Unless you're Dennis Rodman, you've probably got the same opinion of North Korea as the rest of America: it's a locked-down Communist nation, ruled by a ruthless dictator with a terrible hairdo, and there's no way in hell you'd ever go there.
While there's a stack of human rights violations that'd agree with you, the incredibly well-made hyperlapse video below shows the capital city of Pyongyang as you've never seen it before, and is (almost) enticing enough to make you forget your qualms about visiting Kim Jong-un's hood:
The video's creators, JT Singh and Rob Whitworth, produced it in an effort to humanize the North Korean people and provide a counterbalance to the prevailing image of the Hermit Kingdom "as a society defined by reclusiveness and destitution." While they undoubtedly achieved that vision, it's important to take the stellar visuals with a heaping mountain of salt.
The video takes place in Pyongyang which, on top of being the capital, is the largest, most populated, and most developed city in North Korea. The fact that a video of this quality even got made there in the first place indicates massive government involvement, and y'know what a Communist bureaucracy's not gonna do? Approve of a video that presents the capital city as looking anything other than spec-goddamn-tacular.
Also, that giant, spaceship-looking pyramid building in the skyline is the Ryugyong Hotel, a skyscraper that's actually been under construction since 1987 and still hasn't opened to the public yet. Just saying.
Now, we're not gonna go so far as to say that everyone in the video's an actor hired by the government, but it's safe to say that this fairly propagandistic hyperlapse is in no way representative of life for the vast majority of North Korea's population. Maybe you're better off staying home after all.
Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he finds North Korea absolutely fascinating. Follow his ultra-loyalist tweets about our glorious leader @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org