Even Chinese tourists look at North Korea in wonder. This broken-down bridge in China has been converted into a lookout point to peer across the river into the mysterious neighbor.
In the end, North Korea comes off as a strange, mixed bag. For all its natural beauty and ornate monuments, the country can't escape its regime's politics. After all, this is a communist nation with a "dire" record when it comes to human rights.
And based on the photos, that's a shame.
Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's travel editor, who desperately misses jamón everything in Madrid and flan in all its incarnations. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.