|the Manmulsang 만물상
Spectacular Crags of Outer Geumgang-san
one of the three areas now open for international tourism
including my own trip there Dec 30th 2001 - Jan 1st 2002
(what a strange, glorious place to spend New Year's Eve!)
LEFT and ABOVE: on the 31st, my wife and I
climbed up to the viewpoint for the Manmul-sang
[Ten-thousand Things], a really amazing set of ridges
and peaks all in eroded granite, with boulders spaped
like anything you can imagine. This is a primary sight
of the Outer Geum-gang area. There was a plaque
on the rock declaring that "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung
had himself stood there, proclaiming it the best
scenery on this earth. It was REALLY cold up there!
The Jade-pool Hot-spring was most excellent afterwards...
Our entire tour-group, rallying our
spirits. My office at that time (Visit
Korea Year 2001-2002, which
promoted inbound foreign tourism)
brought the ambassadors to Seoul
from a dozen nations to experience
the Hyundai Diamond Mountains
Tour over the New Year's Holidays.
The sign behind us declares that
Geum-gang-san is the most
beautiful famous mountain "Under
Lourdes and I goofing with a tourist photo-site based
on a popular myth set at Geum-gang-san -- I as a
San-shin-dosa [Mtn-spirit-Sage] with two axes and
her as a humble woodcutter. This is what North
Korea has instead of Mickey Mouse...
In the tale, a very poor woodcutter has lost his axe,
and is searching for it in the Diamond Mountains.
The Geumgang-san-shin appears, offers him a
pure-silver axe, asking "Is this one yours?" The
woodcutter answers honestly that it is not. San-shin
offers him a golden axe, asking "Then Is this one
yours?" and again the poor man resists the
temptation to lie. San-shin then tells him "If you had
been greedy, I would have killed you. But because
you are sincere and honest despite your dire
poverty, I will give you both of these precious axes."
The woodcutter and his family lived happily ever after.