Foreigners can enter North Korea either by air or by train. It is not possible to enter North Korea from South Korea or to enter South Korea from North Korea. The DPRK officially includes the whole peninsula and North Koreans long for reunification. List BEST Places to Visit in North Korea once in Your Lifetime
North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia. It constitutes the northern half of the Korean Peninsula and shares borders with China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu (Amnok) and Tumen rivers, and South Korea to the south at the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The country’s western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. Pyongyang is the capital and largest city.
In 1910, Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan. In 1945, after the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, Korea was divided into two zones along the 38th parallel, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist and Soviet-aligned DPRK in the north, and the capitalist, Western-aligned Republic of Korea in the south. The Korean War began in 1950, with an invasion by North Korea, and lasted to 1953. The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire and established a demilitarized zone (DMZ), but no formal peace treaty has ever been signed.
Here is a List BEST Places to Visit in North Korea once in Your Lifetime
Tongrim County is a kun, or county, in coastal southwestern North P’yŏngan province, North Korea. It borders P’ihyŏn and Ch’ŏnma to the north, Sŏnch’ŏn to the east, Ch’ŏlsan to the southwest and Yŏmju to the west. To the south, it looks out on the Yellow Sea.
Tongrim county is divided into 1 ŭp (town), 2 rodongjagu (workers’ districts) and 20 ri (villages):
- Tongrim-ŭp (동림읍/東林邑)
- Obong-rodongjagu (오봉로동자구/梧峰勞動者區)
- Singong-rodongjagu (신곡로동자구/新谷勞動者區)
- Ansal-li (안산리/雁山里)
- Changbong-ri (잠봉리/蠶峰里)
- Ch’ŏnggang-ri (청강리/淸江里)
- Ch’ŏngsong-ri (청송리/靑松里)
- Indo-ri (인두리/仁豆里)
- Inp’ung-ri (인풍리/仁豊里)
- Kogon’yŏng-ri (고군영리/古軍營里)
- Masŏng-ri (마성리/磨星里)
- Namsal-li (남삼리/南三里)
- Posŏng-ri (보성리/保聖里)
- Puhwang-ri (부황리/付皇里)
- P’ungch’ŏl-li (풍천리/豊川里)
- Ryongsal-li (룡산리/龍山里)
- Ryong’yŏl-li (룡연리/龍淵里)
- Samsŏng-ri (삼성리/三成里)
- Sangsu-ri (상수리/上水里)
- Sansŏng-ri (산성리/山城里)
- Ŭnbong-ri (은봉리/殷峰里)
- Wŏl’al-li (월안리/月安里)
- Wŏlgong-ri (월곡리/月谷里)
P’yŏngsŏng (평성, Korean pronunciation: [pʰjʌŋ.sʌŋ], officially Phyongsong) is a city in North Korea, the capital city of South P’yŏngan province in western North Korea. The city is located about 32 kilometres northeast of P’yŏngyang, and was formally established in December 1969.
It has a population of 284,386. Known as being a satellite of Pyongyang, this city also has several scientific institutions and a revolutionary site where Kim Il Sung University was moved to during the Korean War.
Bordering the Chinese city of Dandong, this special economic zone is our point of exit/entry to the DPRK when using the train. We arrange one day tour extensions here combined with the newly opened town of Dongrim.
Sinŭiju (Korean pronunciation: [si.nɰi.dzu]); Sinŭiju-si, known before 1925 in English as Yeng Byen City) is a city in North Korea which faces Dandong, China across the international border of the Yalu River. It is the capital of North P’yŏngan province. Part of the city is included in the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region, which was established in 2002 to experiment with introducing a market economy. In recent years, the city, despite lagging behind the development in the capital Pyongyang, has seen a small construction boom and increasing tourism from China.
Sinuiju city is the heart of the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region. The city is currently divided into 49 tong (neighbourhoods) and 9 ri (villages):
International Friendship Exhibition Centre
The International Friendship Exhibition is a large museum complex located at Myohyangsan, North Pyongan Province, North Korea. It is a collection of halls that house gifts presented to former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il from various foreign dignitaries. The protocol of gift-giving is well established in Korean culture
Two buildings full of gifts that have been sent to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. These come from across the world and each building has several floors.
Old temple located in Mount Myohyang. It was first built in the 11th century. Pohyon-sa is a Korean Buddhist temple located in Hyangsan county in North Pyong’an Province, North Korea. It is located within the Myohyang Mountains. Founded under the Koryo dynasty at the start of the 11th century, the temple flourished as one of the greatest centers of Buddhism in the north of Korea, and became a renowned place of pilgrimage.
Like most other temples in North Korea, the complex suffered extensive damage from US bombing during the Korean War. The temple is designated as National Treasure #40 in North Korea, with many of its component buildings and structures further declared as individual national treasures
Bordering Russia and the Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Yanbian in China, this is a special economic zone in the DPRK. It consists of two cities (Rajin & Sonbong). Rason (formerly Rajin-Sŏnbong; Korean pronunciation: [ɾa.sʌ̹n, ɾa.dʑin.sʰʌ̹n.boŋ]) is a North Korean city and ice-free port in the Sea of Japan in the North Pacific Ocean on the northeast tip of North Korea. It is in the Kwanbuk region and location of the Rason Special Economic Zone.
In South Korean pronunciation, the initial “R” of the name is pronounced as “N”, (나선, Naseon) as per standard Korean phonology. In 2000, the name was shortened from “Rajin-Sŏnbong” to “Rason”. During the 1930s, the Japanese called it Rashin; at that time, it was an important port at the end of a railroad line. It was liberated by the Red Army on 14 August 1945.
A sacred place for Koreans and the highest mountain on the Korean peninsula. We arrange extensions on our regular North Korea tours and cycling trips here. Paektu Mountain (Korean: 백두산; Hanja: 白頭山), also known as Baekdu Mountain and in China as Changbai Mountain (simplified Chinese: 长白山; traditional Chinese: 長白山; Manchu: Golmin Šanggiyan Alin), is an active stratovolcano on the Chinese–North Korean border.
At 2,744 m (9,003 ft), it is the highest mountain of the Baekdudaegan and Changbai ranges. Koreans assign a mythical quality to the volcano and its caldera lake, considering it to be their country’s spiritual home. It is the highest mountain in North Korea and Northeast China.
Masikryong Ski Resort
The only ski resort available to foreigners in the DPRK, it has 10 slopes and one of the most luxurious hotels in North Korea. The Masik Pass Ski Resort is located about 24 km away from Wonsan city. See what it is like to ski here.
Located in the east of the DPRK. South Korea is close to this stunning part of the country. We arrange hiking and camping tours here as well as standard North Korea tours.
Main port city in North Korea. Going there will allow you to explore smaller counties and cities in the DPRK as you literally cross from one side of the country to the other!
Second largest city in the DPRK. It is an industrial city located on the east side of the country and was opened to tourism in 2010.
Located in South Hwanghae Province, this county holds the US Atrocities Museum which, very graphically, shows the crimes that the DPRK claims that US soldiers committed here in the fall of 1950 shortly after the Korean War started.
Port city capital of South Hwanghae Province. The surrounding region is home to historical sites dating from the Koguryo State (founded 950 years before the Koryo Dynasty) and beautiful valleys and mountains.
Discover the Korean Folk Village and see what life was like in ancient Korea.
West Sea Barrage
Also known as the Nampho Dam. It has a length of 8 km and is a source of national pride in the DPRK.
Port city located on the west coast of the DPRK. See a description of the main sites there are to see in this North Korean city.
27 km east of Kaesong city, a Colonel from the North Korean Army waits for us to show us where South Korea have allegedly built a concrete wall that crosses the entire of the Korean peninsula. You can see South Korean military bases on the other side of the DMZ from here.
Capital of Koryo (918-1392), the first unified state of the Korean peninsula. Located 10 km from the DMZ. The city hosts a 1000 year old Confucian university now turned into the Koryo Museum. Kaesong is home to 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Dividing Korea into a Northern communist and Southern capitalist, this, the most heavily armed borderline on Earth, is one of the last living remains of the Cold War. A highlight not to be missed if going on any North Korea tours.
Pyongyang Grand Theatre
The most prestigious theatre in the DPRK, it is where the revolutionary opera is held.
Arch of Reunification
A mammoth monument that symbolises peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula.
Rungrado May Day Stadium
The largest stadium in the world, it has seat capacity for 150,000 people.
Kim Il Sung University
The most prestigious university in the DPRK, it is a training centre for future national cadres.
Kim Il Sung Stadium
40,000 seater stadium used for North Korea’s international football matches and the Pyongyang Marathon, see what it is like to be there greeting locals as they cheer you on.
Korea Central Zoo
Completely renovated in 2016, it covers an area of 100 hectares and is a great place to mingle with locals on national holidays or Sundays.
Energy saving skyscrapers, contemporary architecture and the tallest residential building, stretching 270 metres high, can be found in this magnificent street which was constructed in around a year and opened in 2017.
Pyongyang Children’s Traffic Park
Opened in 2017, KTG were the first foreigners to visit this place. Children drive toy cars and ride their bikes through fully signalised mini roads, tunnels and roundabouts in a mini city with flyovers and traffic lights. The indoors of this park has several classrooms and car simulators.
Future Scientists Street
Opened in 2015, this is where socialism and retro-futurism blend into one. The 6 lane avenue accommodates staff members from Kim Chaek University of Technology and the main theme of the sky scrapers here is nuclear power.
Pyongyang Folklore Park
Opened to the public in 2012, this huge amusement park has replica tombs, pagodas, homes and mausoleums of different periods of Korea (dating back to pre-civilisation) as well as mini versions of todays most important monuments and buildings in the DPRK. It is popular amongst families and newly married couples. The park has now been knocked down.
Korean Film Studio
See where DPRK movies are filmed.
Tomb of King Tangun
The founder of the first Kingdom on the Korean Peninsula.
Kaeson Evening Amusement Park
Join in the fun with locals. This funfair is especially busy on national holidays in North Korea.
Arch of Triumph
Not as old, but bigger than its Parisian counterpart. It commemorates Kim Il Sung’s return to Korea after 20 years abroad fighting the Japanese.
Kimilsungia-Kimjungilia Flower Exhibition Centre
Two floors of the flowers named after the Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il combined with some other rare flowers. Many visitors and the national media covering the event to be seen.
Extremely talented children practice singing, dance, and play a wide variety of instruments here. Seeing them perform, whether rehearsing or in a show, at such young age is truly impressive.
Mangyongdae Native House
Kim Il Sung’s birthplace. This rural house shows how Kim Il Sung spent his childhood years with family members and has photos of this period of his life.
US navy ship that has been in North Korea since 1968. US sailors boarding this ship where released back home after 11 months on North Korean soil.
Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum
With extremely vivid illustrations, weapons used during the Korean Civil War (1950-3) and scene reconstructions, it explains the DPRK’s version of how the nation was liberated and how the US were defeated.
Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery
Dedicated to national heroes in the DPRK who fought for the liberation of Korea, this place has views of the capital of North Korea from a distance given its location.
Located on Mansu Hill, this statue represents, based on the legend of this winged horse, the spirits of constant innovation and advancement which were especially emphasised upon in the re-construction of Pyongyang after the aftermath of the Korean War (1950-3).
The Grand People’s Study House
One of the most important educational facilities in the DPRK, it has breath taking views of Kim Il Sung Square.
A symbol of the ideology around which the North Korean regime revolves. This tower stands at no less than 170 metres.
Workers’ Party Foundation Monument
This monument has a height of no less than 50 meters and Mass Dances tend to be held here on major national holidays in North Korea.
Kim Il Sung Square
Located in the heart of the capital of North Korea, this is the most important square in the DPRK and the one that appears in the media when military parades, mass rallies and demonstrations take place.
Full of mosaic murals, chandeliers and even marble pillars in some stops, and on average 100 metres deep, the underground stations of Pyongyang are amongst the most impressive ones in the world. In this part of our North Korea tours you will be able to actually take the subway with local Pyongyites.
Mansudae Grand Monuments
Towering over the North Korean capital on Mansudae Hill in the heart of Pyongyang, these gigantic bronze statues of the Leaders Kim Il Sung, officially the President of the DPRK, and General Kim Jong Il are visited daily by thousands and is one of our first stops in our North Korea tours.
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
The most sacred place in the DPRK. It is not a tourist spot and is not to be called a mausoleum. We have to be on our best behaviour and dress up when here
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