Located in the south of North Korea and a stone’s throw from the border with South Korea, Mount Kumgang is a gorgeous mountain with breathtaking natural scenery. We list the top 5 reasons for visiting this North Korean national treasure.
Off-the-beaten-track road trip
All good journeys begin with a road trip, and the road from Pyongyang to Mt. Kumgang is just that. Glimpse rural life outside of the capital on the long (but worth it) journey to the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
Stop via Sinpyong Lagoon
In what has to be one of North Korea’s most lush rest stops, this stop between Pyongyang and Mt. Kumgang is replete with the crystal-clear blue waters of Singpyong Lagoon, set to a backdrop of grand rock formations and mountains. The perfect coffee stop; look out for the giant bottle of snake-infused soju to take the edge of those bumpy roads.
Featuring a coastline of practically private beaches, stopping off at a few scenic points along the way to stretch your legs and take a dip in the East Sea of Korea is essential.
Hike to Kuryong Falls
The most famous scenic area in the Mt. Kumgang region, with absolutely stunning and surreal views of multi-coloured autumnal leaves, crystal-clear rock pools and incredible, Bond-villain-esque lairs dotted throughout the ranges.
Throughout autumn you’ll be greeted with a trippy display of multi-coloured autumn foliage, from deep purples, rusty oranges, radiant red and glowing yellows, providing a breathtaking backdrop to your hike.
Once reaching the summit, prepare for some of the most awesome 360 views of Mt Kumgang’s jagged and epic mountain peaks, with views of the picturesque water pools seated deep inside the white marble stone below.
Stay in the luxurious Kumgang Hotel
Opened in 1958 and extremely close to the border of South Korea, the Kumgang Hotel was once a meeting point for divided Korean families until 2008. With striking views of the region and the ghost of South Korean investments still noticeable in the hotel, this is one of the most interesting hotels in the DPRK.
Head back to Pyongyang via Wonsan, Masikryong Ski Resort or Ulim Waterfalls
Heading to Mt Kumgang during the warmer months? Be sure to stop via Wonsan for some beachside R&R and some of the country’s freshest seafood with a soon-to-be-opened tourist zone slated for opening in late 2019. For winter travellers (or even off-season travellers), a detour past Masikryong Ski Fields is just a stone’s throw from Mt. Kumgang. All trips directly back to Pyongyang can additionally visit Ulim Waterfall, discovered by locals only back in 1999.
For those interested in seeing some of the most spectacular natural parts of the DPRK for hiking, experiencing more Korean history or simply getting off the beaten track, a trip to Mt. Kumgang is an essential visit to any trip to the DPRK.