Pakistan and India have spent centuries in a tense exchange. In a display of this mutual odium, the border guards of the two nations play out an act of feigned aggression at the Attari-Wagah border post every sunset. The ceremony, known as the “Beating Retreat,” sees Indian and Pakistani guards have a showdown that includes staring, muscle flexes, stomping, and yelling nationalistic slogans.
The spectacle is a patriotic source of pride for citizens of both nations, and people gather in the thousands throughout the week to witness it.
The Olza River Border
The Olza river flows between Poland and the Czech Republic, creating a natural border as it snakes between the two countries. The gentle river has served as a muse for several artists, poets, and musicians throughout the ages and has inspired songs, poems, and even an anthem.
Like most borders, the river generated some internal conflict between Poland and the Czech Republic – all of it without bloodshed, thankfully! The Poles and Czechs disagreed on the proper pronunciation of the name Olza until a linguist established that the word predated both Polish and Czech!
Eight miles of ocean separate the Spanish mainland from the north African country of Morocco. How is it then that they share a border? Spain includes a number of tiny enclaves on the tip of Africa as Overseas Territories, including two small islets.
The border between Spain and Morocco is therefore not contiguous. Three separate borders totaling twenty kilometers run along the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera.
The Kunjerab Pass
At over fifteen thousand feet sits the highest border crossing in the world: the Kunjerab Pass. The border crossing can also boast of having an ATM at the highest altitude in the world! Imagine getting to the top and realizing you forgot cash for the toll fees!
The border post is so high that altitude sickness severely affects drivers and passengers, and it’s recommended to bring a few gallons of water to fight it off. Similar to the Vietnam-China Friendship Bridge, drivers have to switch from left-side driving to right when entering Chinese territory.
The Bosnia-Croatia Beach Border
Thanks to Croatia, Bosnia has the second shortest beach in the world at twenty kilometers, only being beaten by Monaco’s four-kilometer-long beach! Croatia’s border runs along the inside of Bosnia, almost completely cutting it off from the coast except for a tiny gap in the Bosnian municipality of Neum.
The history is far more complicated than Croatia's muscling in on the tourism industry. The area was heavily disputed and fought over for centuries as the coast was prized for its defensive, commercial and strategic positioning.