While it may not be possible to scale Baekdu Mountain from North Korea, try your luck from the Chinese side, as it straddles the border between the two countries. Baekdu (also known as Changbai Mountain) is the tallest peak on the Korean Peninsula – a volcano in fact – with a caldera lake called "Heaven Lake" atop its peak. Koreans call it Baekdu San, which means "white-headed Mountain" as the peak is often covered with ice. The area is the known habitat for bear, wolves and even tigers and leopards. There are many species of birds – including owls, and woodpecker – that can be found on the forested slopes, at least on the Chinese side, which has not undergone extensive deforestation like the North Korean side. There are also several waterfalls and hot springs on the way to Heaven Lake, which is simply breathtaking at an elevation of 2,189 meters (7,182 ft), with the deepest point at 384 meters (1,260 ft). For the brave of heart, sightseeing can be done from the Chinese side. While the scenery is absolutely pristine, PlanetHoppers! shouldn't forget that Baekdu is still a volcano. It explodes to life every hundred years or so, with the last eruption in 1903, so it may be due any day now!
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- Location: Baekdu Mountain, North Korea