A Nice Little Travel Romp Through Hated Countries and Trouble Spots

A porous border travel story

The new issue of Perceptive Travel is out and the title of this post could have gone a lot of ways. Like “3 Pariah States, 1 Civil War Zone, and a Good Place to Get Robbed.” Or “2 Destinations That Used to Suck and 3 That Still Do.”

You see, we try to publish the best travel stories on the internet, or anywhere, actually. We’re not trying to please advertisers like cruise companies or 5-star resorts with fancy spas, so that means any good traveler tale is fair game. Sometimes that means a good yarn about a place none of our readers have any intention of going. Or it means diving into the dark side of tourism, looking under the rocks where all the bugs are crawling.

Street art mural on a Troubles Tour in Belfast, Northern IrelandSo when one of the most respected travel writers out there, Rory MacLean, said he wanted to submit an article about North Korea, I said “Hell yeah!” In an excerpt from his book of interviews with the people actually living there, he talks with a dolphin trainer, one of the 80,000 public performers in the May Day Stadium, and an army general who served in the Korean War. See In North Korea – a Journey Behind the Fiction.

You don’t read many travel articles about Afghanistan or Pakistan, so how about both? Tim Brookes looks into the challenges of vaccinating children for polio in such a troubled part of the world. See The Most Porous Border.

Northern Ireland is a relatively calm place now, but it certainly wasn’t a few decades ago. Much of the tension lives on, as Tom Coote finds on a “Troubles Tour” in the largest city. See A Divided History on the Walls of Belfast.

We lighten things up at the end, but at author David Lee Drotar’s expense. His plans for driving around Sicily in a rental car, carefree and independent, crash in a hurry as soon as he starts. See My Very Bad Italian Day.

As usual, we check out a few new travel book releases, this time including one on a year in Paris, one on biking across the USA, and one that collects famous filming locations for movies and TV shows.

One Reader Gets a $349 Waterproof Jacket

Clothing Arts Cubed jacket

Each month at least one Perceptive Travel winner comes away with a cool prize of some kind. Last month a reader from Toronto scored an Outback Waxed Cotton Hat from Tilley Endurables. She subscribed, she entered, she scored.

This time we’ve got another brand we love in the mix: Clothing Arts. They’re the company behind Pickpocket Proof pants and shirts that you’ll see me wearing in dodgy places. They’ve released a hi-tech waterproof jacket that also has plenty of pockets and one lucky follower will score this Cubed Jacket for their next round of adventures (or just looking good around the city).

How do you get in on this action every month? The easiest way is to just be a part of our monthly e-mail issue update community and watch for the entry instructions near the beginning of each month. If you’re too late for this month, in the meantime you can follow us on Facebook and pay close attention to our feed. The odds are so good that some readers have gotten gratis gear two times.

Comments
  1. Stephen

    Can anybody tell me anything about booking same-day Taj Mahal tours?

    Also, I tried to sign up for the newsletter and didn’t get a confirmation email (yes, I checked spam…). Can you sign me up?

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