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    Wonsan - Korean major port and resort

    HOW TO GET THERE | TOURIST ZONE | WONSAN | SONGDOWON | FARM | MAP | SIJUNG BEACH | SIJUNG LAKE | ULLIM FALLS | CUISINE | HOTELS | TOURS

    The DPRK decided to set up Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang International Tourist Zone in Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang area in Kangwon Province to reenergize the international tour of scenic spots in the area of Wonsan and scenic spots on the east coast now in the process of turning into International tourist destinations. The international tourist zone includes areas of Wonsan, Masikryong Ski Resort, Ullim Falls, Sokwang Temple, Thongchon and Mt. Kumgang. 

    Wŏnsan is a port city and naval base on the westernmost shore of the Sea of Japan (East Korean Sea) and the provincial capital. Wonsan opened as a trade port in 1880. Its original name was Wŏnsanjin, but it was also known by the Russian name of Port Lazarev, under Japanese rule (1910–45) it was called Gensan. The population of the city was estimated at 331,000 in 2000 what makes Wonsan Korea’s 5th largest city.

    Blockade of Wonsan or the Siege of Wonsan: During the Korean War (1950–1953) from February 16, 1951 to July 27, 1953 was the longest naval blockade in modern history, lasting 861 days. United States naval forces successfully kept the strategically important city of Wonsan from being used by the North Korean Navy. By war's end the city was a vast shell.

    How to Get There

    It is 200 kilometres from Pyongyang, it is about 3 to 4 hour drive from the capital.

    The international tourist zone

    In 2013, it was announced that Wonsan will be converted into a summer destination with resorts and entertainment. Wonsan is a popular tourist destination for foreigners and locals alike. Nearby Songdowon is a famous sea bathing destination in North Korea, as the water there is exceptionally clear. Pine trees are abundant in the surrounding area, and it has been designated a national sightseeing point.

    In Wonsan, there are a series of heavy industry factories, such as automobile plants and shipyards. There is a plan to close the aging factories and turn the city into a resort. In July 2013, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un approved plans for a complete redesign of the airport, turning it into an international airport for civilian use. The airport is expected to serve 1.2 million visitors annually. It is expected to cost US$200 million.

    Wonsan City

    It is the capital of Kangwon Province with long history, situated at the middle part of coastline of the East Sea of Korea. It is named after the shape of the mountains rising up like a folding screen.

    Founded in 1948 Wonsan Agricultural University was the first agricultural university in the country and possesses faculties in farming, agricultural biology, animal husbandry, fruit farming, veterinary and other related areas. It has its own miniature practice farm and greenhouses. The university building features an unusual for Korea type of architecture - this building used to be a German church built by German settlers early in 20th century.

    Songdowon International Children's Union Camp

    Situated right on the coast, this area of pleasure grounds stretching to around 500 hectares is dotted with verdant pine trees and clear waters, and it is possible to bathe in the sea here on the white, sandy beach. There is also a botanical and zoological garden providing an attractive backdrop.

    Songdowon is also known for the International Children's Union Camp, a large extracurricular centre for local and foreign children.

    Chonsam Cooperative Farm

    Kindergarten in Chonsam Farm.

    Situated on the outskirts of Wonsan, the Chonsam Cooperative Farm is one of the few places where foreign visitors are allowed to observe a working farm. Chonsam means "an area of three villages where springs well out". The farm is specialising in cultivating rice, maize and vegetables. Persimmon is the speialty of the farm - you will hear the great story about Kim Il Song who visited this farm and spotted how many persimmons were hanging at a tree. In the farm there is a kindergarten which tourist usually visit to enjoy children's performance. You also can visit a farmer's house to chat with the family and see how people live in the village.

    Main Attractions and Map

    Wonsan touristic map

    Sijung Beach & Motel

    Sijung Lake is just one of a number of tranquil beaches in North Korea. It was once a famous holiday retreat area during the Ri dynasty. Members of the royal family came to this lake district to relax. Sijung beach is half way between Wonsan and Kumgan Mt., it is 1.5h drive from Wonsan. You can swim if weather permits.

    Sijung Lake

    It is one of the lagoons situated in Thongchon County. The lake and the sea are bisected by a motorway. There is famous medical treatment centre offering a bathing resort, a marina, angling site, mud treatment. Its mud is widely used in Korea.

    Ullim Falls

    It is one of the famous waterfalls in Korea. The falls is originated from ranges of Masik Pass, with 20 to 25 cubic meters of water volume per second the 75m cataract pours down. The falls hit a rock in the halfway and divides into twin falls at the height of 45 meters, making thunderous sound echo as far as four kilometers around. That is why the waterfall is called "Ullim" or "echo" in Korean.

    At the bottom of the falls, there is a pond, 1.5 meters deep and 30 meters in radius, inhabited with minnow, rainbow trout and other species of fishes.

    Cuisine / Food

    Wonsan is famous with its seafood - sea fish sashimi, seafood bbq and local delicacy - hairy crabs.

    Hotels

    In Wonsan area there are several hotel where you can stay:

    1. Songdowon Tourist Hotel, Songdowon Pleasure Ground. Offers 83 rooms. Deluxe rooms 5, standard rooms 35, economy rooms 131, 4/5 class = 18/5
    2. Tongmyong Hotel, Songdowon Beach. Good service with a billard and a bookshop. Offers deluxe room 1, standard rooms 13, economy rooms 30
    3. Kaeson Hotel, Haean Square. Offers 164 rooms
    4. Sijung Motel (Sijung Beach)
    5. Sijung Lake Guest Hotel (Sijung Lake). Offers deluxe rooms 2, standard rooms 2, economy rooms 16

    Our Tours to Wonsan

    We have group and individual tours visitng Wonsan. Drop us a message to check what options are available for you: postmaster@koreakonsult.com

    Around Wonsan

    • Mt.Kumgang - "If I were to die the day after seeing Kumgansang, I would have no regrets", said the Chinese Song Dynasty poet Su Shi (1037-1101). This mountainous area, part of Taebak mountain range along the country's east coast, was considered sacred by Korean Buddhists for thousand of years. It is one of the best-known mountains in North Korea.
    • Hamhung - is North Korea's second largest city, and the capital of South Hamgyŏng Province. It is one of the major industrial cities if the country and a port city.
     
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