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jun 17 2010

The worst places on Earth

Who hasn't thought over and over about their "checklist" destinations, the kinds of places that are just too iconic to miss? The Great Wall of China, the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower. But who goes through the trouble of making the opposite list—the places to avoid at all costs?

Catherine Price, that's who.

In her upcoming book 101 Places Not to See Before You Die ($14, Harper Paperbacks, 272 pages), on sale June 22, journalist and lifelong traveler Catherine Price offers a snarky and hilarious look at some of the most uninviting, overcrowded, unsanitary, overhyped, and stomach-churning locales on the planet

Some of her choices are obvious (a North Korean gulag, the Beijing Museum of Tap Water, "any place whose primary claim to fame is a large fiberglass thing"). Some might raise an eyebrow or two from fans and residents (Nevada, Stonehenge, Mount Rushmore, the Blarney Stone).

As a traveler who has seen my fair share of unappealing places, it's only natural to add a few of my own to the list. These are the places that, if I had my way, I'd never step foot in again:

• The long road between Lovelock and Winnemucca, Nevada…on empty with no gas stations in sight

• A NYC subway station in July (a.k.a. "The Sweatiest Place on Earth")

• A pizzeria in Brno, Czech Republic, where ketchup, corn, and scrambled egg bits count as appropriate toppings

• The night train from Prague to Budapest, unless you enjoy overflowing toilets and gruff Slavic border guards with growly German shepherds

• Disney's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (I don't care what anyone says: falling at almost 40 m.p.h. is not fun.)

Now it's your turn: What is your least favorite place on the planet?

[For other ideas, see BT's "Not" List. Or check out The Titanic Awards.)

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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