When the subject of North Korea comes up, the first word that comes to mind probably isn’t “beautiful.” Maybe scenes from the ultra-controversial comedy “The Interview” come to mind; or maybe some of David Guttenfelder‘s iconic uncensored photographs of everyday life.

But what photographer Reuben Teo saw when he visited the country in September of 2014 was, in fact, beautiful.

“There weren’t any public executions or starving children by the roadside,” he writes on his blog. “It was nothing like what Sony’s idiotic movie ‘The Interview’ had portrayed. There were no fake cardboard fruits or fake fat kid in front of the store waving to tourists with a lollipop. I don’t want to sound very one-sided. I try my best to show you what I saw through my lens directly without any censorship.”

He returned from North Korea with panoramas that show both the cities and the countryside.

“This is my version of the beautiful landscapes and cities while I visited the DPRK […]” he continues. “I have compiled some of my best panoramic shots of the country and you will understand why I have constantly told everyone that North Korea is a gorgeous country to visit.”

Here’s a selection of some of Reuben’s favorite panoramas from his trip. Often taken handheld because there just wasn’t enough time on the tours to set up a tripod, they nevertheless turned out beautifully:

If you’d like to see more of Reuben’s photos from the DPRK, visit this blog post. And if you want to see more of his work, follow him on 500px, visit his website, or check him out on Facebook and Instagram.