Mt. Paektu, also known as Baekdu Mountain, is the highest peak of the whole Korean peninsular and one of Korea’s most sacred and spectacular sites. Situated in the North East right on the border with China and only accessible via chartered flight, Paektu certainly isn’t easy to get to. But a visit here is a must as the scenery is breathtaking and you’d be hard pressed to find another place on the North Korea tour map as off the beaten track.
Supposedly the site for many legendary battles and purported to be the birthplace of Kim Jong-il and home to the secret base of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, the stories surrounding Paekdu are as fascinating as the mountain itself. It’s a relatively easy, one hour walk up to the summit, and once up there it’s possible to walk down into the volcanic crater to the beautiful Lake Chon via 2016 steps – signifying Kim Jong-il’s birth date.
Most overnight visits to Mt. Paektu are based in the nearby town of Samjiyon.