Pyongyang → Marathon → Kaesong/DMZ
Pyongyang is the capital of the DPRK, comprised of 18 districts. Once the ancient capital of Choson, Koguryo and Koryo kingdoms.
Rason is a special economic zone situated at the northeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. 80% of the city is mountainous and lined by a coastline of 120km. It’s Rajin port is an ice-free port, a rarity in Northeast Asia. Its borders are shared with China and Russia.
Mount Myohyang is named for its mystic and fragrant features and boasts a height of 1,909m. Mount Myohyang is a popular tourist site for its trekking trails to Sangwon Valley, Manphok Valley, Piro Peak, and Ryongmun Cavern. This region also houses the International Friendship Exhibition and Pohyon Temple, the latter of which is over 1,000 years.
Located in the North Hamgyong Province, the legend is that the mountain has seven kinds of treasures, as reflected in its name. The highest peak is 659m. Mount Chilbo is divided into 3 areas: Inner, Outer, and Sea Chilbo. From certain points, it is possible to see peaks, valleys and sea in one sight.
Mount Paekdu is an active volcanic mountain on the border of North Korea and China. At 2,744m (9,003ft), it is the highest mountain point in the Korean peninsula. Its Samji Lake is arguably the deepest mountain lake in the world, the deepest bottom measuring 384m. Koreans have historically considered Mount Paekdu as the place of their ancestral origin and as a sacred mountain.
Anju is in the province of South Pyongan in North Korea. There are many natural sites in the city. For example, the Ch’ongch’on River passes right through Anju. It is located near large deposits of anthracite coal and thus, has one of the largest coal production facilities in the country.
At an elevation of 1,638m, Mount Kumkang has been known for its beauty since ancient times. The mountains are mainly granite and diorite, weathered over hundreds of years to create a variety of geological shapes. Divided into 3 areas, Inner Kumkang is known for its views, Outer Kumkang for the large number of peaks, and Sea Kumkang for the lagoons and stone pillars.
Wonsan is a port city and naval base. It is capital of the Kangwon Province. Songdowon is a famous sea bathing destination for North Koreans and tourists alike, as the water is exceptionally clear. Pine trees are abundant in the surrounding area, and it has been designated as a national sightseeing point.
Sinuiju has many scenic sites including the Tonguun Pavilion, Waterfall, and Hot Springs. Much of North Korea’s trade also takes place through here. The southwest harbor has a shipyard, though its main function seems be dismantling ships for scrap metal and other useable materials instead of building new ships.
Hamhung is the capital of South Hamgyong Province as well as one of DPRK’s major industrial cities. A port city situated at the bay of the East Sea, it has large-scale chemical, machine and textile bases. The city also offers historical remains including Kuchon Pavilion, Sonhwa Hall and Hamhung Wall.
Mount Kuwol takes its name from the ninth month of the lunar calendar because it is considered attractive in that month. The mountain is a famous summer resort in North Korea, even attracting many domestic tourists. Scenic sites include rock formations, waterfalls, and natural pools.
Nampho is located about 50km southwest of Pyongyang, at the mouth of the Taedong River. It opened as a port of foreign trade in 1987 from being a small fishing village. Nampho is also a center for the DPRK shipbuilding industry. The apples grown in Nampo’s Ryonggang distrct are a locally famous product.
Sariwon, the capital of North Hwanghae Province, is home to the Sariwon Folk Street giving insight into Korea’s old folk customs. Sariwon has the only pediatric hospital in the entire region. It serves 16 districts and 500,000 children and teens per year. The city is also home to the famous Sariwon Pharmaceutical College of Koryo.
Haeju is the capital of South Hwanghae Province situated at the shore of Haeju Bay. It sits 60km north of the Military Demarcation Line and it is a port city with an agricultural sector and modern heavy and light industries. The city is fairly flat (all mountains are under 1,000m) and is mostly composed of plains.
Kaesong was once the capital of Koryo (918-1392). The city currently sits on the demarcation line that divides North and South Korea. Historically, the city has been regarded for its intellectuals, culinary cuisine (particularly peaches and Koryo Insam) and favorable agricultural conditions. It is now becoming well-known for the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
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