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How to Travel to the Worlds Most Inaccessible Places

Though the world has become increasingly more connected, there are still some places that are very difficult for the everyday traveler to visit.

20.Jul.17 5:46 AM
By Alex T.


How to Travel to the Worlds Most Inaccessible Places

How do you become one of the select few to see these locations?

1. North Korea: The hermit kingdom is dangerous and largely off limits to many ordinary travelers. Still, it is possible to visit, although any traveler should be exceedingly careful - especially now with tensions high. North Korea is a very repressive country and the US State Department strongly recommends against visiting as US citizens have been subject to arbitrary arrest and detention. Tourists have been arrested for carrying religious books, taking photographs at the wrong places, and not being deferential enough to representations of the state.

If you are still determined to visit, you can travel to North Korea by booking a group tour through a state sponsored tour company. However, several companies are no longer accepting US tourists after the recent tragic death of a young college student, who was detained on his way home from the country. There is also talk of the United States Congress banning Americans from traveling to North Korea.

Traveling to North Korea for citizens of other countries is a bit easier (with the exception of South Korea). Travelers from Russia and China have the option of taking the train to North Korea and Chinese citizens can take a bus from Dandong.

2. Antarctica: Although it is one of the most remote places in the world, Antarctica is not the untouched land it was for centuries. Cruises and flights go to Antarctica. Most will have excursions planned for the days you are in Antarctica, although only 100 people can disembark at any time. What makes Antarctica really inaccessible these days is the cost a cruise to Antarctica is going to put you back at least $5,000 per person at the low end of the spectrum.

3. Iran: Iran, like North Korea, is a repressive country with a US State Department travel warning in place. The US State Department warns about a risk of detention and arbitrary arrest, particularly for citizens with a dual Iranian-American citizenship. Yet, underneath all of the headlines is a fascinating country with much to see and do.

All visa applicants must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Typically, a tourist visa is applied for in advance and America citizens should expect up to a three month wait. US citizens will need to be sponsored by a friend or relative in Iran, or they must go through a tour operator. Visas can be obtained upon arrival for citizens of 65 countries (excluding the US, Britain and Canada), but this is a risky option as there is no way to know whether you will be approved. It should also be noted that Iran will not issue a visa to travelers with an Israeli stamp in their passport.

Another pointer for the intrepid female traveler, women who are married to an Iranian man are automatically considered Iranian citizens. According to the US State Department, if the marriage is not recognized by Iran, then the couple will be committing the crime of adultery if they travel together in Iran.

4. Saudi Arabia: While not as infamous as North Korea or Iran, Saudi Arabia can be a tricky country to travel to particularly for the solo female traveler. No tourist visas are issued and business visas are the means by which most travelers enter the country. To obtain a business visa, a Saudi sponsor has to submit an application to the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.

Like Iran, Saudi Arabia does not recognize dual citizenship and will not issue a visa to travelers with an Israeli stamp in their passport. It goes without saying that Israeli citizens are not eligible for Saudi visas either.

Women traveling alone must be met at the airport by a male sponsor and a woman traveling with a man who is not a relative, husband or sponsor can be arrested. Women studying abroad or living with a Saudi family require permission from their male guardian to leave the country. If you are a solo business traveler, your male sponsor may have to check you into your hotel. On top of this, a travel ban can be placed on any traveler accused of criminal offenses or who is under investigation - and private citizens can initiate travel bans against other private citizens.

The world is a big place, with lots of spots to travel. For those who are not interested in the high cost or political dangers of the above locations, there are also a number of beautiful and safe out of the way places to cross off your list.

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