This is North Korea's third largest city and a major centre of heavy industry.
Nothing to Envy
Nothing to Envy, by the American journalist Barbara Demick, is a partially novelized collection of interviews with six former residents of Chongjin, who later took refugee in South Korea. While the main plot revolves around the lives of six main characters/interviewees before and during the North Korean famine of 1990s and their eventual flight to South Korea, the book has lively depictions of Chongjin and the surrounding area, especially during the economic collapse of North Korea in the 1990s.
Independent travel is not usually permitted and Chongjin is not part of most North Korean accompanied group itineraries. It is not usually possible for foreigners to visit this city.
Chongjin Airport is 40km from the city, and Air Koryo flies to the North Korean destinations of Haeju, Pyongyang and Wonsan. There are plans to extend this airport and make it North Korea's second international airport.
Local drinking water is known to be untreated. Bottled water is the best choice. Some tourists have been hospitalized in North Korea due to drinking the public water.