Are these really the WORST places to visit?

Some of the worst-thing articles are light-hearted in a subversive grumpy old man way. Some are mean-spirited. Some are just plain wrong.

The 12 Worst Things to do in Paris

Paris

The list compiled by the Daily Telegraph travel staff in 2014 includes:

Going to the Champs-Élysées

“Full of international chains and overpriced restaurants selling dreadful food, as well as car show rooms and the Paris headquarters of Iran Air…”

Queuing for the lifts at the Eiffel Tower

“There is no doubt that every visitor to Paris must do what most of the locals never get around to: ascend the Eiffel Tower.”

Asking Someone the Way….

“Don’t do so unless you’re prepared for a cold shower of Parisian scorn…”

Read it HERE in all its misery (most have to do with queuing, how expensive Paris is and the irritation of having to mix with the French…)

The 10 Worst Tourist Attractions in Europe
Buckingham Palace

The Nomadical Sabbatical is the blog of Peter Shaw who describes himself in his pre-world travel days as  an cubicle-dwelling pink monkey. It took me a moment to realise that he meant he was once a white office worker. He gave up his well-paid job to travel. A decision I don’t think he  regrets, but there are some downs . They include:

Buckingham Palace

“…large boring building that you’d be forgiven for mistaking for a bank and let’s not forget the poor guys who have to stand around all day wearing stupid hats…”

Manneken Pis, Brussels

“Ever seen that famous fountain of the little boy peeing into the water? Well it’s in the middle of Brussels tucked away around a corner… Occasionally the boy gets dressed up in kids’ clothes overnight, which does add a little humour to the thing, yet it is generally quite the underwhelming fountain experience. Hilariously it’s not uncommon for visitors to leave disappointed or even a little… ‘pissed off’… (oh god.. sorry, I had to).

Read the rest of Peter’s peeves HERE (Totally agree with him about the leaning Tower of Pisa)

7 Countries That Hate Tourists

Angry Man

Last summer (June 2015) the writers at Tavelversed, the Canadian travel website, put together a feature on the countries where visitors could not expect a welcome. This list is serious. It’s not attempting a semi-humorous glance at different cultures, this is a warning about hate crimes and danger. I haven’t visited any of these countries and I would love to hear from you if you have, but I felt I ought to add a summary of current UK Foreign Office advice as a balance because hate is a big word.

Here’s their unfriendly seven – you can read the post in full HERE

Mongolia (A country I’ve always wanted to visit)
Tavelversed says: (Tourism) progress was set back after a group of Chinese tourists…attacked by the Neo-Nazi Khukh Mongol (Blue Mongol) group. The tourists never reported the attack to their embassy, and it was only later when photos surfaced on Twitter that any action of reparation was taken.

Foreign Office advice:
Mongolia takes border security very seriously and foreign nationals are not routinely permitted access to border areas.There is a low threat from terrorism.Avoid going out on foot alone at night. Foreigners stand out and can be targeted for attack because of their comparative wealth.Around 6,000 British nationals visit Mongolia annually. Most visits are trouble-free.

Bulgaria

Tavelversed says “…outbreaks of E-coli and hepatitis in contaminated water along the Black Sea coast…in 2012 an attack on Israeli tourists at the Sarafovo Airport  killed 7 and injured 30.”

Foreign Office advice:

There is an underlying threat from terrorism.

Be aware of pickpockets in city centres and tourist resorts …There has been an increase in burglaries from hotel rooms in Sunny Beach. Keep valuables in a safe. Be aware of prostitutes around Burgas and Sunny Beach.

There may be disruption or delays at border crossings with Greece.

There are regular reports of robberies and threatening behaviour by taxi drivers in Sunny Beach.

There are sporadic protests across Bulgaria. Avoid all protests, keep up to date with media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Slovakia
Tavelversed says: Racism against visible minorities.
I take that to mean black travellers should beware

Foreign Office advice:

The Slovak authorities can refuse entry if your passport is worn or damaged, or looks as if it has been tampered with.

Most visits to Slovakia are trouble-free.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism.

 Pakistan
Tavelversed says: In 2013 alone, 355 different terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan.

Foreign Office advice

Don’t travel to:

  • the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
  • the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
  • northern and western Balochistan
  • travel on the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit

Only travel to the following areas if it is essential:

  • the Kalesh Valley, the Bamoboret Valley and Arandu District to the south and west of Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city of Quetta
  • the city of Nawabshah in Sindh Province, and areas of interior Sindh to the north of Nawabshah

Pakistan is in a major earthquake zone and remains at risk from further earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding.

There is a high threat from terroism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks, and kidnapping against western nationals in Pakistan. You should be particularly vigilant

In response to the World Health Organisation’s emergency recommendations about the spread of polio virus, the government of Pakistan now requires all departing travellers who have spent more than 4 weeks in Pakistan to produce a valid vaccination certificate at the time of their departure…

Around 270,000 British nationals visit Pakistan every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Iran
Tavelversed says: Since Western credit cards don’t work, tourists must carry all their money in cash, which can make them a huge target for thieves.

Foreign Office advice:

Don’t travel:

  • within 100km of the entire Iran/Afghanistan border
  • within 10km of the entire Iran/Iraq border
  • the province of Sistan-Baluchistan
  • the area east of the line running from Bam to Jask, including Bam

There is a general threat from terrorism.

Lativa
Tavelversed says: “…Many bars in the Old Town of Riga are known to be scams focused on fleecing tourists, and child sex tourism that preys on vulnerable young girls is rampant…”

Foreign Office advice:

Keep up to date with media coverage of local events, avoid all demonstrations and take care if you’re near any large gatherings.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

Around 65,000 British nationals visit Latvia each year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Kuwait
Tavelversed says: “Sandstorms often blanket even the most urban cities… tourists who have been arriving in the last few years have found that the hotels and attractions that are open now are not enough to cater to demands.”

(Sandstorms in a desert country? Not enough hotels?  Hardly evidence of hatred of tourists…)

Foreign Office advice:

There is a general threat from terrorism.

Following maritime restrictions issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior in 2011, you should take care when sailing in Kuwaiti waters.

Take care if you plan to travel in conservative areas like Jahra and Jleeb As Shuyoukh.

Around 6,000 British nationals live in Kuwait and a further 5,000 visit each year. Most visits to Kuwait are trouble-free.

oOo

So, take worst-thing articles with a pinch of salt, but if you are at all worried seek up-to-date advice from a reliable source.  Who that is I think must depend on where you live and who you are. The Times of Israel has a list of the most anti-Semitic countries and the 10 least anti-Semitic. (You can read the article HERE.) With the rise of nazi-type organisation a real concern, I found a list of 8 of the Worst Countries for Black People to Travel by The Atlanta Black Star (see HERE) but this was refuted by Minority Nomad, Erick Prince, an African American blogger planning to visit every country in the world and with a fair few already under his belt. (HERE)

Perhaps the best advice is to avoid worst-thing articles altogether.

 

 

 

 

 

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