Mt. Chilbo, well known as the “Mt. Kumgang of North Hamgyong” for its superb scenery of the mountain and sea as well as distinctive natural environment, long history and culture, is one of the celebrated mountains in Korea.
Located in the southern part of the coast of North Hamgyong Province, it has an area of 250 ㎢, covering some parts of Myongchon and other counties in the province.
It was formed by volcanic activities and underwent tremendous changes with the passage of time until it assumed present shape. The mountain is largely divided into Inner Chilbo, Outer Chilbo and Sea Chilbo according to their regional features and tourist routes.
Mt. Chilbo presents unique scenery with its ridges and ravines, seascape and seasonal beauty. Its ridges thick with trees, deep, narrow ravines, peaks and rocks of exotic forms, limpid streams, spectacular waterfalls and pools, sea cliffs and rocks of fantastic shapes, and hot springs add to the scenery of the mountain.
It is named Chilbo meaning “seven treasures” and also called differently by the seasons: Kkottongsan or flower mountain in spring, Rogumsan or verdant mountain in summer, Honghwasan or red-leaved mountain in autumn and Solbaeksan or snow-covered mountain in winter.
Biodiversity of Mt. Chilbo also adds to its charm.
More than 800 species of flora, including 70-odd medicinal herbs, are found in the mountain. Songi Mushroom, in particular, is noted as a Korean speciality for its fresh flavor and high nutrition. There are also over 30 kinds of animals, such as bear, roe deer, raccoon dog and badger, and many birds, including eagle owl, thrush, gray starling and oriole. Abundant in the sea off Pochon in Sea Chilbo are aquatic resources, including pollack, crab, octopus, sea urchin, shellfish and seaweed.
Mt. Chilbo is famous for not only its scenic beauty but also many historical relics illustrative of time-honored history and culture of the Korean nation.
Preserved in the mountain are relics and remains of the primitive and ancient times, and remains of walls built around towns and mountains, buildings and tombs, which showcase the history of Korean people’s struggle against foreign aggressors in the medieval times as well as their wisdom and excellent skills.
Among them are the remains of walls built around the town in Myongchon and Mt. Jaedok, Kaesim Temple that was built in 826 and reconstructed in 1377, other temples and sites of temples, and the monument to Jong Sang In who opened a new path leading to the mountain.
Mt. Chilbo is designated as a nature park, as it preserves such natural living monuments as Phojung Pine, Chestnut Tree in Kaesim Temple, Myongchon Paulownia, Pochon Shellfish, Sol Islet and Mujigae (rainbow) Rock in Sea Chilbo.
Mt. Chilbo is attracting the Korean people at home for cultural and leisure activities, and also many overseas Koreans and foreigners as a famous tourist destination.