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5 Fascinating Places You're Prohibited From Visiting

Business Insider rounds up unique, forbidden places around the world
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2021 1:11 PM CDT
Updated Aug 15, 2021 8:45 AM CDT
5 Fascinating Places You Aren't Allowed to See
In this Nov. 14, 2005 file photo, clouds hang over the North Sentinel Island, in India's southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh, File)

(Newser) – You may be looking for a remote spot, far from people, for your next travel destination. But Business Insider wants to remind you that some far-off places are better left alone—particularly if you want to avoid charges or, worse, death. Five unique, forbidden places:

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  • North Korea's Room 39: Said to be located inside the Workers' Party building in Pyongyang, Room 39 refers to a secret organization thought to raise an estimated $2 billion per year for the regime through legal and illegal means, "with activities ranging from counterfeiting to the sale of gold, drugs, or weapons."
  • Brazil's Snake Island: Brazil's government bans travel to the uninhabited island off the coast of São Paulo owing to the fact that it's hard to move around without stepping on venomous snakes, including the Golden Lancehead viper. The island is home to as many as five snakes per square meter.
  • India's North Sentinel Island: You may have heard tales about unfortunate visitors to this isolated Manhattan-sized island in the Indian Ocean. It's inhabited by the indigenous Sentinelese, who are hostile to outsiders, several of whom have ended up dead. For that reason, India strictly enforces a 3-mile buffer zone around North Sentinel.

  • Iceland's Surtsey Island: Only researchers are allowed on this tiny island formed in a volcanic eruption in 1963, making it "one of the youngest islands on the planet," per Business Insider. Some 89 bird species and 335 invertebrates have since taken over the land, which is steadily eroding. Most humans are barred as a preservation measure.
  • China's national spy museum: If you're Chinese, you'll have no trouble visiting the Jiangsu National Security Education Museum in Nanjing and its spy artifacts from the early days of the Communist Party. Foreigners, however, are prohibited from entering, and even nationals are barred from snapping photos.
(See five more forbidden places here, including one in the US.)

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