• North Korean propaganda banner in Wonsan (DPRK)
    Wonsan
  • Wonsan-Kalma tourism project in North Korea (DPRK), KTG Tours
  • Wonsan Seaside
    Jangdok Islet

Wonsan Travel Guide

Explore the East Coast of North Korea

Wonsan is a major North Korean port city and capital of Kangwon province. It was established in the 1880s.

Monuments of the Great Leaders of North Korea, President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il, in Nampo city (DPRK)

Wonsan Skyline - night views of Wonsan city on the east coast of North Korea

Location

Location of Wonsan city on a map of North Korea

The road trip from Pyongyang is approximately 4 hours long, though this will include a stop at a guest house known for its... snake liquor. Nothing like this refreshment as you cross from one side of the DPRK to the other!

Though a relatively bumpy ride, this trip is a fascinating one as it allows travellers to literally drive across the DPRK from one side to the other. Going through smaller cities and counties allows us to have a unique glimpse of people's life throughout this mysterious country.

Apart from seeing local sites, you can explore around the local port where people gather and go fishing and the beach where you can join in with locals. Read on to what else there is to do in this port city!

Statue of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il in Wonsan

The Grand Statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il in Wonsan. Originally they just had the statue of a younger President Kim Il Sung. See the picture we took below in 2011.

Statue of President Kim Il Sung, Wonsan

Wonsan Train Station Revolutionary Site

Did you know that Wonsan is the first major city where the founder and President of the DPRK, Kim Il Sung, arrived after the liberation of Korea from Japan in 1945? He arrived from the northeast and stayed there from 18 to 20 September before heading by train to Pyongyang.

Steam train at the Wonsan Train Station Revolutionary Site in North Korea, DPRK. Picture taken by KTG Tours

The train station itself, also known as the Wonsan Old Train Station, was destroyed during the Korean War and was reconstructed as Revolutionary Site in 1975 (Juche 63). A visit to the old city train station where he arrived together with a model copy of the house where he stayed can be seen by travellers in this eastern city of North Korea.

Main square of the Wonsan Train Station Revolutionary Site in North Korea, DPRK. Picture taken by KTG Tours

The train station is located in the city centre. As you enter there is a large square with the train station building with the characters 元山 which means Wonsan in Chinese characters (used by the Japanese).

Once in the station you can visit the waiting room which shows the original train timetable.

North Korean guides at the train station in Wonsan, DPRK. Picture taken by KTG Tours

Former guide Mr. Ju and top guide Ms. Yu at the Wonsan Train Station Revolutionary Site

You can then visit a room with a replica of the train used then. It has the sign ‘パシニ3 on it.

Replica of the 3rd class train carriage taken by President Kim Il Sung at the train station revolutionary site in Wonsan, DPRK. Picture taken by KTG Tours

Replica of the 3rd class train carriage taken by President Kim Il Sung from Wonsan to Pyonyang

It is possible to have a look too in the replica 3rd class carriage taken by President Kim Il Sung to Pyongyang from Wonsan. Please note that we cannot enter the train or climb onto it.

Replica of the Tongyang guesthouse at the train station revolutionary site in Wonsan, DPRK. Picture taken by KTG Tours

Replica of the Tongyang Guesthouse at the Train Station Revolutionary Site

A replica of the Tongyang Guesthouse, which is where President Kim Il Sung stayed can then be also be visited. Both the interior and exterior designs are Japanese styled. Remember that Wonsan was destroyed during the Korean War, meaning that the guesthouse was built from scratch too.

Inside the replica of the Tongyang guesthouse at the train station revolutionary site in Wonsan, DPRK. Office where Kim Il Sung stayed. Picture taken by KTG Tours

Notice the portrait of a young President Kim Il Sung in the replica Tongyang Guesthouse

Songdowon beach

Swimming with locals will definitely be an experience you won't forget!

Songdowon Beach in Wonsan, North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

There is actually a division on the beach, you will find that one side of the division tends to have many more people and many of our travellers check this part out.

Koreans are very friendly and welcoming people, something many people don’t really tend to appreciate until once in Korea. We strongly recommend you to ask the locals (sign language is fine if you do not speak Korean) if you can join in the fun or to buy a beach ball and see if any locals will join you. Very few westerners go to the DPRK each year, even less venture out to the east coast, so your presence will most definitely pique locals' curiosity.

Children at the Songdowon Beach in Wonsan, North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

There is too a platform where locals dive into the sea. If you are a good swimmer why not head out there?

Wonsan Docks

You can see locals gathering around here and fishing and can join in with them.

Port in Wonsan, North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

You will have too the chance of seeing a variety of DPRK ships. Wonsan is a port city in the DPRK and used to be the main connecting point between Japan and North Korea when relations between the two countries were better and also during Japanese colonialism.

Jangdok Islet

Jangdok islet in Wonsan, North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Nothing like going here to enjoy the view of the city's entire seafront.

Jangdok Islet has a lighthouse up a hill. Views of the entire city are great here. Moreover, many locals gather on the pier that leads to the islet to have seafood barbecue, drinks, to dance and to sing. It is not uncommon for locals to ask us to join in for a drink if they are having a barbecue.

Songdowon Children's Camp

Great chance to see Korean kids enjoy their summer holidays.

Songdowon Summer Camp in Wonsan, North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

This facility increased its capacity in 1993 and now 1,200 children from Korea and abroad come here in the summer months. While the vast majority of kids who come here are Koreans from all around the DPRK, there are too foreign children, something that allows for cultural exchange between participants.

Chonsam Cooperative Farm

Chance to see where farmers live with their families. You will be able to enter a North Korean family's home and see the schools attended by the children which are located in the farm premises.

Chonsam Cooperative farm in Wonsan city, North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Wonsan Agricultural University

Beautiful university campus located north of Wonsan city.

Wonsan Agricultural University in North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Many national heroes and top scientists have graduated from here.

Map of the Wonsan University of Agriculture in North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Campus Map

It has also been visited by the leaders of the DPRK on many ocasions.

Greenhouse at the Wonsan University of Agriculture in North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Greenhouse on Campus - notice the red sign marking the visits of the leaders

The campus itself looks like a botanical garden with a great variety of plants, trees and flowers spread throughout it. There are too greenhouses, powered with solar panels, which can be visited.

Pond at the Wonsan University of Agriculture in North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

The buildings themselves are pre-Korean War, some of them literally covered in creeper plants.

Greenhouse at the Wonsan University of Agriculture in North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Words of President Kim Il Sung

Interesting: In 2015 new uniforms were handed to university students. These consist of grey blazers, white shirts, navy blue trousers and a red tie and navy blue beret for male students, white shirts, navy blue skirts for women.

Hotels in Wonsan

songdowon hotel in Wonsan, North Korea, DPRK. Picture taken and trip arranged by KTG toursThe Songdowon Hotel was built in the 1970s.

There are two main hotels in downtown Wonsan where we stay when visiting the city; the Songdowon Hotel and the Tongmyong Hotel (also spelled Dongmyong). Please check on each picture for more information.

They are located just a few meters apart and right by the seafront.

tongmyong hotel in Wonsan, east coast of North Korea, DPRK. Picture taken and trip arranged by KTG toursThe Tongmyong Hotel is smaller and was built in the 1990s.

Ullim Waterfalls

Not technically in Wonsan but a place we always stop at, weather conditions permitting, either before or after going to Wonsan. These falls were discovered in 2001 by some soldiers. Bear in mind that 83% of North Korea consists is mountainous. Ullim means echo in Korean. The walk to the falls is a pleasant once and views are truly impressive!

The Ullim Waterfalls near Wonsan in North Korea (DPRK). Trip arranged by KTG Tours

Other areas that you can go to from this port city are the cities of Hamhung and the Kumgangsan Mountains (Diamond mountains).

Related pages:

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    North Korea Victory Day Tour III | KTG® Tours | one of our most comprehensive tours of the year. We explore the mysterious east coast and visit the second largest city in the DPRK; the industrial city of Hamhung as well as the port city of Wonsan.

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Please click on North Korea Places of Interest page for more information on areas that can be visited in the DPRK other than Wonsan.

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Places of Interest

Kim Il Sung Square
Pyongyang Metro
The Juche Tower

Accommodation

Hotels in Pyongyang