Pyongsong is a satellite city of Pyongyang, located 30km northeast, and the capital of South Pyongan Province. Opened for tourism in 2012, Pyongsong is often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of North Korea, functioning as a research hub for science and technology. Pyongsong is fast developing in recent years, with modernised apartment blocks and educational institutions characterising the city. Pyongsong is renowned for its cultural and industrial sites, revolutionary sites dating back to the Korean War, and factories of household North Korean names.

Why is Pyongsong important?

Well-connected domestically by road and rail, Pyongsong is a major trade portal to Pyongyang and home to many of North Korea’s brightest academics and entrepreneurs. Important organisations include the Space Science Research Institute and the National Academy of Science, located by the trendy Unjong District, a Special Economic Zone for exploring tech startups and research ventures.

Many light industry factories are based in Pyongsong, such as the Paeksong Foodstuffs Factory and Taedonggang Textile Factory which produce daily essentials, and the green, arable land of outer Pyongsong is used by cooperative farms to cultivate fruits, rice, and soybeans.

The secluded hills of Pyongsong were once used for covert administrative activities during the Korean War as the capital took the brunt of bombardment.

How do you get to Pyongsong?

By Road: Pyongsong is located just 30km from Pyongyang, roughly a 40-minute northeast drive on well-paved roads. Pyongsong can also be approached from the north, typically on return from a visit to Mt. Myohyang, the drive between them taking roughly 2 hours.

What's the weather like in Pyongsong?

Pyongsong city is located within a basin, with the wider area largely made up of mountains and forests. The city area sits slightly above sea level at roughly 100m. The average annual temperature is 10 degrees Celcius with lows during winter in January of -7 degrees Celcius, and highs during summer in August of 24 degrees Celcius. The annual average precipitation is 1100mm.

How do I include Pyongsong in my itinerary?

Day trip: Due to its close proximity to Pyongyang, day trips to Pyongsong are easily arranged without pushing for time. This is an ideal way to vary a short North Korea tour with a contrasting window into provincial life.

Stopover trip: Perhaps the most typical and efficient way to visit Pyongsong is as a stopover between Mt. Myohyang. You’ll drive through Pyongsong and make scheduled stops at the highlights without doubling back.

Overnight trip: After a day touring Pyongyang, retiring in Pyongsong for overnight is a great opportunity to diversify your hotel experiences, and to get a headstart on touring Pyongsong before heading onwards to Mt. Myohyang.