The most difficult countries to get into

Visa requirements have cut short many a trip. Here are five countries where getting a visa into is the hardest.

Visa

1. Russia:

Getting a Russian visa can be a very long be a long process. You may be required to recall every country you have visited in the last 10 years. You must also have an 'invitation' and in some cases, a letter from your hotel, getting in.

If you lose your visa or overstay it, leaving the country can be even trickier than the process of getting in. You can stay visa-free in St. Petersburg for up to three days if you arrive by boat.

2. North Korea:

North Korea is one of the most difficult countries to get a visa into. For one, South Koreans are not permitted at all in North Korea. Israelites, Japanese and Americans in particular may have a harder time getting in a North Korean visa.

When you do get in eventually, whatever your nationality, you may be escorted by North Korean 'guides' at all times during the duration of your stay.

3. Syria:

Visa application to Syria is a lot rigid at the moment, due to international circumstances. The application process is time consuming in any case; you may need a letter of recommendation from your embassy, an expensive process that may increases the time required for your visa approval.

There is a civil war going on in Syria and even if you get a visa, leaving in one piece is definitely not guaranteed.

4. Bhutan:

First of all, you must first pay your trip in advance. No, this doesn’t mean just your plane ticket; it is the all-inclusive package, to be paid to a Bhutanese travel agent. The payment covers accommodation, transportation (within Bhutan), tour guides, feeding and tourist tax.

You are also likely to end up with a lot of phallic souvenir, as symbols of erect penises are supposed to drive away 'evil eye and malicious gossip’.  It is also a symbol of Bön, an old, unorthodox religion.

5. Saudi Arabia:

Tourist visas to Saudi Arabia may be difficult to obtain, especially if you plan to visit Jeddah and Medina during the period of Hajj.

Women are not allowed to enter the country alone, except they are met or accompanied by a sponsor or male relative, as a result of the kingdom's strict laws concerning women. Since the country has a lot of oil money and do not need really need tourist revenue, they can afford to be as strict as they want with their visa procedures.

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