Things to see in North Korea

  • North Korea
    North Korea
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Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination North Korea

Coasts

The coast is bathed by the sea on three sides (the Yellow Sea and the Korean Sea to the west, and the Sea of Japan to the east). The coasts are very sinuous, with gulfs and bays. There are many islands and small islands.

The fauna and flora

Korea is one of the most mountainous regions in the world. Indeed, the country is 70% covered by mountains. The most promoted tourist site by the government is Mount Kumgang, which lies north-east of the South Korean border.
North Korea is extremely rich in fauna and flora. Thanks to the mountains, the forest in this region of North Korea has managed to escape deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture, which is not the case for the rest of the peninsula.
The forest is mostly composed of broad-leaved trees and conifers. In the mountains in the middle of the country and on the Kaema Plateau you will find countless cedar, thuja, aspen, larch, birch, fir and Korean pine trees.
Despite increasingly intense deforestation, some large mammals have managed to survive here, such as the Amur leopard, the tiger, the spotted deer, the chevrotain, the bear and the wolf.

Arts and culture

North Korea's political regime limits the free development of the country's arts and cultre. Nevertheless, there are still some interesting tourist sites and museums to visit.

North Korea's culture is a mix of Confucianism heritage and socialist culture. Music, dance and gymnastics are three disciplines that are promoted by the government. The painting style here links socialist realism with traditional themes, such as the representation of the tiger and the sacred mountains. Above all, though, art plays a social role and remains subordinate to the revoltionary process. North Korea has a circus tradition that dates very far back, especially when it comes to the excellence of its acrobats.

It is possible to visit the Boyeun Temple, in which the large rooms are full of sitting Buddhas and colourful frescoes. Mount Kumgang and the Taebaek mountain range are considered to be sacred and receive much attention from the leaders of the country. The Koguryo Tombs have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004.

Monuments

Just like its political regime, North Korea's monuments are sometimes described as being of a rather tragicomic nature. The Beopjusa temple in Boeun, a Buddhist place of worship, and the tombs of the rulers of the kingdoms of Kogury and Kory are nevertheless places of major cultural and historical interest. The country is also home to numerous temples and pagodas.

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