SmarterTravel.com just released a list of 10 taboo travel destinations – spots on the globe where visiting could get you arrested, whipped or killed if you’re not careful. And yet, they’re worth the risk, many say. Anyone living the TauBu lifestyle loves a challenge. So we took a gander at the list and chose our top three:
- Chernobyl: The release of The Chernobyl Diaries is boosting interest in what one main character calls “extreme tourism.” In 1986, a reactor at nuclear plant ruptured, causing a series of explosions and devastating fire that sent highly radioactive smoke pouring into the atmosphere. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian families dropped everything and immediately abandoned the region to escape what is still considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Today, it remains the eeriest of ghost towns, virtually untouched for nearly three decades, and is a top spot for the bravest photographers and the most avid Call of Duty gamers. If you go, you’ll have to apply for a permit at least 11 days in advance. You’ll also have to follow a strict dress code, avoid touching plants or structures and hold on tight to anything you want to take back home with you. Drop that pricey camera and it stays.
- Cuba: Taboo because it’s Communist Party rule prompted the U.S. to levy economic sanctions against it and prohibit American citizens from visiting or supporting its economy, Cuba boasts sandy white beaches, a pulsing nightlife, to-die-for cuisine and, of course, the world’s greatest cigars. Speaking of, we seem to recall a little something about said cigars being rolled on the thighs of beautiful Cuban women. That’s enough for us to risk it. Luckily, the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba is beginning to lighten up a bit. Travelers can take chartered flights into the country from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. But you’ll need to get a special license from the State Department to legally travel to and spend money in Cuba.
- Antarctica: Outdoors types revere the globe’s southernmost point as the last (relatively) unspoiled place. Growing numbers of tourists and trash and pollution from cruise ships are creating environmental concerns. But choosing the right tour company (we suggest one like Quark Expeditions, operator of the first carbon-neutral Antarctic voyage) will allow you a guilt-free trip into scenes you’ll otherwise only see via National Geographic – blue ocean, massive icebergs, penguins, seals and whales.
Got it in you to visit one of these taboo destinations? Post your thoughts and pics on the TauBu Facebook fan page. Meanwhile, grab an icy can of your favorite TauBu flavor , scroll down and check out the trailer for The Chernobyl Diaries, in theatres now.