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.
Attari-Wagah Beating Retreat
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 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.
In 1993, the Indian government began mixing cement, gathering bricks and barbed wire to start construction on what is now one of the longest border walls in human history: the India-Bangladesh border. The wall runs for over two thousand miles and is heavily fortified. The Indian government has allocated almost a quarter of a million soldiers to patrol and defend it.
Ironically, Bangladesh has employed guards not to prevent illegal immigration into Bangladesh but rather out of it. The geopolitical divisions run deep in this region, and numerous horrific stories dominate its imposing structure.
The Northern and Southern Hemisphere Border
Ecuador took some creative license here (and possibly an ingenious tourist trap) and created a border with the equator. That’s correct – the same equator of third-grade geography! The “Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere” border lies in the Ecuadorian town of Ciudad Mitad del Mundo.
Translated into English, the town’s name means “Middle of the World City.” To cross the equator, one has to pay a whopping two American dollars at the “border post!” Of course, you could walk a few meters up the road and cross the equator for free!