Top 5 dangerous sports to avoid when traveling

 

Although you might enjoy traveling because you get the chance to experience the thrills of hazardous sports, there are some activities that you should simply avoid while visiting new cities and/or countries.

The reason for this has to do with the fact that you might put your life in danger and that most travel insurances do not cover the price of adventure-related medical issues. With this in mind, below, we have put together a list of sports that you should not practice while traveling.

 

High altitude climbing

Although climbing is something that you should not dismiss while enjoying a holiday abroad, high altitude climbing is definitely something that you should say no to. Therefore, if you have no experience in hiking or climbing, or if you are not equipped with the right type of gear, this is not an activity that you should consider.

Usually, high mountain peaks are dangerous to climb because those who attempt to conquer high altitudes have to deal with a lack of oxygen, moving-restricting injuries, and the cold temperatures. Even more so, if something happens to you, rescue teams usually find it difficult to locate those missing. In fact, as the specialists have pointed out, this sport has high fatality rates.

 

Lawn Bowls

As you might know, lawn bowls is a very old sport that still has many enthusiast players today. However, you might not know that this game is currently considered one of the deadliest out there. In fact, many of its players end up suffering from bruises, broken hips, and even bone fractures.

On top of that, because this sport is highly stressful, some of those who play it experience heart attacks. All in all, no matter if this game might appeal to you because it looks rather simple and effortless to play, we recommend that you stay away from it next time you go on a holiday.

Water Rafting

Another activity that you should abstain from trying while traveling is white water rafting. This sport is hazardous as it exposes the rafter to many medical issues that require medical attention such as hypothermia or drowning. Also, rafting can cause sunburns, and injuries caused by gear failing.

Rafting is even more dangerous if you do not know how to swim and if you are not in good health. Rafting is life-threatening if you do not use the right type of equipment and you are prone to getting panic attacks. Given all these pieces of info, it is safe to say that this sport is a big no-no while traveling.

 

Cave Diving

If you like water and diving, you would probably love the chance of enjoying some cave diving. However, this sport is also one that implies numerous risks that you should not subject yourself to.

When cave diving, one usually dives into darkness in unfamiliar territory. What is more, this sport is highly challenging because visibility might vary and strong water currents might affect one’s ability to exit a cave.

Those who do not have a lot of experience when it comes to diving are likely to panic. Additionally, this sport should only be practiced after one has undergone specialized training. Furthermore, proper equipment is also a must.

Snowboarding

Although a very popular winter sport, snowboarding is also quite dangerous, as it involves the risk of severe injuries. Most of those who practice it sustain ankle and wrist fractures. What is more, those who do not use protective equipment can actually end up hurting their major organs.  Still, the mortality rates associated with this sport are low.

Moreover, snowboarding is dangerous especially if you are not experienced and you snowboard in locations that have not been prepared to be used for such an activity. Nevertheless, those who practice this sport should wear waterproof equipment, and they should not use alcohol or drugs. Formal training is also a must before you decide to try this sport.

To conclude, we are confident that, if you follow our suggestions, you will be able to have a safe holiday. However, before traveling, be sure to acquire a special insurance policy so that you are protected in case of an unhappy accident.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous adventure activities

 

There’s a sense of power in doing a dangerous activity. While most of us live boring lives, tied to a desk and with 9 to 5 jobs, others do extreme sports for the adrenaline rush and because they want to feel like they are alive. They dare, which is the main difference between an adventurer and a normal person.

It is also true that these things are perceived as dangerous and reckless. And for a good reason, because you can easily get injured and even possibly die if you don’t use the right equipment, or if you don’t pay attention. So if you are tired of dreaming about doing something unusual and off the charts, here are some of the most dangerous activities in the world that you can try, although we don’t suggest you do that.

The first thing on our list is free solo climbing. Some consider it to be the purest form of rock climbing, which should tell you something about its risk and popularity. The purity part means you can’t use any kind of safety equipment or protective gear – just your hands and the strength of your muscles.

Now, this might sound insane since climbing is dangerous as it is, but the ones that practice it say this sport is the most intense form of joy. You’re not even allowed to use harnesses or ropes. It can be deadly, as accidents have happened in the past. But somehow that doesn’t stop people from enjoying it.

Climbers reach heights that exceed thirty feet, and if they fall, let’s just say it’s not going to be pretty. Some countries have banned this activity, and people caught doing it will be fined consistently. Nevertheless, we can’t deny that the ones who do free solo climbing are amazing and brave. We have to give credit when it’s due.

The following crazy thing that some people practice is base jumping. It is one of the more underground forms of parachuting, and it’s not an uncommon thing among adrenaline seekers. Base jumping is thought of as being very intense and fast-paced because it leaves you no room for mistakes or wiggling room to take decisions. Your brain must work very fast when doing this activity.

Moreover, practitioners don’t carry a backup parachute most of the time, as you have no room to deploy it in case the main one malfunctions. The word base is actually an acronym. It means buildings, antennas, spans, and earth, and before getting excited about this sport, you should know it is illegal in most states.

No wonder as to why, because the number of fatal incidents related to this form of parachuting is very high. There is a thrill associated with base jumping, and there even were people who jumped off the Eiffel Tower.

At number three, we have bull running. Originally, it was a Spanish tradition which comprised of driving bulls from corrals, through the streets, and into specially designed bullrings. There, as most people know, they would have to fight with Matadors. This festivity still takes place annually.

However, animal-rights activists are fighting hard to make it illegal, as both humans and animals are killed, and not as rare as some might think. If you are faint of heart and hate the sight of blood, maybe you should stay away from this activity.

Next up is the ever so famous scuba diving. It offers you incredible sights, as ocean life is both diverse and outlandish, but it comes with many risks, most of which are lethal. Recreational scuba diving, done after proper training and at suitable depths, is fun. It even has minimal chances of a severe injury.

However, people are not satisfied with what they perceive as average, and they go much further than the indicated depth, especially when they want to explore shipwrecks, and that comes with dangers of its own. Some people even go inside war wrecks, which are known for carrying explosives that could be triggered at any moment.

And lastly, we have big wave surfing. Our fifth pick is impressive when looked at from the side. Doing it is even more so. There’s hardly any other activity that makes you feel more invincible or like you’re on top of the world. But surfing has many risks, and that’s why you need to get surfing lessons before adventuring into the ocean. Some waves exceed fifty feet, and if you are not trained, they can easily kill you. We recommend you also invest in some premium surfing equipment after carefully reading a guide on the topic.

 

 

Top 5 things you shouldn’t do overseas

 

Travelling is all fun and games until you realize you are breaking the law. Unfortunately, the downside of visiting the world is that each country or region comes with its own rules and customs, which means there is a slight chance to do something considered illegal or rude.

Thus, you should take your time and read about the place you’re about to visit, and, most importantly, see if it abides by the same rules you already know and follow. So here are some things you should avoid doing overseas, regardless of the customs in that country.

 

Don’t eat near major tourist sites

Whether it’s Rome, Paris or Sydney, the areas around major tourist attractions are usually crowded with cafes, bars, and restaurants. However, often enough the prices are extremely high, the service is not always good, and there isn’t too much variety either.

Most of these premium locations exclusively lean on hoards of tourists who are seeking a place to relax with a nice view. In addition, these restaurants and cafes know the tourists won’t come back again, so they don’t pay too much attention to the quality of the foods or snacks they’re serving.

Don’t exchange money at the airport

Local currencies can become a total pain, especially if you have to constantly make conversions in your head and keep track of how much you spend. Unfortunately, exchanging money at the airport is the worst idea since you’ll always get bad rates.

Instead, you should try using ATMs or pay with your credit card as much as possible. Depending on the country you’re in, you won’t be charged too much when you withdraw money from local ATMs or banks.

It is always best to travel with small amounts of cash on you and keep a low profile to avoid robbers or pickpockets. However, keeping some cash with you is required, especially since not all vendors accept credit card payments.

You should probably establish a daily budget for small shopping and souvenirs and never carry more than the required amount of cash on you.

 

Don’t avoid travel alternatives

Staying in hotels is not a great idea, especially if you plan on traveling for more than a few weeks. Luckily, there are plenty of other options that allow you to stay and live like a local for free or for reasonable prices.

So, instead of spending all your money on fancy resorts and 5-star services, you could opt for alternative hospitality networks.

Couchsurfing is the coolest concept developed in the past few years that allows you to stay for free at whoever is willing to take you in. You’ll have your own bed (or couch) or even an entire guest room in the house of a local to help you live your abroad experience to the fullest.

The best thing of all that you? You get to meet the locals, listen to their stories, and share your experiences.

 

To tip or not to tip?

Keep in mind that we live in a very complex world with each country having its own rules and customs. And, what might seem legit or even mandatory back home may not apply to other destinations. For instance, tipping is a very sensitive matter around the globe.

While tipping might be mandatory in some parts of the US, in other countries like Turkey or Greece, it’s already taken from your final bill.

The amount also differs depending on the country – if in the US it’s usually around 15-20% of the bill, other countries like Germany accept as low as 5%. And then there’s Japan. If you happen to travel there anytime soon, keep in mind that tipping the waiter is considered disrespectful.

So, in order to get things right, we always suggest you do some research about your traveling destination and read about the local customs, especially about gestures that might be considered rude.

Don’t drink too much

Let’s face it – you’re always prone to do silly things after one too many glasses of alcohol, especially if you are on vacations. So, in order to avoid awkward and risky situations, it would be best to make sure you don’t drink too much when you’re in unfamiliar places.

If you really need to drink, do it in your own apartment or hotel room or at least the hotel’s lobby.

 

5 countries where showing your tattoos can get you kicked out of places

 

Getting inked is a decision you should think through as best as possible, and not just because removing the tattoo is costly and painful, but also because of the social norms present in some places. Sure, the United States, as well as much of the civilized countries from the Western parts of the globe, might not be so discriminatory against tattooed individuals, but that’s not the case for other places.

If you have tattoos and they’re not located in particularly visible body areas, we would recommend keeping them out of sight if you’re unsure about the customs and laws of the country you want to visit.

If you have tattoos on your face, chin, or hands, it might actually be dangerous for you to go to some of these destinations. You might have to put off getting that design you might have on your drawing table if you’re planning a trip to one of these places.

Let’s look at five countries where showing your tats can get you kicked out.

 

Vietnam

It used to be that tattoos were a stigma in this country, and that’s because most of the members of the Vietnamese society saw them as symbols of crime and illegal activities. These days, the mentality has changed quite a bit, but if you intend to travel to more or less remote parts where people might not be as open-minded, you need to cover them up as best as possible.

Traditional communities have a hard time accepting tattoos in Vietnam. Unlike some of the other places we’ll showcase here, there is no correlation between religious issues and tats, at least not in this country. As we have noted, tats are usually thought of as a sign of gang membership and connection to a crime.

Turkey

Both in Ankara and in Istanbul, tattoos have become quite popular with urban youths. However, a couple of years ago, Turkey introduced an official ban on tats in schools. Apparently, a part of these Turkish officials believes that having and showing off a tattoo can be an overhaul of Turkey’s education system.

The heavily oppressive mindset that this country has been suffering from in the past couple of years has made it more and more difficult for other Europeans and people from other countries to find it comfortable to travel here. Gradually, Turkey risks being singled out as a place where extremist views are preferred in the detriment of free behaviors.

 

Iran

Traveling to Iran is a risk in itself, and that’s because foreigners have to go through a plethora of security controls so that the officials are reassured that they’re not trying to bring anything into the country or trying to take someone out.

Here, tattoos are officially outlawed and are considered a symbol of devil worshipping. That might sound silly for someone living in a Western country, but it’s no funny matter for conservative Iranians.

Sri Lanka

This country made the news headlines back in 2014 when a British woman traveler was deported for donning a Buddha tattoo. The tat was located in a completely decent area, on her arm, but that didn’t seem to matter to Sri Lanka officials. Apparently, its message could have been hurtful for those practicing other religions.

Ms. Coleman was arrested upon arriving at the Columbo airport right after having taken her suitcases out of a taxi. The driver stopped, looked at her, and then reported her to the Police.

 

UAE

Pretty much everything that you might think is natural and can be performed in any other countries might be forbidden in the United Arab Emirates. Ironically, this country was voted as one of the best at protecting women’s rights, and many argue that the results of this selection were botched.

It’s socially unacceptable to show any tattoo in the UAE. The excuse for this being outlawed was that apparently, UAE officials think that it’s a form of self-harm. Ironic how preoccupied they can be with protecting the minds of their people, right?

You couldn’t work for an airline, the police, or the army if you were to be living in the UAE and be inked.

 

 

Where not to get a tattoo

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Choosing where to get your first or next tattoo is not as easy as, say, finding the right men’s cologne. Some people believe that you don’t have to think about what and where you’ll get it because, when the time is right, the idea will simply come to you and you’ll know it’s what you want right away.

However, there are some areas around the body that you should carefully think about when getting a tattoo. Maybe you haven’t considered it yet, but those parts that are under constant sun exposure or where the skin might stretch, are not necessarily ideal for tattoos.

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a short list below concerning this topic, for you to know what to avoid.

 

Abdomen

Well, it’s true that this applies mostly to women, as they might get pregnant, so the skin will definitely go through the necessary changes in order to make way for a new life. Of course, getting stretched skin is a small price to pay compared to the joy of having a baby, but it’s something to consider.

The skin does bounce back to some degree and you can apply constant moisturizing during this time, but it may still affect your tattoo’s appearance. If you have any concerns, you can always talk to a tattoo artist and get a second opinion.

Crease lines

As cool as it might look, getting a tattoo right on the crease lines is not such a great idea. The skin tends to stretch or bend, making it a lot more difficult for the drawing to heal in a proper way. This might mean that over the years it will lose its shape and look a lot different than what was initially intended.

The constant moving and pulling of the skin on crease lines, wrists, armpits, or other similar places can cause the cracking of the tattoo, this way damaging both shape, lines, and color.

 

Fingers and hands

As you can only imagine, direct sun exposure does have an impact in the case of tattoos as well, so it’s best to avoid those areas that are constantly under direct sun exposure. Moreover, as you are washing your hands multiple times per day, this sloughs off the skin and can cause tattoos to fade and blur faster.

The palms of the hands and the fingers wear out more quickly, as the skin’s texture is also different, making it more difficult for the ink to remain in place. Unfortunately, these won’t look good for too long after healing.

 

Feet and ankles

When it comes to feet or ankles, these are not particularly inspired places to get a tattoo, as they are prone to constant rubbing from shoes, pants, or socks. Moreover, this is a spot that is exposed to dirt and bacteria more than others, so that’s another thing to keep in mind.

You can always touch up the tattoo later if you really want it around this area, but if you can avoid it, it’s probably better to do so.

Inner ear

We know that it can look so cool and that it might seem like the best idea ever, but think twice before getting an inner ear tattoo, as they are not built to last. Unfortunately, the skin in this area cannot hold the ink very well, so you’ll need to constantly touch up your tattoo to keep it looking fresh and nice.

Given that our bodies have a lot of places that are ideal for tattoos, you might want to take a look at which ones those are and pick your favorite one that will also preserve your little piece of art for as long as possible.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous water slides in the world

 

Water slides seem fun and a cool way to spend time with friends and family. Given that there’s no electrical component involved, you suppose there’s no risk, so it’s perfectly safe to go water sliding. Well, the truth is that these type of recreational giants can be hazardous, causing severe injuries and even death. These incidents are not something to ignore.

Many people have suffered awful fates while using water slides. Some of them got stuck inside, others got their head decapitated, and a good percentage experienced the real danger only at the bottom of the slide.

Even if you like to feel an adrenaline rush from time to time and you own a strong swimming suit, it’s best to know the risks you are taking and learn about which water slides to avoid.

 

Black Hole

This water slide can be found at the Wet N’ Wild Water Park in Orlando and has gained its notoriety thanks to the numerous lawsuits filed by individuals that were severely injured while riding this genuine death trap.

One of the people that filed a lawsuit received 1.73 million dollars because he was struck by an object while going down the slide. He wasn’t able to feel his legs and the doctors determined he needed metal plates implanted into his head. And this case is not singular.

The problem with this water slide is that it requires almost 23 seconds to complete, but the staff doesn’t wait more than 15-20 seconds to send another person down the tube. This means that they push another person without waiting for the previous one to leave the slide.

Insano Water Slide

Insano is located in Brazil’s Beach Park where you can also find some of the tallest water slides in the world. This slide has almost 135 feet in height. Moreover, riders get to experience a wild sensation thanks to the 65 miles per hour speed that they achieve when riveting their way down to the bottom of the slide.

Some people say that the speed is so high that the body barely touches the surface of the water slide. You can avoid injuries by crossing the ankles and keeping your arms on your chest.

The only positive aspect of this slide is that the entire joyride lasts about 5 seconds. Nevertheless, most people reach the bottom in tears, of happiness supposedly.

 

Vertigo Slide

We should move on to the European continent, in Spain. In Benidorm, we have the Vertigo Slide that made people go mad because of one incident that occurred when a British tourist wanted to experience something wild. He managed to get his face stuck, and the entire pool was filled with blood.

This piece is more than 100 feet high, and riders manage to reach an extreme speed of 60 miles per hour.

The slide works simply, in theory. The person has to stand in a capsule located at a top, and a trap door will open beneath so he or she can shoot down the slide.

However, when the tourist mentioned earlier tried to jump, the trap door didn’t open completely.  

In case you want to have evidence that the water slide isn’t working correctly, it’s better to get a professional waterproof camcorder.

Sahara Sidewinders

The Sahara Sidewinders Ride is a part of the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Marketed as the only indoor water slide in the USA that features loops, it’s considered unsafe because the nature of it makes smacking against the surface incredibly violent.

 

Cannonball Falls

This slide can be found at the infamous Action Park, in New Jersey. It was closed in 2015 because it ends with a ten feet drop into a large pool.

Several people suffered shoulder injuries so, after hundreds of complaints, someone thought it was indeed a threat for any rider and closed the water slide.

 

 

5 things not to do in Maldives

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An unknown tourist destination up until the 1970s, the Maldives archipelago now counts for over 100 amazing resorts. There are over 185 islands of various dimensions, but they don’t gather more than 300,000 inhabitants, although the number of tourists exceeds one million yearly.

However, just like any other country in the world, it comes with its own set of rules and regulations that you should obey if you want to spend the time of your life. So, before packing your bags, here are some things you shouldn’t do.

  1. Don’t take off your shirt in public

The Maldives has become a Muslim country ever since the 12th century, so it is only natural that you should abide by the Islamic laws. It is forbidden to reveal too much skin in public, regardless of how hot it is outside. Both men and women should refrain from walking topless or wearing clothes that are too revealing on the streets or at public beaches.

Resorts are the only places where you can wear your sexy bathing suit and catch some tan without a problem.

 

  1. Don’t drink alcohol

Just like all other Muslim countries, Maldives has a strict policy when it comes to alcohol. It is not served in public places so don’t be surprised if you cannot find a beer or a refreshing cocktail outside your resort.

It is also worth mentioning that you are not allowed to bring any alcohol in the country either. All your liquor will be confiscated at the airport, but you may take it back with you upon departure.

Again, since the Maldives has become a renowned tourist attraction in the past decades, resorts are the only places where these rules are not mandatory. Don’t worry, you can still drink a beer and watch the sunset on the beach of your resort, but keep in mind that this type of relaxation will cost you a small fortune.

 

  1. Avoid PDA

No matter how much you waited to spend your honeymoon in the Maldives, a public display of affection is not seen with good eyes here. Again, we are talking about a Muslim country so, even though women are not forced to wear long dresses or cover their heads, you should still show decency.

Holding hands or a quick smooch is not forbidden, but you should keep the long and sensual kisses and hugs for your hotel room.

However, it is a family-friendly destination too, so children of all ages are more than welcome anywhere. If you decide to share this holiday destination with your family, make sure you bring everything with you, including a convenient and comfortable baby stroller travel system for your infant.

  1. Tobacco and narcotics

Smoking and consuming food in public is strictly forbidden in the holy month of Ramadan. It would be best to check with a specific calendar to see when the next Ramadan will be celebrated as it differs by the year.

You are free to eat and smoke any other month of the year in public and always inside your resort.

As for narcotics, they are strictly prohibited, and the Maldives imposes harsh penalties for those who do not obey this law. Depending on its gravity, drug possession could even lead to life imprisonment.

 

  1. Looking after wildlife

Last but not least, it would be best to keep the streets, the beaches, and the ocean as clean as possible. It is strictly prohibited to sell or purchase black corals and turtle shells as they are protected species in this country.

You should also pay attention when snorkeling or diving and avoid picking or touching corals. They are highly sensitive, and one minor interference in the ecosystem could lead to natural disasters.

 

Why adventure travel can be risky

 

One of the booming segments of the tourism industry is what we call adventure tourism. These travelers like taking risks (either real or perceived) and sometimes venture on the other side of the planet for their expeditions.

An important component of adventure travel is planning. Gone are the days when explorers jumped in a truck with a map and hoped for the best. We’ve made a list with some of the risks associated with adventure travel to help you plan better and have a fabulous experience.

 

Malaria, Dengue fever and other similar diseases

Travelers that yearn for adventures like jungle trekking or cave exploring in remote tropical areas are especially prone to contracting certain diseases which can sometimes be life threatening or at least do some serious long-term damage to their health. So before embarking on your next adventure, first check the health recommendations.

Are there any epidemics in that region? Is there any way to prevent you from contracting that specific disease (like a vaccine or pills taken preventively)? Are the hospitals any good if worst comes to worst? Is your health insurance going to cover the medical bills if something happens?

Ask yourself all these questions before leaving home and don’t take the chance if the risk for your health seems too high.

The weather

Obviously, nobody can predict the weather with perfect accuracy, but there are weather patterns which can help you decide when it’s the best time to go on your adventure trip.

River rafting can be exciting and safe enough during dry season, but very dangerous during the rainy season. There are countries where the rainy season comes with landslides and floods nearly every year.

You won’t be able to enjoy your adventure if you get stuck in a place because of the closed roads and deluges or worse. Not to mention it can get really nasty, depending on where you are on the planet. So do your research and see what time of the year is best for your adventurous escapade.

 

The political situation

There is serious political unrest in some parts of the world. And, coincidence or not, many of these places are good destinations for the thrill seeking travelers.

Clearly the political factor is a macro risk, one that is out of your control, that’s why you have to be very well informed before deciding where to go on your next adventure.

Read a lot about what’s going on, ask the locals if you can, or people you know that have been there recently. If you choose to venture out with a tour agency, don’t hesitate to ask questions until you are completely satisfied with their answers.

 

The right clothes and shoes

There are some factors you can’t control, social unrest or natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes, just to name a few.  However, you can and must control what you pack in terms of clothes and shoes.

It isn’t just a matter of “dress for the weather”, although that is very important. When it comes to adventure traveling, it’s more like “dress for the activity”. If you’re going volcano trekking wearing flip flops, you might end up with an injury caused by the sharp volcanic rocks you have to step on.

For an experienced adventure traveler this might sound ridiculous, but for a novice it is vital to be careful even if it’s about trivial things like shoes and clothes.

The equipment

This is probably the first question people ask when they hear about adventure travel “what kind of gear do I need for this?” The right equipment can make your trip more enjoyable and it can save your life if it comes to it.

Be careful, however, not to pack things you don’t need: a 2-person backpacking tent when you only need one for a person would just add unnecessary weight to your luggage.

If your chosen tour operator provides the equipment for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the quality of the gear. Moreover, take time to do some reading — check other people’s reviews and double check the company’s credentials.

There are some countries out there where tour operators get away with not making safety a priority for their customers so make sure you choose a reliable, reputable company.

 

 

The most dangerous scenic roads in Romania

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Romania is a beautiful country that offers tourists stunning views of its landscapes. Much of the country’s nature can also be admired traveling by car.

However, sometimes with high reward comes high risk and some of the most scenic Romanian roads may prove to be more than just a Sunday drive for those who venture onto them. Here are 5 Romanian roads that delight drivers’ eyes but also get their adrenaline pumping.

Transalpina Road (DN67C)

The Transalpina Road is a Romanian national road that runs across the Parâng Mountains, in the Meridional Carpathians. It’s the highest road in Romania, reaching its peak at Pasul Urdele at 2145 m (7037 ft) above sea level. The road connects the city of Novaci from Gorj County with the city of Sebeș from Alba County.

Transalpina crosses four counties along its way (Gorj, Vâlcea, Sibiu and Alba), passing over the Parâng Mountains from South to North. The road has its highest altitude on a 20 km (12.4 miles) section in the county of Vâlcea, passing close by the following mountaintops: Dengheru, Păpușa, Urdele, Iezer and Muntinu.

Its total length is 146 km (90.7 miles). It was paved in the year 2009 and since then it has become an attraction for tourists due to its serpentine turns, twists and sheer drops that can be seen on one side of the road. It has multiple names such as “The King’s Road”, “The Royal Road” or “The Devil’s Path”.

Besides the usual dangers that drivers encounter on a high mountain road, you should also keep an eye out for donkeys, which are used by shepherds to transport various equipment up and down the mountain.

The donkeys often get on the road, especially on the road sections that are not protected with barriers and pose a potential hazard to drivers. Moreover, some tourists stop their vehicles in the middle of the lane to take photos of the animals which further elevates the danger level of this road.

The road is closed in winter and during the months when snow covers it, so don’t plan a trip without getting informed in advance about the road conditions.

 

Transfăgărășan Road (DN7C)

The Transfăgărăşan Road is considered to be the most beautiful and dramatic road of Romania and for good reason. Lots of tight hair pinned turns, non-barriered sections, dark tunnels and stunning views over the Romanian mountains will make a driver’s heart pump.

It links Arfeu, from Argeș county, to Cârțișoara, from Sibiu county. At its highest point (Pasul Bâlea) the road is at 2042 m (6699 ft) above sea level. Initially designed as a 90 km (56 miles) strategic military road, the Transfăgărăşan runs north to south through the Southern Carpathians’ highest parts. On this road, you can pass by sheer drops of over 300 m (1000 ft).

 

Transbucegi Road (DJ713)

The Transbucegi Road is a high elevation Romanian road. It was inaugurated in the year 2013 and after Transalpina and Transfăgărășan it occupies the 3rd place as the highest Romanian road. It reaches its highest point at 1925 m (6315 ft) and has its lowest point at 760 m (2495 ft) above sea level. Transbucegi has a length of 39 km (24 miles).

The road connects Sinaia with the Bucegi Mountains Plateau taking you through the Bucegi Natural Park, a place where you will enjoy spectacular scenery and fresh mountain air without even leaving your vehicle. The road is paved with asphalt so your car will not be subjected to much strain.

Another name that locals have for Transbucegi is “Drumul Babelor”, which means “The Road to the Old Dames”. It offers those who travel it miles of amazing landscapes and sharp hairpin turns with a high elevation. It is a very exciting drive, even more so when you go past unsecured sections of the road.

The Bicaz Gorge (DN12C)

The road passing the Bicaz Gorge can be found in the north-eastern part of Romania. This gorge winds its way steeply for a distance of 5 km (3,1 miles) and seems like it is piercing through sheer walls of rock made out of limestone that reach heights of 300 m (984 ft).

The Bicaz Gorge and the road through it connect the two historical regions Transylvania and Moldavia. While driving on this road through the ravines, you can almost feel the 200 m (656 ft) walls closing in on you; it is not a pleasant feeling if you are claustrophobic.

There is a certain point where the road passes underneath a huge overhanging rock. This point is called “Gâtul Iadului”, which means “The Neck of Hell”. Although the road is asphalted it is uncomfortably narrow at times.

On those sections, only one car can pass between a sheer wall of rock on one side and a drop into the Bicaz river on the other. This undoubtedly offers one of the most thrilling feelings you can have on a scenic Romanian road.

 

DJ112G

In the Southern Romanian Carpathians, there is a 10 km (6.2 miles) challenging mountain road. It can be found in the proximity of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. This mountain road, known only after its official name (DJ112G) links Zărnești from Brașov County with Peștera.

This road is only partially asphalted, most of it being covered with gravel. It is an uneven drive that rocks you up and down all the way between these two villages. There are holes and portions of the road that are literally washed away, especially after the cold months of winter pass and the snow starts to melt away.

As most of the high mountain roads, this one is tightly hair pinned with blind curves, but also bumped. Moreover, DJ112G is not protected, it’s narrow and the elevation is high. If you add in the unpredictable weather conditions, you got yourself a serious adventure on your hands.

This mountain road can be often closed due to the above mentioned weather conditions, so in order to drive on it, you should check in advance what the weather will be like. If it is covered by snow, there is no chance of being traveled.

Although you do not necessarily need an SUV to drive on this road, it is obvious that vehicles with low clearance have little to no chance of crossing the more difficult sections. If you do have the means of driving on this road, you will be amazed by the scenery. You will witness nature at its finest while enjoying an off-road-like experience.

 

 

5 Tips for traveling to dangerous countries

 

Our changing perception of what makes a place seem utterly dangerous is shaped by many factors. One of them is the dramatic media, always thirsty for a juicy story and not telling the truth. However, there’s an ounce of truth in every rumor, so it might not be a bad idea to prepare yourself before traveling to a seemingly dangerous destination. While common sense is the golden rule no matter where you roam, down below, you have few other unique tips to help you stay safe.

 

Check your facts

Before getting on board, you should sit down, have some tea, and make a quick inventory. Create a list of the worst things you’ve heard about the country you are about to visit and then double check them. One tip is to check out travel boards and Facebook groups.

Those places have many honest opinions from both locals and people who have traveled there before and have a real view of the area that is not influenced by the media. You can also try and ask a trusted tourism agency, to see if they sent tourists to your destination and if those came back in one piece.

Read travel warnings

By all means, we encourage you to visit the State Department’s poorly made website and review current travel warnings if you really must. But don’t rely just on that info, as sometimes governments can put them there just to mess with certain countries.

It might be a smart idea to learn your destination’s history, politics, and present state so you can get a feeling of what it is going to be like when you land. Check out blogs, local newspapers if you speak their language, and even travel magazines. Speak with a native if you can. Locals have a much different and more valuable perspective of themselves and their socio-political climate than outsiders.

 

Let people know about your plans

This sounds a bit fatalistic, but telling trusted people in your group of friends what your plans are, will make sure you are tracked down if something horrible happens to you. For example, if traveling alone, send an email to your mom or partner to say what your plans for the day are.

Make it a simple message. Some people also use things like Whatsapp and Facebook to send their GPS location every few hours, which is super handy. Technology is reliable in these situations, but we’re hoping you’ll never have to experience this on your own. Also, some high-tech health monitors also have built-in GPS, usually for those moments when you have an emergency in a remote area.

Keep an emergency contact card nearby

Most of the time, the passport and the driver’s license are useless for letting people know who to contact if something bad happens. Write a small card on a piece of paper in English and in the language of the country you are about to visit by using Google Translate.

Some smart things to write down are your name, your blood type, a relative’s phone number with the country code in front of it and, most importantly, write down if you have any allergies. If you already have one of those, make sure all the info is updated.

 

Use authorized taxi services

The last advice might seem like a no-brainer, but people are prone to ignore it. But it’s worth following, especially in countries like Thailand, where ghost taxies can charge a lot more and even rob you. It is a rather simple thing to do, but it makes all the difference. An alternative is to invest in high-quality shoes with wheels, so you can avoid getting a taxi altogether.