Forbes has released its list of the most dangerous places to travel in 2007. The list contains few surprises: most of our readers are probably not planning to visit any of these places ever . . . ever. Then again, other more intrepid travelers have already planned routes to these dangerous spots (Hobotraveler is headed to DR Congo, for example).
2007's Most Dangerous Places on Earth
6) Democratic Republic of Congo
10) Cote d'Ivoire
11) Sri Lanka
But the places really got me thinking . . . isn't there a major upside to traveling to some of the world's most dangerous places? The question is not rhetorical--we see at least five key advantages of putting one of these spots on your destination list this year.
Top Five Reasons to Visit an Excessively Dangerous Country
1) No crowds. Think about the time you tried to get that perfect picture of yourself in front of St. Peter's Basilica. . . remember the crowds? Remember waiting for everyone to move out of the way? Well, you won't have that problem in many of these spots. Your snapshots will capture you as the lone wanderer . . . because no one else wants to go there.
2) Empty beaches. That's right--a number of these spots have long, uninterrupted coastlines. Somalia, for example, has many miles of pristine beaches just waiting for a romantic getaway. Sri Lanka is supposed to be a glorious island paradise, even if the sound of the waves is occasionally interrupted by gunfire.
3) Great hiking. The outdoorsy folks should be hankering for a trek in Pakistan. Fly from Islamabad to Skardu and take jeeps toward the Concordia Glacier--in just a week or so, you could be standing at the foot of K2! Afghanistan also has plenty of rustic mountain scenery. We also hear Afghanistan offers great opportunities for cave exploration.
4) No news is good news. While the world is saturated with stories about Anna Nicole Smith (this link takes you to a blog addressing the excessive media coverage), I'm guessing you could escape the media blitz in Darfur. Imagine the other senseless cultural frenzies you would be able to avoid as well. Let the rest of the country get progressively dumber as you retreat.
5) Good yarns. Traveling to these places would generate a set of stories to intimidate the most seasoned travel veteran. Just wait for someone to tell some "adventure tale" of that "rough night" in "Paris." Then you can chime in with the time you dug shrapnel out of your knee while participating in the "running of the guerrillas" in DR Congo.
So don't count these places out. After all, it can't be that bad . . . right?