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Are there destinations that you would not go to, and why?

Travel Forums General Talk Are there destinations that you would not go to, and why?

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11. Posted by TravelMc (Respected Member 93 posts) 10y

Good question Bryan.
Its so weird what makes people decide whether to go somewhere or give it a miss! I've heard great things about Canada but its pretty low on my list of places to go. I honestly have no idea why.

For safeties (sp?) sake I don't think I'll be going to Cambodia, Iraq or the south eastern edge of Turkey. But that said I've always been really interested in Peru and Chili which I think have been rated on the warnings list the NZ embassy holds along wtih the aforementioned countries. Strange isn't it - how you discard advice when you have a real urge to go somewhere but listen to it when you aren't very keen!

12. Posted by Hookey (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y

Got to say, despite their insularity, Americans are some the most hospitable people in the world, far more so than your typical Brit I'm ashamed to say. I've travelled around the US a lot and I've very rarely felt threatened or unwelcome (a drunk idiot playing the IRA card in an Irish bar in NY and that's it).

Oh, and as far as Canada is concerned, the Pacific Northwest is just about the most wonderful scenery on Earth, well worth it, although Vancouver can seem a little provincial, and Montreal is worth visiting as well (but don't do it in Feb like I did - minus 20 )

The only places I wouldn't go are the middle east and North Africa based on personal experience. Other than that, I hear lots of contradictory stories about Colombia, but I think I'll still go, and strangely, Indonesia; I know a few people who've been and disliked Jakarta intensly, but its such a big place you can't judge. Its generally dangerous to judge any country by its cities; Manila is a sh*thole but I'd still go back to the Philipines, ditto Johannesburg, LA or Mombassa give you a poor representation of the surrounding country.

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 26, 2006 7:37 AM by Hookey ]

13. Posted by zzyzx (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

It's really unfortunate that American foreign policy has contributed to the maelstrom of strife and heartache in the Middle East. There are many places there I'd love to visit (Iraq, Iran and Syria in particular). I hope that, at some point in the future, I'll have that chance, but I'm not terribly optimistic in that regard.

Other than that, my (very limited) experience has been that no one place is necessarily safer than another. The most unsafe I've ever felt was walking a stretch of dirt road in a pristine area of Shasta County, No. California, with my (then) 4 year old son and 8 year old nephew, and meeting up with a Jeep full of drunken deer hunters. I never expected to encounter hostility and near physical assault in New Zealand, of all places, home of the most genuinely sweet people on earth - but it happened. (On the other hand, I fully expected to have my pocket picked in Italy, but that happened right here, in my home town.)

When I get on the plane/train/automobile going wherever, I have my own Four Personal Travel Mantras:

1. Assholes happen, and I have no control over that.
2. Sometimes, assholes are people in search of meaningful dialogue. Sometimes, they're just assholes.
3. What I can do is show up in my host city/region/nation with my warmest smile and my heart as open to what's being offered as possible.
4. If that doesn't work, buy a round of beers. And tell them the joke about the nun, the parrot, and the hockey stick.

(The latter also works wonderfully well to distract you from thoughts of fiery death during a particularly turbulent flight.)

14. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

Good Lord. Here we go again. Because this subject kind of agitates me, I'll keep this short. If you're afraid of coming to America for saftey reasons; here's a tip for you. Don't go to the slums of LA. Come visit me in Colorado (or visit thousands of other places in the States for that matter). I think you may just find it interesting that I don't possess a key to my house and almost always leave the keys to my car in the car when I leave.

and to answer this one - Americans get it tough cause you guys are poor travellers (in my opinion) and have a "god complex" where you really tend to not see past America's borders. Plus (and sorry to bring this in) your politics make it difficult for you guys because you make it hard for us to come see you.

I had a passport at the age of three and was on a plane at 1 to Europe... and most Europeans get around to other countries early on. You guys get it tough but its because the rest of the world are wrong... it's kind of brought on because the rest of the world do tend to try and work together as much as possible when the US seem quite content not admitting we all exist.

This seems to be an EXTREMELY narrow-minded approach for somebody who claims to want to be journalist. You know what, when I was seven, I was running around in a loin cloth living in a grass hut on a remote island in Micornesia. This just in; we're an enormous damn country. Yes, we have many problems, but come on, please do not refer to "Americans" as if it was one person.

15. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

Okay, deep breath. I don't want this to turn into even more America-bashing, so I'm out of this thread in regards to that. My apologies, just haven't had my coffee yet.

And sorry for the spelling, it was Micronesia, not Micornesia; I think that's out in Nebrasksa somewhere.

16. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

@snatterand
Back to the question: from what I've heard, women - even tourists - are treated really bad in Saudi Arabia. They don't have any rights to do anything, basically. So I've never really felt that "oh, Saudi Arabia would be exciting to visit!!!" ... No, I don't think I'll ever go there. But on the other hand, that's just what I've heard from friends to my parents and really I don't know what it's really like.

I guess you are mixing a few things up here. ;) Saudi Arabia doesn't issue tourist visas unless you are on a guided tour for lots of $$$. There are less than hundred tourist visas issued each year. As a tourist it is easier to go to North Korea and to Lybia than to KSA. The majority of non-muslim visitors are coming on a business visa for temporary employment, usually as a nurse, doctor or engineer. The other large part of visitors are muslims who make the Hajj or Umrah, religious pilgrimage. Womens rights aren't exactly a top priority there (they are forbidden to drive a car) but the same can be said for any human rights in the country. (Death penality, torture, absolute monarchy thus no right to vote, etc.) But if woman goes to KSA as a tourist she shouldn't expect to spent her holiday sunbathing topless on one of the beaches. You know what you got into when you booked that package tour. Deal with it!

Yet KSA is my dream country - as a muslim I would love to make the Hajj but as a single woman with no male muslim relatives I'm forbidden to go. My only chance is a business visa/temporary employment with a Saudi company. I'm working on it!

@jasminasab
I would actually love to go to some Arab country and dress like the women over there do, just to experience it. I heard some of them saying they feel more comfortable and secure cause they don't attract men in their hijab. I wish I could say the same thing when I dress in what's "normal" clothes to me.

Oh, you should definitely go! Maybe you can talk your father into taking you. The gulf countries are good for this, especially places like Oman that don't get to much mass tourism. Jordan rocks too, apart from the touristy sites like Petra you get to meet true Arab culture in the small villages. Men will treat you with respect (which in their case means avoiding looking at you and not trying to cop a feel at first sight) and will bring you to meet their wifes.

@rach8645
Lone travelling I wouldnt go to India or Egypt mainly for safety reasons.

I went to Egypt on my own as woman, I had no problems at all. I stuck to the rules (no flirting with the Arab guys, modest dress) and apart from the usual advances and lewd comments that are easy to ignore I had no hassle at all. Just act self-confident and put your foot down if necessary.

@zzyzx
There are many places there I'd love to visit (Iraq, Iran and Syria in particular). I hope that, at some point in the future, I'll have that chance, but I'm not terribly optimistic in that regard.

You can go to Syria and Iran. There is nothing that prevents you apart from an Israeli stamp in your passport. The Syrians make a bit of a song and dance about letting US citizens in but there are several places where visa to US citizens are issued regularly. See the thorntree forum on the Lonely Planet website for this topic. (Sorry, TP!!!)
Iran is a bit more complicated - like in Lybia you need a personal guide with you at all times if you are a US citizen. You have to go through a travel agency and everything is a bit more expensive. But getting a visa to Iran is certainly possible. I'll be going in August - once again as a single woman on my own.

I guess from my above responses you can already gather that I'm a big fan of the Middle East. As for places I would not go to: South America. Don't know why, I guess I have never been that interested in the continent. Any place heavy on Christian worship would also send me away screaming, I guess. Southern and Midwest USA for longer than a month in a small town with mandatory bible service on sunday - NO THANKS!

17. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

Quoting t_maia

@snatterand
Back to the question: from what I've heard, women - even tourists - are treated really bad in Saudi Arabia. They don't have any rights to do anything, basically. So I've never really felt that "oh, Saudi Arabia would be exciting to visit!!!" ... No, I don't think I'll ever go there. But on the other hand, that's just what I've heard from friends to my parents and really I don't know what it's really like.

I guess you are mixing a few things up here. ;) Saudi Arabia doesn't issue tourist visas unless you are on a guided tour for lots of $$$. There are less than hundred tourist visas issued each year. As a tourist it is easier to go to North Korea and to Lybia than to KSA. The majority of non-muslim visitors are coming on a business visa for temporary employment, usually as a nurse, doctor or engineer. The other large part of visitors are muslims who make the Hajj or Umrah, religious pilgrimage. Womens rights aren't exactly a top priority there (they are forbidden to drive a car) but the same can be said for any human rights in the country. (Death penality, torture, absolute monarchy thus no right to vote, etc.) But if woman goes to KSA as a tourist she shouldn't expect to spent her holiday sunbathing topless on one of the beaches. You know what you got into when you booked that package tour. Deal with it!

Yet KSA is my dream country - as a muslim I would love to make the Hajj but as a single woman with no male muslim relatives I'm forbidden to go. My only chance is a business visa/temporary employment with a Saudi company. I'm working on it!

Alright, but I don't think I'm mixing anything up here. You say it yourself: they don't let women without male muslim relatives into the country, and women's rights aren't a top priority... It's not like I thought that a trip to Saudi Arabia would involve any sunbathing!!! I never travel in order to get a tan - I travel to learn things. And I'm sure I could learn a lot from going there, but I simply don't want to support a country that treat women like they are less worth than men. Does that make me narrowminded?

//Susanna

18. Posted by pulquerio (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

there is no country that i don't want to go, but there are some that are in the end of my priority list and others that i think i can't go for security reasons and i think my mother would die with an heart attack.
for security reasons i would not go to iraque and afganistan. i would only go to african countrys that are in conflict if i worked for an ong. Israel i would love to go but in the mind of my familly that is not accepted. i heard here that Lybia is dangerous and difficult to go, maybe only for americans, i don't have that idea for europeans citisens.
in the end of my priorities is USA and not because of wath has been said here, not because of violience or crime, or culture or history, is only because i hear from USA everyday i get tired and have no will to go there, i hope to go there but doesn't really atract me now. all the other major turistical places that the only think to do is beach doesn't really atrack me so sheychells or mauricia are not in my list by now.

19. Posted by zzyzx (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

Hey, thanks for the info, Maria (and the Thorn Tree forum tip). I'll look forward to hearing your stories after your trip in August. :)

20. Posted by rhotchkiss (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y

Quoting t_maia

Any place heavy on Christian worship would also send me away screaming, I guess. Southern and Midwest USA for longer than a month in a small town with mandatory bible service on sunday - NO THANKS!

Oh, man, does this make my heart sink. I currently live in the Southeast US (moving to Europe in September - yay!) and while you give a *slight* exaggeration of what it's really like here, unfortunately there is truth to it. :( I'm an exception to the rule in the South - a liberal (yes, Bush hater) who is actually NOT afraid of foreigners. Going to church is a big part of people's lives here (though not mandatory-yet!) and determines 99% of their morals, and these end up being the same people who are close-minded in the way that is so often generalized about Americans.

It just makes me sad that many foreigners think we are all like this. Not that I can blame you when people like my grandmother say, "Well, I just hope they speak a lot of English there!" - that would be her reponse when I told her I was moving to Switzerland.

BTW - sorry to get off topic!

Personally, I would not want to go anywhere that's right on the equator because I don't like hot weather. Rain forests in Central America were warm enough for me!