Hiking in North Korea ~ Mt. Kumgang

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This time last year, we were gearing up to enter North Korea, with a week long tour that was going to take us around Pyongyang and beyond.  We wanted to experience as much variety as possible, and were pretty excited to see that hiking was something we could plan to do.  Of course, when we say “plan” we actually mean we were given a number of different locations we could visit, from which we were able to pick and choose those that struck our fancy.  Hiking was one of them, and seemed like a pretty unique way to experience the DPRK.

By the time we got to Mount Kumgang, we were completely stoked, as we had been cooped up in our van for a better part of 4 days with very little “exploring” as we’re sure most of you can imagine why.  Our usual vacations generally include walking, walking and more walking so this lack of walking was a bit of a stretch even for the girl who normally complains about walking.  :)

Bringing a bottle of water each, and purchasing water for the local guide and our minder Pak, we were set on our way.  The climb was easy compared to the Canadian Rockies, and time passed quickly since we were constantly being bombarded with knowledge (it was a learning holiday, after all ) and questions of “what do you think that rock looks like?”  After the eightieth time, we eventually stopped actually trying to figure it out and just began guessing different wild animals.  They were usually wild animals.

We found a gorgeous fresh water stream to refill our bottles, saw countless carvings on the mountain sides wishing the Dear Leader a long and prosperous life, visited one of the very few buddhist temples in the DPRK, and we even learned a bit of Korean along the way.  We greeted local hikers with the ever popular “an nyoung ha saneka” and got a double take every single time!  Pictures were taken.  Scenery was stunning.  And we experienced a little more of North Korea that we didn’t know existed.

Enjoy the photos!

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Categories: North Korea (DPRK)

Author:Thomas & Katherine

A love for travel, adventure, and photography. We just can't help but write about it!

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