The Quay Son river runs through China and then skirts the border of Vietnam. In this brief stretch, the Quay Son’s peaceful flow is suddenly interrupted as it crashes down the Ban Gioc waterfall. The Ban Gioc waterfall straddles the border between China and Vietnam, and, in all technical terms, the countries share equal halves of it!
China has a stringent border policy. In the past, when visitors to the Vietnam half of the waterfall wanted to visit it, they would have to apply for a permit from Chinese authorities beforehand. This permit has recently been made redundant.
If two countries could be a puzzle, it would definitely be Belgium and the Netherlands. The peculiar Belgian municipality of Baarle-Hertog is oddly not even in Belgium itself, but rather it is entirely surrounded by the Netherlands as an enclave. The history of the fascinating border came from the Middle Ages when feudal disputes led to the land being divided and allotted to different blue-blooded families.
After Belgium flipped the Netherlands the bird and declared independence in 1831, the countries were left with a mess of intersecting feudal lands. This means a couple can be sleeping in the same bed but in different countries!
Polish and Ukrainian Fish
European cartographers have been kept very busy over the last few centuries as the continent went to war with itself and redefined territories consistently. Poland and Ukraine have traded blows more than once in the previous century and have often tried to redefine their borders. At present, the current border has remained in place and peacefully agreed upon since 1992.
In a gesture of peacekeeping efforts, an artist from Poland named Jaroslaw Koziara carved two gigantic fish into the grass on either side of the country’s borders as a symbol of unity.
This border has to be the only one in the world that is nothing but a strip of masking tape. The quaint opera house/library, Haskell Library, is built on the border of America and Canada. And no, not AT the border – ON the border! The peculiar building was the brainchild of Canadian Martha Stewart Haskell, who had the building constructed in tribute to her American husband.
The library symbolized nations coming together and a place to foster peace and negotiations. The Haskell library does not serve as a border post, and patrons are free to cross the “line” as much as they desire.
Liechtenstein Switzerland Border
What makes the border between Lichtenstein and Switzerland unique is not any particular natural or manmade feature but rather its very peculiar nature. Since the early twentieth century, Liechtenstein and Switzerland have had a mutual understanding of cooperation. There is no officially designated border between the two countries, and stepping over from one side to the other can generally go unnoticed.
Take, for instance, the case in 1976 whereby almost one hundred Swiss troops chose the wrong path and landed up nearly a kilometer into Liechtenstein — instead of being arrested, they were welcomed with beer!