After a fantastic hike throughout Chilbosan area in the morning, through forests I found fairly similar to those in the UK, we got back on the bus to go to a city called Kyongsong, also spelled Gyongsong, which is nearby Chongjin, perhaps an hour driving.
Our journey to Kyongsong was definitely the main highlight for me during that day. Passing by fields, mountains, and regular North Koreans going about their daily lives. Especially in the Chilbosan area, the little villages which we passed were stunningly gorgeous, like the pictures below:
We had a gorgeous bus journey from Chongjin city to Mount Chilbo (Chilbosan), one of North Korea’s sacred mountains. We passed lush greenery, dramatic cliffs, and through beautiful old villages.
The picture above shows the beautiful scenery which we bus passed.
The trip to Mount Chilbo was meant to take roughly four hours, including a short stop at another revolutionary site, but our bus broke down in the countryside, delaying us. To be honest, I didn’t mind that we broke down, as it allowed us to see a part of North Korea up close that foreigners normally wouldn’t be able to see. We were stuck in between two villages, and there were loads of locals passing by. They reacted to our presence rather strangely (they definitely weren’t used to seeing foreigners).
After spending a night in Hoeryong city, we stopped by a school on the way to Chongjin. It was, of course, one of the better schools in the area, if not the best, yet is was still a functioning school. Apparently, English lessons are mandatory in the North Korean curriculum. I’m not entirely sure how true that is, yet if it is true, they are obviously not the best at teaching it. In fact, we met a couple of English teachers who struggled to speak it themselves.
After our school visit, we had a very interesting drive to Chongjin city. Driving on the way to Chongjin I managed to take some fantastic pictures from the bus, depicting everyday life in North Hamgyong province. We passed through some very poor looking villages and people.