With 80% of North Korea being mountainous, most travelers to the DPRK are surprised to witness the natural beauty and the countless options for stunning mountain hikes and scenery in North Korea – a far cry from the usual imagery of goose-stepping soldiers and missile tests.
So where can you see the best North Korean scenery?
Located around three hours outside of Pyongyang, one of North Korea’s celebrated mountains is Mt. Myohyang, otherwise known as “Mysterious Fragrance Mountains,” housing the nearby International Friendship Exhibition, an essential visit for anyone visiting this part of the country.
The hikes are simple enough, with a few narrow paths in sections and good walking shoes at a minimum required. Visit Mt. Myohyang as an extension on any of our Ultra Budget tours.
Located near the border of South Korea, Mt. Kumgang, otherwise known as “Diamond Mountain”, provides some of the most epic and awe-inspiring scenery in all of the DPRK. Jagged rock formations jut into the sky with crystal clear, blue rock pools below. The hike is more strenuous, but absolutely worth it once you reach the top for 360 views of this spectacular mountain range.
Located on the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, Mt. Kumgang sits on the coast of the east sea, with some beautiful, untouched beaches and coastal regions to be seen on any trip to this part of the country.
Visit Mt. Kumgang on our Party Foundation Day & Mt. Kumgang tour or as an extension on any DPRK tour.
Head further north on the east coast of Korea and you will hit the Chilbo Mountains (otherwise known as Seven Treasures Mountains) located in North Hamgyong Province. With the only homestay experience in North Korea located at the foot of these mountains, Mt. Chilbo offers stunning, easy (although long) hikes throughout Inner and Outer Chilbo regions.
The homestay village is located at the base of the mountains, on the Chilbo Sea, with a beautiful, quiet beach available for travelers to relax on during any tour to the North East. With the June period offering fresh sea urchins to forage from the rock pools and September offering the very delicious and expensive Chilbosan mushrooms growing in the mountain’s pine forests, Chilbosan is an absolute must for any travelers looking to get off the beaten path.
Visit Mt. Chilbo on any of our North East tours.
Finally, of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the absolutely epic Mt. Paektu, otherwise known as “White Head Mountain”. The spiritual home of the Korean people, Mt. Paektu is an active volcano with a picturesque blue, Lake Chon (Heaven Lake) in the center crater. An absolute pilgrimage for any Korean and traveler to the DPRK, Mt. Paektu offers without question the most stunning scenery to be seen in North Korea. Located on the border of China, the views are stunning on both sides of the border, but particularly on the North Korea side, with the highest peak of the mountain being available for 360 views of the volcano.
Visit Mt. Paektu on our Victory Day & Mt. Paektu tour or on the Chinese side on our Borderlands tour.