Wednesday, June 11, 2008

World's 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

From Hopefully your summer plans don't include any of these "dead-stinations."

Risk ranking: 5 (1 to 5 scale, 5 being the highest risk)

If the presence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda aren't enough to deter people from visiting Afghanistan, there are an estimated 5 million to 7 million landmines scattered around the countryside. Food shortages are prevalent; infrastructure is basically nonexistent; and bombings in Kabul, especially around the U.S. Embassy, are commonplace. Great deals on carpets are sure to be found, though.

Risk ranking: 4

The U.S. State Department cautions that Americans should not travel to Chechnya and its surrounding areas, and if they do, they should "depart immediately." The latest large-scale uprising by Chechen rebels was the October 2002 takeover of a Moscow theater, in which 129 hostages and 50 gunmen were killed. Kidnappings in the Caucasus by local crime gangs are common. The State Department warns: "U.S. citizens have disappeared in Chechnya and remain unaccounted for."

Risk ranking: 4

Travelers to Colombia can take their pick from an embarrassment of risks: kidnapping, domestic airline hijacking, robbery and murder are all possibilities. This is a country where it's de rigueur for wealthy citizens to employ an army of Uzi-wielding bodyguards and ride in bomb-proofed SUVs. According to the U.S. State Department, there is a greater risk of being kidnapped in Colombia than in any other country in the world. In 2002, more than 3,000 people were reported kidnapped throughout Colombia. In the past two years, 18 Americans were reported kidnapped in various parts of the country.

Risk ranking: 5

Although the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is over and a cease-fire is in effect, the country remains volatile. Last April, six members of the Red Cross were murdered. In May, rebels kidnapped more than 20 people working at a Thai logging company. Sporadic fighting with Rwandan and Burundian rebels along the Congo borders continues to occur. Armed robbery, carjacking and assault are everyday occurrences.

Risk ranking: NA (meaning, off the charts)


Risk ranking: 3

Since September 2000, there have been more than 70 Palestinian suicide bomb attacks aimed at Israelis. The West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem remain the most dangerous areas. Travelers should avoid large crowds, buses, shopping areas, restaurants, clubs and cafes -- which doesn't leave much that could be considered safe.

North Korea
Risk ranking: NA

The government is totalitarian, the people are starving and the hotels are terrible -- who would want to go to North Korea? On top of all that, there's a simmering nuclear crisis. While Americans can travel there with a visa, be warned: There is no U.S. Consulate and the laws are strict. Foreigners can be arrested for shopping at "nontourist" stores, and it's a crime to show disrespect to North Korea's current and former leaders, Kim Jung-Il and Kim Il-Sung.

Risk ranking: 4

One of the most gruesome -- and visible -- displays of the dangers in Pakistan was the 2002 kidnapping and slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Foreigners, especially Christians, continue to be targeted there. Churchgoers in an Islamabad Protestant church have been attacked, as have several people in a Christian hospital in Taxila. The U.S. Consulate in Karachi is closed indefinitely, and the State Department warns Americans to leave.

Papua New Guinea
Risk ranking: 3

Although cannibalism is still practiced in Papua New Guinea, being eaten is one of the least likely threats to visitors. Violent crime is more of a worry, much of it attributed to local gangs known as "rascals." Law enforcement is inadequate; there are only 4,800 cops for a population of nearly 4 million. The State Department advises visitors to ask the hotel concierge for metal pipes, which can be placed inside windows to block entry from an intruder. The scuba diving in Papua New Guinea, however, is superb.

Risk ranking: 4

Torn by civil war for years, Yemen has become even more dangerous lately. The most notable incidents were the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, the 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists and the murder of three American missionaries last December. In October 2002, the French oil tanker Limburg was set ablaze, killing one sailor. The most common threats to travelers are kidnapping and carjacking, although petty crime is low. Tribal kidnappings are normally resolved within a few days.

Dishonorable Mentions:
Sri Lanka


(personally, I won't be traveling to any "-stan")


  1. A friend of mine was trying to get me into going to Congo for 6 months at a time to work as a field and flight medic. I told him to go pound salt, I need new friends I think!

  2. Thank god none of those are on my vaca list. I'm in agreement with the whole not going to any "stan" place.

    My next trip will be MA and that's just fine with me.

  3. I ain't very bright, but I don't need no for this here kind of enlightenment. I recently read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, and there is no way I'd visit a 'Stan Country. Scary.

    Regarding Mexico: Hmmmm. That probably eliminates a lot of Border States.

  4. but i have heard that the beaches in north korea are second to none. bummer.

    o hell, i can barely afford to go to michigan this summer, nevermind some third world war zone.
    o wait, i do have to travel through chicago...

  5. Seriously this is the list they came up with? Where the fuck is Detroit on that list? Surely it is worse the Iraq.

  6. I put West Virginia at about a 4.

  7. Damn, there goes my trip to Chechnya!

    The only places I've actually been that are on that list are Mexico (Cozumel and Cancun) and Haiti. I can buy Haiti being on there, but Mexico?? Hmmmm

  8. Man! And I was so looking forward to my trip to Yemen...

    I guess I will just have to settle for Florida this year.

  9. Phew, glad the cottage didn't make the list, those wolves, snakes big ass fish and snapping turtles are wicked scary and could have turned the tide for

    With the price of gas how can anybody be planning to go a vehicle at least! We've scrapped our plans to drive down east. Ugh.

  10. Hmmmmm...Higgins Lake vs. Yemen. Hmmmmm.....

  11. New Guinea sounds like Los Angeles.

  12. Don't rule out the 'stans'. I was just in Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan last summer and both were incredible. Check out these entries from my blog.

    We met some of the friendliest folks on our trip in Kyrgyzstan.

  13. Seriously? How can you not include South Africa? Johannesburg is the world's single most dangerous city! South Africa has a murder rate 10x the USA!

    Please note: these are cities not at war. Baghdad does not count.

  14. Talk to Forbes, dawg. It's their bloody list.


  15. hehe, it's nice to see other people using the phrase "stan countries"! I hear you. I wouldn't want to go to one either! Maybe there ought to be a law that says all dangerous countries should change their names to end with "stan". Iraqistan, congoistan - just so people know. :p

  16. I don't think Uganda deserves the "dishonorable mention"...most of it (including Kampala, its capital) is quite safe. Great place; I went there in 2008 and recommend it warmly.

  17. I have to strongly disagree with the statement about "all stans". I dis also travel to uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan last september and the 3 were great and safe! And Mexico?? It actually does have unsafe cities like the US per say...but in general it is pretty safe

  18. You can remove Uganda from the list, I was there last year with a group of (white) British people and I was fine, only the North is dangerous.

  19. From this list I've been recently to Myanmar (two weeks on bycicle with wife and son), Cambodia (4 times in last 6 years, with all family), and both of them are great destinations, great people.

  20. Within the last 3 years, I've travelled to North Korea, Colombia, and Papau New Guinea. I felt safe the entire time. As with most places, if you pay attention to where you are, what's going on around you, and how you're acting, you seriously decrease the chances you will have a bad experience. North Korea was completely safe! As a foreigner, they really limit what you can see and photograph, if you abide by the rules, there are no problems. Speak Spanish in Colombia and they don't target you. Papau New Guinea is a cultural anthropologist's dream destination.

  21. I just went to Turkey and I felt safer than I did in many Western European cities. There may be a risk of getting kidnapped if you try to go to Mount Ararat or something without a guide, but the part of the country where people actually live is very safe,especially in the resort towns on the Mediterannean

  22. This is a joke...There are many cities in the US with higher violent crime rates than all the major cities in Colombia. The state department issues warnings and statistics about traveling to other countries but they should be telling you where not to go in Detroit, Washington DC, Chicago, LA, and several other US cities. Having been to Colombia many times I can say it is one of the best places to travel in the world, and the people are great.

  23. I can only add to Benjamin's comment that I am very thanksful for such statistics, It leaves tourism and business sharks clear of the country. I wonder how long this will last. Greatest place to visit and no sign of crisis!

  24. verdun france is pretty deadly because of thousands of un exploded explosives from world war one

  25. HAHAHA Lebanon is NOT dangerous! hahahaha probably safer than any city here in the US..

  26. u wouldnt be able to go to north korea even if u wanted one can get it, no one can get out...they should just take the entire country off the map cuz its basically closed off

  27. i totally agree with benjamin. i went to medellin, colombia & felt safe the entire time. it was an amazing trip, so don't believe the hyped-up warnings. kidnapping, farc, etc. is now confined mainly to mountaineous areas, and contrary to stereotypes, the vast majority of colombians are NOT cocaine dealers! almost all are friendly, normal, hardworking people :)

  28. Dont know why you got Cambodia on your list? ive just spent 3 months over there, Its the safest place ive ever been to, i live in Cairns Australia,and it is a lot worse. Cambodian people are the most beautifull people i have ever met, going back there in June, Sihanoukville on the coast is beautifull, you can live like a king there for $ 250 US a week,
    that includes hotel, food and all the beer you can drink. very safe!

  29. So many of you people on here are so fucking retarded. Saying that Detroit is worse than Iraq... Okay... And Chicago is a war zone? People who leave comments like this need to be shipped off to these countries to they can see what it's truly like.



Related Posts with Thumbnails