Hiking in M5. Myohyang
Mount Myohyang isn't actually a single mountain. It's a mountain range. (The distinction between these is blurred in Korean.)
Mt. Myohyang, or Hyangsan, is a well-known spot nationally for hiking and general outdoorsiness.
Mt. Myohyang is located approximately 2 hours drive away from Pyongyang - depending on which area in the Mt. Myohyang range you go to.
It is located in the Northwest of North Korea.
A visit here in good weather will bear this out. Busloads of local farm workers, factory staff, military personnel, and schoolchildren (life being generally organised around ‘units’ in the DPRK after all, and excursions being no different) can be seen in the car parks at the beginning of the various trails here with their occupants heading off up the mountains.
The picnic areas are usually packed with people eating packed lunches and occasionally cooking up a barbeque on the spot.
It’s a really nice spot to see people at leisure, enjoying themselves, and taking part in group activities.
There are 55km of laid out paths in the Myohyang range.
The usual ones used by tourists are in Manpok (ten thousand waterfalls) Valley or Sangwon (named for one of the hermitages halfway up the mountain) Valley.
Neither of these routes are particularly strenuous and walkers can simply give up at any point (as the path up is the same as the path down, you can’t really get lost).
These routes pass waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.
Additionally, some ancient hermitages are in the area for those who hike for more than a couple of hours.
Piro peak is the highest point in this range (1909 metres) and can be reached on foot. However, it is not a common goal for most casual tourists as it is a 9km steep (sometimes 45 degrees) uphill walk.