PHOTO: The otherworldly natural landscape of Socotra is out of reach for American visitors to Yemen. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
We can lead very insulated lives — thinking that we have access to some of the world’s most stunning destinations, but travelers may be surprised to find that many gorgeous locales are totally off limits to Americans (and the traveling public in general) due to politics or war as pointed out the Huffington Post’s Suzy Strutner.
“When political tensions rise at home, we tend to focus on what’s happening domestically. But there are international consequences as well: Consider all the special places that become off-limits to travelers, historians and helpers,” writes Strutner.
One such place is Persepolis, Iran.
“Beautiful Persepolis is a gem in the desert that remained hidden until the 1930s, the UNESCO World Heritage ruins of a thriving empire that fell centuries ago. You can indeed visit, but the U.S. State Department advises against it since Americans risk being arrested and detained in the country without reason,” Strutner points out.
Burundi is another place that is pretty much off limits, according to the State Department.
“This African country’s friendly towns, verdant mountains and rugged shores would make it the perfect place to enjoy a slower pace of life. But what was once a popular tourist spot is now flooded with local political strife, and the threat of armed violence makes it unsafe to visit, according to the State Department’s travel warning,” notes Strutner.
Yemen has some stunning coastal areas and drop-dead gorgeous cliffs, but Americans are warned against travel to the region.
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“The U.S. government recently issued a new travel warning for Yemen, advising against visits because of ongoing conflict and terrorist threats. It’s a sorry situation, because the otherworldly island of Socotra, famous for its alien-looking landscapes, would be a must-see for many travelers,” writes Strutner.
To learn more about the stunning places that politics have erased from the tourist map, such as North Korea and Syria, read on here.