Wonsan – North Korea’s Summer playground.
No Summer visit to North Korea is complete without a visit to Wonsan; the country’s beautiful seaside resort city.
Situated on the East coast, about 5 hours from Pyongyang, the city is a hotspot for domestic tourism.
The drive itself from Pyongyang takes you through stunning mountains and waterfalls. One of which is the famous Ulim waterfall (pictured below). Discovered by passing soldiers the site was developed into an accessible tourist attraction in 2001. A quick picnic break here and you’re back on the road about an hour or so from Wonsan.
Just before hitting the town you’ll pass the Masikryong ski resort, North Korea’s one and only. There’s activities for all here 12 months a year but the real highlight is the stunning coastline.
Sun and Seafood
Arrive in town and check into the Tongmyong Hotel which overlooks the bay and Chok islet. Follow that with sunset BBQ clams and fresh fish on the waterfront washed down with copious amounts of Soju, the Korean liquor.
The following morning hit the beaches, have a few relaxed beers, play volleyball and dive off the 10 meter platform to the joy of the locals.
It’s not all Beaches
There’s also a couple of other sights on the Wonsan tourist trail. The city is home to North Korea’s largest Children’s camp; the Songdowon international Children’s Union camp to be exact. Kids from around the world come to enjoy the newly renovated camp’s impressive facilities which include an aquarium, aviary, beach and waterpark.
Also permanently docked is the Mangyongbong-92, North Korea’s only passenger ferry. It was built in 1992 by the pro-North Korean “Chongryon” in Japan as a means of transporting passengers and cargo between the two countries. The ship is sadly no longer in service.
If you are into your North Korea revolutionary history then make a stop at the old railway station. It still houses an old Japanese train and is one of the places Kim Il Sung stopped on his triumphant return following the defeat of the Japanese in 1945.
Lastly the city has recently opened its shiny new airport. As of yet there are still no flights but let’s hope one day you’ll be able to hop on a direct international Air Koryo service to Wonsan City!
If you’re looking for the ultimate North Korean beach break this summer then look no further than our Liberation day and Summer Tour every August.