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Old 09-08-2013, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,556 posts, read 20,804,861 times
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Well maybe not strictly fitting the definition, but Iran is one. It's actually not as dangerous to visit as many believe...not sure about Americans though. It has ancient sites like Persepolis, culture, towering mountains, and friendly people. I'd also like to visit Iraq to see the ruins of Mespotamian civilisation (after all, the first civilisation of humanity), Syria to see Damascus.etc, Afghanistan. Further East I'd go to North Korea, because it's so different ,but I really hope it gets better. In Africa I'd like to go to the Congo (Zaire).
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,379 posts, read 5,537,247 times
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The only thing that comes to mind is the north of Mexico. Like Chihuahua and Durango. I don't even really associate deserts with Mexico anymore because the possibility of visiting those areas has been out of my head for so long.

I think that's what the average person would envision Mexico as when they're young. like cowboy culture and cacti. But since getting older and learning about the tension around drug cartels, I've only put time and research in to the central and Southern parts of the country.

It really is a big mystery to me, and I hope someday in my lifetime I can visit. Thay being said, I wouldn't hesitate to go back and visit around other states.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:39 PM
 
Location: SGV, CA
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Egypt would be an obvious choice, no? I'm sure seeing the pyramids is on everyone's bucket list but I'd wait a bit for things to die down a bit before traveling there. I really want to visit India too, but I'm having a hard time convincing my girlfriend to go in light of the rapes that you hear about on the news.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,556 posts, read 20,804,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red4ce View Post
Egypt would be an obvious choice, no? I'm sure seeing the pyramids is on everyone's bucket list but I'd wait a bit for things to die down a bit before traveling there. I really want to visit India too, but I'm having a hard time convincing my girlfriend to go in light of the rapes that you hear about on the news.
I'm sure the risk is a lot lower than the news would have you believe. Rely on stats, not anecdotes.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:15 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,773 posts, read 21,504,427 times
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There was a Top Gear UK episode where they were driving all over the middle east.

The only thing that went really wrong is when one of the guys fell and hit his head on a rock.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong / Vienna
4,491 posts, read 6,345,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
There was a Top Gear UK episode where they were driving all over the middle east.

The only thing that went really wrong is when one of the guys fell and hit his head on a rock.
I doubt that it was only the three of them driving around Iraq in a cabriolet
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Sweden
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Zaire.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,128 posts, read 24,813,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSwede View Post
Zaire.
Known as DR Congo these days.

My list: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, DR Congo, Yemen.

Whoops. Have no interest in visiting any of those.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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There aren't any that are off-limits, except to the degree that the country itself restricts accessibility, in terms of the difficulty of getting a visa or arranging transportation, which nowadays is pretty much limited to North Korea and Somalia.

Evern Somalia, the Puntland region near Djibouti is wide open and perfectly amenable to independent travel. Just get on a bus in Ethiopia that is goiing there, I think the visa is issued at the border. Puntland considers itself to be an autonomous region of Somalia, and is going on about its business without regard to whatever is happening down in Mogadishu.

Myanmar is also problematic. Anyone can travel freely and safely in Myanmar, but there are no land borders open, you have to fly into Yangon, can only stay I think 30 days, and have to exchange a lot more money that it would actually cost to budget-visit. Even worse was Cambodia when I was in the neighborhood, the only way in was an expensive tour package in which you see nothing but a tourist site.

Aside from those, you can arrange to get into almost any country, and once there, there you're only restricted by the travel conditions. Congo, for example, it takes a month to get across the country (if not flying) and in some seasons of the year, travel is impossible due to road or river conditions. Kinshasa would be fine, it's just a big African city like any other. It's easy to get around in and near any city near the border, I had no trouble going to Bukavu.

I've never considered any country to be off limits, for reasons of my own secutiry, but there are some that won't let anybody in with an American passport. I spent two years trying to get in Iraqi visa, and was refused every time, so I never got into Iraq proper (but did technically enter the country). My Canadian wife, on the other hand, could have just walked up to the border and been cheerfully stamped in. I was also refused entry into Somalia, but again, not a problem for Canadians. I also missed Guinea, because at the time, it was impossible for any foreigner to get in for any reason. I was told that the only foreigner allowed into Guinea was the German brewmaster at the national brewery.

Mozambique was also closed to everyone at the time I was there, but I got to spend a day in a Mozambique lakeshore town, after being interrogated for a half hour at gunpoint by the revolutionary army, with the promise that a Malawian fishermen would pick me up at the end of the day. I've heard a couple of unpleasant stories about other people who had tried that, but I got away with it.

I've passed on a few countries where the cost of going there was too high for my budget, but I've never declined to go to any country out of any fear for the danger of going. In 1973, I got held up for three days at the Syria border while the brief war was going on, then when they finally gave me a visa, I was the first American to drive through Syria after the fighting stopped, with bombed out wreckage still smoldering beside the road. The only problem I had in Idi Amin's Uganda was the difficulty of finding food to eat every day and there was almost no transportation.

Of course, I would never try to go through a country where there was a general shooting war in progress at the time, with cities being bombed and tanks in the streets, like Syria today, but mainly because it would be logistically impossible to move around or find accommodation.

Last edited by jtur88; 09-09-2013 at 07:45 AM..
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
14,483 posts, read 11,285,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
I'm sure the risk is a lot lower than the news would have you believe. Rely on stats, not anecdotes.
I'm sure that the risk is higher than you want to believe.

But yes, Egypt is a place I would love to visit. Along with Israel.
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