North Korea is one of the most mysterious countries in the world, with very few people actually knowing the full ins and outs of what goes on in there. However, every now and again we get little tidbits of information like the ones featured in this article.
Shane Horan has worked as the international tour manager for Young Pioneers Tours, an organisation that regularly takes people into the country for guided tours. Here’s what Shane had to say about it, alongside some of the photographs he’s taken:
I’ve always been fascinated with North Korea and other so called ‘rogue nations’, especially since studying international relations at university.
I had my eye on the job for a few years after stumbling across the company in my search for ways of travelling to the DPRK. I asked, they accepted and I was on a plane to Beijing to begin a new life.
It’s very easy to actually get a visa and travel into the country, Americans aside.
The country itself is an incredibly fascinating and beautiful place. I hope that one day it opens and becomes less restrictive for tourists to visit.
But the country is opening slowly but surely to tourists. There are more places than ever that you can visit all over the country and not just in Pyongyang.
Of course, we have to stick to places we’re supposed to, but we can choose what to put on our itineraries.
You are watched when out and about on the street, but not in your hotel rooms and not so much when visiting the places you’re allowed.
But I’ve never been anywhere that’s restricted.
Our tours are geared towards balancing the history and monuments with genuine interactions with locals.
Well he makes it sound fairly interesting, but I’m not really sure if I’d want to step foot over there, as I’d probably be pretty fearful for my life over even the slightest of screw ups. Maybe in 20 years time or something.
For more of the same, here are more photographs that Kim Jong-Un doesn’t want you to see. A bit edgier than Shane’s description.