The tourist region Kumgangsan is one of the most scenic areas of the Korean Peninsula. For over a million years, the region’s granite and diorite rocks have been weathered, forming precipitous 12000 peaks, multifarious crags, stone gates, tunnels, cliffs, cascades, valleys and pools. The area also has a rich flora and fauna. About 130 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians and 30 species of fishes live here. More than 2350 species of plants grow around the mountain. For centuries, the Kumgang region has been internationally known for its beauty.
However, it had initially been declared a military zone since the division of Korea and was thus not accessible to the public. Only towards the end of the 1990s, a part of the area was re-opened to Western tourists. The first region was only accessible by ferry from South Korea. But since 2003, it is also possible to arrive by coach to the area. The 1639-meter high mountain Piro is the highest peak in the Kumgang region. The area hosts many historical temples and places of worship as well as various monuments to Kim Il Sung. Moreover, there are several major restaurants for the handling international guests, a traditional Korean bathhouse with local geothermal source and a large convention center.