This past August my family went on a vacation to Baek-du Mountain. This destination was chosen because my mom recommended that we go there for a summer vacation trip. We went there for three nights and four days in August, 2018.
On the first day, we arrived at Yeon Gil International Airport at night and slept. The next day we went to the west side of Baek-du Mountain. We went up to the middle of the mountain by bus because China made roads. Then, we hiked up about 1400 stairs which made me exhausted and sweaty, even though it was cold like autumn. However, when I saw the top of the mountain, Cheonji, it was amazing. There was a huge body of water colored like Cobalt Blue, and the mountain surrounding Cheonji seemed like a Computer Graphic. On the third day, we went to the north part of the mountain. I saw Cheonji twice, but it was hard to get there because the weather at the top of the mountain changes all the time. It was a great experience travelling with my family.
During this trip I felt some uncomfortable things. The first one is that South Koreans cannot go to the Baek-du Mountain through North Korea but must go through China. That’s why I went to Yeongil in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, where many Koreans live, to go to the mountain. If we could go through North Korea, we would be able to see the other part of Cheonji. Now, we can only see one third of Cheonji.
Secondly, our money that we paid for our travel to Baek-du Mountain goes to China. Tours of Baek-du Mountain were originally planned to be available for the public in 2008, but those plans were cancelled and the tours were not opened up until this year. China made a country-owned enterprise to manage the mountain. Also, they developed it as a large tourist site, so I could see a lot of Chinese when I was there.
Then, why is Baek-du Mountain an important place for both Koreas? Why do South Koreans try to go there? It’s because it’s our land. However, China is trying to claim that the Northeast Borderland, also known as Northeast Borderland History and the Chain of Events Research Project, is their land.
During this trip, it was wonderful experiencing the gorgeous sightseeing, but the two negative things, not being able to go to the North Korean part, and spending all the money that goes to China made me uncomfortable. However, I strongly recommend you to go to Baek-du Mountain once in your life.