There was a time when leaving your home nation was unlikely, when getting a plane and flying halfway across the globe was an impossibility and when exploring the world’s wonders was something you’d only read about in books – am I talking about the old days, or am I talking about covid? Who knows. Either way, with summer in full force, it’s time to start thinking about holidays and destinations. If you’re someone who likes to visit somewhere with a little magical twist, then why not try a drug tourist hotspot?
The world is full of amazing countries, with amazing substances. But it isn’t always easy to know where to look. That’s why we’ve filtered down the ideal places to go if you’re looking for a certain type of drug or experience.
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What is Drug Tourism?
So, what actually is this phenomenon? Well, someone should probably think of a better term than ‘drug tourism’, it doesn’t really have much of a ring to it, does it? Nonetheless, drug tourism is a simple enough idea and is pretty self-explanatory. Put simply, it is when someone travels to another location in the hope to enjoy specific substances. This could be either because these drugs are better there, more easily available or simply accepted by the nations’ government.
In some cases, these substances are illegal and thus do not benefit the government. In others, these have been made legal and public. In the Netherlands, the government makes around 400 million euros a year from their cannabis tourist sector, and around 2 million from their drug sector as a whole. Also, in Thailand, they have recently legalized cannabis in the hope that it will increase the worth of their sector like other countries. But drug tourism isn’t a new thing. Gateway writes:
“Drug tourism dates back centuries ago when spice traders would go to other countries to get the spices unavailable at home. With the advancement of technology and transportation, tourism is more popular than ever, reaching around 1.46 billion travelers in 2019. With the increase in travel comes a rise in event, restaurant and drug sales.”
For some, drug tourism is now becoming as respected as food tourism or activity tourism. It’s as good a reason as any to travel the world to find the perfect substances. But where are the main hotspots? Let’s find out.
The Top Drug Tourism Hotspots
Peru in South America is the perfect holiday destination if you’re looking for a psychedelic trip like no other. Thousands of tourists are now trekking to the jungles of Peru to experience ayahuasca. What is it? Well, Heathline writes:
“Ayahuasca — also known as the tea, the vine, and la purga — is a brew made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, though other plants and ingredients can be added as well”
It is a native vine of the Amazonian basin, which is why Peru is the ideal location. The drink was and is used for spiritual purposes by ancient Amazonian tribes. Places like the Ayahuasca foundation in Peru offer retreats to tourists who want to experience the psychedelic drug safely. Those who have taken ayahuasca describe it as a religious experience. The psychedelic makes you feel at one with the Earth, as well causing some incredible hallucinations and euphoric emotions. Some naturally vomit due to its potency. But don’t worry, this is all part of the experience. The shamans will take care of you through it all.
Another location – whilst perhaps the most obvious one – is the capital of Holland: Amsterdam. Amsterdam has decriminalized cannabis and has a booming weed culture. Within the city there are around 160 coffeeshops, all of which sell a variety of strains and products. Plus, the city is gorgeous. The canals, cobbled streets and wonky buildings are captured only by Van Gogh’s paintings. As a recommendation, getting high and going to the Van Gogh museum is a must do. As a bonus, Amsterdam also sells truffles, a derivative of the magic mushroom. These odd-looking things give an awesome psilocybin trip. Sit in Vondelpark and watch as the colorful hallucinations go by.
It wasn’t too long ago that Colombia was too dangerous to visit with very high crime and death rates. In fact, still now it’s considered a ‘reconsider travel’ nation. But, alas, for many people it’s a beautiful country, with great culture and the beginning of a South American tour. Plus, it may just be the easiest and cheapest place to get high quality cocaine. In the 90s, Colombia became the main producer of cocaine, as well as heroin. Supposedly the value of the trade is worth around 10 billion dollars a year. Colombia is the source of 43% of the world’s coke. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s easy to get and very cheap. The Partying Traveller writes:
“The trick for the dealers is to give it as a “gift” with another purchase. For example, 30,000 Colombian pesos is pretty steep for a single can of beer, but you’ll get a complimentary gift for that. That “gift” is worth a couple hundred per gram in big cities like New York City or London, so it’s no surprise why Colombia gets a lot of tourism solely for cocaine”
Some parts of Colombia will give you a gram of cocaine for the price of a frozen pizza, at around 3 dollars. The average price of a gram of cocaine in London or New York is about 100 pounds or dollars. It’s no surprise that people travel halfway across the world for cheap prices like that. Plus, it’s supposed to be far more potent than the meddled-with and cut-stuff in America or Europe.
Thailand: Magic Mushrooms
Thailand is just about one of the most picturesque places out there. You have jungles, you have bustling cities, you have islands, and you have some of the most stunning beaches on the planet. Tourism has boomed in Thailand, which does mean it can be hard to get off the beaten track. But, if you’re looking for peace, searching for magic mushroom shakes might just be the right place to start. Travel Freak writes:
“It was now 4pm and the sun was well on its way to bumping heads with the horizon. We drank our shakes, sat in big comfy chairs and lazed in hammocks by the beach. We went swimming, told stories, talked nonsense, laughed uncontrollably and bonded over this incredibly unusual experience.”
In Thailand – and especially the island of Koh Phangan – there are many high bars on the top of mountains or on beaches that sell shroom shakes. These shakes are hugely popular and easy to get hold of. But, fortunately, they’re usually sold in peaceful areas where you can properly enjoy the wonders of psychedelics. When I was in Thailand, I had probably my greatest ever drug experience watching the sunset from a bar on the top of a mountain. I remember talking to a cloud for about 4 hours. It was great.
It isn’t often spoken about but the ecstasy in Germany definitely deserves a mention. Berlin is the capital of techno music, and as such, has some of the greatest drugs to go alongside this culture. It’s not only easy to get pills in Berlin, but they’re also extremely potent. The capital has some of the livest clubs in the world, and the electronic music is crazy. However, it can be hard to get in, so don’t be surprised if the bouncer turns you away. Nonetheless, ecstasy is incredibly popular. DW writes:
“Of Berlin’s partygoers, more than half (50.3 percent) admitted to using amphetamines and almost half ecstasy/MDMA (49.1 percent) within the last 30 days.”
Taking this drug in a Berlin club is a bucket list event. Simply stand on the street and someone will try and sell you something. It’s easier to get than water. Although, make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.
There are many drugs in the world, and many great countries where you can enjoy them. Drug tourism is a real phenomenon and shouldn’t be undermined. There are concrete reasons why thousands of people travel to certain places every year to experience certain substances. Technically, people’s obsession with exploring wine in the south of France is as respectable as travelling to Mexico to take Toad Venom. It’s all a drug after all. So, where do you plan on visiting this year?
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