Some places are completely off-limits to travelers. A history of violent conflicts or totalitarian governments can cause would-be tourists to simply black out a country or an entire region on their travel maps. Often, a negative image will follow a country even after peace has been declared.
But former no-go zones can be some of the most interesting places to travel. Early visitors will get the excitement of traveling somewhere that has an authentic off-the-tourist-trail feel. Likewise, the local population in these little-visited lands won't see you as “just one of a million tourists,” but as a (usually) welcome visitor, or even a guest. Here are some formerly off-limits regions that have become interesting destinations. (Text: Josh Lew)