8 Dangerous AF Travel Ideas for the Certified Badass
by Andy Flores | May 18, 2016
Hey, Daredevil! If you really have balls of steel, then you shouldn’t have a problem taking on one, or two (or all) of these extremely wild adventures:
1. Take a tour around Chernobyl
Let’s start with a good stroll around the ghost town surrounding the Chernobyl Power Plant. It’s been 30 years since the Chernobyl accident, and with radiation levels significantly reduced around the site since the catastrophe, groups have begun organizing tours to the devastated area, enabling tourists to witness the damage caused by the explosion of the doomed nuclear power plant – from crumbling buildings, to abandoned playthings, to the hauntingly still Pripyat Ferris Wheel. While more travelers have been including Chernobyl to their travel bucket list, visiting the area still comes with some risks. Without an experienced guide and your own handheld equipment that measures radiation levels, you could easily and unknowingly expose yourself to some deadly material. Don’t expect to come back from your trip with radioactive superpowers, though. That’s not how it works.
2. Bungee jump into the crater of Villarrica Volcano in Chile
If the idea of bungee jumping off the 1,110-foot AJ Hackett Macau Tower is making you yawn, then this suggestion must have perked you up a bit. All you have to do is sit on a helicopter’s skid hovering 10,000 feet above the volcano, and take a leap of faith – literally. The cord stretches to a good 350-375 feet, leaving you dangling 700 feet above the volcano’s bubbling caldera – you know, just enough to sear your hair a little. But the exciting part doesn’t stop there. You won’t be pulled back into the helicopter after your momentous dive, so you’ll have to hang upside down all the way back to the airport, which is 35 miles away. Should things go wrong, this would probably the most expensive option of cremation you could avail at about $10,000.
3. Run with bulls during the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona
Riding a bull in Mexico is one thing, but getting chased (or gored or trampled upon) by a number of bulls down the streets of Pamplona, Spain sounds a tad lot more interesting. Taking root from the necessity of leading bulls outside the city and into the ring for bullfighting, the running of the bulls is one of the festivities that take place during the San Fermin Festival, which is held from July 6 to 14. The runners, clad in white with red scarves tied to their necks, gather at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo. When the clock of San Cernin Church strikes eight in the morning, two rockets are launched, the second signaling the release of the bulls. The bulls are about 2,706 feet away from the runners at the start of the run, but charge closer as time wears on. The run usually lasts between three and four minutes, and in case you’re wondering, at least fourteen people have died in the event since records began in 1924.
4. Dive into a blowhole in Hawaii
Halona Blowhole is beautiful… beautiful but deadly. This protected site in Oahu, Hawaii has the most fatalities than any other diving site in the state, and here’s why: The rock formations (sea cliffs) on the shoreline that make the site great for diving won’t give you an easy exit. Add the strong current, slippery rocks, angry waves on the ledges, and lack of lifeguards to the equation, and what you get is an incredibly hazardous spot for adventure. But hey, its pristine feel makes it one of the most peaceful places to die.
5. Find out the true meaning of “joy ride” in Bolivia
Hitch a ride with locals driving through El Camino de la Muerte or The Death Road in Bolivia for the most thrilling road trip of your life. Considered one of the most dangerous roads in the world, the stretch, which is also favorite cycling spot for adrenaline junkies, is a narrow, single-lane road that gives the rider a brilliant view of the Amazon rainforest’s canopy. However, it only takes one stupid slip or turn to send your vehicle down to a fatal drop. The Death Road measures up to 15,400 feet and has seen about 300 deaths annually.
6. Bike across the Sahara
Redefine “me time” and “riding solo” by taking a memorable bike ride alone across the Sahara Desert. With nothing more than the sun, sky, and sand to keep you company during your journey, it would be a true challenge to make your way back to civilization. Don’t want to wind up as a dehydrated corpse to be discovered by future wandering cyclists? It’s okay to equip yourself with GPS and bring some hydration packs for the trip. In March 2011, Reza Pakravan minted a Guinness World Record for “Fastest Crossing of The Sahara Desert By Bicycle”. The trip took him 13 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 40 seconds, covering the distance of 1,077.5 miles, pedaling from Algeria to Sudan.
7. Travel to North Korea
Traveling to North Korea is actually pretty safe; you’ll just have to know how to follow certain rules. If you’re too cool for that, you better visit some other place. Tagged as the world’s most secretive country, this nominally communist state allows tourists to go sight-seeing only if they’re accompanied by two-state employed guides. Taking pictures is allowed, but limited to sights approved by the government. Before going on tour, brace yourself to hear their one-sided account of history and lengthy propaganda stories, which are known to have brainwashed their own people. Dare to argue with your guide about their country’s views and you’ll face some serious consequences.
8. Devour the beating heart of a cobra in Vietnam
The tiny snake village of Le Mat in Vietnam, which is just about 20 minutes away from Hanoi by cab, is a popular destination among adventurous foodies for their bloody fantastic and exotic specialty: the still-beating hearts of cobras. The unconventional gustatory experience of eating a snake’s heart comes with dining at a restaurant ornate with all things that would remind you that you’re about to eat an essential organ of one of the world’s most poisonous reptiles – preserved snakes in jars, snakes in cages, and bottles of snake wine stocked on shelves – as if you’d forget. A waiter who doubles as a snake handler will come to your table with a live cobra; its heart about to get ripped from its belly for you to enjoy. Don’t forget to chase it down with a shot of cobra blood. Cheers!
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