North Korea’s in the news again, but stay calm. For what’s likely the first time, Instagram photos from within the isolated country have surfaced. All props go to AP photojournalist David Guttenfelder, who took advantage of North Korea‘s new policy of allowing internet service on a visitor’s phones to geotag his Instagram. You can see them all at his profile here, and his blog is also definitely worth checking out at

Nothing totally shocking to see here, but it is captivating to see the insides of the world’s most secluded and controversial country. Even though Guttenfelder tacked on a few obnoxious filters, these photos are damn impressive. And chances are our end of the year party at Travel Freak will now be “North Korean Karaoke” themed.

A North Korean guide uses a pointer at the start of a tour of an historic site. On Jan. 18, 2013, foreigners were allowed for the first time to bring mobile phones into North Korea. And this week the local service provider, Koryolink, is allowing foreigners to access the Internet on a data capable 3G connection on our mobile phones. In the past I could post geolocated phone photos to my Instagram feed by turning my online laptop into a hotspot to link my iPhone or iPod touch by wifi. But, today I’m posting this directly from my phone while riding in the back of a van in #Pyongyang. The window on to North Korea has opened another crack. Meanwhile, for Koreans here who will not have access to the same service, the window remains shut.”

“North Koreans ride an escalator past a model of the country’s Unha-3 rocket as they enter an exhibition in #Pyongyangof #Kimjongilia flowers named after the late leader Kim Jong Il.”

“A North Korean doctor and a bank of video monitors inside a #Pyongyanghospital.”

“Album cover band photo. A random statue on a roadside in #Pyongyang, North Korea.”

“This little North Korean dude ,and his school buddies, were playing with one of my cameras this morning at Mansu Hill in #Pyongyang.”

“A model of North Korea’s recently launched Unha-3 rocket hangs in the lobby of a #Pyongyang hotel.”

“Karaoke room. North Korea.”

All images via David Guttenfelder


Steven tried out for The Amazing Race one time and was denied. We're not saying this is why he started this site, but it may have been a contributing factor in his decision to explore the world online and share his travel inspiration with others.



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