The Most Complicated, Craziest International Borders
The exceptional location of these places has brought a few curious stories. Only part of the place located on one country's soil, the rest is in another territory. Here are four locations you can be at two countries at the same time.
1. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
|The Joint Security Area between North Korea and South Korea. Photo: SKI Magazine|
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) splits the Korean peninsula in half creating a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea.
|There is a lot of restrictions but you are allowed to take photos. Photo: Salt With Your Coffee|
It’s the most militarized border on earth. Still, many tourists choose this destination out of curiosity.
Especially, the experience would be different between coming from the North Korea and from South Korea side of the DMZ. Either way, it is not your average day tour.
There is a lot of rules to follow, like you can't dress in leather biker jacket or military-style clothes at the DMZ.
You would think no one lives here but there are two villages, Daeseong-dong (South Korea), and the Kijong-dong (North Korea), also known as Peace Village.
The Joint Security Area (JSA) is the place where you can walk into North Korea, and back out again, technically. The JSA is also home to Conference Row, also known as the Blue Houses.
Here, the conference table has two sides, each side of the Military Demarcation Line belong to each country.
|Two tourists , one on the left is in North Korea, one on the right is in South Korea. Photo: Salt With Your Coffee|
South Koreans and North Koreans don’t get to go to the other side. This strict control of the border along with the careful curation of museums and war memorials has let both the locals and the tourists to imagine its own version of the other Korea.
|Tourist attraction - The border between North Korea and South Korea. Photo: National Geographic|
The North Korean side has this big, classic Soviet-style building, and the South has this futuristic, bright, shiny silver building. Both are kind of projecting their own image," cited from National Geographic.
2. Hotel Arbez Franco-Suisse (Half in Switzerland, Half in France)
|The Arbex Hotel branded itself as "Hotel France-Swiss" to attract tourists. Photo: Amusing Planet|
The next one on the list is a peaceful resort compare to the DMZ. The Arbez Hotel is a small two star hotel located in the quite border town of La Cure, Geneva. This is a popular resting place for cross-country skiers.
it is located exactly on the border between France and Switzerland and is probably the only hotel on this planet to do so. The dining room, kitchen, gift shop, hallways and several rooms are crossed by the international border, in a case unique to the world.
|The red line marks the border. Photo: Amusing Planet|
|The France-Swiss restaurant at the hotel. Photo: Amusing Planet|
The hotel's history dates back to the nineteenth century. In 1862, the Swiss and French Governments agree to a modification of the border in the Valley of the Dappes; the Treaty, named after the Valley, was signed on December 8, 1862, The text of the treaty states that no building existing at the time of ratification will be affected by the modification of the border.
The original owner build the hotel with the intention of doing cross-border business. This clever businessman is named Monsieur Ponthus. The hotel is still doing business on both sides of the border, attracting tourists from all over the world.
3. Baarle-Nassau (Netherlands) and Baarle-Hertog (Belgium)
|Tourist can visit two countries at the same time. Photo: Flipboard|
|The border is marked on the street. Photo: Amusing Planet|
The town of Baarle is located the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. On the Netherlands side, the town is called Baarle-Nassau while Baarle-Hertog is located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. Both municipalities share a common border, but this special border does not run straight or curve.
The border is marked with white crosses on the pavement and metal studs in the road, and it zig-zags its way across the town. You will see its trait in houses, gardens and streets.
|Shoppers cross the border to enter the store. Photo: Amusing Planet|
Many homes are cut in half by the border. The household's nationality is noted as B for Belgium and NL for Netherlands on the respective side of the border.
If the border runs through the street door, the two parts then belong in different states. People sometimes can get confused by the two street numbers on the same building.
The towns attract a lot of tourists, as you can imagine. For many years the shops in Belgium were open on Sundays, those in the Netherlands not – with the exception of those in Baarle. You could go shopping between two very different tax-regimes in one single street. There was a time Dutch restaurants had to close earlier. At Baarle, the trick is to simply change the dinner tables to the Belgian side.
4. The Haskell Free Library and Opera House (Half in Canada, half in America)
The last one of the list is the Haskell Free Library and Opera House. This very special landmark is located astride the US-Canada border. One half of the building stands in Derby Line, which is an American town, and the other half stands in Stanstead, a Canadian town.
|The Haskell Free Library and Opera House. Photo: Amusing Planet|
The Haskell Free Library is just a typical public library with one simple rule: You are free to enter and use the library, as long as you return to the Canadian side is you are Canadian and to the American side if you are American.
Only children’s books are in the US side, and the rest of the collection and the reading room is in Canada. Because of this, the Haskell Library is sometimes called “the only library in the US with no books”.
|The only opera house in the US (right side of the line) with no stage. Photo: Getty Image|
|The only library in the US (right side of the line) with no book. Photo: Amusing Planet|
The Opera House opened on June 7, 1904 and was declared a heritage building by both countries in the 1970s and 1980s. It is “the only opera house in the US with no stage”. The dividing line cuts diagonally across the seats so that the stage and half the seats lie on the Canadian so no stage on the US side.The Haskell Library may be the only place where family members divided by the Canada-US border could see each other in person without legally crossing the border.In 2011, a Canadian man was arrested for allegedly smuggling a backpack filled with guns through the library’s restroom. Since then, authorities began tightening the security on the porous border, Amusing Planet reported.
You can see large potted plants were installed as a barrier on a stretch of the border near the library. A US Homeland Security vehicle sits outside the library, monitoring the entrance 24 hours a day.
Have you visited any of these places? Where else in the world can we experience such curiosities?
|Astonishing 7 Natural Wonders of France |
France is more than the bustling cities. The European nation has plenty of scenic nature spots for tourists to enjoy.
|The Spectacular Skies of a Summer in Lockdown |
Hanoi's gorgeous summer season has come to an end and, sadly, its many residents spent it in lockdown. Fortunately for those bored at home, the ...
|Vietnam, Laos Upgrade Border Gates |
The Nam Giang – Dakta Ok border gates were upgraded to international status earlier this year.