By Shannon Lane @Shannonroselane

WITH green pastures, calming lakes and not a skyscraper in sight, this is the lesser-known side of North Korea

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The farmers and workers are rarely photographed

Photographer Exithamster discovered the farmlands during a guided trip between Sinŭiju in the North of DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and Pyongyang.

He said: "It was hard to get information about North Korean rural areas as it sometimes felt that our guides were not keen on tourists getting a glimpse of what was happening outside Pyongyang, where the elite was based.

Tour guides don't want the hard working and malnourished people to be photographed

"Tour guides prefer foreigners not taking photos of rural areas as they do not want you to capture the hard working population and eventually malnourished people on the fields. There are reports of child labour and other politically incorrect situations which are not supposed to be shown in the media."

Exithamster originally decided to visit the enigmatic country after hearing negative news stories in the media and wanted to experience and understand it for himself.

The farmers used old-fashioned equipment

The photographer said: "Each time the Western media came up with another bizarre story about North Korea, its leaders or customs, it started to itch in my head. That was the moment I knew it was time to go and figure out what the fuss was all about.

Exit hamster visited North Korea to witness the country himself

"The main focus was to get the picture right. The picture which was created in my head by newspaper stories, videos and social media feed.”

However after arriving in the country the photographer’s original perceptions of North Korea disappeared, as there was no internet or any news outlets.

Many of the people use bikes rather than cars

"Once in the country a somehow weird and unexpected peaceful atmosphere started to spread. The mental stress and fear of war was left behind at the border to China as there was no access to internet and therefore no news feed. During our stay we got the information about another missile test but when mentioning it to our local tour guides they had now idea what was happening."

The farmers use primitive methods of agriculture

The agriculture appears to be from another era as they lack the farming technology of western civilisation. Many of the workers used basic equipment such as oxen, carts and hoes.

Outside of the city are vast farmlands

Exithamster managed to communicate and even spend time with locals, despite the strict rules and regulations of visiting.

Exithamster said: "From time to time you come across either a group of workers or lonely individuals"

He said: "We played volley ball with locals or were invited to join a picnic by complete strangers. Most people were very welcoming if they dared to mingle with foreigners.

The photographer had to abide many rules when visiting the country

"On the last day I slunk away to get a goodbye present for our guide, 3 mins later this specific guide was standing next to me smiling and friendly. Your steps are definitely being watched but not in a bad way. They just make sure you stick to the group, the schedule and in the areas which are representative enough to be shown to foreigners.

"A trip there is like going back in time and I would not miss out on all the wonderful moments we had with the people over there.”