The Pyongyang Metro is 100 meters underground and it takes a couple of minutes to ride the escalator down to the station. The journey is long enough that some commuters sit on the steps -- despite the signs asking passengers not to.
There are no advertisements on the walls to distract you on the ride down to the station -- just bare white walls. (There are only five advertising billboards in Pyongyang, all owned by the same car dealership).
The underground network has two lines and 17 stations. Inspired by the grand Moscow Metro, many of the stations have ornate chandeliers and paintings and murals on the walls.
7. Crazy about kimchi
Kimchi -- spicy pickled vegetables -- is the national dish and it's said that every woman makes a different kind of kimchi.
The dish is time-consuming to make and the traditional recipe requires women to lovingly swirl and smear hot pepper paste over cabbage leaves for hours.
Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, which specializes in travel to the reclusive socialist state, says: "There's a saying that you must taste a woman's kimchi before you marry her."
8. Single-hearted unity
North Koreans seem to have an innate ability to form a line -- not a queue, but dead straight lines.
The training begins as young children and by the time they are in their teens a crowd of hundreds can organize themselves into any number of parallel lines, equally spaced, in a minute.
Whether it's factory workers walking down the street, people gathering to lay flowers beneath a statue of the Great Leader, or soldiers jogging, moving in formation, showing "single-hearted unity" is the order of the day.
And it's catching. Spend a week touring the capital and your guides will make sure you get give plenty of practice forming lines.
9. You won('t) see that
The local currency is the won, but foreigners are not allowed to use it. Instead visitors must use hard currency -- U.S. dollars, euros and renminbi.
Bizarrely, given the proximity to China, the Renminbi offers the worst exchange rate. Euros get the best rate at present.
Pyongyang isn't a shopping destination. North Koreans do most of their shopping in the local markets -- there is a blue-roofed market in most neighborhoods, but foreigners aren't allowed to visit these.
Officially, visitors aren't allowed in department stores either, but this is a rule that is given much more flexibility.
Visitors tend to be herded into the Foreign Language Bookstore and stamp and souvenir shops where you can stock up on propaganda posters, North Korean stamps and postcards and books by Kim Jong Il (he wrote -- or ghostwrote -- hundreds).
10. Kim pins
All North Koreans wear a "Kim pin" on the left breast of whatever they are wearing. The pins show a portrait of Kim Il Sung or his son, Kim Jong Il -- and sometimes both.
Surprisingly given that everyone wears one -- from infants to old folks -- there are no shops selling the pins. Instead they are given out sporadically -- on special occasions and to mark significant events -- and there are lots of different styles. The style doesn't denote anything, just the period it was given out.
There is a story that North Koreans will be punished if they give a Kim pin to a foreigner, but that's a myth and they are occasionally given to visitors.