April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The World's Most Dangerous Places

Current Status
In Season
Robert Young Pelton
Travel, Nonfiction

Italy? Hawaii? Iraq? Before deciding your next vacation site, consider perusing Robert Young Pelton’s The World’s Most Dangerous Places (HarperResource, $22.95). ”I was shocked that you could get 30 books on Paris and not one on Afghanistan,” explains Pelton, a longtime adventure traveler who spoke to EW from Damascus. Safety, he notes, is relative: ”There’s probably more law and order in war zones and brutal dictatorships than there are in the States.” Among the 32 destinations scary enough to make the fifth edition are the U.S. and, yes, Iraq. Since hitting stores earlier this month, though, Places already needs revisions. One of the Baghdad hotels recommended is the Palestine (”great views of the Tigris River, friendly staff, and shouldn’t cost more than $40 a night”), which was recently hit by coalition forces. Is the rest of the book still relevant? Says Pelton: ”Depends what day you read it.”

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