Tuesday, 15 March 2016

5 places that are difficult to access

I'm sure that visitors like seeing new places when they go on their holidays but a friendly reminder that not all countries like new visitors, In this article I will be expressing 5 places on earth that are very hard to get to for travellers if you want to Sandboard here, I will be including countries and regions that have sand dunes and for people like me, make the nation a gold mine when visiting there.

Courtesy of: Central Intelligence Agency License: Public Domain
This is Libya, this is one of the largest countries in Africa by land area (4th largest in Africa before Algeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan.) If you have an Israeli passport, visa from Israel, or if you have ever been to Israel, you will be denied entry. If you come from a country at risk of transmitting the yellow fever virus, you must have a vaccination if you are to enter Libya; all visitors must register with the police within 1 week of their arrival, this is usually done by a local travel agency which can do this for you; However, failure to do this could result in you receiving a fine when you leave Libya. Also, keep in mind it's only been since 2011 that the Libyan Revolution had occurred with dictator, Colonel Gaddafi being killed so it is strongly advised that you keep cameras away from military personnel and/or military bases. With all of that in mind, Libya is home to the Marzuq Sand Sea and a large portion of the Sahara. Keep in mind that the Sahara isn't the largest desert in the world, the largest are the Antarctic & Arctic; the largest hot desert in the world is the Sahara by far.

Courtesy of: TUBS License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an extremely difficult place to get into. As I mentioned in Libya's case, if you have previously travelled to Israel or if you hold an Israeli passport, you will find it extremely difficult if not impossible to enter Saudi Arabia, also if you come from a country at risk of yellow fever, you need a vaccination. All visitors including religious pilgrims will need a visa for access and if necessary, a Hajj visa if you wish to make
a religious pilgrimage. Sharia law is strictly enforced in Saudi Arabia, possession of alcohol is forbidden and crimes including drug use or drug smuggling carries the death penalty, homosexuality also carries severe penalties, women are not allowed to drive, and if you are female you must have a male companion with you or upon arrival; foreign women married to Saudi nationals must have their husband's permission to leave Saudi Arabia. Despite the customs and laws in the Kingdom, the nation holds the Rub Al-Khali (the empty quarter) which holds some really high sand dunes along with the Arabian Desert which hosts some tall dunes good for stunts and for speed.

Courtesy of: Central Intelligence Agency License: Public Domain
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country with lots of history and interest but it's important to note that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office strictly advise against all travel within 10 kilometres of the Iran-Iraq border, 100 kilometres of the Iran-Afghanistan border, the province of Sistan-Baluchistan, and the area east of the settlements of Bam & Jask (including Bam but excluding Jask). Homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, and adultery can carry the death penalty; since the country has its laws based on the Quran and Sharia law, the laws are similar if not the same in Iran as they are in Saudi Arabia. Dual nationals in Iran are only recognised as being Iranian. Visas are required prior to entering Iran and for females over the age of 9 should wear a headscarf in their Visa application photograph. Just like in Libya & Saudi Arabia, travellers from countries at risk of yellow fever transmission need a vaccination and if you have an Israeli passport or if you have ever been to Israel, you may be refused entry. Iran does have some very good sand dunes in the "Dasht-e Kavir" which stretches over a large part of Iran including a smaller "Dasht-e Loot" desert, also Iran is the only place outside of Africa which has lions in the wild.

License: Public Domain
You wouldn't think that the United States of America is difficult to get into, but you'd be wrong (but not far off) as the U.S. is extremely lenient compared to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. Entering America will need you to be fingerprinted for a database that fights terrorism, also you will need a Visa however this process if very easy. Laws can vary from state to state and some can very easily carry the death penalty. You also need to prove you can support yourself financially when you enter the United States, and if you hold a criminal record (even for some minor crimes in some cases) you may be refused entry in the nation. It can't be too bad in the USA, after all the Mojave Desert is here with a high concentration of sand dunes and the world's first sandboarding park is here (Have a look at "Sand Master Park" on this blog, I made a post about it less than a year ago)!

Courtesy of: Hogweard License: Public Domain
The Republic of the Sudan is known for its Sahara and it's wildlife on the African continent, this was once the largest country in Africa before the Republic of South Sudan (Guess where it is) broke away in 2011. When you enter Sudan, two pages instead of one are required for an entry stamp in the country, a visa is required except if you're a citizen of Egypt or Yemen; however if you hold an Israeli passport or if you have an Israeli stamp, you will be refused entry, notice how I didn't say "you may be refused entry." that's because you will be refused entry. You also need a yellow fever vaccination if you come from a country at risk of yellow fever transmission. Anyone under the age of 18 must need their father's permission to enter & exit Sudan. You must register with the "Aliens Department" at the Ministry of Interior within 3 days of arrival, failure will result in a fine. Homosexuality and drug offences carry severe penalties and the death penalty is included; it is also advised that you carry a form of photo ID at all times. Formalities aside, Sudan has a bustling wildlife along with a huge portion of the Sahara desert & the Nubian desert which is east of the River Nile. Little fact too, Sudan and Egypt are in a current dispute to not own a piece of land called "Bir Tawil", it is one of the very limited places to not be claimed by any nation.

So there you are! Those ones I've mentioned above are difficult places to get into if you're looking for a Sandboarding excursion, there are other nations that are hard to get into for the same or similar reasons such as: North Korea, Syria, Eritrea, etc... but I decided to use nations with a high prevalence of sand dunes and places where you can do flips, nose dives, three sixty's, and a whole load of tricks; but If you prefer to do stunts and sandboarding in other places, I'm sure it'll be a lot easier due to less restrictions; however, before you make a trip to anywhere in the world, check your government travel agency and the website for your respective country for travel as well; after all, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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