To Mount Kumgang, cabbie, and step on it!

Joong Ang Daily
Seo Ji-eun

Hyundai Asan also plans to offer ‘doctor fish,’ which eat dead skin, at the Mount Kumgang spa.

Hyundai Asan Co. said yesterday it will launch a call taxi service at Mount Kumgang in North Korea on Friday to allow better tourist access to the scenic mountain area.

The van-sized taxis will run from the lodging facilities in the neighborhood of Onjeonggak rest area, where restaurants and souvenir shops are located, to Guryeong Falls and Manmulsang, an area with a number of unique rocks and cliffs.

Hyundai Asan, the exclusive operator of inter-Korean businesses, said taxi charges will be similar to the rate applied to van-sized call taxis in Seoul, except paid in dollars. The basic fare will be $5 for the initial distance of 4 kilometers and $1 per additional 800 meters.

Currently, shuttle buses are the sole means of transportation, but these operate only during designated hours and to designated places. An increasing demand for private transportation motivated Hyundai to execute the taxi plan, according to the company spokesman.

Tourists will only have to ask Hyundai Asan employees in any of the districts in the Mount Kumgang area to use the taxis, which will be driven by ethnic Koreans living across the Yalu River in Northwest China, often called joseonjok. The drivers of the buses currently running at the North Korean resort area are also joseonjok.

Hyundai Asan also said it will release doctor fish, a species of fish known to feed on dead skin, at the Mount Kumgang spa. The fish are in the midst of the quarantine process and will be unveiled to tourists by late this month. Using the fish at the spa will cost $10, according to Hyundai Asan.


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