When people think of North Korea natural beauty probably isn’t the first thought in their mind. Despite this, it’s a truly beautiful country with some amazing natural highlights, from its beautiful mountain areas like Mt Kumgang and Mt Paektu to a richness of lakes, rivers and waterfalls and natural wonders like the Pujon Stone River. On top of all those, it has some absolutely enormous cave structures. Here we’ll look at 4 of the most famous for tourism both international and domestic.
1. Ryongmun cavern
Located near Mt Myohyang, this cave usually comes with a local guide who will tell you many colourful stories about the different rock formations. The cave structure is 6km long and formed from limestone with a lot of stalactites and stalagmites as well as other fascinating rock structures and pools. If you’re lucky enough a group of North Koreans will be there at the same time as your visit- they seem to find the stories much more amusing than we usually do, and listening to their echoing laughter throughout the caves is a really uplifting experience.
2. Songnam cavern
Located in kaechon si in South Pyongan province, this cavern consists of 17 Large open cave spaces and a great collection of interesting rock formations and stalactites/stalagmites. Less commonly visited than Ryongmun cavern as it’s location is Less convenient, it’s well worth a visit for returners or people who love caves. It’s well lit and air-conditioned but tends to be quite chilly.
3. Paekryong cavern
Located in North Pyongan province, this cave tends to be used for local tourism, only barring special exceptions. Located 470 meters above sea level and with about 5 km of tunnels and passages so far discovered, it’s particularly well known for its animal-shaped rock formations.
4. Kaechon flower cave
This cave is also not on the general tourist trail for foreigners. As such, there is little information is available about it. It’s named flower cave for its many limestone and mineral rock formations that resemble flowers.
Tips for Visitors
- Wear a jacket inside as it can be chilly inside the caves
- Don’t touch the stalactites! They take thousands of years to form and can be damaged easily.
- In some of these caves, there can be steep and narrow stairs with not much in the way of guardrails, so if you’re unsteady on your feet or afraid of heights, you might want to talk it over with the guides before you go in.