FROM impassable terrains to unstable political situations to strict visa regulations, there are some places on Earth that are nearly impossible to get into.
Fortunately, these adventurous photographers dared to venture into these territories. Even if you can’t be there yourself, you can still enjoy.
From Bhutan to Syria to Angola — read on and take a closer peek.
Travel to Pakistan is usually discouraged due to the threat of terrorist attack, kidnappings and its generally unpredictable security situation.
Travel guide Lonely Planet says: “No matter the attractions, tourism in Pakistan has always been something of a hard sell. A glance at the map shows the country living in a pretty difficult region: always-unruly Afghanistan to one side, Iran to another, and a border with India running through the 60-year-old fault line of Kashmir. But since the events of 9/11, Western pundits have increasingly been wondering if Pakistan isn’t just living in a tough neighbourhood, it is the tough neighbourhood.”
Despite these troubles, it’s “on the brink of being tourism’s next big thing”.
You must have a tourist visa to enter Bhutan which can only be applied for through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners.
A high degree of caution is issued against travellers intending to visit Angola because of the risk of civil unrest and criminal violence. All visitors require a visa and if you’re travelling independently, you’ll require a letter of invitation from a person or organisation in Angola.
Lonely Planet advises to always ask permission before taking photos in public areas, always carry a photocopy of your passport and don’t wander off the road in rural areas – the threat of unexploded landmines is still a huge problem.
Travellers are advised not to travel to Syria due to its extremely dangerous security situation including military conflict, kidnappings and terrorist attacks.
Airports in Damascus and Aleppo may be closed quickly, with little or no notice, and may be subject to checkpoints, due to nearby battles between Syrian and opposition armed forces.
But it’s home to a lot of amazing historical sites including cities of Damascus, Aleppo and Bosra. Most travellers must have a visa.
Independent travel is not allowed in Turkmenistan. All visitors must acquire a tourist visa and have a hired guide at all times.
Everybody needs a visa to visit Russia and to obtain one you must first receive an invitation (usually through your hotel). Tourists are advised to exercise caution when travelling in Russia because of the risk of terrorist threats and criminal activity.
DFAT warns Australians thinking of travelling to Libya that there is a high threat of terrorist attack, and tourist visas are generally not available unless you’re part of an organised group tour.
Uzbek visa rules change frequently, and land borders between Uzbekistan and neighbouring states are often closed at short notice, according to DFAT.
DFAT warns against travel to Afghanistan due to the high risk of terror attack and dangerous security situation. It’s a hostile area, but is full of treasures, according to Lonely Planet.
The travel site says: “By any stretch of the imagination, Afghanistan isn’t the simplest country to travel in. For the visitor, it’s a world away from backpacking in Thailand or island-hopping in Greece. It’s a country recovering from nearly three decades of war, with a host of continuing problems. You’ll need to invest time getting the latest safety information, and news from other travellers or colleagues working in the country.”
With landmines and illegal roadblocks common, it’s no wonder that DFAT advises Australians not to travel to Somalia. Also, while the number of attacks has recently declined, the threat of piracy in waters off the Somali coast remains.
According to the Lonely Planet, Saudi Arabia is; “the world’s last great forbidden kingdom, and an emblem of everything most inexplicable to the West: the Middle East, Islam, oil and terrorism. For centuries the country was considered closed to outsiders, penetrable only to the bravest and the boldest … who risked life and limb to get there. Today it continues to exist only in the realms of the imagination for most people.”
The government makes it extremely difficult to get a visa making travellers of any kind rare in this country. You will need both a travel and photography permit and according to Lonely Planet women travellers should be prepared to attract a lot of attention.