Changjon Street

Changjon Street

Changjon Street represented the beginning of a wave of “modernization projects” that would see new-towns like Mirae Scientists Street and Ryomyong New Town sprout up across Pyongyang.

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Construction work on Changjon Street started in 2011 and was quickly completed by 2012 to commemorate the 100th birthday of President Kim Il-sung. To achieve such a rapid construction within a year, North Korea deployed thousands of military soldiers to work multiple shifts, 24 hours a day.

Back in 2012, Changjon Street had the first residential apartments to implement LED lighting and they immediately became a shining new beacon across a dark Pyongyang. Because more lights could be installed at a much lower power consumption rate, future projects would quickly utilize LED lighting. Today, Pyongyang is much brighter than when I first visited.

Changjon Street during the day
Changjon Street at night

Changjon Street is a very upmarket area with shops, restaurants, pharmacy, cafes, bakery, and a supermarket fully stocked with imported foreign goods.

Mansudae Restaurant
Foreign goods supermarket

To put things in perspective, I can get an ordinary coffee in Pyongyang for about 1.00 USD whereas a cappuccino at Changjon Street’s ‘Sunrise Coffee Shop’ costs me 4.60 USD. A Chef’s Sandwich here costs me 2.00 USD and a meatball spaghetti costs 6.50 USD

Sunrise Coffee Shop

As for the quality of the coffee, I visited this place with a Singaporean coffee expert and he rated their coffee 8/10. He was intrigued to see they had well-trained baristas and a professional coffee maker machine.

Baristas at the Sunrise Coffee Shop
해맞이커피’의 바리스타들

As North Korea’s economy evolves with a growing middle-income group, Pyongyang would see more of such upmarket areas in the years to come.

Changjon Street 창전 거리

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