Wau Island (Waudo) Resort | North Korea Travel Guide
Wau Island – Waudo Pleasure Ground
Waudo Pleasure Ground (‘do’ meaning Island, ‘Wau’ referring to the shape of a cow lying down) is not actually an island at all, but is a Pleasure Ground, so the name is not entirely inaccurate.
Wau Island is a park made up of an enclosed river-water diving/swimming area and a small beach on the banks of the Taedong River, overlooked by a hilly area where the peaks are topped with pavilions and paths between them, popular for picnics, drinking, and dancing.
The highest of these peaks, Wau Peak, rises nearly 50m above sea level so the views are good from this spot, the most popular in the park.
While the Pleasure Ground itself is quite often empty, the West Coast of Korea not being blessed with year-round beach weather, this can be a popular spot for the people of Nampo in summer.
So if passing through the city, visiting the nearby West Sea Barrage, for example, this is a good spot to stop at.
Foreigners cannot stay overnight here (there are some cabins for locals) but this is not a great problem as an hour or so at Wau Island is usually enough time.
Wau Island is in the west of Nampo City, on a bit of a peninsular jutting out into the Taedong River.
Not actually an island, although it may once have been one until the West Sea Barrage was completed, controlling the flow of the Korean West Sea (Yellow Sea) into the river and reclaiming a substantial amount of land on this side of the barrage.
Wau Island isn’t included on a great many tourist itineraries.
If the day is suitable for the beach then there is the superior Pi Island and Pido Beach (yeah, sometimes these names should be changed in English!) nearby, which is sandier and much more popular.
But if looking for a picnic spot and a quick swim, plus a go on the 10m diving board, there are far worse places! From here to Pyongyang is about 60-90 mins by car along the Youth-Hero Highway.
There is a token fee for entering Wau Island Pleasure Ground, a fistful of DPRK Won per person.
There is also a fee for swimming etc, for foreigners. It is around 1 EUR, nothing bank-breaking.
Take your own swimming gear, sometimes it can be rented here but will be very conservative (one-piece with a frilly skirt for women) or very revealing (absurdly tight ‘budgie-smugglers’ more like body paint than clothing for men).
Don’t expect the showers here to work, but the water is river-water so isn’t salty.