North Korea things to see and do

Tourist offices

The National Tourism Administration of the DPRK

Central District, Pyongyang, North Korea
Tel: (2) 381 8901.

Things to see and do

Kaesong

Many ancient buildings in Kaesong (six hours from the capital by train), bear witness to Korea's 500-year imperial history. The town is surrounded by beautiful pine-clad hills.

Kumgangsan

Kumgangsan is the country's largest national park, consisting of a range of mountains (known as 'the Diamond Mountains') along the east coast of the country. Its unspoilt, diverse environment is popular with birdwatchers, photographers and botanists.

Myohyangsan

Myohyangsan, whose name means 'exotic fragrant mountain', offers pleasant walks and climbs through a contrasting scenery of waterfalls, woods and Buddhist pagodas, just 120km (75 miles) northeast of the capital. The Exhibition Centre, with its imposing 4-tonne bronze doors, houses thousands of gifts presented by foreigners to Kim Il-sung and his son.

Pyongyang

Korea (Dem Rep)'s capital, Pyongyang, was completely rebuilt after the Korean War as a city of wide avenues, neatly designed parks and enormous marble public buildings, leading to its alternative name of the 'youthful city'. The Palace of Culture, the Grand Theatre, the Juche Tower and the Ongrui Restaurant epitomise the Korean variant of communist architecture. The Gates of Pyongyang and the Arch of Triumph (built in honour of Kim Il-sung's 70th birthday) are particularly impressive, while Morangborg Park and Taesongsan Recreation Ground (with its fairground attractions) offer relaxation. For the (mainly communist) 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989, a 150,000-seat stadium was built in Pyongyang. Mangyongdae, Kim Il-sung's birthplace, is a national shrine. His family's thatched cottage, now a museum, overlooks the Taedong River and the capital.

Edited by Jane Duru
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