Rimyongsu Waterfall | North Korea Travel Guide
Stunning natural falls emitting from the side of a cliff face, one of the wonders of the Mt. Paektu region.
In the far north of North Korea, an area little-visited by tourists, there is a range of spots to visit. The roads are bumpy and the journeys are rugged, but the sights and scenery alone are worth it, plus the revolutionary history of course!
One beauty spot that shouldn’t be missed is the Rimyongsu Waterfall, by road from the mountain itself this is a scenic one-hour drive, mostly along the Yalu/Amnok River, which has Lake Chon (on top of Mt. Paektu) as its source, which separates China and North Korea.
On arrival visitors immediately see why this would be one of the highlights of the area.
A series of nine main courses of water flow out over a 4km distance from the side of a cliff.
As the basalt within the cliff has been eroded over millions of years to form courses through the rock, the water flows out into the river below.
Now obviously this is largely a description of any waterfall, but in this one, the key difference is that the water flows out of the cliff itself rather than over the top, and but as the pictures here show this makes the views here very special indeed.
The pavilion atop the falls is very well done and adds a great deal to the beauty of the area, it can be climbed up to in just a couple of minutes and the view from the top is exceptional too, with a small village (inhabited by loggers) just down the street (Rimyongsu Village), and a village shop on-site too.
In winter visiting Mt. Paektu and the Rimyongsu Waterfalls is very difficult, and winter is long in this part of the country, but photos show how the falls mostly freeze and cold mists envelop the area, very scenic indeed, even if clearly frosty enough to make one shiver just from looking at the photos!
There is a large propaganda slogan visible from the pavilion, which reads “Let’s resolutely implement the teachings of the Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il”, as Kim Jong Il was officially born in this area, at the Mt. Paektu Secret Camp, this explains the link with his teachings specifically.
While visiting this spot, you may meet all manner of locals. It is a very popular spot for visitors from around the country. Most interestingly, you may see people dressed in the uniform of the 1930s guerilla army. These are usually folks from Pyongyang and other cities who are essentially doing historical re-enactments; marching from site to site in this area, in the footsteps of Kim Il Sung and his men at that time.
This is done without reenacting the battles though, which must be a bit of a pity as usually historical reenactors enjoy that part the most.
They do this to increase their knowledge of Revolutionary History, a crucial component of the DPRK’s educational system and something people are expected to commit to learning about for their whole lives.