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Hamhung

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At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.

Visit hamhung

Second only to the capital city, Pyongyang, in size and population, Hamhung is the provincial capital of South Hamgyŏng Province in the east of North Korea. Laid out on the eastern branch of the Sŏngch'ŏn River where it lets out into the Sea of Japan, the city is full of sites of interest and opportunities to delve into North Korean culture and modern history. Around 80% of the city was destroyed in the Korean War and it subsequently underwent massive reconstruction and development during the late 1950s. It is now an industrial city, a center for chemical innovation and trade and a major producer of machinery, processed food and fabrics, especially Vinalon. What's more, it is an important hub for education and arts, being home to a number of universities and colleges, as well as the largest theater in North Korea.

Having opened to foreign nationals in 2010, Hamhung is not particularly used to tourism, and this inexperience only adds to its charm. Visitors to this city are sure to discover a destination with a fascinating history, having rebuilt itself after being ravaged by war and famine. A drive through the countryside offers the ideal opportunity for visitors to experience Hamhung's true way of life.
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With the centuries’ old royal palace, enormous theatre, massive fertiliser factory and pristine beach resort, the city illustrates the extreme contrasts found in the DPRK.
Kim Hyon-hui
North Korea Travel Specialist

Things to See and Do in Hamhung

hamhung-grand-monument-in-hamhung-dprk

Hamhung Grand Monument

Just inside the Hamhung city limits stands the ubiquitous bronze statue of Kim Il Sung on his plinth on a small hill, presiding over the city and its inhabitants who gather for national occasions in the spacious paved square, lined with beautifully maintained lawns, beneath his outstretched arm.
tongbong-cooperative-farm-hamhung-dprk

Tongbong Cooperative Farm

Tongbong Cooperative Farm on the outskirts of Hamhung provides the opportunity to witness North Korean self-sufficiency farming. Visitors are invited to explore the inside the farm buildings, which are beautifully built in the traditional Korean style and tour around the immaculately maintained land, overlooked by giant stone cenotaphs of the country’s illustrious leaders.
hamhung-grand-theater-dprk

Hamhung Grand Theater

This miracle of architecture is the largest theater in all of North Korea and cuts an imposing figure in the city with its grey stonework. At either side of the entrance steps are massive relief stone carvings of poignant moments in the operas performed there, while the marble interior with its chandeliers and murals is breathtaking.
hungnam-fertilizer-factory-hamhung-dprk

Hungnam Fertilizer Factory

Hungnam’s vast fertilizer factory is a popular destination for visiting tourists and a chance to see North Korean productivity in action. Both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il made visits to this factory to give their legendary rousing speeches about the importance of self-reliance and ‘Juche’ philosophy.
hamhung-water-park-dprk

Hamhung Water Park

Visitors to Hamhung Water Park enjoy cooling off and kicking back in Hamhung’s newest attraction, an enormous waterpark on the banks of the Sŏngch'ŏn River. Featuring a number of activities including a variety of slides, a rapid river and indoor and outdoor pools, water-lovers of all ages are kept happily occupied here.
vinalon-complex-hamhung-dprk

Vinalon Complex

Hamhung’s vast factory dedicated to the production of North Korea’s self-developed national fiber is an important part of the city’s redevelopment, and a prime example of North Korean Juche philosophy. Vinalon (or Vinylon) was first produced in the mid-1950s and the enormous Vinalon Complex is a testament to its importance in North Korean industry.
majon-beach-surfing-in-hamhung-dprk

Majon Beach surfing

A peaceful, calm, unspoiled stretch of beach on the eastern tip of Hamhung Bay, Majon Beach is a perfect spot to relax and unwind with a little beachcombing, shell-gathering and swimming. It is dotted with little local guesthouses and only one or two big resorts have started to take over the area.

Tourism in North Korea may be limited, but the ambitions of its surfers are not. The country’s new Majon Surf School, located just east of North Korea’s second-largest city, Hamhung, accommodates all levels of surfers, from beginners to advanced.
former-home-of-king-ri-song-gye-in-hamhung-dprk

Former Home Of King Ri Song Gye

General Li Song Gye in 1392 was the founder of the Li (or Joseon) Dynasty. The small palace built by his son Yi Wang Bon in about 1400 was later destroyed in a fire, but it was later rebuilt in the 16th century. The main hall is still original and dates from the period. Besides the main hall there are some other buildings, among them a pavilion which was used for recreation by the family. But most of these buildings were destroyed in the Korea War and rebuild in the 1970th.

Best Time to Visit Hamhung

Hamhung, on the east coast of North Korea, is home to a continental climate with four distinct seasons. Winter is extremely cold, and visits from December to February are not advisable as there is a high likelihood of frost and snow, with temperatures as low as -11°F. Summer is not quite so extreme, with temperatures climbing to around 85°F at the highest; however August sees the highest rainfall and June through August can be hot and sticky with humidity. The best time to fully enjoy a visit to Hamhung is April to June, before the rain and when the late spring temperatures sit between 60 and 75 °F.
Max Temperature(ºC)
Jan
1
Feb
3
Mar
7
Apr
15
May
21
Jun
25
Jul
28
Aug
27
Sep
24
Oct
18
Nov
10
Dec
3
Rainfall (mm)
Jan
14
Feb
16
Mar
24
Apr
42
May
61
Jun
85
Jul
204
Aug
209
Sep
114
Oct
39
Nov
32
Dec
15
Month
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

JAN
1ºC
14mm

FEB
3ºC
16mm

MAR
7ºC
24mm

APR
15ºC
42mm

MAY
21ºC
61mm

JUN
25ºC
85mm

JUL
28ºC
204mm

AUG
27ºC
209mm

SEP
24ºC
114mm

OCT
18ºC
39mm

NOV
10ºC
32mm

DEC
3ºC
15mm

Suggested Itineraries

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel to Hamhung, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Hamhung on a bespoke touring itinerary to North Korea (DPRK), do not hesitate to contact us.
Self Drive into North Korea

Rason - Chongjin - Mount Paektu - Hamhung - Wonsan - Mount Kumgang - Pyongyang - Kaesong (DMZ)
Family Tour to North Korea

Pyongyang - Kaesong (DMZ) - Hamhung - Wonsan - Mount Kumgang
Unseen DPRK Long Tour

Pyongyang - Hamhung - Wonsan - Mount Kumgang - Mount Paektu - Mount Chilbo - Chongjin

Accommodation Choices
for Hamhung