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New app gives rare glimpse of North Korea's bizarre tourist sites

  • norkor_dolphins.jpg

    The app features the Runga Dolphinarium in Pyongyang, where visitors can see dolphins do tricks. (North Korea Travel)

  • Norkor_hotel.jpg

    The Ryugyong Hotel, a 105-story glass pyramid, is still under construction after 25 years. (North Korea Travel)

  • norkor_cavern.jpg

    Ryongmun Caves are lauded for their stalactites and stalagmites, but flashlights are recommended because the electricity inside the caves fails at times. (North Korea Travel)

  • yrtyrtyyy.jpg

    A look at the app that takes you inside North Korea. (Uniquely.Travel)

  • drreterte54.jpg

    Students in Pyongyang perform in a concert. (Reuters)

If you’re planning a trip to Asia, North Korea may be the last place you had in mind, even if you could get in.  

After all, tourist visas are nearly impossible for Americans to get--unless you're Dennis Rodman.

But now a new app, called NorthKoreaTravel, offers a sneak peek inside the Hermit Kingdom's little-known destinations.

Uniquely.Travel, a British technology startup specializing in reclusive countries, says it has thousands of original photographs and unique information it gathered with the help of GPS images mapped by a DPRK satellite imagery expert.  The app also offers restaurant recommendations and even has handy phrases in Korean, reports The Guardian

Written largely by Simon Cockerell, a North Korean travel industry expert who has been to the country over 120 times, all of the information on the app is reported to be "100% independent and unofficial."

Featured destinations include the Ryongmun Cavern, in outer Hyangsan, where visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight since the electricity in the caves is spoty, the Ryugyong Hotel, still unfinished after 25 years and Rajin Zoo, the Guardian noted as being the "world's worst," for its collection of three ducks, a turkey, some elusive foxes, and a drawing of a monkey.

How practical is the app? 

"Unfortunately right now North Korea doesn't let people in to explore the country as they like," Chad O'Carroll, director of NK News and project manager for the North Korea Travel app, told The Guardian. "If you save the destinations you want to go to on the app you would have to send the list to one of the tour operators who would then get it approved by the government. They would then meet you at the airport and a guide would stay with you at all times."

If you're think about going, a portion of the travel fees for North Korea tours goes to the North Korean government that is still detaining several Americans, including missionary Ken Bae.

The app is now available through App Store and Google play and will sells for $.99.

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