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  • Most of us love visiting new countries, but not all countries love new visitors. Many

  • nations make it extremely difficult for Americans to visit them. In fact, the US state department

  • has issued a list of travel warnings for more than 40 countries. So, are there any places

  • where we can’t visit? Here are some of the most difficult countries to travel to.

  • North Korea. There is no US embassy in North Korea, and the US State Departmentstrongly

  • recommends against all travelthere. But, there ARE a growing number of tour agencies

  • available to visitors, unless youre a journalist or South Korean. Be sure to have a valid passport

  • handy at all times, and follow all the rules, because North Korean officials have been known

  • to detain tourists, send them to hard labor camps, or even put them to death. Tour agencies

  • claim there are around 5 thousand visitors per year, who get to see a few significant

  • locations, under intense supervision.

  • Libya. (LIH-bee-uh) First of all, if you have an Israeli passport, or have ever been to

  • Israel, they won’t even let you in the country. Also, they recently shut down their US embassy

  • because of militia violence . According to the US State Department, Americans are specifically

  • targeted for kidnappings, violent crime and murder. They encourage all American citizens

  • living there todepart immediately”.

  • Eritrea. (air-ih-TREE-uh) This is a smallish country near Somalia and Ethiopia. Prior approval

  • is needed to travel outside of the capital city, and many rural areas and border towns

  • remain off-limits. Also, dual US and Eritrean citizens are recognized only as Eritrean (air-ih-TREE-an).

  • And, because there is a national draft, dual nationality visitors may be imprisoned or

  • forced into military service there. Eritrea does not inform the US embassy when it has

  • detained or imprisoned dual-nationals.

  • Saudi Arabia. In 1930, the King himself said that the country shouldremain difficult

  • to accessfor foreigners. You must have a visa in advance, and just like in Libya,

  • if your passport has an Israeli stamp, you ain’t gettin in. All females travelling

  • alone must have a male companion with them. Also, possession of drugs is punishable by

  • death…. so make sure you aren't travelling with anything questionable.

  • So it’s not that you can’t go anywhere, but there are countries where you probably

  • shouldn’t visit. Middle Eastern or African countries bear the most warnings for US citizens.

  • Along with Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK, the US has THE most powerful travel privileges

  • in the world, allowing visa-free access to 174 countries. To travel safely, the State

  • Department's website provides information about local terrorism, extreme weather conditions

  • and disease outbreaks -- it's a great resource for those hoping to visit other nations. They

  • also offer a Smart Travel Enroll Program which informs the nearest US embassy of your visit

  • to region, were something to go wrong.

  • Southeast Asia is one hotspot for worldwide travelers, but the underbelly of some industries

  • can be pretty dark. To learn about the illegal moonbear industry, check out this story from

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Most of us love visiting new countries, but not all countries love new visitors. Many

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