Itching to check out Pyongyang, but frustrated with the lack of reliable guidebooks? There’s an app for that.
Curious to explore the markets, museums and gulags of Kim Jong-un’s shadowy, reclusive nation, but worried about getting lost or accidentally mentioning democracy? The app is for that, too.
Thanks to the folks at Uniquely Travel, a new London-based tourism company that claims to specialize in seriously off-the-beaten-path travel guides, armchair travelers and risk-addicted trekkers alike can now download a North Korean travel guide that walks its users through 350 open-for-business North Korean travel sites.
It is the most comprehensive travel guide ever released for the cloistered nation and is currently Uniquely Travel’s only product. Guides to other less-than-cuddly nations, including Iran, Burma (Myanmar) and Libya, are said to be in the works.
The app, dubbed North Korea Travel, was developed by Chad O’Carroll, a reporter and writer whose other project, NKnews.org, has earned him a ban from North Korea. But contrary to popular belief, most Americans can still visit the DPRK, although fewer than 2,000 choose to each year.
North Korea’s horrific record on human rights, its well-documented starvation and its fanatical deification of its leader may have something to do with that. Nevertheless, O’Carroll’s app is getting plenty of buzz.
“The app appeals to that curiosity a lot of people have about what on Earth it’s like to go to a country like North Korea, and is designed for armchair travelers as well as people who are actively interested in visiting,” he told CNN.