10 Cities I would not travel to: Here is the reason Why !

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by anileze, Aug 1, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    In response to the terrible list generated by some other travel site, here is hopefully identifiable MP's own list of 10 cities to one would not travel to. It need not be war or conflict. It could be pollution, or climate. As long as we list the reason for each.

    Here are mine.
    • Baghdad(Mosul) For obvious reason, there is still sectarian violence going on. You don't go there for R&R
    • Damascus(Aleppo) There is civil war going on in Syria
    • Detroit If one does not have pressing business, it is a city I would avoid.
    • Kinshasa Congo, Formerly known as Zaire, you need armed body guards to move around. After a decade of civil strife, the country and the city has still not a tourist destination.
    • Karachi A city that is going through intercine violence and intense Anti-American, Anti-Indian sentiments, and targeted suicide bombings.
    • Lagos To travel from airport to hotel and back, even to move around in the city after dark requires being armed. Not exactly a weekend in Paris :)
    • Mogadishu, Somalia The country has been lawless for over two decades with warlords and gangs fighting for turf and control.
    • Nuevo Laredo Our insatiable appetite for drugs, and inability to address it, has created one of the most dangerous border towns on the other side of Rio Grande. Murder and killings are result of drug and turf wars.
    • San Pedro Sula, Honduras Violence and murders are a problem in Honduras. Drugs, and chronic unemployment, the Original Banana Republic is still the same in many ways.
    • Ukraine/Gaza/Afghanistan While not cities in particular. These regions I would Avoid unless I had some business like Relief work, Diplomacy, Arms dealing, Which I don't so I won't go.
    There could have been a list of 25, or even more. But 10 for now :) ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    A great listing of cities that travelers should avoid! Well done, anileze! :)

    How sad that drugs, violence and sectarianism/extremism continues to render many cities quite dangerous. When I visited Nuevo Laredo about 25 years ago, the biggest danger was from the young kids panhandling American tourists. With heads literally rolling in those streets, it's now a very different and quite dangerous place.

    Some of my colleagues have spent quite a bit of time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They (correctly) feared for their lives while in Kinshasa, but enjoyed the peace and calm of the remote villages. Big Hint: Avoid countries who's names begin with the word "Democratic" - they aren't! :(

    It's so sad to see the results of Russian aggression in the Ukraine. Having worked there in the past, I can verify that the Ukrainian people are wonderful to work with - they deserve better! I agree that many regions there are now best avoided. But that wouldn't stop me from heading to Kiev.

    And I hope that other Milepointers can leave useful comments/suggested additions to your fine list. ;)

    Newscience
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Since the list is entitled '10 Cities', then perhaps there should be One City per bullet. ;)
    If I'm unfamiliar with China, does that mean I can count it all as one city?
     
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  4. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Heading to Detroit in September for a Trade Show. If I dont make it back, its been a pleasure.
     
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  5. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I'd love to visit there myself. It's supposed to be a real treat for old architecture buffs, at least until the developers move in and homogenize everything for tourist consumption.
     
  6. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Be liberal in what you list, List once, list often. Afterall, once things calm down, I'm sure tourists will return to Kyiv/Donetsk Gaza City/Ashdod etc etc. :) and then we can add our next dangerous place :)
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Can't say that Gaza City has ever been on my bucket list of places to visit.
     
  8. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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    Nada to Nigeria in general unless you have a government armed escort...(which I did). It's too crazy there.

    On the other hand...I'm heading to Texas end of this month. If you guys don't hear for me then great meeting all of you guys on MP ;)
     
  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Now, anileze, you've proven your acumen once again. You've also proven once again why Milepoint lists are different than and better than any other lists.
    Because your list is filled with formerly interesting points of interest, I add a couple historical notes:
    Mosul- was both interesting and quite urbane when i travelled there with Iraqi friends in the mid-1970's. Quote of Iraqi saying "the Iraqis revolted in 1958 and they've been revolting ever since".
    Damascus/Aleppo/Hama- the latter was the most beautiful small city in Syria before the total destruction a couple decades ago, Aleppo was my favorite Syrian city as well as the home place of several global trading families (e.g. the Safra brothers). Damascus never had the charm but it has always had fascinating remnants of the foundations of major cultures. A day trip from Beirut is still possible on quite days... (so if you want to know what Syria was like you can safely visit most of Lebanon and all of Jordan. Beirut is still on my "10 favorite cities" list.
    Detroit- despite arguments otherwise i find no redeeming social value in Detroit other than the art museums and Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village.
    Karachi- mover my favorite, but Lahore was one of my all-time favorites, together with Peshawar. I would go to Karachi today but not to the others.
    Lagos- the permanent basket case, together with Kinshasa.
    Mogadishu- was colorful and interesting, populated with perhaps the most graceful people I have ever seen. Destroyed! When I lived in Sana'a we used to go to Mogadishu/Khartoum/Djoubiti for pleasure. Nothing worthwhile seems to be left, other than the ancient buildings in Northern Yemen.
    Nuevo Laredo/San Pedro Sula- I do not know them
    Afghanistan- was a fascinating and difficult place, but oddly cohesive. After the Soviet invasion in 1978 it went downhill, accelerating after the US invasion. There is a reason why this place has never been successfully conquered. Sadly, it seems one can no longer be a tourist there.
    Gaza- Never the prime real estate, but... OTOH, I explicitly can and do recommend the West Bank, with much caution, just as is required to visit the ruins of Ballbek and the Beka'a valley in Lebanon.

    So, the only alterations I would even think about in your list would be considering whether some risk might be worthwhile to visit places that are of unusual interest. Having lived in a few war zones and violent places one can argue safely that my tolerance for risk is quite high. Still, the only personal crime ever inflicted on me was in US zip code 90274, held to be one of the safest in the USA. Nothing nasty has happened to me in any of these notoriously high-risk places.
     
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  10. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Karachi of today is a different kettle of fish. I could easily survive and blend in Lahore, I am unsure about Karachi. The good percentage of cabdrivers in New York City, who happen to be of Pakistan descent, say that the randomness to violence in KHI is much different than say in LHE. Both are historic cities with unique culture and cuisine.
     
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  11. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Amen!

    Very well written, jbcarioca!

    I've travelled to Jordan many times in the last few years, and can only speak highly of that country and Jordanian people. But I have also interacted professionally with many locals, in Amman and elsewhere, and have always contracted with a local driver, and so have seen the best of that "peaceful island" in the Middle East.

    Africa - The wise Africa-bound traveler (as with many other countries in the world) does their homework before travelling to various African countries. I'm not sure that I would be in a big hurry to return to either Abidjan or Ouagadougou anytime soon.

    Sorry to read about your 90274 experience! That can happen anywhere, and the wise traveler never lets their guard down!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
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  12. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    I lived in Detroit for 5 years, from 1990 until 1995. They've had more than their share of economic issues, but I'd go back and visit in a heartbeat: world-class art museum, beautiful architecture (residential (especially in the Grosse Pointes) as well as commercial), good sports teams, ethnic food (Polish, Greek, etc), easy access to Canada (bridge and tunnel just a river crossing away). And the Henry Ford Museum? Amazing.

    Would I live there again? No. But there's nothing wrong in visiting.
     
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  13. Gardyloo
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    Gardyloo Gold Member

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    What about places you've visited and enjoyed, but wouldn't want to return to at the moment?

    My list would start with Tashkent, and would include Tehran and Dushanbe. Also, sadly, most of Mexico DF.
     
  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I agree comparing lumping Detroit with some of the places listed is patently unfair to city which to some extent suffers greatly to the piling on of the press. Anyone here remember when New York was in a similar situation?

    Now let me throw a wrench in this discussion. One city I for one I am not interested in visiting is Tel Aviv, because the abominable treatment of the people of Gaza..
     
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  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I would go to Tehran again, and have done so recently. I do not care to live there again, nor will I argue with people who don't want to go there. Still, almost all the iranian people retain their sense of gracious hospitality. My personal case in point, although ancient: Me driving in Tehran on a divided highway, elderly man walking blissfully into the traffic carrying his morning bread. I swerve and try to stop but hit him anyway. Against all advice i stopped and got out of the car to see if I could help. Several people rushed towards me and him. I was terrified and dismayed simultaneously. One man is helping the old man up, meantime a woman is apologizing to me for her grandfathers negligence. We all put grandfather in my car whisk him to the nearest hospital, he was released an hour later with no material damage. Meantime his son, granddaughter and other family members insist we join them for a meal. We all kept in touch for years. OK, that happened in the 1970's, but even this January people were very kind and generous, although one dresses and talks quite cautiously now.
     
  16. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Most of my Pakistani friends live elsewhere, mostly other Moslem countries. My closest friends are from Lahore and they are cautious now, although they do go. I have one close friend who has been asked numerous times to accept postings to karachi, which he refuses precisely because of the randomness of violence. I could not blend in Lahore, thus today I would not go. I'm reliably told that if it is possible to blend, and one is not recognized, it's manageable there.

    I have gone and will go almost anywhere, but religious extremists scare me, regardless of their stripe, so I am very cautious around them.
     
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  17. Gardyloo
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    Gardyloo Gold Member

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    I agree about the graciousness of the Iranian people, just as I would include the Uzbeks and Tajiks (although I never had any up-front and personal encounters in Tajikistan similar to yours.)

    My memories of Iran (also long ago) were of a beautiful country with wonderful people and amazing history and food, contaminated by authoritarian governance (first the Shah, then the mullahs) and horrendous social inequality. I took this picture in a slum in Tehran which purportedly was home to over a million people, absent running water and sanitary systems (people were actually using the water in the picture.) Then in another city I got arrested (at gunpoint) for taking this picture - it turned out the building was the local HQ of the Shah's secret police, Savak. Not the stuff of warm fuzzy memories, alas.

    The Israeli stamps in my passport would keep me out anyway.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Saudi Arabia didn't make the list for its strict religious rules?

    Is no one here afraid of Ebola?
     
  19. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I'd love to discuss that, but I worry that we might cause offense to some in what is an extraordinarily civil place. That said, I do, can and will travel to TLV although I prefer to stay in Jerusalem because another art nouveau beach city is not really terribly attractive to me. Politically my personal view is that there is more than enough blame to go around everywhere on these issues. if we are to not travel because of culpability, where to stop? Should we exclude England because of the disastrous invention of iraq, Syria, Jordan and Israel without any attempt to reconcile cultural and territorial issues? Should we stay away from France because they invented religious partition in Lebanon? Without defending anyone at all (because I think almost everyone has been indefensible) I still will visit any other these countries, even though I need multiple passports and serious itinerary juggling to make it happen.
     
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  20. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Naples scares me more than Detroit for crime. In a bad area, I prefer to know the language and system.
     
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  21. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    We all seem to be agreeing that some horrific abuses happen to people in places where the bulk of the populace are gracious. I wish we could live in a better world, as trite as that sounds.
     
  22. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Knowing the language and system always reduces perceived risk, does it not? Regardless of the objective reality, being at home is lower risk than being away, for most people, or so it seems.
     
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  23. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Naples? Perhaps Italy's most dynamic city? What's scary about Naples other than usual seedy areas one finds in every city on the planet?
    Think I will quickly retire from this thread... before I get myself in trouble:).
     
  24. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Knowing, or even understanding a smittering of the language, is first step to reducing threat-perception.

    As to why no KSA, list your 10 :) I may not be able to enter KSA, so I did not list.
     
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  25. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    In addition, KSA has first class facilities and is generally safe. No question, it is a coercive place, and very restrictive. Not quite the stuff of a world's worst, though.

    Obviously, appropriately, we will not all see quite the same things in any such listing. For both best and worst the question is one of perspective. That said, it's quite satisfying to have a discussion here on recognized merits, not unrecognized ignorance.

    Just as I feel safer and more interested in KSA and Napoli than I do in Detroit, I have no difficulty understanding contrary views. Viewing TripAdvisor as another case, I am often just bewildered about how they find some opinions expressed which seem written by people who have never been to the places discussed.
     
  26. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Are you worried about this incident? :D
     
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