Looking for somewhere unique to go for your vacation this year? Before you get those tickets, make sure you’re not heading to one of these spots that have questionable issues.
North Korea- Ok, so you may be thinking, ‘I’m not a CIA agent looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Why am I going to North Korea?’ Well, North Korea is not just for spies anymore. As a matter of fact, according to concierge.com, the Hyundai corporation spent more than $500 million dollars to open up a sprawling resort called Mount Kumgang. This beautiful resort area just lies outside of the demilitarized zone, and, unlike the rest of North Korea, the employees are free to interact with the guests without any scrutiny.
However, don’t let the beauty and wonder of the resort lull you into disbelief. North Korea is still a country ruled by a regime that is responsible for many different human rights violations.
Syria- Syria offers many popular historical locations to visit. For instance, you can go see the famous biblical city of Damascus or visit the different Roman ruins that pepper the area. However, despite its history and beauty, Amnesty International states that “[f]reedom of expression and association continues to be severely restricted. Scores of people have been arrested and hundreds remained imprisoned for political reasons, including prisoners of conscience and others sentenced after unfair trials.” So while you are enjoying the sights in Syria, think about what’s going on that you can’t see.
Tibet- Many people think of Tibet and automatically pictures of snow capped mountain peeks and beautiful temples come to mind. However, do not forget that Tibet has also been under the control of the Chinese government for over fifty years. As a matter of fact, according to concierge.com, the Dalai Lama encourages people to come and visit Tibet, so that way they can see the oppression that takes place. Before travelling to Tibet, please check to make sure there are no restrictions in place. Since peaceful demonstrations in 2008, there have been a large number of restrictions put in place on journalists and tourists.
Jamaica- A large number of people every year travel to Jamaica on cruises to enjoy the beaches and sun. However, if you happen to be homosexual, be careful. If you are a gay man, you can be placed in jail for up to 10 years for having sex with another man. Lesbian women, on the other hand, are free to have sex without fear of jail time, as there is no mention of it in the law books. As a matter of fact, according to globalgayz.com, a recent poll showed that 96% of inhabitants on the island do not want to legitimize homosexuality. Therefore, if you are traveling, please reconsider.
Peru- Ever wanted to climb up Machu Picchu and enjoy the scenery from the top? Then, as you head to Peru, take into consideration the porters who help you climb to the top. According to concierge.com, there have been laws enacted in 2001 to help the porters, but they still suffer many abuses. Many of them do not have adequate cover, clothing, or food for their day to day work. To make sure your porter is not exposed to these abuses, please confirm with their ground operator that they follow the International Porter Protection Group’s guidelines. This way you can do your part to help humanity.