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June 2022 Issue [Readings]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Gauche


From descriptions of trips hosted by Young Pioneer Tours, which offers vacations to “destinations your mother would rather you stay away from.”

south sudan budget tour

The most affordable tour to the newest country in the world. South Sudan may have some of Africa’s most horrible road conditions we’ve ever experienced, but nothing that’ll stop our 4WDs.

iran revolutionary tour

Our Iran tour is open to all nationalities except Israeli. Visit the Ebrat Museum, which displays atrocities carried out by the Shah’s secret police during the Seventies, all housed inside a former prison. Heavy doses of brutality and propaganda, not for the fainthearted!

north korea tour

You’ll visit one of the “tensest places on earth,” the DMZ. Here we’ll meet a local military officer who will show us the Joint Security Area and the division of North and South Korea. We’ll then be upgraded to a colonel, who’ll take us farther inland to visit the concrete wall—this will give you a great glimpse of the barrier, which was erected during the Seventies. We can even see South Korean watchtowers along the hill.

magadan: soviet gulag tour

The route from the airport to Magadan is about an hour long and takes you through the infamous Road of Bones. Built by forced labor from nearby gulags, the road stretches for over a thousand miles. Many prisoners died during construction and were simply buried under it.

Depending on the situation, we will visit a number of ghost towns either before or after our trip to the mine, as well as Soviet monuments and weird relics on the side of the road. Embedded with us will be a true man of the Russian taiga, wearing camouflage and bearing a rifle and machete. He is there to keep us safe from bears.

We’ll enjoy breakfast in the gulag and take in the pristine nature.

whole iraq ultimate tour

Visit the former Camp Al-Adala—where the execution of Saddam Hussein took place, as well as the execution of his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, most famously known as Chemical Ali.

Explore Saddam Hussein’s palace—perched right on top of Babylon, the dictator made sure to have the best view. Here you’ll be able to discover the palace’s looted remains.

We head to Sulaymaniyah to visit the Red Prison. Here, Saddam’s regime imprisoned and tortured Kurds suspected of being anti-Ba’ath. We can visit the prisons and torture cells used at the time.

syria spring tour

We’ll get to experience the famous cosmopolitan nightlife that has returned to Damascus, and then we will see the truly harrowing effects of war—destroyed hospitals, schools, and houses. We’ll stop at charming coffee stands, where we’ll get a chance to mingle with locals while also passing destroyed villages. We will often have to take the long route to avoid rebel-controlled areas, but this just means seeing more of the amazing countryside. We’ll then visit Palmyra, shrouded in a coat of destruction, as well as a shop that will satisfy all your Syrian souvenir desires—with flags, T-shirts, key rings, and Assad-branded everything.

The Safir Hotel will be your first opportunity to properly explore the destruction that is now commonplace in Syria. Until 2014, it was a four-star hotel with plenty of international guests, but now it is a shell filled with rubble. There are still do not disturb signs, menus, folders of guest information, time sheets, crockery, and all sorts of other things among the debris.

We’ll walk through a canyon to the Monastery of St. Sergius and St. Baccus, where you’ll have the chance to meet nuns who were kidnapped and held hostage for several years. Taste the best falafel in Syria.

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June 2022

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