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In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he 'Dark tourism is the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions and exhibitions which have real or recreated death, suffering or the seemingly macabre as a main theme'Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places.

In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection -- the schoolboy currency of Beirut. Dom's upbringing was interspersed with terrifying days and nights spent hunkered in the family basement under Syrian rocket attack or coming across a pile of severed heads from a sectarian execution in the pine forests near his home.

These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places. And in this brilliantly odd and hilariously told travel memoir, Dom Joly sets out on a quest to visit those destinations from which the average tourist would, and should, run a mile.

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Yeah he was really amazing. When I met him I was green in Cambodia. I went to this village with him and he just casually announces that this was where he was kept prisoner and that was the guy who had kept him hostage for two days. They literally waved at each other! It was a very Buddhist thing to do. It was like 'what will be will be'. I wanted Om to get angry, I wanted him to go and punch the bastard.

You know why? And this guy, Mr En, is trying to flog the camera he used to take these photos!

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The Dark Tourist by Dom Joly (Paperback, 2010)

He was just an evil, evil, evil man. It was the most extraordinary thing to be talking to a guy like that. The banality of evil. Once you realise who it is you think he should have horns or something but actually he looked like an insignificant little man.

The dark tourist ebook

Not really. It's more frightening in my home town in the Cotswolds, I did get a sense of being cut off from the world though, especially in North Korea. So suddenly hearing something so familiar was really cool actually. Usually I hate people on those shows when they start weeping when they get a letter from home but actually, having done it, it is extraordinary.

So I think my training was quite good for that actually, having been to North Korea. Boarding school and North Korea was perfect for it. Did you hold back in places like North Korea and Cambodia or do you find yourself still compelled to bridle against the silly bureaucratic rules? I think you definitely should respect countries when you go there.

I'm banned from three rental agencies in England, I'm banned from the passport office in London. But because I filled it out rather than her, I had to come back another day. I just went mental. But of course, a battle with bureaucracy in somewhere like North Korea is a lot more serious. When you were in North Korea they wanted to check your camera's memory card. I show a copy of the American one and it is extraordinary.

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Who in the history of the world ticked yes? I think America was much stricter. Sit down! Why do you speak French? I mean how do you answer that?

Dom Joly fumes over 'blatant TV theft' : News : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide

So I can speak to French people and not end up like you! Go to Israel with one, fucking hell. And then I had to tell them that I went skiing and that was it. They went nasty then, really nasty. The ideal cover image for my book would be me getting off an evacuation plane as everyone is being rushed out. People treat you differently in those places too. People are just as interested in you as you are in them.