Young Pioneer Tours


Rajin – or as it is officially known, Rajin-Guyok – is a town in the north-east of North Korea that, combined with Sonbong, comprises half of the North Korean ‘super city’, and first ever Special Economic Zone of the country: Rason.

Rajin Railway Station was originally built by the Japanese in 1936, and represents one of the finest piece of Japanese Imperial architecture still in existence in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


In 1959, the Khasan – Rajin railway line was established, providing a permanent rail link between the USSR and the DPRK.

Rajin is an important border town

Whilst always remaining an important border town of North Korea, it was not until the 1980s when it began to see more significance. Initially used as a practice run for how a future special economic zone might look, the hypothetical became the actual when the city was merged with Sonbong to form the Rason SEZ in 2000.

Rajin - An overhead shot of Piba Island and the Imperial Hotel-Casino, Rason.
An overhead shot of Piba Island and the Imperial Hotel-Casino, Rason.

Rason Port

Rason is also a strategically significant location thanks to its warm-water port, which does not freeze over in the winter (as opposed to the nearby Russian port of Vladivostok). The Soviets made considerable use of the port until 1991, and both China and Russia have long-term leases on port facilities today.

Rajin is separated into the following administrative regions:

Rajin-guyŏk (라진구역; 羅津區域)

    Anhwa-dong (안화동/安和洞)

    Anju-dong (안주동/安住洞)

    Jigyŏng-dong (지경동/地境洞)

    Junghyŏn-dong (중현동/中峴洞)

    Changphyŏng-dong (창평동/倉坪洞)

    Chŏnggye-dong (청계동/淸溪洞)

    Hahyŏn-dong (하현동/下峴洞)

    Haebang-dong (해방동/解放洞)

    Kwangok-dong (관곡동/寬谷洞)

    Namsan-dong (남산동/南山洞)

    Tongmyŏng-dong (동명동/東明洞)

    Sanghyŏn-dong (상현동/上峴洞)

    Sinan-dong (신안동/新安洞)

    Sinhae-dong (신해동/新海洞)

    Sinhŭng-dong (신흥동/新興洞)

    Songphyŏng-dong (송평동/松坪洞)

    Yŏkchŏn-dong (역전동/驛前洞)

    Yuhyŏn-dong (유현동/踰峴洞)

    Muchang-ri (무창리/武倉里)

    Huchang-ri (후창리/厚倉里)

To read more about the sister town of Sonbong click here.

What is so different about traveling to Rajin?

The city marks the focal point for any trip to the Rason Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of North Korea. We have written extensively about what makes Rason so very different, but essentially this is about as off the beaten track in North Korea as it gets.

To read about what makes Rason different from the mainland click here (link).

To read about the street food scene in Rason click here

You will therefore spend a decent amount of any trip to Rason here, partciulay when it cpomes to sightseeing and eating within the region.

How can I visit Rajin?

The area can be visited as part of one of our many Rason Tours, as well as our Real Deal and All Koreas Tour.

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