The Kim Jong Suk Middle High School – Pyongsong

After lunch at the  Jangsusan Hotel it was off to school, the Kim Jong Suk Middle High School, one of the classier schools in the county, for gifted children. Gifted children in North Korea will always be from families with higher ‘songbun’ or status within the country – academic ability on its own being insufficient to meet the criteria.

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Samil Lagoon/ Lake – Mt Kumgang

En route back to our hotel from a spectacular hike to the Kuryong Falls we made a stop for a short walk to a viewing platform over Samil Lake.  

Samil Lake is an 80 hectare freshwater lake, 9-13 metres deep, within the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, in the south-eastern part of North Korea. It sits about 2 kilometres from the coast of the East Sea of Korea ( the Sea of Japan to non-Koreans) and 9 kilometres north-west of the border with South Korea. 

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Pujon Stone River and Revolutionary Site

After what turned out to be a four hour drive from Hamhung (as opposed to the expected three), due to problems with one of our buses we arrived at the entrance to Mt. Ongryon park in the Pujon Highlands, one of the ‘Eight Great Sights of Korea’.  Here we met our local guide for our short walk to the Stone River and to some very special trees.   The bus trip, which I have written about in two separate reviews (Part A HERE and Part B HERE), while at times gruelling, was scenically beautiful and gave us some insight into everyday life (road maintenance in particular!) in this remote and rarely visited part of North Korea.

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Driving from Hamhung to Pujon County, North Korea – Part B

This is Part B of my review on my bus trip from Hamhung to Pujon County, through some of the most scenic parts of North Korea, affording us glimpses of this scenery and of everyday life in this rarely visited part of the country. If you have not read Part A then I suggest you do so, particularly as it includes a commentary on why I have chosen to publish a number of photographs which are possibly in contravention of North Korean rules on photography.

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Hamhung Overview – Part B – Sightseeing incl Shots from the Window of a Bus

In Part A of this review I focused on a general overview of Hamhung and its history, in particular its development as an important industrial centre and port. I also briefly covered the city’s destruction as a result of American blanket bombing in the early part of the Korean War and the (disproportionately) horrific impact that the mid to late 1990s famine had on the city. The city and its people have been slow to recover from these events and for this reason it was off-limits to foreigners until around 2010. Continue reading “Hamhung Overview – Part B – Sightseeing incl Shots from the Window of a Bus”