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North Korea sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places

For many years, North Korea was isolated from the rest of the world. It has only recently become available to tourists. For centuries, it has managed to save its inimitable culture, unique historic and natural landmarks. Nowadays, tourists come here to see legendary historic landmarks with their own eyes, try exotic national food, and explore colorful local markets where merchants sell interesting items and crafts by local masters.
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Not much is known about the early history of North Korea. According to legends, the first town in the territory of modern country was founded yet in 2,333 BC. First official records state that there were several early feudal countries on the site of modern North Korea. Later, the kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla formed the Three Kingdoms of Korea, the legendary formation that was known for its wealth and prosperity. However, the kingdom started to perish in the 6th – 7th centuries.
Later, in the 10th century, the kingdom of Goryeo was born on the ashes of Silla. In the 13th century, Mongol invaders started their military campaigns against Goryeo. The Korean resisted for almost 30 years but had to sign a peace treaty and became a semi-autonomous territory. These ancient medieval kingdoms were the predecessors of modern Korea. Goryeo, which could be also spelled as Koryŏ, gave the country its current name, Korea. Starting from 1910, the Korean peninsula became Japan’s colony and remained in this status until the end of World War II. In the middle of the 20th century, a civil conflict emerged in the country, and this conflict is considered unsolved until now. It caused the split of Korea into two parts, and North Korea is one of them. Copyright
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Pyongyang is one of the most visited cities in the country. This old city is ideal for leisure walking and educational excursions. It is easy to spend days walking on silent streets and admiring grandiose governmental buildings that peacefully coexist with historic buildings of different periods. Besides old buildings, there is an eye-catching television tower that is also very interesting to visit. There is a viewing platform at the top of the tower, as well as a restaurant with a panoramic view of the city. Pyongyang is a city of parks as there are more than 200 of them here. That being said, tourists will not feel any lack of tranquil areas to relax.
Kaesong is a city famous for its interesting Buddhist attractions. There is a building of an old Confucian college established yet in the 10th century. Nowadays, an interesting museum is open in this building. During a walk in Kaesong, tourists can see many old temples that were built in the 13th-14th centuries. There are also tombs of many notable kings and queens in the city. Not far from Kaesong, tourists can visit several important archaeological sites.
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Mount Myohyang is an outstanding natural landmark of North Korea. This mountain region is considered one of the most beautiful places in the country. This is a place where tourists can walk in picturesque forests, climb high to the mountains, and admire the striking panorama of the region from above. There are many beautiful gorges in the mountains that have fast streams. In these remote mountain areas, there are several ancient temples.
Beautiful Supung Lake is also an important natural landmark. It is located at the border of North Korea and China. Quite an interesting fact – there are no naturally formed lakes in Korean peninsula. Supung Lake is an artificially made water reservoir. Both tourists and locals enjoy spending their free time here. Visitors can swim and sunbathe at lakeside beaches, try fishing, or simply explore picturesque surroundings.
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If you happen to visit the city of Wonsan, don’t forget to attend the Museum of Bank of Korea. This is one of the most unusual cultural establishments in the country. The museum is open in a gorgeous century-old building that is an amazing example of Renaissance style. To the service of visitors, this museum exhibits one of the oldest numismatic collections in the world. The first exhibition halls of this museum opened not long ago – only in 1990. The museum’s collection regularly gets new artifacts. Nowadays, there are many precious old coins in it, as well as rare collectors’ coins and banknotes.
North Korea has well-established connection with Russia. Airplanes by Air Koryo make several flights a week from Vladivostok to Pyongyang. There is also a train that departs from Moscow and goes to Pyongyang every week. The travel time is approximately 6 days. This train passes through several large Russian cities such as Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk.

Famous and uniques places in North Korea from our review series

Pungi-ri Test Site

From the series “Largest and Famous Nuclear Test Sites”
Punggye-ri Test Site is a huge nuclear test site in Kilju County, North Korea. It has appeared only in 2006. Since the foundation there were made several large tests, the largest were in 2009 and 2013. All data about the explosions are top-secreted. The specialists could estimate only the approximate power of nuclear bombs – from 2 to 10 kilotons.

In January 2016 on the test site was made an explosion of the thermo-nuclear bomb, which power was about 10 kilotons. A great number of explosions was made under the earth that became a reason of many earthquakes. Seismologists thoroughly look for the region, however, the tests are top-secret, that’s why it is quite hard to foresee the new earthquake.

Punggye-ri Test Site is a functional one. On its territory, people can get by three … Read all

Changbaishan Volcano

From the series “Volcanoes and Traps That Changed the Face of the Planet”
The ancient Changbaishan volcano is situated on the border of China and North Korea. Its last major eruption occurred in the early 11th century. This eruption was so powerful that even residents of Japan living about 1 200 km away from the epicenter, have felt its effects. Today, the picturesque Tianchi Lake, which was formed in the caldera, reminds about the disaster. The diameter of the bowl is about 4.5 km and depth is 1 km.

Tianchi Lake is very popular among tourists, and not only because of the spectacular scenery. Many travelers and researchers believe that the lake waters are inhabited by animals unknown to the science. Some even managed to take pictures of these unidentified beings. Currently, Changbaishan volcano is dormant. Its last eruption occurred in 1702. In 1994, emissions … Read all

Room 39

From the series “Forbidden Construction Objects with Label "Access Denied"”
In North Korea there are also secret organizations, whose real activity ordinary people can only guess. One of the most interesting among them is the so-called Bureau 39, which is also known under the unofficial name 'Room 39'. This organization is located in Pyongyang and was founded in the 70s of last century. According to some assumptions, it is engaged in financial operations and literally laundering the state's money through operations with classified accounts in China and Switzerland.

Many believe that the activities of the secret bureau are directly related to a number of fraudulent transactions involving drug trafficking and arms smuggling. It is obvious that representatives of the North Korean government completely deny their participation in illegal financial activities, but … Read all
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Sightseeing in popular cities of North Korea

According to a local legend, Pyongyang was founded in 1122 BC. This is when the legendary king Dangun established a settlement called Wanggeom-seong. This city was the capital of the ancient state of Gojoseon. However, many historians have doubts regarding this legend and think the city was founded only at the beginning of our age. When the Han dynasty captured the territory of Gojoseon, the emperor established four commanderies in the region. The capital was moved to Nanglang, an area near … Read more

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