Haeju is the administrative centre of South Hwanghae Province, it is just 3 km north from 38th parallel. As of 2000, the population of the city is estimated to be 236,000. Haeju used to be a prominent trading port with China and also a scholar’s town of Buddhist learning. In AD983 it was made one of 12 civilian-run regional capitals under the Koryo King Seongjong.
In the early 20th century the city’s trading position was somewhat sidelined by the building of the Seoul-Sinuiju railway. At the beginning of the Korean War Haeju was the first city taken by South Korean forces (June 1950). Similarly to Kaesong, during the war Haeju was under control of South Korea for long time and thanks to this it has managed to escape complete destruction unlike many other DPRK's cities. Haeju has preserved some original historical sites which are the major attraction nowadays.
Haeju is about 2.5 h drive south from Pyongyang. This is rarely visited city which still has something of the austere, isolated feel of socialist cities of the 1980s, an essence that's increasingly hard to find in the southern DPRK in recent years.
HaejuThe city is very rarely open to foreign visits, and the war and subsequent rebuld have left not many original remains of Haeju's illustrious past to be seen. In the square where stands the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il there is Revolutionary Museum. The distant backdrop to the statues is an impressive series of steep hills knows as Mount Suyang, with its 946 m peak about 7 km northwest of Haeju's centre.
The street gives an insight to Korea's old folk customs. It consists of amusement hall, folk restaurant, several pavilions, folk game grounds, etc.
Sokdamgugok is the name of place along the Sokdom River and means "Pools on Rocks and Nine Valleys". There are 9 valleys extending about 8 km. Unbyong Valley (namely, "the finest among nine valleys") is considered the most beautiful one.
The Unbyong Valley houses the Sohyon Academy, which dated back from the 16th century. Here the famous scholar Li Ryul Gok taught, and the names of various peaks and valleys in the area are themed along with the celebration of all things peaceful, quiet and meditative, from the Munsan (best place for reading), Kwan Rock (horsehair hat), Chwilyong (a flower-patterned blind), and others.
Mt.Suyang rises on the dividing spot between Haeju and Sinwon County with many peaks including the highest Sollyu Peak (946 m), Pakdal, Jangdae and Mae Peaks. This mountain is famous with various peaks, rock formations, clear waterfalls rolling down the valleys, and ancient fort Suyang.
Suyangsan Falls - It is high falls flowing down 128 m covering 12.5m wide during rainy season. The falls starts at Jol Valley of Mt. Jangdae standing on the southeast ridge of Mt.Suyang. It has been known as one of Haeju with its foliage in summer, maples in autumn and snowscape.
Mt. Jangsu - it's 54 km north from Haeju to the resthouse of Chaeryong town and and another 20 km to Sariwon. Jangsusan or Mount Jangsu is a stunning, dramatic peak topped by a hermitage. Mt.Jangsu is known as "Mt.Kumgang of Hwanghae". While Mt.Kumngang is the "prince" of peaks, Mt.Jangsu prides itself as the "queen" of valleys. It is 747 m high measuring 10 km from east to west and 8 km from north to south. There are mountain fort, Hyonam Temple and Myoum Temple are remained in it.
Fort on Mt.Suyang - one of the three forts of Hwanghae Province, it is a stone fort built in Koguryo dynasty linking high and low peaks. Rampart was built on rocks taking the advantages of geographical features. The rampart is 6-7 m high with 14 big and small bastions, general's terraces and varieties of house sites.