This slide show features some exotic passport stamps from BudgetTravel.com readers, such as this stamp from Port Lockroy, a research station in the British Antarctic Territory, which was submitted by Billy Hancock of St Petersburg, Fla.
In 1999, Cheryl Hannah of Aspen, Colo., crossed the border from Thailand into Laos on a guided tour. This meant climbing up a 15-foot river bank of slippery red mud. The customs building was a wooden shack with just a bench and an oil lantern. The nearby village was a delight, she says.
In April 2006, Mark Koepping of Portland, Ore., got this stamp while visiting Bodrum, Turkey. He saw the ruins of the Maussollos Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. He also visited Ephesus and saw ancient Roman ruins. "Spectacular!" he says.
In 1980 Bob Peterson of Carrollton, Texas, got this stamp while working in Libya for Occidental Petroleum. He says, "I saw the Roman ruins of Leptis Magna, the 'summer resort' of Cleopatra. I also spent time in Benghazi and saw lots of leftover tanks and artillery from World War II.
Jean Christiansen of Flower Mound, Texas, once vacationed in Syria, in February 2005. In Damascus, she saw the souks, mosques, and shops on Straight Street. "That's the street where Saul was allegedly converted and changed his name to Paul," she says.
Jean Christiansen went to Sri Lanka in August 2003 with her daughter and some friends. She says, "We flew into Columbo, where my passport was stamped, and then toured the country. Our guide was great, but his name was 'Dummy,' and we had a hard time calling him that!
Jean Christiansen has visited Burma (Myanmar) many times, but this stamp is from her trip in February 2006. She says, "I spent several days at Inle Lake, one of my favorite places in the world. One night near sunset, I hired a boat and took pictures of the fishmen, the famous leg rowers.
In August 2003, Jean Christiansen visited Nepal with her family, driving overland from Katmandu to the Chitwan Jungle. They went on safari on elephants, riding bareback into the river, and bathing them. Jean says, "We also got a bath, as they continually sprayed us with their trunks!"
Chelsea Wald of Silver Spring, Md., visited Brazil when she was a Fulbright Fellow in Chile in 2001 to attend a conference in Brasilia, the capital city. She says, "No one was walking down the streets. In fact, the sidewalks were falling into disrepair. Even the restaurants were lonely.
Chelsea Wald and her husband once visited Bangladesh. She says, "We ate frequently in what's possibly now our favorite restaurant in the world--the Angel Drop, which stands bravely, but precariously, on stilts over the surf and provides diners with an expansive view of the Bay of Bengal.
Richard J.Pazara of Arlington,Texas, visited Suriname in November 2004. He says, "I really got a sense of 'getting along' and tolerance there. For example, the local mosque and synagogue are right next door in Paramaribo and they don't even have a fence in between."
Richard J. Pazara visited Mozambique in October 2004. In the town of Maputo, he happened upon a beautiful new mosque. He says, "One mosque member greeted me (in English) and invited me in. He presented me to the Imam, who quite unexpectedly offered for his son to give me a tour.
In early 2005, Billy Hancock of St Petersburg, Fla., visited Antarctica with his wife and a Grand Circle Travel group. Says Billy: "At Port Lockroy, we saw a British research station that mainly monitors penguin colonies. As a courtesy to visitors, it will stamp passports.