This port city on the East Sea is not a big tourist draw, but makes for an interesting stop en route to Kumgangsan from Pyongyang. Wonsan (원산) is an important port, a centre of learning with 10 universities and a popular holiday resort for North Koreans, with lovely sandy beaches at nearby Lake Sijung and Lake Tongjong. There's also a recently built ski resort nearby, which opened in 2016 and is a source of great national pride.

The city is surrounded by verdant mountains; its centre is full of high-rise buildings. Kim Jong-un is known to have a house on the peninsula here, where Dennis Rodman visited him in 2013.