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Donghae Coast

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North Korea : Donghae Coast
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Bipaseom near Rason.

The Donghae Coast (Korean: 동해 연안) is a region of North Korea stretching along the the entire west coast of the North Korean part of the peninsular. It encompass the provinces of North and South Hamgyong, as well as Kangwon and the foreigner-accessible Kŭmgangsan and Rason regions.

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Understand[edit]

Donghae is the Korean name for the Sea of Japan. Both North and South Korea object to the name as something imposed on them under the Japanese occupation. The coast stretches for about 800 kilometres north-west from the border between North and South Korea to the Russian border at Tumangan/Khasan. As the site of North Korea's latest nuclear test (near Kimchaek) it should come as no surprise that travelling around here independently, or even just travelling, is going to be difficult to impossible. That being said, Rason to the north and Kŭmgangsan to the south are both feasible destinations, and bookable with several Russian and South Korean tour groups, respectively.

Get in[edit]

There are occasional flights to Wonsan and Chongjin with none other than the "reputable" Air Koryo [1] using a fleet of veteran soviet era planes, that has been banned from flying nearly anywhere outside North Korea. Due to chronic fuel shortages you need be a high ranking North Korean official to book a spot on those flights - if you are reading this, chances are you aren't one, and so you are at the mercy of the whims of your travel agent.

Chilbosan, Chongjin and Namyang may be approached from China.

Slightly more probable is catching a train, there is a railway running along the entire coast connecting to the Russian railway at the border town of Khasan. From Khasan it's possible to book trips as far as Rason through Russian Tour companies, since this is a special economic zone. Through service to Pyongyang via the Donghae coast is not available to foreigners, but it was done by an Austrian and Swiss guys in 2008[2], causing quite a stir, and initiation of procedures to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

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Travel Warning WARNING: As North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world, drinking water is untreated and there are reports of foreigners being hospitalized in the DPRK after drinking the water, so sticking to bottled water is highly recommended. Medical facilities are clean, but very outdated and often suffer a lack of doctors who are actually healthy. If you fall ill you might be better off going to China for medical treatment. Contact your embassy or consulate in North Korea (if your country has one) for assistance. US citizens may contact the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang for advice if needed.

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]


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