was halted when North Korea descended into a period of severe economic stagnation after the fall of the USSR. It was topped off in 1992, but did not have any windows or interior fittings for nearly two decades.

Construction resumed in 2008 and now the German luxury-hotel operator Kempinski has announced that the hotel will open partially in July or August 2013.

According to a Bloomberg news report, Kempinski will handle the hotel management while the Egypt-based Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding will fund the hotel’s operations.

Why is the hotel opening after all this time? North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on a mission to get foreign currency infusions vital to his country’s well-being since the international community imposed tough economic sanctions following North Korea’s nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

The hotel may not receive many international guests seeing as the Visa process is complex and many countries advise against travelling to North Korea. Nevertheless, Kempinski is confident that the hotel is a worthwhile investment and even went as far to say that the hotel “will monopolize all the business in the city” and “become a money-printing machine if North Korea opens up.”

Here are a few photos of the world’s tallest hotel over the years…

ryugyong hotel

April 2012

ryugyong hotel2010

April 2010



So who’s up for a trip to Pyongyang in 2013?

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