Everywhere you look there is a list of best places to visit, or top 10 places to visit. Personally I would love to visit just about every place in the world that I possibly can that I haven’t already been too with a few exceptions that I would love to visit more than once. With that said there are even places that I won’t visit. Places where you might be taken hostage and be beheaded; places where extremists shoot teenage girls in the head because they try fighting for an education; places where you could be stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock; places where terrorists plant bombs in churches (which unfortunately the last several examples I have been to anyway through the military), and places so polluted the local fish have four eyes, oversized human teeth, and spikes for fins.
So I thought I would do a list of places you don’t want to visit. Hopefully it will help you narrow your travel plans down or erase any questions you may have about certain areas of the world.
The first place is Bubbly Creek Illinois. Bubbly Creek is the nickname of a section of the Chicago River located in the South Branch. The area around it was originally a wetland, but during the 19th century channels were dredged and the South Fork became an open sewer line for the local stockyards, especially the Union Stock Yards. During this time, slaughter houses dumped large amounts of waste, such as blood and entrails into Bubbly Creek. The creek received so much blood and animal remains that the water began to bubble with methane and hydrogen sulfide gas. The process of decomposition created the chemical reaction, which led to the nickname Bubbly Creek. The creek remains highly toxic and the surrounding area is full of a rancid smell.
The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania is a location that was built around the coal mining industry. In the past, the area was served by two separate railroads. However, all rail services ended in 1966 when the coal mining industry went out of business. In 1962 a fire was ignited in one of the large mines below Centralia. The fire quickly spread throughout the vast mining system, ultimately making the town practically uninhabitable. It is not fully understood how the fire was started, but one theory suggests that the event occurred in May of 1962 when the Centralia Borough Council hired five people to clean up the town landfill, which was located in an abandoned strip-mine pit. The men did not extinguish the fire correctly and it spread through a hole in the rock pit and then into the abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia.
Smoke and steam can be seen rising from various locations in the town. The underground fire is still burning and will continue to do so for a predicted 250 more years. Interestingly, Centralia was the inspiration for the 1991 cult film Nothing But Trouble, which was written by Dan Aykroyd.
There is nothing worse than getting taken in a country you are visiting. In October 2011, tourists were kidnapped in Kenya’s resort town of Lamu and then brought into troubled Somalia. Later that month, a hand grenade exploded in a crowded nightclub in Nairobi, killing 14 patrons. If for some reason you do decide to visit, the State Department warns, “U.S. citizens in Kenya should be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security.” Exactly how are you supposed to enjoy your vacation if your being “extremely vigilant”?
The last place I want to sleep at is a hotel that used to be a prison. Touring one is one thing but sleeping there is totally different. Point being is the Karostas Cietums in Latvia, a Soviet-era military prison-turned-hotel that caters to guests who don’t care about the fact that more than 150 people have been shot there (the site was a detention facility until 1997). There are even special prison bunks for kids. “Guests” get the experience of being a prisoner for the night, complete with a good verbal lashing from hotel staff that tests their acting skills as prison guards. Do you really want to pay to sleep where 150 people were shot?
There are a lot more places that you don’t want to visit but I thought I would keep this one short for you. So next time your planning your world tour, remember these places I talked about and try to steer clear of them, you’ll thank me for it later.