An extinct volcano with a vast crater lake at its centre, it is the country's highest mountain at 2744m (9000ft), and also of huge mythical importance to Koreans.
The huge crater lake called Chonji ("Lake of Heaven") lies at the summit, surrounded by bare rocky crags. It is one of the deepest alpine lakes in the world, and also one of the coldest.
The Chinese side of the mountain, which occupies half of the caldera lake as well, is a lot more accessible and much more inexpensive to visit than North Korean side.
Paekdusan is sacred to all Koreans, because according to Korean mythology it is where the 'Son of the Lord of Heaven' descended to earth and the first Korean kingdom began. The mountain's mythology has been appropriated by Kim Jong-il, who claims the mountain as his birthplace as well.
Flora and fauna