Mount Paektu - also spelled Paekdu (백두산 in Korean) is an active volcano in Korea and a
sacred place on the Korean Peninsula. The lake in the crater of the volcano is Lake Chon (천지 in Korean, meaning Heaven Lake).
It is deemed the place of origin
of Korean people. The legendary founder of Korea, King
Tangun, was born to the son of a god (Hwanung the son of the god Hwanin) who descended from the
heavens to Mt. Paektu and where he married a bear turned into a woman. King
Tangun then founded the first kingdom of Korea, Kojoson
also spelled Gojoseon
(meaning Ancient Choson). You can read more details about this myth on
Tangun Tomb page. Other kingdoms that followed such as the Koguryo,
Koryo and Choson
considered this a sacred mountain and had rituals for it.
South Koreans flock to this mountain every year, as some of it is
located in China. See the video we shot of Lake Chon:
Political Importance in DPRK
Mt. Paektu is also the place where DPRK President Kim Il Sung fought
against Japanese occupation and where General Kim Jong Il was
officially born. There are many pictures and murals in the DPRK showing
the leaders standing at Mt. Paekdu as well as showing the cottage where
General Kim Jong Il was born and of Kim Jong Suk fighting Japanese
Mount Paektu is the highest mountain in Korea with a height of
almost 2750 metres. Located in Samjiyon County in Ryanggang Province in
the north of DPRK, it borders China and part of the mountain is located
in China. Paektusan boasts having the world’s deepest mountain lake
with its deepest point recored to be over 380 metres deep.
Secret Camp & Kim Jong Il
military base was used by Kim Il Sung when fighting against the
Japanese. Paintings of scenes of President Kim Il Sung and his wife
Comrade Kim Jong Suk fighting the Japanese can be seen repeatedly over
the country. There is too a very detailed wax exhibition section in the
where the secret camp is recreated.
This area has too the Native Home of Kim Jong Il. You can see pictures
and paintings of this home all over the country as for example in the
picture above taken of a Kindergarten class
in a farm near Nampo
on the west coast of DPRK, which shows how
much importance is given to the place.
Jong Il Peak is also located here and has the words “Jong Il Peak”
(정일봉) carved in Korean (which can also be seen in the picture above).
Image of a propaganda banner with Paekdusan in the background.
Monument on Samji Lake
A huge bronze statute of a younger President Kim Il Sung with a
gigantic torch on its left hand side and a group sculpture of dozens of
soldiers on the right, this is point is a combination of revolutionary
propaganda mixed with the natural beauty the area has to offer. Samji
Lake is a river turned lake a the result of the eruption of Paekdusan.
There are views of the lake and of Paekdusan from here.
This is where we stay overnight. The town’s houses are somewhat like from a
movie depicting a ski resort in Switzerland.
Activities in Mount Paektu
We arrange cycling tours in this part of North Korea. The biking
route is 45 km long here. Please contact us for more information