Top 5 most dangerous snakes in the world

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Every year we read in the newspapers or hear on TV about dozens of people killed by snake bites. So, it’s no wonder these vertebrates are some of the dangerous creatures on Earth. We are all very well aware that, when planning a trip to a foreign or exotic country, the first thing we worry about is snakes or mosquitos.

Even if we don’t schedule a vacation, we should learn a thing or two about how dangerous a snake’s venom is. Also, it’s a smart move to invest in quality outdoor light fixtures that allow you to see the snakes that attempt to invade your property surroundings.

 

Blue Krait

Also called as The Malayan, the Blue Krait is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. It lives in South East Asia and Indonesia. This species is more of a nocturnal breed and tends to get aggressive at night and avoids daily encounters.

Also, the Blue Krait is quite timid and attempts to hide during a conflict instead of fighting. Nevertheless, half of its bites are thought to be fatal even if you administer antivenom. Its venom is a neurotoxin, and it is 16 times more potent than the venom of a Cobra.

An interesting fact is that Kraits will hunt and kill other snakes, including other Kraits.

Once bitten by a Blue Krait, a muscle paralysis is quickly induced by preventing the nerve endings to release chemicals. This process is followed by a period of cramps, tremors, and spasms.

Fortunately, because Kraits only go out at night, bites from them are quite rare. So, if you’re staying in an area with an outdoor ceiling fan for cooling, you can rest assured no Kraits will visit you. Snakes detect body heat, and when you’re in a cool and dry place, you can consider yourself safe.

Black Mamba

The Black Mamba is a snake that lives in many areas across the African continent. The breed is known to be extremely violent and deadly. On top of this, this feared snake is, in fact, the fastest land species in the world because it can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour.

Plus, Black Mamba can strike up to 12 times in a row and one bite of their venom can kill up to 20 adults.  

Once this deadly snake bites a person, he or she will get a tingling sensation in the mouth as well as in the extremities, experience severe confusion, excessive salivation, and lack of muscle control.

Symptoms can rapidly evolve into respiratory arrest, coma or even death. Depending on the severity of the bite, death can occur somewhere between 15 minutes and 3 hours.

 

Philippine Cobra

The Philippine Cobra is one of the deadliest Cobra species in the world, and it is capable of spitting its venom up to 10 feet.

Even though the bite doesn’t cause too much tissue damage, the neurotoxin has a negative impact on the cardiac and respiratory functions. The incident can lead to neurotoxicity, paralysis, and death in just half an hour.

Death Adder

This snake, whose name already puts us in a state of alert, lives in Australia and New Guinea. Considered to be predators for real, they hunt and kill other snakes, using the ambush method.

Due to the high amount of venom they inject in one bite, that of the Death Adder snake is one of the most dangerous bites in the world.

However, the symptoms progress rather slowly, which means that if the treatment is given within 24 hours after the biting, the fatality can be avoided.

 

Belcher’s Sea Snake

The Belcher’s Sea Snake is threatening because of its venom. Only a few milligrams of this venom can kill almost 1000 people. They live in the waters of northern Australia and South East Asia.

 

 

Top 5 deadliest diseases in the world

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When people take a minute and think of the deadliest diseases ever, their minds probably jump to incurable ones that grab headlines. But the truth is, many of these diseases don’t rank high in the top ten causes of deaths in the yearly charts. An estimated 56.5 million people passed away in 2016, and 70 percent of them due to hidden diseases that progress slowly and which can be cured. Read on to see the top diseases causing the most deaths on our planet, at least according to the World Health Organization.

 

Ischemic heart disease

This first one is no surprise to anyone. Although its reign is indisputable, and it is indeed the leading cause of death worldwide, the actual mortality rates have declined slightly in many European countries and the States, due to strict food regulations. It might also be due to improved public health education, better access to healthcare, and other forms of prevention.

However, we should not sleep on it. In many developing nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, mortality rates of CAD and its associated syndromes are on the rise. Our increasing lifespan, constant socioeconomic changes, and chaotic lifestyles play a major role in this rise.

Stroke

A stroke ultimately occurs when a vital artery in your brain’s vascular system is blocked or it leaks. This urgent problem causes the stressed and oxygen-deprived brain cells to start dying within a matter of minutes. During a stroke, patients feel sudden general numbness and confusion. If left untreated for too long, a stroke can lead to long-term disability and even death.

Actually, strokes are the leading causes which lead to long-term disabilities. Those lucky enough to receive treatment within three hours of having a stroke are less likely to develop those complications.

 

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

When people think of Alzheimer’s disease, they might think of a severe loss of memory, but they don’t usually think of death. Alzheimer’s is a progressive and unstoppable disease that destroys brain cells and interrupts normal mental functions, thus leading to memory loss. It is also one of the most ruthless and prevalent types of dementia, making up 80 percent of dementia cases. These patients usually die from complications, as it is a multifactorial disease.

 

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is still one of the most widespread killers of our species. It is a bacterial infection, caused by the notorious Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As you might already know, contraction of the bacteria is airborne, but it is rather difficult to get.

Nonetheless, it is one of the leading agents of death for people coupled with HIV and not only those, as it can kill a fully healthy person even if his or her immune system is intact. An estimated 1.35 million people fell to tuberculosis in 2012, contributing to about 2.4% of all deaths worldwide.

Diarrheal disease

We’ve all experienced it some extent, but few know how bad things can get. Diarrhea is characterized by eliminating watery fecal matter more than three or four times a day, no matter the food you ate or the amount of water you consumed. Suffering from diarrhea over the course of a large number of days depletes the body of water and salt.

The WHO roughly estimates that diarrheal diseases claimed at least 2.46 million lives in 2014. It is the second cause of death of children under the age of five. This condition contributes to about 4.4% of all deaths globally.

Luckily, it can be prevented and treated in many ways. One of them is by investing in a high-quality and efficient electric mosquito swatter, to keep those insects away since they are vectors for most infectious diseases. Another way of doing that is by buying a sitz bath to help alleviate pain in case you suffer from the inflammatory bowel disease.

 

 

5 things not to do in Japan

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Japan might look like a different world to the Western traveler. With its extreme politeness, perfect composure and obsessive cleanliness it’s difficult not to look at Japan like it’s something sci-fi. In a good way, of course.

Japan’s obsession seems to be respect: respect for the environment, for other people, and for personal space. Japanese people will often say that in Japan, money can’t buy one’s heart, but good manners can. Because it’s such a different world with different customs, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few “don’ts” before your next trip to The Land of The Rising Sun.

 

Don’t tip

Ever. Not even if you are a millionaire. Not even if it’s the best service you’ve ever had (it’s difficult not to enjoy a very good service in Japan, by the way). It’s just not customary to tip and if you do, it might even be taken as an insult. Service charge is included in the bill at the restaurant and not even hairdressers or taxi drivers won’t accept a tip.

You are welcomed not to take our word for it and try leaving the change at the convenience store, and you might find yourself with the shop assistant running after you to return your forgotten change. Japanese people simply don’t expect nor accept being tipped.

Don’t litter

You might be shocked by how clean Tokyo (and Japan, as a matter of fact) is, especially considering trash cans are rarely to be seen on the streets. Japanese people would take their rubbish at home with them rather than dispose of it in public.

Not littering is an important part of Japanese culture, but is hasn’t always been the case — the country experienced rapid industrialization and waste started to become such a major problem that Tokyo was running out of landfill space. In the 1990s a series of strict waste management laws were introduced and at the moment, Japan is pretty much obsessed with recycling (the country recycles about 77% of its plastic).

 

Don’t talk loudly on your phone while on public transport

There are signs everywhere and they are to be taken seriously. They also make public announcements in both Japanese and English every few minutes.

You should use your phone as discreetly as possible, always on silent mode (or, as Japanese nicely call it, Manner Mode) so that you don’t disturb other passengers. If your phone happens to ring and you must take the call then the most polite thing you can do is to keep the conversation as short as possible or get off at the next stop.

Of course, no one is going to kick you out of the train if you choose to break this rule, but you will surely be considered rude and frowned upon.

Don’t forget to take off your toilet slippers

Just like Japan itself seems a bit sci-fi, sitting on a Japanese toilet feels a bit like being in a spaceship — there are numerous buttons, each one with a different function and it can be confusing the first few times.

To add to the confusion, you must also remember the special toilet slippers. These are slippers to be worn only in the toilet. They are placed in front of the bathroom door and whenever you want to use them, you’ll have to change from your indoor slippers to the toilet ones. And, most importantly, once you are done you must change back into your indoor slippers or you’ll offend everyone showing up wearing the toilet slippers.

Most traditional restaurants, community centers and Japanese schools will provide these shoes for people to change into when going to the bathroom.

 

Don’t wear shoes indoors

Street shoes are considered unclean by the Japanese so they must be taken off when entering a Japanese home. There is a special area that makes the transition between the outdoor and the indoor called genkan. Shoes worn outdoors are left in the genkan and they are replaced with indoor slippers.

This rule also extends to traditional Japanese ryokan hotels, temples, shrines, schools and hospitals. In traditional restaurants where guests sit on tatami mats, not even slippers are allowed because they could damage the mats.

 

 

5 tips for driving in Mexico

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If you’re planning a trip to Mexico and you intend to take your car or rent one from your destination, you need to know your way around. Here are five pieces of advice that we have prepared for you if you’re in the situation of driving an automobile in this country.

 

General information

First, let’s discuss the documentation needed to drive in Mexico. You can use a driver’s license obtained in the U.S. or Canada, but if you intend on driving more, and leave Mexico for other countries, you can also get an international driving permit. You should always have your license with you, along with your ID and the tourist card.

If you use your own car, make sure to have your insurance and registration. Alternatively, keep your rental agreement and insurance with you when driving a rented car.

You should know that buying gas is simple, but a bit different compared to other places. For example, always make sure that the meter shows zero before the attendant starts pumping the gas. Also note that it’s a custom to tip the attendant if he or she has done something else for you, like washing the windshield or checking the tires and oil.

Avoid driving at night

Unfortunately, road fatalities are a lot higher at night in Mexico than they are at day. That’s because there are plenty of animals that you can run into, and there are pedestrians that cross the street recklessly. You will also see many vehicles that lack tail lights and they are a danger on the road.

Another noticeable thing is that there aren’t many overhead lights on the road so you will not be able to see obstacles from afar. That is why you should try and drive more slowly than you usually do. Also, if you’re stuck in a remote area, there are slim chances of someone helping you so you will be stuck there all night.

 

Stick to the main roads

Although thieves are not as big of a problem as they once were, they can still cause some trouble on the usually untraveled roads. Another problem that back roads have is that the road conditions can be suboptimal and your car might run the risk of hitting a hole and sustaining too much damage.

However, if you’re with a group of friends you can be confident that these issues can be resolved and you can try and visit the part of Mexico that you can find off the beaten track. This is where you will see the real spirit of the country, with the kids waving at you and asking you to buy stuff and adventurous roads with sharp curves.

Unwritten driving rules

In the U.S. and generally around the globe, a left turn signal shows the driver’s intention to turn left. But that’s not always the case in Mexico, where it’s generally an invitation for the driver behind to pass. If there is no intersection with a road on the left, then be sure that the left signal asks you to pass.

This shows how polite Mexican people can be. However, they expect you to be polite, as well. If you’re going down a road that has a shoulder and a car comes from the opposite direction, on your lane, if that car is overtaking someone you are expected to drive on the emergency lane.

You can also pass a car on the right, on the shoulder lane, but you need to make sure the driver you overtake is aware of that.

 

Don’t attempt bribes

When being pulled over, firstly ask to talk to the chief. If the officer that stopped you only wants your money he or she will probably back off when hearing that request.

Most Mexican policemen are honest and that is why you should never be the one to offer to bribe them. This act could get you in a lot of trouble. As expected, paying an officer to get rid of the fine is illegal in Mexico.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous insects to watch out for when you’re traveling

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When planning a camping trip, probably one of the things most people don’t even take into consideration is how many things out there can harm and even threaten your life.

Starting from dangerous snakes to venomous spiders and many types of insects, nature has surely created a vast array of torture and even killing machines.

But you do not even have to leave the house to meet one or more of these creatures – sometimes they come to visit (unfortunately, without any invitation). If you live in an affected zone, an insect fogger can help you fight some of these pests, but if you go on a trip, you should definitely pack an insect repellent.

Below, we made a list of the most dangerous insects out there.

 

Giant Japanese Hornet

Growing to a size of two inches, the Giant Japanese Hornet is the largest of all hornet species in the world. Up to 40 deaths caused by this insect are reported yearly.

The venom causes allergic reactions and dissolves tissues in short periods. Japanese hornets are fearless and extremely aggressive. If stirred, they will attack in groups, which in most cases ends up in imminent death for the victim.

Tsetse Fly

One of the most dangerous fatal insects from the African continent is the Tsetse Fly.

A fascinating thing about this species is that it does not bite to release any type of venom, but when feeding on the blood of vertebrates, it injects a powerful toxin with each sting.

This insect is known to cause the sleeping sickness, and over half a million people die in Africa due to attacks from these flies. If not appropriately treated, this causes imminent death.

 

Killer Bees

Killer bees are very aggressive and dominant insects, also known as Africanized Honey Bees. What makes them so terrible is that they attack in groups, charging repeated stinging and can follow a victim for more than a mile.

The toxin from one Killer Bee’s venom is not life-threatening; however, multiple stings can even cause death; and a painful one, too.

Living in huge colonies of over 80,000 members, if disturbed, they will be in an alert state for an entire day and attack any living creature that appears in their range.

Driver Ants

Every colony of Driver Ants contains approximately 22 million members, making them the largest insect hives.

Using their powerful mandibles, they can make multiple injuries to humans and animals. They usually kill many types of different creatures within a single raid.

In their invasion, they take out others insects’ nests for food and kill them. Basically, they try to terminate any animal crossing their path.

Mosquitoes

Considered the deadliest insect species in the world, Mosquitoes generate one million deaths every year by transmitting the fatal Malaria disease.

The dangerous thing about Mosquitoes is that they carry around germs and spread them into the victim’s blood by biting. Malaria is a fatal disease that is not transmitted by coming in contact with a sick person, but through parasites, which are mainly carried by these insects.

Besides this disease, Mosquitoes also spread Yellow Fever, West Nile, encephalitis, and Dengue Fever.

Summary

Except for Tsetse flies and Mosquitoes, most of these insects will not attack unprovoked. However, if you are preparing a trip to a foreign country or even a different Earth zone, you should do a little research and find out what dangers you can encounter.

Although our recommendation is to stay away from these creatures as much as possible, some situations are out of our control. That is why you ought to take all measures of protection.

 

 

5 Places to avoid in New Orleans

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The city of New Orleans, while beautiful and with a lot to offer to curious travelers, is also a place where you’d want to know your whereabouts before starting to roam around the city. Naturally, before every travel or holiday, you should have a list with some of the places you don’t want to get yourself into when visiting your location of choice.

We will now offer you information about five of the places you have to avoid while visiting New Orleans. Let’s get started.

Basin City Projects

Crossing Rampart from one of the sides of Canal Street will get you into a neighborhood known as Basin City Projects. You might wander away and get yourself into this area because the French Quarter is located before it, where iconic cemeteries are located. Of course, visiting these cemeteries is safe, but getting into Basin City Projects is not.

It is recommended that you are in your car, definitely not on foot, especially if you plan to go past Basin City Projects, on the I-10. This neighborhood has very little tourists that populate it, therefore marking it as dangerous for travel – as a tourist, you will attract muggers, especially if you are in a small group.

 

Warrington Drive/Robert E. Lee Blvd.

This area is mainly unsafe because people with incomes that are as low as 85% from the rest of the country live here. Of course, it’s also marked as the area with one of the lowest incomes in the country. Therefore, there’s the risk of pickpocketing and robbery if you travel these streets.

Moreover, when it comes to the poverty levels, 44% of the children find themselves below the standards here – getting mugged by a band of little mischiefs could be possible if you are not paying attention.

 

Port Street/Urquhart Street

This neighborhood, while small when it comes to size, is one of the high crime spots in New Orleans. Also, according to some reports, only 30% of the people living in these areas walk or take the bus to work.

Therefore, during the evenings – and nights, of course – and especially in winter, this neighborhood might look like a deserted area that will give you the creeps. It’s better that you stay in a reputed hotel and have your favorite wine glass than traveling to these parts of the town.

The 8th and 9th Ward, Esplanade, South Claiborne, and North Rampart Streets

These areas are to be avoided completely – during the day as well as during the night. They are mostly populated by teenagers and homeless people. While the homeless might do you no harm, except the usual begging, the teenagers have reportedly caused much trouble to tourists in the past. The first thing they’ll look for when approaching you will be your money – so keep your wallet in a safe place.

If something unpleasant occurs, you should not engage in any conflicts. It’s better to just leave and mind your own business – staying calm and being smart will get you out of any situation that involves muggers or such.

 

Michoud

This area is deemed as one of the unsafest, especially after dark. Here, the NASA Assembly Plant of Michoud can be found as well. If you are into such things, you might want to give it a tour – however, be careful of the means of getting there, and visit it during the day.

A thing that’s worth mentioning is the fact that New Orleans, when it comes to safety, is safer than just 5% of all of the U.S. cities.

 

In the end, you should think twice before visiting New Orleans – and if you do eventually get in this city, be sure to stay indoors during the night and avoid any of the aforementioned areas.

 

 

5 Places to avoid in Charleston SC

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Charleston is said to be one of the worst cities in America to live in. Every search of this city will bring up results that tell of articles about its violence, poor quality of life, and criminality. However, it can still offer tourists great views and nice places to see – and in some parts, people are pretty nice as well.

But, if you have made your decision and want to visit Charleston SC, you should know at least five places that you’d want to avoid while being there. Therefore, here is our list of those places – with the general recommendation being that you stay inside at night.

North Charleston

This is an area you definitely want to stay away from – most of the acts of crime and violence that happen throughout a year in Charleston SC are in North Charleston. It is viewed like an entirely different city, completely separated from Charleston, mainly because of the aforementioned high rates of crime.

While some sources say that some parts of it are safe, we recommend you avoid visiting it – of course, especially after dark.

 

Waylyn and Terrace neighborhoods

Last year, a quarter of the killings occurred in these two neighborhoods – one of them happening only one hour after New Year’s celebration. Quite common here are the gunfights between various groups, and many people have lost their sons because of the violence that’s present here.

Avoid neighborhoods like this and stick to the areas that are traveled by tourists. This way, you’ll ensure your safety and drastically increase your chances of returning home just as you left it.

 

Market Street

This is one of the areas that are usually visited by tourists. It has many historical buildings and an outdoor and indoor market that you can check out for souvenirs. However, being in a place that’s too crowded may prove dangerous.

During the weekends, Market Street gets really busy and you might be a victim of pickpocketing if you are not paying attention. The best time to discover this area would be in the middle of the day and during the week.

The North-East part of the city

This area consists of Myers and E Bay Street and is considered one of the most dangerous areas to be in while visiting Charleston SC – according to crime stats and maps. The current crime index of the city is of 19 out of 100 – it doesn’t rank well at all. In the past year, there have been over 400 violent crimes in Charleston and since this is the largest area that’s deemed dangerous, it is safe to assume that most of them occurred here.

You should avoid traveling through this area, leave home your fierce motorcycle adventure jacket – as it might get you in trouble – and head straight to Vassar Street and Rutledge Ave if you want to see Murray Landing, as these two areas are some of the safest here.

 

Dupont Station and Sherwood Forest

These two areas, especially Sherwood Forest, have the highest crime rates in Charleston SC. Moreover, the surrounding areas are not particularly safe, either, so it’s better you avoid this part of the city entirely.

Last year, in the city of Charleston SC, there have been around 247 cases of assault and 108 cases of robbery. Therefore, trust us when we say that you should keep away from the areas we have mentioned so far. It’s for your own good – keep very close to the places that are recommended for tourists and you should be safe at all times.

 

These were five of the places you’d want to avoid if you decide to visit Charleston SC, a city that has been declared as the worst and most dangerous place to live in many times.

 

 

Top 5 most dangerous snakes out there

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A fishing trip can be much fun, and there is nothing more relaxing than spending a few hours in your inflatable boat. You should, however, take into consideration that among fish, many other dangerous animals may be lurking around.

Snakes represent a real threat if encountered, so it is best you study the region before deciding where to go. Your fishing waders can help you, but you should not count on them all the time and to an extreme extent. Below you can find 5 of the most dangerous snake species out there.

 

Eastern Brown Snake

The Eastern Brown Snake is referred to as one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Based on a measure of a fatal dosage of toxin in mice, it displayed a considerable value of median lethal dose.

This species can be found in Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, where many reports regarding unfortunate encounters with humans have been registered.

Common Death Adder

The Common Death Adder originates in Australia and is a subspecies of the Death Adder. It is considered one of the most venomous snakes on this continent and worldwide.

Distinctive from other types of snakes, this one covers itself with leaves and patiently waits for prey to pass by. It can remain in this state for days.

At the exact moment an unsuspecting victim approaches, the adder strikes fast, injecting its venom. It then waits for some more time, until the prey dies and only then starts to eat it.  

 

Philippine Cobra

Toxicology experts argue that the Philippine Cobra holds the most toxic venom among all other Cobra species. A single bite from this snake can kill a human within 30 minutes.

The venom of this Cobra comes with the fatal ability to interrupt the frequency of nerve signals and to paralyze the respiratory system. This fact makes the Philippine Cobra a very dangerous specimen.

 

Inland Taipan

This snake is not remarkable just for its deadly venom, but also for the speed at which it bites. In an unfortunate encounter with the Inland Taipan, the victim does not get one bite, but a series of fast, precise strikes. This way, the snake manages to inject extremely toxic venom deep into the prey.

In terms of toxicity, no other snake venom has been found to reach the levels of the Inland Taipan.

Belcher’s Sea Snake

Many experts consider that the Belcher’s Sea Snake has the most toxic venom among all other snakes in the world.

A single drop of a King Cobra’s venom is enough to kill over 150 people. Just a few milligrams of the Belcher’s Sea Snake venom is powerful enough to kill over 1,000 people. That is how strong and dangerous this species’ venom is.

When realizing how deadly this snake is, it is hard to believe that any good things can be associated with it. Well, the Belcher’s Sea Snake is very shy, and it takes a lot of provoking before it bites, so at least there’s that.

 

Recommendations

There are numerous species of snakes, many of them being extremely venomous. A lot of them do not bite if not stirred, but you can find yourself stepping near one by mistake. Others are more aggressive and will strike for no reason.

The most important thing is to know your region and find out what kind of snakes you can encounter. Also, you should always let someone know where you are, just in case. In the unfortunate event you get bitten by a snake, you should be able to call for help as fast as possible. However, one thing is for sure — you ought to avoid these animals as much as possible.

 

 

Top 5 safest countries to visit

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To say that everybody loves traveling is sort of an understatement. Although the world feels unsafe due to current events, the truth is most countries are more than peaceful. There are terrorist attacks, riots, and wars, but according to a study, our civilizations have never been more peaceful. Apparently, there are fewer wars now than were in the middle ages.

Nevertheless, there still are places which are safer than others, and this list’s purpose is to reveal them to you. It is better to read about such places before going on a trip, so you know what to expect. This is essential information, especially if you are a solo female traveler.

We base our article on the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report from 2017, where countries are listed and classified according to their safety and to the level security they provide for their citizens and tourists alike. Some of the criteria used to measure a country’s safety control were the lack of terrorist attacks, police efficiency, and the number of fatalities registered throughout a given period.

Even if the countries you are about to see are thought as safe, it doesn’t mean they are boring, as some of them are fantastic party hubs, full of young and vibrant people. Some even allow you to drink on the streets, which is quite surprising. Let’s get to it!

To start this countdown we chose Qatar. It is situated in the Middle East, and it is top rated from many points of view. It is both luxurious and safe, and if you visit it, there are hundreds of things to do, from visiting museums to admiring private human-made islands. And even if the country is associated with luxury, it is still very cheap if you are a tourist.

Just keep in mind that Qatar is a predominantly Muslim country, so make sure you follow the local rules and common practices. The police there is very vigilant, and if you cause problems, they will take measures that might seem a bit rough for a westerner. Otherwise, if you are a fan of opulence, this might be the place for you.

Next on the list is a country made up of diverse cultural backgrounds. Switzerland is not a country, but just like the U.S., it is a union of different regions. There are many official languages in the Swiss nation, including French, Italian, and German. There is even a small part that speaks a Latin dialect.

It has also done well in the broader report, for many years, as a matter of fact,  and has reached a status synonymous with neutrality, for its position during the World Wars. Moreover, it is incredibly expensive, but the little country is safe in has a lot to offer. Everyone has heard of Swiss watches, cheese, and chocolate and of their stunning natural scenery. If you don’t know much about Switzerland, do yourself a favor and google cities like Bern, Geneva, and Zermatt now.

Another European country with great scores is Norway. Is this surprising anyone? The Nordic jewel is famous for its reliable police and for the fact that the people are kind, helpful and laid-back. If you want to see beautiful nature in its pristine form, Oslo, Bergen and everything in between should be on your travel list.

You’ll be happy to know that Norwegians have some of the lowest homicide rates, especially when compared to most places in America. There are also many cultural destinations in Norway and a lot of nightclubs for those who enjoy this type of adventure.

At number four, we have Oman. Despite having neighbors in a state of conflict, raided by terrorism, Oman is like a peaceful oasis in the turbulent Middle East. It outshines even large countries like the UK and France and is for sure an inspiration to us all.

And the last country might be a surprise to some of you, especially since in the previous few years it held a different position on the top. We are talking, of course, about Finland and its capital, Helsinki. It climbed almost eleven spots and now it is considered an emblem of police efficiency, and it is praised for its criminal justice system.

 

 

Places to avoid in Cuba

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Cuba tops many world travelers bucket lists, being a nation that captured the world’s imagination, with a unique mix of tropical beauty, wonderful salsa rhythms and ever-flowing rum. Also, Cuba has amazing warm and friendly people, always ready to host you and your traveling buddies for the best Cuban experience.

However, if you want to make sure your experience here is well worth it, there are a couple of places you should try and stay away from. Cuba is not a dangerous country, but for the well-being of your trip, we created a list with the top areas you should avoid during your stay in Cuba.

 

Varadero

The Varadero peninsula stretches into the Caribbean at the northernmost point of Cuba, and it is about 2 hours east from Havana. This area has an interesting history, but its activity is mostly unethical regarding tourism. This area was created once the American mafia wanted to build a stretch of casinos from the peninsula all the way to Havana, naming it Casino Coast.

However, when Castro took control, he kicked the American mafia out. But all the casinos and beach resorts stayed, and they are still spoiling the beautiful scenery and the beaches. Usually, at these beach resorts, you find a lot of unwelcome tourists, which keep people away by constantly guarding the beaches and denying access.

There is even a gate at the start of the peninsula to stop any Cubans from entering. Therefore, we do not recommend you to visit this area.

Avoid slums

In Cuba, as in any other place, it is better if you try to avoid visiting marginal or poor neighborhoods. Some areas are more dangerous than others, some are even outside the law where a tourist might be an easy target for muggers.

You should be very careful if you visit Havana because it is more dangerous compared to other cities. Neighborhoods such as Centro Habana, Marianao and Guanabacoa have more of a bad reputation than others, so if you find yourself interested in visiting them, you should at least visit them alongside a local friend, someone you really trust.

 

Bechlin

This is an area where spontaneous fights might erupt, but usually between locals. There are a lot of bars around this area, so alcohol has a lot to do with the incidents too. Don’t worry, if you stay away from these areas, especially at night, you won’t have any unpleasant experiences.

Orange Casa Particulares

Across the country, there is a national network of “staying in” locations which are called “Casa Particulares.” Foreigners and travelers are only allowed to stay in blue Casas Particulares because the orange ones are for locals. Both the traveler and the owner can get in big trouble if visitors choose to stay in a orange one.

You should also avoid over-crowded places or very noisy/loud bars. Cubans are mostly friendly and nice, but there are cases when they can act sketchy. Don’t flaunt your wealth, don’t wear showy jewelry and don’t carry with you a lot of cash because that will increase the chance of you getting mugged. Avoid drinking tap-water or brushing your teeth with it, because it most probably could make you sick.

Always be aware of your surroundings and try to befriend some locals to have a couple of trustworthy people that can show you the true and hidden beauties of Cuba. Even so, you should be careful who you trust, because there are people who will try to scam you into buying questionable looking items such as cigars, decorative objects, alcohol, etc for unusual high prices.