Photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sept. 8, 2010 shows the night scene of Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). (Xinhua/KCNA)
PYONGYANG, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Roller coaster screams, karaoke happy hours, and beer glass clinks at night, quite a deja vu somewhere in metropolitan areas like New York, Tokyo or Beijing.
Well, make no mistake. That's just a snapshot of what night life in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) can provide.
Built in the early 1980s in the Moranbong district, central Pyongyang, the Kaeson Youth Park used to operate no more than a handful of simple recreational facilities and was open to the public only during the daytime on holidays.
Yet with last year's rehabilitation, tourists can now have fun, even at night, with an Italian-exported jumping machine, pirate ship and roller coaster, which rate among the world's most fashionable facilities.
Kim Hyok, the park's director, told Xinhua that the park neighbored many of the capital's major structures, such as the Arch of Triumph, the Kim Il Sung Stadium, and the Keason Square, which were always crowded with residents seeking joy and leisure. And the park could bring them even more merriment.
Inside the tree-circled park, accompanied by colored lights and music, youngsters were riding roller coasters while children were shooting flying saucers and racing cars in the video game lounge.
"Over 5,000 people visited the park every night," said Kim. "And it is a good place for people to get relaxed after a day's work."
While the park isn't free of charge, it doesn't cost that much. According to Kim, an adult ticket costs 20 won (21 U.S. cents), and 10 won for each child. And it costs about 250 won or 2.65 U.S. dollars to play all of the facilities from A to Z.
The park also welcomes foreigners who could buy the ticket at one euro (1.27 U.S. dollars).
Though electricity is still in short supply in the country, government agencies have specially laid two cables to guarantee regular service to the park.
Tourists' safety is also a priority. According to a park guide, top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il ordered all officials in the central authorities and Pyongyang city hall except the old and sick to conduct test rides of the newly installed facilities before serving the general public.