Being a tourist is a foreign country can be unnerving. Travel is one of those things that is on most people’s bucket lists. Maybe you just want to see the Highlands of Scotland. Or want to eat le pain au chocolat in France. It doesn’t really matter, you want to travel. But do you want to see the whole world? Probably not. Here are some of the most unfriendly countries in the world for tourists.
Algeria is a place that you will find a diverse way of life. “L’Etranger” by Albert Camus (the first French novel I ever read) was set in the country and shows how violent the country once was. The French colonised the area and the country’s fight for independence was a bloody one. Terrorism has recently become a problem in the area. Security forces in the North of Africa have advised against travelling there. Even if you overlook all of this, the country does not want you there. There is no tourist information. And any information that you do find will be in French. The country has a massive oil reserve to support itself.
Sierra Leone has had a troubled past. War raged in the country from 1991 until 2002 after it was declared independence. The treatment of the people there has been questionable over the years. “Blood diamonds” supported the economy for many years. This poor treatment is shocking considering the country’s motto being “Unity, Freedom and Justice”. Recently the country has started to improve and tourism has started. In 2014, the Ebola outbreak hurt travel to the area. People are wary of outsiders coming to their towns and violence is still a problem in some rural areas.
Russia is the biggest land mass country in the world, so you would think that it would enjoy a booming tourist industry. There is so much to explore but no-one wants to go there. The rise of Communism and tensions have made it a no-go area. Russia has continued to push the boundaries of its relationships and its country. For one, Army planes have flown close to the coast of America. Over the years, Russia has begun tightening its laws. Where there was once free speech, there are now laws on internet use and protests. 2013 saw a crackdown on Gay Rights and the use of swearing on TV. The country isn’t good to the people who live there, it’s not any better for tourists.
Kuwait shares its borders with Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the Persian Gulf. The country has a large export of oil which supports the economy, which means they don’t need tourists to support the economy. Good thing too because of the history. In 1991 as the Gulf War was finishing, Iraqi forces set fire to oil wells as they left the country. Protests have happened across the country since 2011 in response to government plans. The country is not concerned with tourism or making outsiders feel welcome. Kuwait is one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East but religion and culture make it unwelcoming.
The crime levels in South Korea are considered low but that’s not really true. The cities are known to be areas for pickpockets and robbery. Assaults on tourists often happen in daylight in major cities. Areas that have a large nightlife scene are often the sites of rape and assaults on tourists who are too drunk to take care of themselves. Not even public transport is safe. Taxis have been known to kidnap people for a ransom. Most people don’t speak English which is difficult for getting around. And if all of this wasn’t enough, there is the constant threat of a nuclear attack.
Before the Spanish invaded in the 1500s Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire. Tourists who want to see these wonders of a lost civilization would have to take their life in their hands. The country has a shaky structure and there are plenty of clashes. In 2015 miners fought with police in the streets. They were demanding that the government put more money into public services. Troubles in the country have lead to food shortages, road closures and travel troubles. There is also a high risk of kidnapping in the country. Tourists are often kidnapped and held to ransom. Even the police are a problem, if you don’t have your passport on you at all times, you risk a trip to prison.
Chad is a landlocked country in Africa with little for tourists. The country is underdeveloped and the civil war destroyed a lot of the country. In parts of the country, foreign aid is still needed. One of the big attractions is the Zakouma National Wildlife park which doesn’t have many animals. Most of the roads in the country are still dirt roads which can make travelling difficult. It is only in recent years that major cities have started to upgrade the roads. In the past, most people came to hunt animals for ivory. Demand for ivory and poachers have made outsiders seem like the enemy.
Venezuela is a high-risk country for anyone who goes there. Drug trafficking, kidnapping and armed groups are just three of the many problems. But they are a big three. People are often robbed in daylight at gunpoint. Those who fight back are often shot dead. Guns are not used as a scare tactic in this country, they are used to kill people. The government has not helped matters. Travel in the country is difficult as roads are still underdeveloped. And getting out of the country is even worse. Flights have been cancelled at the last minute to force people to stay or pay double to get home.
Iran has been designated a no-go area in the Middle East. British people have been advised not to go there after people were detained in 2011. The whole country is under constant threat of terrorism. The country has no use for credit cards or ATMs so you must have cash. The cash system is different from what most people are used to and can be hard to keep track of what you are spending. One of the biggest drawbacks, apart from the terrorism, is there is no alcohol. Despite the people being welcoming, there is always a risk that the secret police can cause you problems.
Haiti is an island that has had a few tourist booms of the years. In recent years people have started to head there for their holidays. The country is still recovering from the earthquake in 2010. Many of the landmarks are still intact but the country is still broken. One of the main ways to get around is a horse-drawn cart. During rainstorms, a lot of the roads can’t be used due to flooding or being too slippery. Haiti is trying to boost tourism to help the country recover from the earthquake. Shops are set up in shipping containers and towns look like shanty towns. It does not paint the picture of a relaxing getaway.
Pakistan has claimed to be “the next big thing” as a holiday destination for years. The problem with this is the terrorism. The country borders Afghanistan and the Taliban have been known to use the mountains. K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and one of the least climbed. In 2013, ten tourists were killed by the Taliban at a base camp while climbing. The country is trying to attract tourists and terror groups are using this to gain easy targets. Since the 9/11 attacks, people have decided against travelling to the area. The people who live there are welcoming but the violence in the area is enough to put anyone off.