Exploring North Korea: Top 10 Must-See Destinations in the Hermit Kingdom
North Korea is one of the most reclusive and secretive nations in the world. Yet, despite the strict censorship of the media and its leadership, the Hermit Kingdom has plenty of amazing sites and attractions to explore. From its picturesque landscapes to its unparalleled monuments and structures, North Korea offers travelers a one-of-a-kind experience. Here are the top 10 must-see destinations in North Korea:
1. Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun is the resting place of the two late leaders of North Korea, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. Converted from Kim Il-sung’s former residence, the Palace is a grand complex featuring grandiose statues of the former leaders as well as amenities like a bowling alley. The architecture is heavily inspired by traditional Korean designs and stands as a testament to North Korea’s deeply rooted culture.
2. Arch of Triumph
Located in Pyongyang, the Arch of Triumph is a symbol of the victory of the Korean people against Japanese colonialism during World War II. The structure stands 60 meters high and is composed of granite and white limestone. It features statues of two legendary figures from North Korean mythology and its intricately carved design is an impressive sight to behold.
3. Mount Paektu
Mount Paektu is the highest mountain in North Korea and the birthplace of the mythical founder of the Korean people. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and lake, and has become a place of pilgrimage for North Koreans as a symbol of national pride. Mount Paektu is an awesome place to visit if you’re looking for a chance to commune with nature and relax.
4. Hamhung Grand Theater
The Hamhung Grand Theater is one of the largest theaters in Asia and serves as the home of the North Korean Central Symphony Orchestra. Its beautiful interior, accompanied by classical music, provides a unique cultural experience unlike any other. The theater is also home to a variety of performances from both Korean and international artists, ranging from traditional Korean music to modern K-Pop hits.
5. Pyongyang Metro
The Pyongyang Metro is the deepest metro system in the world and a great way to experience North Korean city life. It’s composed of two lines that extend over 70 kilometers and serves as a major public transportation system in the capital. It’s also a great way to explore the city as you can find many unique and interesting sites along the various stations.
6. Chilbosan Hotel
Located near the border of China, the Chilbosan Hotel offers an unforgettable experience as it stands as a window between North Korea and the rest of the world. This hotel is home to luxurious accommodations, including a spa and a casino, as well a variety of amenities even exclusive to those visiting North Korea.
7. Juche Tower
The Juche Tower is a 170-meter structure located in Pyongyang and stands as a symbol of the Juche ideology adopted by the North Korean regime. It features a pointed tip that’s said to represent the torch of Juche, and its stunning architectural designs are complemented by a stunning view of the city from its top.
8. Kaesong Folk Street
Kaesong Folk Street is a market that offers visitors a unique look at North Korean culture. It’s composed of numerous traditional stores and stalls, some of which even specialize in art and crafts. It’s also home to a variety of North Korean restaurants serving up local delicacies as well as souvenir shops.
9. Munsu Water Park
For those looking to have some fun, Munsu Water Park is the perfect destination. It’s one of the largest in the country and features a variety of interactive attractions, from wave pools and water slides to rain dance floors. There are also various restaurants, snack bars, and even a shopping mall inside the park.
Myohyangsan is a mountain located in the east of the country and considered one of the most beautiful places in North Korea. It’s composed of two main peaks, Chongmyo and the smaller Songmyo, which offer breathtaking views of its surrounding valley. There are also five beautiful temples located in the area, making this destination a must-see for those looking for a spiritual experience.
North Korea is a fascinating destination to visit. From its historically significant monuments to its breathtaking natural beauty, there is no shortage of gorgeous sights and attractions to explore. Those looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience should definitely check out these top 10 must-see destinations in the Hermit Kingdom.